India is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife, thanks to the different landscapes and bio-spheres that can be found here. This is a fascinating tour, taking you through some of the best landscapes in the country in search of India’s Big Cats, along with other wildlife. In this program, we will be exploring the teak forests of Pench, the bamboo woods of Tadoba and the Sal forests of Kanha. We will be spending ample time in each landscape in order to do justice to each one.

This unique tour, accompanied by James Champion, grandson of one of the founding fathers of the Indian conservation movement, FW Champion OBE IFS, will provide an intimate insight into some of the subcontinent’s most iconic habitats and species. Wildlife expected includes Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sloth Bear, Dhole (Asiatic wild dog), Striped Hyena, Indian Wolf, Golden Jackal, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Gaur (Indian bison), Hard-ground Barasingha, Nilgai, Chital, Sambar Deer, Chausingha (four-horned antelope), Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Northern Plains Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Indian Porcupine, Honey Badger, Ruddy Mongoose, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk-Eagle, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, White-eyed Buzzard, Black-winged Kite, Shikra, Griffon Vulture, Brown Fish-Owl, Mottled Wood-Owl, Brown Hawk-Owl, Scops Owl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Rufous Treepie, Black-hooded Oriole, Coppersmith Barbet, Brown-headed Barbet, Orange-headed Thrush, Indian Roller, Pied Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher and White-throated Kingfisher.

Endemics/Near Endemics include Red Spurfowl, Painted Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Rock Bush-Quail, White-bellied Minivet, Spot-breasted Fantail, Indian Yellow Tit, Rufous-tailed Lark, Malabar Whistling-Thrush, White-bellied Minivet, Spot-breasted Fantail, Indian Yellow Tit, Indian Giant Squirrel

Number of nights: 13 nights and 14 days

Fixed departure:  As yet uncertain, but likely early 2025. Please contact us for precise dates if interested.

Tailor-made itinerary: We will be happy to tailormake this itinerary as per your best suited time, number of days you have or species that you have in mind. Do drop us an email.

Itinerary: Delhi – Nagpur – Tadoba – Pench – Satpura – Bhopal – Delhi

 Detailed Itinerary

 Day 01:- Arrive in Delhi

Arrival in Delhi. Our representative will meet you at the airport and will accompany you to your hotel close by to ensure a speedy check-in. The remainder of the day is at leisure after a long overhaul flight. Depending on your flight timings and your inclination to explore, we can organize some city sightseeing or birding during the day. James will join you today, and there will be an opportunity to get to know each other before the journey begins.

Overnight at Delhi.

Day 02:- Delhi to Nagpur and drive to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

This morning, after an early breakfast, transfer to Delhi airport to fly to Nagpur. On arrival, you will be met by our representative and will transfer by road to your lodge in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.  This is the most popular national park in Maharashtra and it is drenched in all shades of green, from trees, shrubs, and grasses to different varieties of bamboo. It is one of India’s 41 “Project Tiger” reserves. The name Tadoba refers to the name of the God Tadoba or Taru, revered by the tribal people who live in the dense forests of the Tadoba and Andhari region, while the Andhari River that meanders through the forest gives it the Andhari name. There could hardly be a closer and more intimate way to experience an encounter with the Bengal Tiger, as well as leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, reptiles, butterflies, water birds and insects, amongst the many other species of animals.This evening you begin your exploration with a night safari in the buffer forest.

Overnight at Tadoba (B & D).

Day 03, 04 and Day 05:- Tadoba National Park

Your exploration of Tadoba continues on these three days. We have planned 2 safaris on each of these days. The park is divided into various zones. The so-called buffer regions are largely intended to keep human encroachment at bay and to create a ‘buffer’ forest between habitation (villages and cities) and the core forest. The animals do not see boundaries and thus can be found everywhere. This is why one must explore more than just the zones in the core area of the park.

Overnight at Tadoba (B, L, D).

Day 06:- Tadoba – Pench

This morning is at leisure. After a hearty meal,we check out and transfer by road to Pench Tiger Reserve. Pench extends over the states of Madhya Pradesh as well as Maharashtra. In most cases, we shall be exploring jungles in Madhya Pradesh, although many of the buffer zones lie in Maharashtra.This afternoon is at leisure to explore the areas in and around the lodge.

