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Birds and Tigers North India

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15 Days Birds and Tigers North India

TOUR SUMMARY

Region: Western state of Rajasthan, Northern state of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
Duration: 15 Days/ 14 Nights tour by road & rail
Areas covered: Delhi, Ranthambhore, Bharatpur, Agra, Chambal, Corbett and Pangot

INTRODUCTION

Ranthambhore is the largest tract of dry deciduous forest and is indeed one of the finest parks to observe tiger behavior in the wild. The park also has a large population of panthers, the second largest predators of the forest. An open jeep or bus safari affords a glimpse of the spectacular ruins of mosques, tombs, watchtowers and palaces scattered within the park. The park’s uniqueness lies in its man-made lakes and ancient reservoirs, which have merged into the natural system as vital sources of water. While the Tiger in our main target here, some exciting birds which we hope to see include Painted Spurfowl, Jungle and Rock Bush Quails, Painted Sandgrouse and White-naped Woodpecker.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur: A natural depression of some 29 sq. km. area (the flood plains of river Yamuna), is one of the finest bird reserves in the world. Owning to its global ecological, faunal and floral importance it has been deemed a ‘World Heritage Site’. Some 425 species of birds have been recorded in and around the park, which itself has the distinction of being considered as the finest Heronry in the world. It is one of those few places in the world where it is possible to see over 100 species in a single morning of birding.

The National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) is a 400 km stretch of the river Chambal, covering an area of 1235 sq. km. The Chambal Ravines (altitude 200-500m) are the product of centuries of soil erosion by flood and rain waters. This little-known reserve on the Chambal River that is the home to the Gangetic River Dolphins, two species of crocodile (including the long-snouted Gharial), Indian Skimmers, Red-naped Ibises, Great Thick-knees, Black-bellied Tern and Laggar Falcon. We will also have the opportunity to see the ethereal Taj Mahal.

Corbett not only has the glory of being India’s oldest and most reputed national park, it is also the place where Project Tiger was first launched. The park has a high tiger density, is the northernmost extend of the Asian elephant and home to rare species like otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile – the Gharial, making it the richest place for birds and mammals in northern India. The park is a home to Pallas’s and Lesser Fish Eagles, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Tawny Fish Owl, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Nepal Wren-Babbler, Collared Falconet, Rusty cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Spotted Forktail and Black-chinned Babbler.

Then, after checking for Ibisbills along one of the rivers, we will wind our way up into the beautiful mid-Himalayas to explore the surroundings of the hill station of Naini Tal, home to Himalayan and Rufous-bellied Woodpeckers, White-tailed Rubythroat, Spot-winged Tit, Black-headed Jay, Pink-browed Rosefinch and pheasants like the Koklass, Khalij & Cheer Pheasant.

DETAILED ITINERARY

  • DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI – RANTHAMBHORE (DAY TRAIN)

    - Arrive New Delhi International Airport at 0045 hrs
    - Complete customs, immigrations formalities and exit to arrival hall meeting lounge
    - START OF SERVICE
    - Met by our representative and transfer to hotel for some rest after the long International Flight
    - Later transfer to the railway station to board the train for Sawai Madhopur
    - Delhi/Sawai Madhopur – Golden Temple Mail/12904 at 0740/1300 hrs
    - Arrive at Sawai Madhopur Station and transfer to Ranthambhore (15 min drive)
    - Arrive Ranthambhore and check in to the lodge
    - Post lunch game drive at Ranthambhore National Park accompanied by a local guide
    - Overnight at The Ranthambhore Bagh
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 02 & 03: RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK

    - Morning and evening game drives at Ranthambhore National Park accompanied by a local guide.
    - Overnight at The Ranthambhore Bagh
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 04: RANTHAMBHORE to BHARATPUR (DAY TRAIN)

    - Morning final game drive at Ranthambhore National Park accompanied by a local guide
    - Afternoon transfer to the Sawai Madhopur railway station to board the train for Bharatpur
    - Sawai Madhopur/Bharatpur – Golden Temple Mail/12903 at 1230/1502 hrs
    - Arrive Bharatpur and transfer to the hotel
    - Late afternoon birding in the sanctuary. This superb wetland also attracts many birds of prey like the Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Greater Spotted Eagle and the Steepe Eagle, which is perhaps the most common. Warbler fans will find Smoky, Booted & Brook’s Leaf Warbler. Adjoining fields, scrub vegetation and irrigation tanks will reveal oriental Skylark and Variable Wheatear
    - Overnight at the hotel
    - The Birders Inn
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 05 & 06: BHARATPUR

