Wildlife watching tours - bird watching holidays -
culture tours for independent travellers and groups
Bengal Tiger © M Eldridge
Indian Wild Dog © I NewtonRed-vented Bulbul © T LawsonCommon Iora © T LawsonBrahminy Starling © T Lawson

Kipling’s India – Tigers and Taj Mahal (13 days) BT124

Tour ref. no. BT124 (now amalgamating BT124B)
Duration: 11 nights (13 days taking into account flights which are payable directly)
Delhi – Bharatpur – Chambal (day trip) – Agra – Kanha – Delhi
  • Taj Mahal at dawn and sunset
  • Stunning birdlife – Golden-fronted Leafbirds, Malabar Pied Hornbills, Black-hooded Orioles
  • Bengal Tigers at Kanha National Park and a chance of Wild Dogs
  • Not forgetting Sloth Bear, Leopard, Jungle Cat and more
  • Wetland and woodland birding at Bharatpur
  • Gharials,  Marsh Crocodiles and Indian Skimmers along the Chambal River

Introduction

Be inspired by one of the modern wonders of the world on a late afternoon visit to the majestic Taj Mahal; watch marble turn from white to peach in the changing light.  The Bengal Tiger always impresses and such a privilege to see in their jungle home at Kanha National Park.  Here you may also come across a Sloth Bear and there is a reasonable chance of Wild Dog too, so listen out for the alarm calls of Red Junglefowl which can give away their presence.  Relax on a boat safari along the calm waters of the Chambal river and photograph prehistoric-looking Marsh Crocodiles and rare fish-eating Gharials, then be thrilled by an encounter with Gangetic River Dolphins.   Marvel at the vast array of stunning birdlife to be found throughout the tour including wonderful days at one of India’s premier wetland and woodland birdwatching sites, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, where you’ll look for Sarus Cranes, Black Bitterns, Pheasant-tailed Jacanas………..

Note: This itinerary combines the previously separate BT124 and BT124B

Itinerary and price

Day 1: Flight to be organised by you

For help with your flight arrangements and to receive a no obligation quote, you can complete the enquiry form on our website or call 0800 280 8947 to speak to a flight advisor at StudentUniverse (in partnership with Gapyear.com), part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, a leading retailer of airfares and worldwide flights.

Day 2: Delhi

Meals: Payable directly today

You will be welcomed at Delhi airport and taken to check in at local hotel (check in is from 12 noon). Spend the remainder of the day exploring Delhi sites with your driver with any entrance fees on direct payment today. Night in Delhi.

Day 3: Delhi - Bharatpur

Meals: Breakfast in Delhi, lunch and dinner at Bharatpur

After breakfast your driver will take you to Bharatpur. The journey usually takes around 5 hours, depending on traffic. We recommend leaving early if you can (breakfast served from 7am), to avoid the worst of the rush hour. Check in to your hotel, just a few hundred metres from the entrance to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the sanctuary with an experienced guide.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is an incredible place for wetland birds and you can see a large number of species in a day in grassland, dry thorn and forest areas.  Expect  wonderful views of several species of stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy and Black-headed Ibises as well as Sarus Crane and often Black Bittern. It is worth checking adjacent fields where you can see Indian Courser and Yellow-wattled Lapwing. Relax for the evening at your hotel.

Day 4: Bharatpur

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Explore Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary for the whole day with an experienced guide. The wet woodland, dry acacia scrub, and extensive grasslands attract many brightly coloured birds. Bluethroat, Oriental Magpie Robin and Pied Bushchat hop around the track-side, the skulking Siberian Rubythroat is seen each year and can often be observed with a bit of time and effort. Spotted Owlet, Indian Scops Owl, Coppersmith and Brown-headed Barbets, Red-vented Bulbul, Small Minivet and Golden Oriole are all regularly seen and much more. Look out for mammals too: Golden Jackal, Nilgai, Rhesus Macaque, Sambar and Spotted Deer are just a few of the common species you can see with the help of your guide. Pack your bags tonight, as you’ll be leaving early next morning. Relax for the evening at your hotel.

