ever was an ultimate 15-day wildlife trip in India,
this would be it.
Our trip visits 4 of the best parks
in India - Ranthambhore, Bharatpur, Bandhavgarh and
Kanha. You get to spend enough time in each park to
take in its unique ambience and eco-system, without
having to continously rush from one destination to another.
The emphasis of the trip is on wildlife
photography - tigers, certainly, but also the myriad
other species that are found exclusively in Indian forests.
We will do our best to get you in the best game-viewing
regions of the park at the time of the trip, in order
to maximize your chances for getting great photographs.
March and April are excellent game-viewing
months, as the water supply has started to dry up by
then, resulting in greater game concentrations around
the remaining waterholes. This in turn attracts the
Scheduled departures are co-led by
Vandit Kalia and Aditya Singh, both of whom are experienced
wildlife photographers with years of experience shooting
wildlife in India and Africa. Each group is limited
to only 10 photographers, so you are assured of an intimate
game viewing and shooting experience. Private itineraries
are led by Vandit Kalia
TRIP OBJECTIVES & DATES
The objective of this trip is to explore
some of the best national parks in India, and obtain
top-quality wildlife photos. As such, this itinerary
maximizes the number of game drives possible in these
15 days, with all traveling, sightseeing, etc. slotted
in around the primary goal of spending a lot of time
inside the parks.
Group trips are scheduled for May
14-27, 2006 and November 5-18, 2006. Private itineraries
can be scheduled at any time except between July and
The main pre-requisite for this trip
is patience and a willingness to spend time observing
and waiting for something exciting to happen. While
this trip is geared for wildlife photography, keen wildlife
watchers will also find that this trip suits their needs,
as we will spend quality time observing, interpreting
and documenting animal behavior. Do note that while
non-photographers are welcome on the group itineraries,
the needs and requirements of photographers come first.
For mammals, a fast lens reaching
up to 300mm would be ideal. Also, a zoom is very handy
in Indian conditions, where subject proximity can vary
(thus necessitating a wide variety of focal lengths)
and the dust factor makes it preferable to minimize
lens swapping. For birding, you'll need your longest
lens - just like anywhere else. Vandit shoots with a
100-400 IS as his primarily mammal lens, and a 500/4
as his bird lens. Aditya shoots mammals with a 120-300/2.8
A tripod is not needed - we'll be
on a jeep or elephant-back for most of our game viewing,
and a monopod or beanbag is a better alternative. If
you need a tripod for occasional use, you can borrow
one of ours (although you may want to bring your ballhead).
We also stock beanbags for use during the trip.
Day 1: Early AM pickup
from hotel in New Delhi, and transfer to Ranthambhore
NP via air-con train. Check into the hotel in time for
lunch and a little rest, and then spend the afternoon
exploring the Ranthambhore Fort, overlooking the National
Park - lots of birdlife, monkeys, great scenery and
occasional leopard sightings (L, D)
Day 2& 3: Early
morning and afternoon game drives at Ranthambhore NP,
where we will have a chance to spot not only tigers,
but a host of other wildlife as well as birds: nilgai,
chital, sambar deer, Indian jackal, crocodiles, Indian
gazelle and more.
Day 4: Transfer via
train (2.5 hrs) to Bharatpur, home to the Keoladeo Ghana
Bird Sanctuary, one of the finest bird sanctuaries in
Asia. Have lunch and then spend the afternoon in the
Day 5: Full day in
the park, with the option of having a packed lunch in
the park itself.
Day 6: Early AM departure
for Agra,. Since we have a few hours before our train
to Bandhavgarh, we will pay a short visit to see the
Taj Mahal, and then catch the afternoon train to Umaria
(A/C First Class). Overnight in the train.
Day 7: Early morning
arrival at Umaria, and then transfer by jeep to resort
at Bandhavgarh NP. Freshen up, have some lunch, and
then afternoon game drive in the park.
