Tour At A Glance

Cost:

2899.00

Deposit:

800.00

Single Room Supplement:

500.00

Tour Code:

Intermediate with optional early morning excursions and some long drives

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Great Thick-knee Indian Skimmers Pallas's Gull Tiger

India - On The Trail of Tigers

Date: Tour not currently running
Leaders: Steve Cale and Local Guides

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Fly London/New Delhi on the overnight flight departing at 22.00.

DAY TWO
Upon arrival, you are met by your guide for the short transfer to your nearby hotel. Once everyone has refreshed, we begin our birding. We spend time birding in Okhla for three to four hours, walking on embankments that lead you through the marshy areas. We can expect to get about 40 -50 species during this walk. Okhla is a vast expanse of wetland where the River Yamuna is distributed into irrigation canals. Species likely to be encountered here include Open-billed Stork, White-tailed Lapwing, Grey and Black Francolins, Ashy and Yellow-bellied Prinia, Black-shouldered Kite, Red-necked Falcon, Shikra, Brown-headed Gull, River Tern, Common and Striated Babblers, Streak- throated Swallow, White-throated Kingfisher, Brahminy and Asian Pied Starlings, Hume’s Warbler and Purple Sunbird amongst more familiar species such as Little and Temminck’s Stints, Ruddy Shelduck, Osprey, Black Kite and Marsh Harrier.
Overnight Hotel Intercontinental Eros.
 
DAY THREE
We drive for six hours in the morning to get to Tiger Camp at the famous Corbett Tiger Reserve.  Afternoon birding outside Jhirna Range Forest. This area is good for Maroon Oriole, Khalij Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Green, Blue-tailed and Bearded Bee-eaters and a variety of woodpeckers. The mammal life is good here too and one may have a chance to see the rare Sloth Bear.
Overnight in cottages at Tiger Camp.
 
DAY FOUR
In the morning, we drive to the Dhikala tourism complex through dense Sal forest and following check in, we take an afternoon excursion to the grasslands for four hours. Mammals that are expected include Tiger, Elephant, Hog Deer, Sambhar and Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Jackal, Wild Boar, Indian Civet, Common Mongoose, Rhesus Macaque and Langur.  The lower tracks along the Ramganga River are very rewarding for waterfowl including River Lapwings and Stork-billed Kingfisher. Many special species are present either here or at The Lodge; we hope for Large-tailed Nightjar, Jungle Owlet, Spot- bellied Owlet, Grass Owl, White-tailed Stonechat, Red Junglefowl, Purple and Crimson Sunbirds and Changeable Hawk Eagle.
Overnight Dhikala Forest Lodge.
 
DAY FIVE
We take an elephant ride for two hours to some of the best birding areas such as Sambhar Road and Khinanauli before returning for breakfast. We can expect to see Great Hornbill, Puff-throated Babbler, Maroon Oriole and Pallas’s Fish Eagle amongst others. We will spend the remainder of the morning at a tower overlooking a water hole before driving to the Tiger Camp in the afternoon.
Overnight Tiger Camp.
 
DAY SIX
We take a morning walk to Kumeria and then from Garjia temple back to the camp. This walk is for four or five hours and is specifically undertaken for some rare birds such as Wallcreeper and Brown Dipper. Following lunch, we take a jeep safari to Jhirna Range Forest for four hours. Species here should include Black and Brown-headed Bulbuls, Brown Fish Owl, Little Forktail, Yellow-bellied and White-browed Fantails, Crested Laughing Thrush, Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, Little Heron, Red-breasted Parakeet, Brown Dipper and Short-billed and Long-tailed Minivets.
Overnight Tiger Camp.
 