Day 5: Bharatpur - Chambal - Agra

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch from Bharatpur, dinner payable directly in Agra

After an early breakfast you will leave for the Chambal river at Dholpur with your bird guide accompanying for the day. The journey, in part through typical Uttar Pradesh countryside, will take approximately 1 ¾ hours. You will see people at work in the fields and rural businesses including brick furnaces. Enjoy a one-hour boat safari (if you’d like longer we can provide a supplement for this) on the Chambal River where species might include Indian Skimmer, Gharial (an uncommon fish-eating crocodile), Marsh Crocodile, many species of bird and, if you are lucky, you might glimpse the rare Ganges Fresh Water River Dolphin and enjoy a couple of hours birding in the local area with your experienced guide. Have your packed lunch and then return to Agra where you will say goodbye to your bird guide. Check in at your hotel and relax for the remainder of the day. Night in Agra.

Day 6: Agra – overnight train to Jabalpur (near Kanha National Park)

Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner payable directly

After breakfast spend several hours exploring Agra. First of all we would recommend you visit Agra Fort, a World Heritage Site worthy of a few hours of anyone’s time. Then have lunch and consider ordering a packed dinner for the train journey later; we can recommend a restaurant or two if you wish. A stay in this bustling city is not complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal. A mid to late afternoon viewing is recommended when the marble often turns from brilliant white to peach tinted. We are sure you’ll find this a most memorable day and you can look for birds here too: Black Kites soar overhead and Ruddy Shelduck and River Lapwing could be on the banks of the Yamuna river. Please note, the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.  You will then be transferred to the railway station to catch the Mahakoshal Express train departing Agra at 1918 hours. Night on the air-conditioned sleeper train (pillow, sheet and blanket provided).  Note: There is an earlier train to choose from, but this one allows you to see the Taj Mahal in exquisite light.

Day 7: Jabalpur - Kanha

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at your lodge

Your train is expected to arrive early in Jabalpur at 0935 hours, though sometimes it can run late, so you should ask other passengers or the ticket checker and they will advise accordingly. This is the end of the line for this train, so you will have plenty of time to disembark. Your driver will be waiting for you on the station platform, so look for your name on a placard. From here Kanha is a 3 1/2 – 4 hour drive.  First you’ll stop at Hotel Jackson for breakfast (included in the price).  Check in is usually from 12 noon, earlier if rooms are available but if not, you can relax in the communal areas of the lodge. In the afternoon you can explore around the lodge on your own.  Let us know if you’d prefer us to include an extra jeep safari this afternoon and we can supply you with a supplement for this.  Note: If you do wish to include an extra safari it may be possible to book an earlier train from Agra.

Days 8, 9 and 10: Kanha

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at your lodge

Enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris inside Kanha National Park, home to the ultimate of predators, the Bengal Tiger. Kanha is also an excellent place for Gaur (Indian Bison), Swamp Deer, Wild Dog and Jungle Cat. Sloth Bear and Leopard are occasionally seen, but require more luck. Kanha boasts an impressive bird list and species might include Scarlet Minivet, Orange-headed Thrush, Black-hooded Oriole, Plum-headed Parakeet, Tickell’s Blue and Ultramarine Flycatchers. You might also see the ugly yet characterful Lesser Adjutant Stork and the impressive Changeable Hawk-eagle, while Red Spurfowl or Red Junglefowl might race across the jeep track, expecially when Wild Dogs are on the prowl! Back at the lodge you will have a few hours in the middle of the day to relax and have lunch before setting off on your afternoon jeep safari. Nights at your safari lodge.

Day 11: Kanha – Jabalpur – overnight train to Delhi

Meals: Breakfast, lunch or packed lunch and packed dinner from your lodge

Explore on foot for a few hours around your lodge.  Alternatively you could add in an extra safari and we can supply you with a supplement for this. Later in the morning you will be transferred to Jabalpur station to connect with the 1715 hours Jabalpur Delhi Super Express train to Delhi. Night on the air-conditioned sleeper train (pillow, sheet and blanket provided).

Day 12: Delhi

Meals: Payable directly

Your train will arrive in Delhi at 1140 hours. Your driver will meet you at the station platform (scan the placards for your name). You will have the car and driver at your disposal for the remainder of the day for local sightseeing in Delhi (monument fees and any guide fees to be paid directly). Check in at your hotel will be after 12 noon. Night at your hotel.

Day 13: Delhi

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast is served from 0700 hours.  On this day we have included a departure transfer to the airport to connect with your international flight home.  All flights are excluded from the price.