    - Two Full days birding in Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, considered the finest Heronry in the world as well as an unrivalled breeding site for the Painted Stork, Purple Heron, White Ibis and the Eurasian Spoonbill. It is one of those few places in the world where it is possible to see 100 species in a single morning of birding
    - The Birders Inn
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 07: BHARATPUR – CHAMBAL

    - Early morning depart by surface for Chambal via Agra (140 kms / 3 hrs)
    - En route visit the deserted capital of Fatehpur Sikri which is in a remarkable state of preservation, deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is believed that this place was abandoned due to lack of potable water
    - Arrive Agra and visit the fabled Taj Mahal
    - Later drive to Chambal (2 hr drive)
    - Arrive Chambal and check in to the lodge
    - Afternoon boat safari on Chambal River, this is one of the finest places to see the Indian Skimmer. The river also hosts the Gangetic Dolphin, the endemic fish eating Gharial and Marsh Crocodiles
    - Overnight at the lodge
    - Chambal Safari Lodge
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 08: CHAMBAL – CORBETT

    - After an early breakfast, we have a long drive to Corbett National Park (500 km/ 9 hrs drive)
    - Arrive Corbett and check in at the lodge
    - Late afternoon we have the opportunity to bird on the banks of the river Kosi
    - Overnight at Corbett Hideaway
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 09: CORBETT (KUMARIA & MOHAN)

    - Full day birding at Kumaria & Mohan with packed lunch
    - Overnight at the lodge
    - Corbett Hideaway
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 10: CORBETT (DHIKALA ZONE)

    - Early morning we will enter through Dhangari gate for Dhikala zone en route stopping at advantage points for wildlife viewing
    - Arrive Dhikala and check in
    - Later we go into the vast Dhikala savanna along the forest edge, a good place to sight Asian elephants and look for Tigers on jeeps and elephant back. While we are on the lookout for Tigers, we may encounter birds like Black & Grey Francolin, Rain & Jungle Bush Quail, Small & Barred Buttonquail, Red Spurfowl, Emerald Dove to name a few
    - Overnight at Forest Rest House in Dhikala zone
    - B, L, D

    Please note that the accommodation at Dhikala is basic, but the quality of wildlife viewing it offers is unmatched

  • DAY 11 WED: CORBETT (DHIKALA ZONE)

    - Morning game drive into the surrounding forest or elephant ride (subject to availability) into the surrounding forest
    - After breakfast we leave for the Ramganga reservoir. Completed in 1974 the present area of this lake is about 80 sq Kms. Packed with fish, Muggar & the fish eating Gharial Crocodile thrive here as do Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle and the Osprey
    - Overnight at Forest Rest House in Dhikala zone
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 12: CORBETT – PANGOT

    - Early morning after breakfast depart by surface for Nainital (120 km/ 3 hr drive) en route stopping at Kosi barrage for Fork Tail Swift, Red Rumped Swallow, the reeds in the barrage are good for Water Rail, Ballion Crake, Wood Snipe, Common Moorhen, Little Grebe, a few Ruddy Shellducks are here till early summers. Further upstream we scan the bouldered riverbed for Spotted Redshank, Pintail Snipe, Little Stint and the much sought after Ibisbill, which is often sighted here. Mudcliffs on the Kosi bank are home to Bluetailed Beeater and the Wallcreeper

    - Arrive Nainital an check in at the lodge

    - Post lunch free to explore the surrounding area, birding in parks and scrub forest in & around the town, likely to see Mistle Thrush, White Tailed Nuthatch, Bar-Tailed Tree creeper, Black Throated Tit, Western Crowned, Yellow Vented & Grey Hooded Warbler, Rufous Sebia, Rufous- Breasted & Black Throated Accentor, House & Chestnut-Eared Bunting, Spot Winged, Red Mantled & Common Rosefinch. Easy to spot are Black Headed Jay, Black Bulbul, White Throat Laughing Thrush, Red Billed Blue Magpie, White Crested Laughing Thrush, Russet Sparrow, Hill Pigeon. Raptors are Mountain Hawk Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eurasian Sparrow Hawk & Common Kestrel. We may be lucky to see a Flying Squirrel late evening
    - Overnight at the resort
    - Jungle Lore Birding Lodge
    - B, L, D

