Explore North India’s Wildlife Sanctuaries

18 Days North India Wildlife Itinerary: National Parks of Pench, Kanha, Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh

  • Delhi
  • Pench National Park
  • Kanha
  • Bandhavgarh
  • Ranthambhore
  • Jaipur
  • Agra

From A$8950 per person

Valid for travel from 1 April 2021 to 30 Sep 2022 excluding Christmas/New Year period

For a detailed itinerary or to receive more information about prices contact us at mail@indiaunbound.com.au

  • Introduction

    Discover four of the best national parks of India, with this indepth wildlife tour of India that will reveal to you the best of its natural environment and wildlife, as well as the highlight cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

    This 18-day itinerary has been crafted with wildlife enthusiasts in mind. Including visits to the four national parks of Pench, Kanha, Bandavagarh and Ranthambore and expert naturalists to lead you on morning and afternoon jeep safaris at every park. Search for tigers in India and other wildlife during your safaris and stay in some of our favourite wildlife lodges close to the parks. This itinerary also features some of India’s top destinations – Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – to showcase to you some of the must-see destinations of India, as well as some of its most iconic sights such as the Taj Mahal, Old Delhi and Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  • Day 1 Delhi

    Welcome to India.
    Our local representative will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel.

  • Day 2 Delhi

    Explore Delhi today – discover India’s capital city with a guided sightseeing tour that covers its old and new parts. Today’s activities can be tailored to suit your individual interests. We offer a range of sightseeing options and experiences in Delhi – the following options are suggestions, which you may choose or we can provide alternative options that are customised Delhi sightseeing experiences.

    Starting in Old Delhi, visit Jama Masjid – one of India’s largest and grandest mosques. Continue on to the nearby Shahjahanabad and explore the bustling lanes of Chandi Chowk. You’ll discover merchants selling bridal ribbons, perfumes, bangles, turbans and all manner of items from the small shops in this historic part of Delhi. There’s also Khari Baoli to explore – one of the largest wholesale spice markets in Asia – with shops bursting with spices, dried fruits and nuts and saffron.

    The day will also take you to New Delhi – with a drive by the buildings of British architect Edwin Lutyens – before visits to Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.

  • Day 3 Pench National Park

    A domestic flight from Delhi will take you to Nagpur, from where you will drive to your wildlife lodge at Pench. Settle in upon arrival at the wildlife lodge in Pench and the remainder of the day is at leisure to relax.

  • Day 4 Pench National Park

    Discover the wildlife and flora of Pench National Park today with early morning and late afternoon jeep safaris in the national park.

    Pench National Park is in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Central India and includes Pench Tiger Reserve. It derives its name from the Pench River that flows through the park from north to south dividing the park into almost equal western and eastern halves, the well-forested areas of Seoni and Chhindwara districts respectively. It was declared a sanctuary in 1965 but raised to the status of national park in 1975. In 1992, it was established as a tiger reserve. The national park consists of dry deciduous forests and a large number of fauna and flora including tigers various types of deer including sambar and spotted deer and birds.

    In the evening, unwind after your safaris by the lodge campfire.  During your stay in Pench, there’s the option to enjoy a night sleeping in a four-poster bed in an elevated machaan. From here you can experience the luxury of a good night’s sleep in the outdoors but be surrounded by the wilderness and night sky.

  • Day 5 Kanha

    Begin your day with a morning wildlife safari in Pench National Park, before returning to your lodge for breakfast. Your next destination is Kanha National park – a drive of about 5 hours. When you reach Kanha, check into your wildlife lodge and the remainder of the day is at leisure.

  • Day 6 Kanha

    Head into Kanha National Park today with two wildlife safaris booked – one early in the morning and one in the early evening.  When you are not on safari – you have the day to relax and enjoy the facilities at your lodge, with time for a leisurely lunch.

    The largest national park in central India, Kanha was once the exclusive hunting ground of British viceroys. The setting of Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’, it is also amongst the most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in India, comprising lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines. Kanha is home to some 22 species of mammals. The most commonly spotted are the striped palm squirrel, common langur, jackal, wild pig, chital (spotted deer), barasingha (swamp deer), sambhar and black buck. Less seen species are tiger, Indian hare, dhole (Indian wild dog), barking deer and gaur (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. The park’s main attraction, however, is the barasingha, or swamp deer. The barasinghas at Kanha are unique in that they have adapted to hard ground unlike swamp deer of the North, which live in marshy swamps. Faced with extinction some twenty years ago, a number of measures were taken to save them and they now populate the large open tracts of grass amidst the forests of teak and bamboo. Kanha has some 300 species of birds. The commonly seen species include Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Black Ibis, Common Peafowl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Racket-tailed Drongo, Hawk Eagle, Indian roller, White-breasted Kingfisher, Grey Hornbill and various species of fly-catchers, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler and myna.

  • Day 7 Kanha

    Today you will spend more time in Kanha National Park – with two jeep safaris included in your itinerary.  There’s also the option to take a gentle walk in one of the nearby villages. You can choose an optional visit to a local market and learn more about local ways of life – meeting the small farmers and tasting locally grown fruits. Or, you can just relax at your wildlife lodge.

  • Day 8 Bandhavgarh

    Depart for Banhavgarh National Park – a drive of about 5 hours. This afternoon, head into the national park for your first wildlife safari in Bandhavgarh. This is the third national park experience of your wildlife tour in India, presenting you the chance to compare three of the best wildlife safaris in India.

