Wildlife of Madhya Pradesh – indicative pricing
Trip Code: AITWMP
Superior: AU$6,110 per person twin share
Deluxe: AU$8,080 per person twin share
Prices are valid until 30 September 2016, excluding the Christmas / New Year period.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices.
Please note the parks are closed from June to September and usually reopen in the first week of October.
- Double / twin room with breakfast in all places
- All meals at Bandavgarh and Kanha
- Transport by air conditioned car with English speaking driver
- English speaking guides in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra
- Overnight train from Agra to Umaria in 2AC sleeper with bedding provided
- Elephant / jeep ride at Amber Fort
- Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
- Morning and evening jeep safaris in Bandavgarh and Kanha National Parks
- Assistance on arrival and departure at airports and railway stations
- 24 hour support through our local representative offices
- Complimentary mineral water in the vehicle
- All land and vehicle taxes
- Entrance and camera fees at monuments and sightseeing places
- Lunch and dinner unless specified
- Elephant back safari (based on availability)
- Tips, porterage, drinks and items of a personal nature
- Peak season surcharges Nov 10-18, Dec 20– Jan 10, Dec 24 and Dec 31 Gala Events
This trip is designed exclusively for wildlife enthusiasts, with two stays of three nights at Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks being the highlight.
Kanha and Bandhavgarh sanctuaries present excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities, including the possibility of spotting the elusive tiger. The full-length itinerary of 14 days includes the temples of Khajuraho and the ‘golden triangle’ of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
A wide range of accommodation is on offer near the two parks, from eco-lodges to luxury wildlife resorts.
Use of charter flight is ideal with this itinerary: fly from Delhi to Agra (1 hour flight), visit the Taj Mahal, re-board the aircraft for a further flight of 2 hours to a small landing strip only 2 hours drive from Kanha National Park, meaning you can depart Delhi, visit the Taj Mahal and be at your wildlife lodge in remote Madhya Pradesh in time for dinner. Alternatively the charter can collect you from Bandhavgarh for a flight to Agra or Jaipur toward the end of your trip. Please inquire for more information and pricing.
Day 1 Delhi
On arrival at the Indira Gandhi International airport, New Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in. Delhi is a city full of life, with an astounding history and a bright future. Your two nights here will give you small taste of life in the capital.
Day 2 Delhi
This morning, breakfast at the hotel before beginning a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. The former centre of Mughal Power, Old Delhi is full of ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Visit the impregnable Red Fort, Jama Masjid – the greatest mosque in India – and Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. In the afternoon you’ll tour New Delhi, with a drive past the stately government buildings of the British era, including the Presidential Palace. End the tour at the ancient observatory of Qutab Minar.
Day 3 Kanha
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Jabalpur. On arrival in Jabalpur you will be received at the airport and driven to Kanha National Park (4 hours).
Kanha is one the largest national parks in India, extending over 1945 sq kms of undulating country, which includes a core area of 940 sq kms. Elevations range from 450 to 900 meters. The setting of Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’, it is a beautiful area of forest and lightly wooded grassland with many rivers and streams, and it supports an excellent variety of wildlife. Kanha Tiger Reserve was created in the core area of the park under the Project Tiger programme in 1974.
Kanha has some 22 species of mammals. The most easily spotted are the stripped palm squirrel, common langur, jackal, wild pig, chital or spotted deer, barasingha or swamp deer, sambhar and black buck. Less commonly seen species are tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and gaur or Indian bison. Other animals found in the park are Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, panther, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, porcupine and wolf.
Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Bird-watchers should station themselves in the hills where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for bird watching. The commonly seen species of birds include cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent eagle, racket-tailed drongo, and hawk eagle, various species of fly-catchers, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler, mynah, Indian roller, white-breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill. In addition to the birds you’ll spot while on safari, the bird watching in and around the lodges – which are all located near the Park itself – is most rewarding. The better lodges have in-house naturalists, some of whom specialise in birds.
Day 4 Kanha
Today you will explore the National Park with a morning jeep safari.
Many visitors to the area take two safaris each day; however you might consider doing only one per day, especially in light of the fact that the better lodges offer quite a number of activities other than game drives, such as guided nature walks and village visits. This will give you a break from the regimented schedule of twice daily safaris and a good chance to experience more than only the park and wildlife viewing.
(Please note that both Kanha and Bandhavgarh are closed on Wednesday afternoons.)
Day 5 Kanha
Morning and/or afternoon safaris.