  • DAY 13 : PANGOT & KILBURY

    - After very early breakfast we leave with packed lunch for the moist Oak forest of Kilbury with a view of the higher Himalayas on the north and a vast expanse of Corbett & adjoining reserve forests on the south. Cheer, Koklass & Khalij Pheasant could be spotted on the road early morning. Mature oak forests are good for Speckled Wood Pigeon, Rufous, Himalayan, Brown Fronted & Fulvous Breasted Woodpeckers, Eurasian & Black Headed Jay, Maroon Oriole, Scarlet Minivet, Chestnut-Bellied, Plain Back & Long Billed Thrush, Asian Brown, Snowy Browed, Slaty Blue & Little Pied Flycatcher, Daurian & Blue Fronted Redstart, about 9 species of Tits including the not so common Fire Capped Tit, White Tailed & White Cheeked Nuthatch, undergrowth & low branches are to be scrutinized for Grey Breasted & Plain Prinia, Lemon Rumped & Greenish Warbler, White Throated, Grey Sided & Chestnut-Crowned laughing Thrush, White Browed Shrike Babbler, Chestnut Tailed Minla, Fire Breasted Flowerpecker & Mrs Gould’s Sunbird. Call of Great Barbet echoes continuously across the valley.

    Open hillsides with some conifers are fine habitat for Red Crossbill, Dark Breasted & Pink Browed Rosefinch, Brown Bull Finch, Spot Winged, Black & Yellow Grosbeak, White Capped, Chestnut-Eared & little Bunting. While returning to hotel by dusk we may come across Spotted Owlet & Mountain Scops Owl

    - Overnight at the resort

    - Jungle Lore Birding Lodge

    - B, L, D

  • DAY 14: PANGOT – SATTAL – PANGOT

    - Today morning we proceed for birding at Sattal lake, some of the birds seen during the day were Mountain Hawk Eagle, Slender-billed Vulture, Kaleej Pheasant, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Himalayan Swiftlet, Alpine Swift, Black-crested Bulbul, Black-chinned Babbler, Small and Rufous-bellied Niltava, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Buff-barred, Lemon-rumped and Grey-hooded Warbler, Common Stonechat, Grey Bushchat, Dark-throated Thrush, Great, Green-backed, Black-lored and Black-throated Tit, White-tailed and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Olive-backed Pipit, Green-tailed Sunbird and Russet Sparrow.

    - Return to lodge by evening

    - Overnight at the lodge

    - Jungle Lore Birding Lodge

    - B, L, D

  • DAY 15: PANGOT – DELHI

    - Today’s morning free to explore the surrounding forest
    - After breakfast depart by surface for Delhi (330 km/ 8 hr drive)
    - Arrive Delhi by late evening
    - Farewell Dinner
    - In time transfer to the airport to board the international flight for onward destination
    - (AT 2300 hrs)
    - B, L, D

    Tour Ends

Cost inclusions:

  • - Accommodation for 14 nights on twin share room basis with private facilities: Meals as indicated in the itinerary as B, L, D (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • - All surface transfers by air-conditioned private car (Toyota MUV)
  • - 06 game drives by exclusive jeep at Ranthambhore National Park
  • - 02 full & 01 half day birding in Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary by cycle rickshaws
  • - 01 Boat Safari on Chambal River for 02 hrs
  • - 01 game drive by exclusive jeep at Corbett National Park (Bijrani Zone)
  • - 04 game drives by exclusive jeep at Corbett National Park (Dhikala Zone)
  • - Train Tickets in AC first class
  • - Service of an English speaking local guides/ naturalist: inclusive of guiding and park entry fees payable
  • - Assistance on arrival and departure at each destination

Cost exclusions:

  • - Any expenses of personal nature such as telephone calls, beverages, liquor and wines etc
  • - Meals are not included in the cost unless specified in the inclusions
  • - Elephant rides at Corbett to be paid directly as per the safari availed (Approx. USD 18 per person per ride)
  • - Tips/ gratuities paid to naturalists, drivers, bellboys, waiters etc.
  • - Cost incurred in obtaining visa, insurance etc.
  • - Cost incurred incase of hospitalization, evacuation etc.
  • - International departure tax

Notes:

  • - Driving time mentioned above are indicative
  • - Exclusive drives at Ranthambhore subject to availability
  • - Elephant rides subject to availability at Corbett
  • - In case there is any change in flight or train schedule between now and date of travel and calls for revising the itinerary we reserve the right to do so

Requirements from travelers:

- Passport details required for making reservations with local airlines and forest department. Please provide full name as it appears on passport, age, address and nationality