Day 8, 9: 2 extended
game drives in the park per day, spent tracking tigers
either via jeep or on elephant-back.
Day 10: Drive to
Kanha, stopping for some interesting sights en route.
Check into resort by evening.
Day 11, 12, 13:
Morning and afternoon game drives in Kanha.
Day 14: Drive to
Jabalpur, and catch afternoon train to Delhi.
Day 15: Arrive in
Delhi in the morning and transfer to hotel of choice
Accommodation is in upscale, comfortable
lodges, chosen not only for their high attention to
service, but also because of their track record in conservation.
Most of these lodges are owner-run, and we will get
a chance to get a more in-depth understanding of the
key issues facing these parks by chatting with our hosts.
Meals are made to meet a variety of palates and needs
- so there will always be something vegetarian, and
something light to eat. Special dietary needs can be
accommodated - please contact us.
Do note that we need atleast 4 people
to run the trip - if there are less, we may ask for
a moderate surcharge.
For shooting convenience, the group
will be split up into multiple vehicles, in order to
ensure that everyone has ample room and to prevent vehicle
shake. Occasionally, this may mean that one group is
without a tour leader - if so, we will ensure that a
skilled local guide (fluent in English and with experience
working with professional photographers and video crews)
is present in the vehicle.
Since this is a photo tour, not a
workshop, so the emphasis will be on fieldwork as opposed
to formalized training. However, the tour leaders will
be available to help you with any questions you may
have regarding techniques, and there will also be daily
photo sharing sessions. If you need any special instruction,
please do not hesitate to let us know and we will try
to accommodate your needs.
A word on our philosophy - the trophy
animal for these trips is, of course, the tiger. We
will do our best to search for tigers and ensure quality
photo ops with this magnificent cat; however, there
are lots of other interesting animals to spot as well,
and sometimes, searching for tigers means giving up
opportunities to shoot them. We try to balance the two
options the best that we can– however, we'll always
take into account the different shooting interests of
the group and try to come up wth a solution that works
for everyone. In the event a compromise solution is
not possible, we'll put it to a majority vote.
Lastly, please note that this is a
photography-oriented trip. As such, we will be timing
our trips to maximize shooting opportunities in the
golden hour – all other activities are designed
to fit around this. Out of courtesy to the group as
a whole, we would request everybody to be ready on time
for all game drives – if someone is unduly or
repeatedly late, the other occupants of the vehicle
have the option of deciding whether to stay or to leave.
here to read more about these destination and our
approach, and also visit the Gallery
and Article sections
departures, the normal price of this trip is $4,500
per person (Rs 200,000). As
an introductory special, the 2006 group trip is available
at a special price of $3,000 per person.
Pricing for private trips is as
- 1 person: $6,000
- 2-4 people: $5,000
- 5 or more people: $4,500
Prices include accommodations, meals,
game viewing in private jeep or open-top minibus, services
of a top-quality tracker/guide, transfers to and from
New Delhi and drinking water. Not included are beverages,
laundry, tips, travel costs to Delhi, cost of film or
developing and personal expenses.
Participants are expected to provide
their own camera, lenses and film, and will be responsible
for the development of the same. We do have some rental
gear available, if need be.
Note on hotels: We have priced this
trip based on staying in a comfortable, upper-end resort
offering good food, well-appointed rooms and a relaxed,
personalized ambience. If you would prefer to re-live
the lifestyle of the kings of the old, we would be more
than happy to base the trips in top-end heritage hotels
as well. Please contact us if interested.
BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS
To make a booking, please email
us at email@example.com
Bookings are not confirmed until we
receive a 20% deposit. We accept payment via wire transfers
or via Paypal. The balance is due 45 days before the
If cancelling before 45 days, the
full sum will be refunded (minus the 3% transaction
fee, if you have paid using a credit card via Paypal).
For cancellations between 15-45 days from the trip date,
we levy a 25% cancellation charge. For cancellations
within 15 days of the trip date, the cancellation charge
is up to 75%.