DAY SEVEN
We take the morning drive to Corbett Falls stopping en route at Dabka causeway to look for Ashy -crowned Sparrow Lark. After birding at Corbett Falls for an hour or two, we continue driving to Pangot through the Himalayan terrain. The entire drive after Nainital is through the forested area via Snow View point. This is primarily Oak Forest with various species of pine, cedar and rhododendron. Arrive in time for lunch followed by leisurely birding in and around the lodge. One can see woodpeckers such as Greater Yellownape, Scaly-breasted and Speckled Piculet here. Large flocks of Slaty-headed Parakeets, numerous Spotted and Oriental Turtle Doves, Grey Bushchat and Russet Sparrow. Cuckoos will feature highly and we hope to see Indian, Oriental, Large-hawk and Eurasian Cuckoos. Large-billed Crow, Grey Treepie, Black-headed Jay, Maroon Oriole, Large Cuckoo Shrike, tits such as Rufous-naped, Black-throated & Yellow-browed and smaller numbers of Black-lored and Green-backed. White-tailed Nuthatches, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches and Bar-tailed Treecreeper should also present.
Overnight stay in a cottage at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
 
DAY EIGHT
We spend the day birding at Cheena Peak and Kilbury [6500-7500 feet]. The walks can be done at very easy pace. We will encounter an excellent selection of Himalayan species including Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Blue-winged Minla, Spotted and Slaty-backed Forktails, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Niltava and Khalij Pheasant. The numerous perennial and seasonal creeks are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna including Leopard, Himalayan Palm Civet, Yellow-throated Himalayan Martin, Ghoral, Sambhar and Barking Deer.
Overnight Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
 
DAY NINE
Another day at Pangot and the surrounding areas. Today, we will search Pangot village, Baggar and Gughu Khan. These walks can be prolonged or extended depending upon the physical fitness of the participants. Raptors include Crested Serpent and Mountain Hawk Eagles and Brown-fronted and Streak-throated Woodpeckers should also be noted. In the terraced fields, Dark-throated Thrush and Striated Prinia are present. Rusty-tailed, Verditer, Tickell’s and Rufous-bellied Flycatchers flit amongst the trees, as do, Greenish, Golden-spectacled, Grey-hooded and Tickell’s Leaf Warblers. Other species likely to be encountered here are Red-flanked Bluetail, Blue-capped Redstart and White-throated, Striated, Streaked and Chestnut- crowned Laughing Thrushes, Black-throated and Altai Accentors, Whiskered Yuhina and Upland Pipit.
Overnight Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
 
DAY TEN
We will drive to Sat Tal [two hours] in the morning, birding along the way. The entire drive is through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury. One can see a variety of Himalayan species along the way such as Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Blue-winged Minla, Spotted and Slaty-backed Forktail, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Khalij Pheasant, and a variety of thrushes. Red-breasted Accentor, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Greater and Lesser yellow-naped Woodpeckers, Blue-throated Barbet, Rufous-chinned laughing Thrush, Black Bulbul and Dark-throated Thrush should also be present.
Overnight stay at Sat Tal Birding Camp.
 
DAY ELEVEN
Another day of birding in Sat Tal.  In the evening, we transfer to Kuchesar Mud Fort.
Overnight at Kuchesar Mud Fort.
 
DAY TWELVE
We transfer to National Chambal Sanctuary [six hour drive]. This is a riverine eco-system and Chambal is probably the cleanest river in India. We enjoy a river cruise for four hours for species such as Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern, Common, Sarus and Demoiselle Cranes, Little Pratincole, Great thick-Knee, Black-winged Stilt and large flocks of migratory waterfowl. There are also eight species of Turtle and Fish-eating Crocodiles here. Another highlight is Gangetic Dolphin. Following lunch at the Chambal Safari Lodge, we make the two-hour transfer to Agra. The afternoon is spent visiting probably the world’s best known building - The Taj Mahal. This is an unforgettable experience and a must for any tour to the area.
Overnight stay in Hotel Pushp Villa in Agra.
 
DAYS THIRTEEN & FOURTEEN
In the morning, we transfer to Bharatpur. This takes approximately two hours. We spend our days birding in the Keoladeo National Park on foot and cycle rickshaws. We will also enjoy a boat ride that will take us very close to waterfowl and heronries. Each participant will have a rickshaw to themselves and will always have the option of returning to the hotel at anytime. The two day birding period may result in 150 species. Pheasant-tailed and Bronzed-winged Jacanas, Bluethroat, Baillon’s, Ruddy-breasted and Brown Crakes, Long-tailed and Bay- backed Shrikes, Black Bittern, Indian Grey Hornbill, Orange-headed Thrush, Syke’s, Clamorous Reed and Yellow-browed Warblers, Red Avadavat, Silverbill, Rufous-tailed Larks and Comb Duck are all possible. The park is a World Heritage Site and has some of the finest wetlands in the world. Overnights Bharatpur Forest Lodge.
 