Day 6 Bandhavgarh
Early in the morning you will be taken for a Game Drive and return to the hotel for breakfast before driving (5 hours) to Bandhavgarh. On arrival at Bandhavgarh you will check into your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandhavgarh were maintained as the game preserve of the royal family of Rewa and hunting was carried out by the Maharajas and their guests. It was as late as 1968 that special conservation measures were taken and Bandhavgarh was declared a National Park. Set amidst the Vindhyanchal ranges, the park covers an area of 437 sq kms and has a series of ridges running through it. About half the Park is covered with fine stands of Sal trees, while mixed forests are found in the higher reaches of the hills. Stretches of bamboo and grasslands are found throughout. The main viewing area is still in the core of the park with its 32 picturesque wooded hills.
Scattered throughout the Park are small cave shrines. An ancient fort up on a precipice, 800 metres high, dominates the Park. In fact, Bandhavgarh’s history goes back 2000 years in time and the earliest signs of habitation can be seen in the caves excavated from the cliffs to the north of the fort. Brahmi script inscriptions here date back to the 1st century BC.
There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common langurs and rhesus macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, grey mongoose, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard and tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are wild boar, spotted deer, sambhar, nilgai, chinkara and gaur.
The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in bird-life. The common ones are little grebe, egret, lesser adjutant, sarus crane, black ibis, lesser whistling teal, white-eyed buzzard, black kite, crested serpent eagle, black vulture, Egyptian vulture, common peafowl, red jungle fowl, dove, parakeet, kingfisher and Indian roller.
Reptilian fauna include cobra, krait, viper, rat snake, python, turtle and a number of lizard species.
Day 7 Bandhavgarh
Morning and/or afternoon safaris.
Day 8 Bandhavgarh
Morning and/or afternoon safaris.
Day 9 Panna
After a final safari and breakfast you will begin the 5-hour drive to Khajuraho or Panna National Park. On arrival check into your hotel and remainder of the day is at leisure.
You have two choices for accommodation in the area: you can stay in Khajuraho itself, where there are several good conventional hotels, or you can continue with the wildlife theme and stay close to Panna National Park at Sarai at Toria Lodge.
Sarai at Toria’s uniquely designed accommodation is situated on a beautiful riverside site, close to Khajuraho. This luxurious but earth-friendly small retreat is envisaged as the founding component of a wider project that seeks to play a positive role in the economic and social development of the local area; the owners also see it as a base for conservation activities and for wildlife and climate change research. The owners are steeped in knowledge of the area and wider conservation issues, and concluding your central India wildlife tour here allows you to discuss and ‘debrief’ what you have seen and experienced over the previous week.
Day 10 Panna
Today, you will be taken for a tour to the Khajuraho Temples. In these temples, the sculptures show many aspects of Indian life 1000 years ago — gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals. However, two elements appear over and over again and in greater detail than anything else — women and sex. The temples are in an excellent state of preservation.
Day 11 Agra
This morning you will be driven to Jhansi, with a stop en route to visit Orchha. Orchha is a city frozen in time. It was founded by Bundela Chieftain, Raja Rudra Pratap in the 16th century, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa River as an ideal site for his capital. He and the succeeding rulers of Orchha built many beautiful palaces and temples in the 16th and 17th century. Today, remains of the fort and palaces speak eloquently of Orchha’s time of glory. Though little more than a village, stepping back in time into Orchha’s history is an enjoyable experience.
After visiting Orchha you will continue to Jhansi to board a train to Agra (an approximately 2.5 hours journey). On arrival in Agra you will be received and transferred to your hotel.
If you opt for the 11-day itinerary, you will fly from Khajuraho to Delhi for your international departure or onward travel in India.
Day 12 Jaipur
Early this morning you will be taken for a tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
After the tour and breakfast at your hotel, depart for Jaipur, a 5-hour drive. En route visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.
Day 13 Jaipur
Today your full city tour with a local guide will include the impressive Amber Fort; the City Palace, which sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city; Jantar Mandir observatory, consisting of huge astronomical instruments; and Hawa Mahal – the photogenic ornamental facade of this ‘Palace of Winds’ is a prominent landmark in Jaipur.
End your day long sightseeing with a walking tour of Old Jaipur. The bazaars between the Badi (Large) and Chhoti (Small) Chaupar (Square) in the old city of Jaipur feature some of the best sights that the city has to offer. You will be taken through the labyrinth of colourful alleys where artisans make puppets, bangles, and other local handicrafts. You will also visit the jewellery market or Johari Bazaar, explore architecturally interesting havelis (mansions), and stop by bangle shops in Maniharon ka Rasta and the flower sellers near Choti Chaupar.
Day 14 Delhi
Transfer to Delhi airport (5 hours) for departure or to Kerala or Goa for some R&R.
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