Overnight at Pench (B, L, D)

Day 07 and Day 08: Pench National Park

Pench Tiger Reserve sits in the southern, lower reaches of the Satpura Range of hills on the southern border of Madhya Pradesh. The general topography of Pench Tiger Reserve is mostly undulating, characterised by small ridges and hills with steep slopes, with several seasonal streams carving the terrain into many folds and furrows, a result of the folding and upheavals of the past.

History – This area was described as extremely rich and diverse in wildlife from the earliest records available on the 16th century Deogarh kingdom. The scenic beauty and the floral and faunal diversity of the Central Indian Highlands were well documented by the British from the late 17th century, for example by James Forsyth in “Highlands of Central India” (first published in 1871).

Thereafter, Sterndale (1887) and Brander (1923) added to our knowledge of the distribution of the flora, fauna and the local inhabitants of this tract. The fictional works of Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, are set in the region. Kipling himself never visited the area, instead basing his descriptions on other locations in India.

Carnivores and other fauna – The carnivore fauna is represented by the Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Dhole or Indian Wild Dog, Jungle Cat and Small Indian Civet. Indian Wolves occur on the fringes and outside the Reserve limits. Striped Hyena, Sloth Bear, Golden Jackal and Common Palm Civet make up the rest of the carnivore fauna of Pench.

Herbivores are represented by giants like Gaur, or Indian Bison, with the distribution of water governing their movement patterns to a great extent. Gaur migrate down from the hills during the dry season and occupy the forests along the Pench River and other sources of water, and then migrate back to the hill forests during the monsoon.

Sambhar and Cheetal deer are abundant all over the reserve, while the Barking Deer population is sparse. Nilgai antelope are found mostly in a few open areas, along forest roads, in scrub jungles and fringe areas. Barking deer are seen infrequently in moist riverine stretches. The unique Chousingha, or four-horned antelope, are infrequently seen on the open areas bordering and outside the Buffer Zone. Wild Boar, Northern Plains Grey Langur, Rhesus Macaque, The Indian Porcupine, Common and Ruddy Mongoose and Black-naped Hare also occur in this Tiger Reserve. We have organized 2 safaris for you on each of these days.

Overnight at Pench (B, L, D).

Day 09:- Pench – Satpura

You have a leisurely start to your day today. After breakfast, check out and transfer by road to Satpura Tiger Reserve.

Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR), also known as Satpura National Park, is located in the Narmadapuram District of Madhya Pradesh. Its name is derived from the Satpura range. It covers an area of 524 km2 (202 sq mi). Satpura National Park, along with the adjoining Bori and Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuaries, provides 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi) of unique central Indian highland ecosystem. It was set up in 1981.The terrain of the national park is extremely rugged and consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines and dense forests. The altitude ranges from 300 to 1,352 metres (984 to 4,436 ft). It includes Dhoopgarh peak, at 1,350 metres (4,430 ft), and the almost level plains of Churna.

The nearest town to the national park is Pachmarhi and the nearest rail-head is Pipariya, 55 kilometres (34 mi) away. Satpura National Park is rich in biodiversity. The range of wild animals here includes Leopard, Sambhar, Chital, Indian Muntjac, Nilgai, Four-horned Antelope, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Blackbuck, Indian Fox, Porcupine, Flying Squirrel, Mouse Deer, and Indian Giant Squirrel. There is a rich variety of birds, including Hornbills and Peafowl, which are common here. The flora consists of mainly sal, teak, tendu, Phyllanthus emblica, mahua, bel, bamboo, and grasses and medicinal plants.

Overnight  at Satpura (B, L, D).

Day 10, 11, and 12: Satpura Tiger Reserve

Your exploration of Satpura Tiger Reserve begins today and we have organized two safaris (Jeep/ walking/ boat) on each of these days.

Overnight  at Satpura (B, L, D).

Day 13:- Satpura to Bhopal and Fly to Delhi.

This morning we aim to do a nature/bird walk around the lodge premises or a canoe/boat safari. Once back at the lodge, we have an early lunch, check out, and transfer by road to Bhopal airport, from where we fly to Delhi. The drive from Satpura to Bhopal should take 3.5-4hrs.

Arrive Delhi domestic airport and transfer to Delhi hotel.

Overnight at Delhi Hotel (B).

Day 14: Depart

Wake up at ease. After breakfast, transfer to IGI airport.

Please note: this and all the tours advertised on this website are organised and run by Rural Traveller. All participants must purchase adequate travel insurance to cover cancellation, medical treatment and possible repatriation. 

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