DAY FIFTEEN
In the morning, we transfer to Ranthambhor, stopping en route at Bund Baretha for birding. One can expect pelicans, larks, francolins and other waterfowl. We arrive in the evening at Tiger Den Resort at the famous Ranthambhor Tiger Reserve. A huge variety of birds are present here in the scrub and dry grassy areas. The area around the lodge will be useful to look for Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Courser, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Isabelline, Variable and Desert Wheatears, Ashy- crowned Sparrow Lark, White-naped Woodpecker and majestic raptors such as Crested Serpent and Short-toed Eagles, Honey and Long-legged Buzzards should all be present. The walk will be in semi-desert area around the lodge. This is a typical habitat that is shrinking due to ‘greening’ of the area. The species listed above can be seen only in small patches in Ranthambhor.
Overnight at Ranthambhor Safari Lodge.
 
DAY SIXTEEN
Ranthambhor National Park is dry deciduous forest with rocky ranges of Aravallis and Vindhayas. The rocky terrain, perennial streams and lakes and ancient monuments within the park support a wide range of bio-diversity. In the morning, we take a jeep or open truck safari into the park for tiger tracking and more birding. The safari lasts for three to four hours every morning and afternoon. These rides are programmed more for mammal tracking and may not be very good for serious birding within the park. Mammal species that we are likely to see include Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambhar Deer, Spotted Deer, Chinkara, Wild Boar and Jungle Cat. Bird life we hope to encounter includes Black-headed Ibis, Plum-headed, Rose-ringed and Alexandrine Parakeets, Sulphur- bellied Warbler, Grey- headed Canary and Asian Brown Flycatchers, Large Cuckoo Shrike, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Marshall’s and Common Iora, White-browned Fantail, Collared Scops Owl, and Red-headed Vulture. In the afternoon, we have the option to visit the thousand-year-old fort. For those who are interested in history, a walk to the fort is a must. This will take about four hours followed by dinner at the resort. Following this, we connect with the overnight sleeper train to Delhi. Our journey will be spent in comfortable, air-conditioned compartments.
 
DAY SEVENTEEN
We arrive in Delhi railway station at 06.00 hours. We will transfer to a small hotel for wash and change and breakfast. We will be transferred to the airport for the flight home departing mid afternoon, arriving in London the same evening where the tour will conclude.

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights London/Delhi, all accommodation in hotels, lodges and camps, all meals including in flight meals on first and last days, all excursions, services of leaders, transport, all reserve and monument entrance fees and airport transfers.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/from London airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, Indian visa, travel insurance, drinks, tips [allow £5.00 per day], laundry, camera fees [payable locally; allow £5.00 per day], meals unless specified and any items of a purely personal nature.

 

Tour Reports

 

2009

 

Testimonials

 

"We managed to achieve a phenomenal 340 birds, 1 tiger, 1 leopard, and many elephants! The rarest bird we found was the Cheer Pheasant. The tour guide, Lester Perera was absolutely superb in his knowledge of the birds. Our little group of five plus driver couldn't have been better matched and that made all the difference in the world. The food was great and the accommodations perfectly adequate" L. A. Florida


"This was a fantastic tour. The company, the bird and seeing the Tiger were the aspects we particularly enjoyed. Also the Taj Mahal, it was all and more than we expected. The meals in all the accommodation were excellent, the staff were all extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Our pre-tour information was very helpful and our guide was extremely helpful, very knowledgeable and dedicated to showing us everything" G & V. C. Surrey.


“A truly wonderful experience that will be with me forever. The guides made an excellent team and the birding was brilliant - thank you for the opportunity to experience all this” J. D. M. Glamorgan.
 

 “The organization was excellent and everywhere we went we were made to feel very welcome and always felt safe. Everybody involved in the trip was extremely friendly and our every need was catered for – no request to any guide or lodge staff was ever refused. Brilliant birds with enough time to enjoy them and seeing a wild Tiger was a special thrill. J. C. Glamorgan.
 

 

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