    The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of leopard and various species of deer including sambar deer and spotted deer. Over 289 species of birds including Sarus Crane (largest in India), Drongos, Grey Hornbills, Malabar Pied Horn Bill, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Stork Bill King fisher, Raptors and Vultures reside in the park. In the recent past Gaur has been re-introduced to the park. At Bhandavgarh National Park Sal, Bamboo and deciduous trees dominate the eco system. They shed their leaves in summer as the park becomes dry. The park has natural springs and rocky terrains including rugged topography that has once been Gondwanaland.

  • Day 9 Bandhavgarh

    Experience the beauty and wildlife of Bandhavgarh today with early morning and early evening jeep safaris in the national park.

    When not on safari, there are a number of ways to spend your time around the lodge. You can relax in the outdoor bath at your villa, you can choose to pamper yourself at the lodge’s onsite spa (direct payment) or spend some time in the lodge’s well-stock library.

    You can also visit a local tribal village and see a little of the daily lives of the nearby communities.

  • Day 10 Bandhavgarh

    Ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and those hoping to see a tiger in India, return to Bandhavgarh today with morning and evening jeep safaris booked for the national park. When you are not on safari, the day is free to relax and enjoy the facilities at your wildlife lodge.

  • Day 11 Delhi

    Drive to Jabalpur today and transfer to a domestic flight to Delhi. In Delhi, you will be transferred to a nearby hotel for your brief overnight stay.

  • Day 12 Ranthambhore

    Rise early this morning to board a train to Sawai Madhopur, bound for your next destination of Ranthambhore National Park – perhaps one of India’s best known national parks. India’s railway network is one of the largest in the world and an integral part of everyday life for millions of people, freight and cargo. Many visitors to India are keen take a local train in India for at least one journey and experience this incredible transport next work. This comfortable train experience in India will also allow you to reach Ranthambhore easily, cutting out a long drive. Once the train arrives at Sawai Madhopur, you will be met at the station and transferred to your wildlife lodge or hotel.

  • Day 13 Ranthambhore

    Begin your day with an early morning jeep safari in Ranthambhore National Park. There’s time to relax at your lodge today, before returning to the park in the early evening for a second tiger safari in Ranthambhore.

    Ranthambhore is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in the country to see these powerful predators in the wild. At one time excessive trophy hunting nearly wiped out the tiger population here, as in other parts of the country. Fortunately, Ranthambore was selected as one of the sites of Project Tiger — a collaboration between the Government of India and the World Wildlife Fund to rehabilitate the Indian Tiger. Almost extinct at the beginning of their efforts, the program has been highly successful. Today, tigers can be spotted quite often at their normal pursuits – hunting and taking care of their young.

    While most travellers avoid the full heat of India’s summer – travelling at hotter times can improve your chances of seeing a tiger in their natural habitat. For more tips and detailed information about wildlife tours in India and tiger safaris in India – please read our detailed notes in our wildlife tours section. You can read that information here.

    When you are not on safari you may like to treat yourself with a massage at the lodge spa (direct payment) or take a long nature walk with the in-house naturalist in the 12 acres of grassland and forest belonging to the lodge.

  • Day 14 Jaipur

    Rise early for a final jeep safari in Ranthambhore National Park. Safaris are conducted early in the morning as it is often the best time of the day to see the animals active. Afterwards, return to your lodge for breakfast before commencing the drive to Jaipur – the famous pink city of India. The drive time to Jaipur is about four and a half hours. Once you reach Jaipur, check into your hotel and remainder for the day is free.

    The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled town. The city was named after its founder, the warrior and astronomer sovereign, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, who ruled from 1688 to 1744. Today, it is popular with foreign and domestic tourists, who come to visit the city’s incredible fort, explore the old city inside the pink city walls and experience a touch of royal Rajasthan. There are a number of great walking tours and city tours which can be added to your time in Jaipur, as well as great shopping in Jaipur and modern dining.  Some of the best things to see and do in Jaipur are listed in our Jaipur City Guide, which can be read here in our travel blog section. 

  • Day 15 Jaipur

    Explore Jaipur today with a local guide. There are a number of options for sightseeing in Jaipur, which we can provide to you when you speak to one of our senior India tour planners. Here are some of the suggested sightseeing options in Jaipur, however we can adjust these to suit your specific interest.

    Visit Jaipur’s Amber Fort – perched high on a hill atop a zigzagging road – and see its Elephant Gate and Palace of Mirrors. In the afternoon a city sightseeing tour includes the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), City Palace and Jantar Mantar.

  • Day 16 Jaipur

    A full day at leisure to explore Jaipur on your own. Your private vehicle and driver is available on demand. Jaipur is one of the best places for shopping in India, with its bustling central bazaar, and also home to some great modern cafes and restaurants.

    For other options such as market walks in Jaipur, cooking classes or tuk tuk tours in Jaipur – please ask us to include these in a customised private tour of India we can create for you.

  • Day 17 Agra

    Drive to Agra today.

    In the afternoon, visit Agra Fort with a local guide. A powerful fortress of red sandstone, Agra Fort encompasses within its 2.5 km-long enclosure walls the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. Many of the events that led to the construction of the Taj Mahal took place here. Begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573 (although additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jahan). The massive strength displayed in its exterior hides the beauty of its interior – an interesting mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture comprising several beautiful wells, courtyards with flower-beds, water channels and fountains and two exquisite white marble mosques – the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), and the Nagina Masjid (Jewel Mosque), as well as numerous palaces including the Sheesh Mahal and the Musamman Burj (from where Shah Jahan, imprisoned here by his son during the last years of his life, was able to view the Taj Mahal in the distance).

  • Day 18 Delhi

    Start the day with a dawn visit to the iconic Taj Mahal. A must-see for many visitors to India, nothing can compare with seeing the one and only Taj Mahal first hand. Counted as among the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal draws millions of visitors every year.

    Afterwards, drive to Delhi and transfer to the airport for your international departing flight.

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