Indian Big Five

Highlights

  Indian Big Five
  Stunning scenery
  Search for Lions and Tigers
  Amazing architecture 
  Glorious birds

Price is from £5,250.00 pp

Not many realise that India is home to 10% of the world’s wildlife species. The main reason for this is that the country has a huge diversity of landscapes that have helped evolve a huge variety of species. Literally any landscape that you can think of anywhere in the world – we have something similar here. This is given rise to unique and rare mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and the often-forgotten marine life.

However, we do realise that the draw of the larger mammals is much more to most than anything else in the animal kingdom which is why we have put together this program to showcase India’s big five – Lion, Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Gaur (Indian bison) and the one-horned Rhinoceros. This experience takes you through a vast spread of India to 3 different national parks to showcase these iconic species. The parks that we visit in this experience are Gir National Park, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and Kaziranga National Park.

Time to visit: October to June.

At a Glance

  • Price is £5,250 pp
  • Group size is a minimum of 2 people.
  • Duration is 13 nights in India
  • Accommodation is in either home-stays or cottages.
  • Price includes international and internal flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities stated in the itinerary.

Itinerary

Day 1: Mumbai

There is a lot that Mumbai has to offer in terms of history, architecture, art along with the people that call it home. Did you know Mumbai originally was just a group of fishing villages?

Accommodation: Overnight in Mumbai.

Days 2 – 4: Gir National Park
Gir National Park is the last bastion of the Asiatic Lion. Since the late 1960s, lion numbers have increased from under 200 to over 650 (not all these lions live within the park). The sanctuary’s 37 other mammal species, most of which have also increased in numbers, include dainty chitals, sambars, nilgais, crocodiles and rarely seen leopards. The park is a great destination for birders, too, with more than 300 species, most of them resident.

For those who are interested there are two interesting tribes that can be seen and visited in Gir – Maldhari and a tribe of African origin, most likely they were brought here centuries ago as slaves and have lived here ever since.

Accommodation: The Fern, Sasan Gir. Air-conditioned cottages and tents have a private balcony with views of the natural surroundings. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV, minibar and personal safe. En-suite bathrooms have shower facilities.

Day 5: Ahmedabad      
We make our way to Ahmedabad the capital of the state of Gujarat. The drive to Ahmedabad should take about 5 hours. This evening explore Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. This peaceful, shady grounds on the Sabarmati River’s west bank, this ashram was Gandhi’s headquarters from 1917 to 1930 during the long struggle for Indian independence.

Accommodation: Ahmedabad.

Days 6 – 8: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Nagpur is our entry point into the Central Indian jungles in search for the next two Big Five species – the tiger and gaur. Our selection of park for this part of the adventure is Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. Tadoba lies about 2.5-3 hours from Nagpur and is today considered one of the best places in the world to see this majestic big cat.

Scattered throughout are the lovely kusums and flowering silk cottons, which bloom from late winter to spring. But unique to Tadoba, and a photographer’s delight, are the ‘ghost trees’ which are very large and have completely white bark!

Tadoba Tiger Reserve is a rare jungle jewel amongst India’s leading tiger reserves and national parks. It is affably called the Land of the Tigers, due to its high tiger density—recent estimates indicate around 72 tigers (60 in core and 12 in buffer) over a rich jungle spread over 625 square kilometres

Accommodation: The Bamboo Forest Lodge / Svasara Jungle Resort. The resort borders the park jungle, and provides an intimate and immersive jungle experience with just 12 well-appointed rooms set amidst 10 acres of restored forest. 

Day 9:  Kolkata
This morning we take our last safari in Tadoba. After an early lunch we make our way back to Nagpur airport and catch a flight to Kolkata. Kolkata is just a stop to get to our next destination where we search for the One-horned Rhino and the Asiatic Elephant.

Accommodation: Kolkata

Day 10 – 12:      Kaziranga National Park
On the way to Kaziranga National Park we explore Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary The Gibbon Sanctuary, home to 7 species of primates – Stump-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Eastern Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Bengal Slow Loris, Capped Langur and the Hoolock Gibbon – the only ape found in India. Besides these the park is also known to have leopards and tiger, along with jungle cats, wild boars, three types of civets and about 220 species of birds.

Kaziranga National Park encompasses grasslands, wetlands and forests for about 60km on the south side of the Brahmaputra River. Its 2400-plus rhinos comprise two-thirds of the world’s population and you’re highly likely to see some on any safari in the park (usually grazing peacefully). You’ll probably also spot some of the park’s 1100 elephants, and if you’re very lucky, a tiger (over 100 live here). Also commonly seen are two other rare large mammals: the wild water buffalo and eastern swamp deer.

Accommodation: Diphlu River Lodge. Raised cottages are made of natural materials like bamboo and wood, topped with thatched roofs to blend in with the forest surroundings.

Day 13: Transfer to Delhi

After breakfast this morning we check-out and make our way to Guwahati – the capital of Assam. Catch a flight from Guwahati to Delhi. This evening we check-into a hotel in Aerocity, Delhi.

Accommodation:  Hotel in Aerocity, Delhi

Day 14: Fly back to the UK.
Today you can explore the various facets of Delhi before your evening check-out your international flight back home.

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