Tour ends

There are plenty of ways to extend this tour. Please ask for details.

Price per person for standard hotels option:

2 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1280
3 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1120
4 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1015
Single room supplement £270

Standard price is based on the following hotels:

Place Hotel name No. of nights
Delhi Hotel Lohmod, Executive Room 1
Bharatpur Hotel Sunbird, Deluxe Room 2
Agra The Retreat, Superior Room  1
Agra – Jabalpur 2nd AC overnight sleeper train  1
Kanha Tuli Tiger Resort, AC Deluxe Cottage  4
Jabalpur – Delhi 2nd AC overnight sleeper train  1
Delhi Hotel Lohmod, Executive Room  1

Price per person for deluxe hotels option:

2 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1470
3 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1310
4 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1195
Single room supplement £410

Deluxe price is based on the following hotels:

Place Hotel name No. of nights
Delhi Justa The Residence, Gurgaon,  Superior Room 1
Bharatpur Hotel Sunbird, Super Deluxe Room 2
Agra Crystal Sarovar Premium, Premier Taj View Room  1
Agra – Jabalpur 2nd AC overnight sleeper train  1
Kanha Tuli Tiger Corridor, Luxury Cottage Tent  4
Jabalpur – Delhi 2nd AC overnight sleeper train  1
Delhi Justa The Residence, Panchsheel, Superior Room  1

Price includes

  • Accommodation in the above mentioned hotels with meals as listed
  • All mentioned transfers by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Car at disposal on Day 2 and Day 12 in Delhi
  • 6 jeep safaris inside Kanha National Park (3 in Kanha Zone and 3 in Kisli Zone) on an exclusive basis with mandatory park guide and lodge naturalist inclusive of entrance fee
  • Within the deluxe price only one afternoon exploring around the lodge with the lodge naturalist is included
  • 1 1/2 days birding at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary with local guide and entrance fee paid once each day
  • A 1-hour boat safari on the Chambal river with entrance fee and two hours birding in the vicinity of the Chambal river with guide accompanying from Bharatpur – supplements available for longer boating experiences
  • Entrance to Taj Mahal and Red Fort in Agra with English speaking local guide
  • 2nd class air-conditioned train from Agra to Jabalpur and the return from Jabalpur to Delhi – see supplement for 1st class.
  • Extra lunch and packed dinner from Kanha
  • All currently applicable taxes

Price excludes

  • Any international airfare to/from India including International airport tax
  • Meals not specified
  • Tourist visa and travel insurance
  • Camera fee
  • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector in future
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as hard/soft drinks, laundry, phone/fax calls, tips etc.
  • Any item not mentioned in the price includes section.
  • Any increase in the entrance fee to National Parks or Sanctuaries in the future. The price is based on the current entrance fee
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control

 

How to book

The booking of this itinerary is with Wild About Travel Limited and our booking terms and conditions apply. In order to protect your payments we operate a trust account in accordance with the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

Please contact Jo Thomas at Wild About Travel (jo@wildabouttravel.co.uk) / 01480-370593 to register your interest and request a booking form.

To confirm your booking please complete the booking form and send a 25% deposit by £ sterling cheque * payable to Wild About Travel Trust to the Wild About Travel Office, 25 Sapley Road, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 1YG. The balance payment would be due 40 - 60 days (to be confirmed at the time of booking) prior to your travel dates.

* Note: Where a price is given in another currency you can pay in £ sterling. We will use the Lloyds Bank exchange rate at the time of making the deposit payment and the balance payment to convert the figure to £. If you would prefer to make a payment by internet banking please let us know and we can supply you with the bank details.

Flights

We can advise on appropriate flights and timings that you may wish to book, but we do not organise or arrange flights on our customers’ behalf. You will need to make your own flight arrangements directly with a flight retailer or the airline concerned; we recommend StudentUniverse (in partnership with Gapyear.com), part of Flight Centre Travel Group. They can be contacted by completing the online enquiry form or you can call 0800 280 8947 to speak to one of their flight advisors.

For any help or advice please call or email Wild About Travel and we would be happy to assist.
Tel: +44 (0)1480 370593 Mobile: +44 (0)7817 574235
Email: jo@wildabouttravel.co.uk
Wild About Travel Limited is a company registered in England and Wales.
Reg. no. 5522066. Registered Office: 25 Sapley Road, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 1YG, UK

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