Journey into some of India’s most wild & remote regions… visit its world-famous landmarks…dine on delicious cuisine as diverse as the country itself.
India is a country of contrast and multiple cultures that coalesce to form one of the richest, most fascinating destinations on Earth. Join Wild Latitudes on this 15-day adventure, where you’ll experience the modern iteration of this ancient land, where age-old traditions meet new-age technology, and imagery of the past adorns structures new & old. Yet make no mistake…This is India…the home of Gandhi…the land of Kipling, and wild India still exists…its Tigers still prowl through jungles and vine-covered temples, hunting their prey by the light of the moon...
Our tour begins in the vibrant city of Delhi, where we’ll bird urban greenspaces and visit its famous markets, then have our first taste of authentic Indian Cuisine at one of the city’s finest restaurants. Next, we’ll head south to Agra, where we’ll visit the most majestic monument to love in the world: the Taj Mahal. We will learn its fabled history as we tour the grounds, then visit the nearby Red Fort. From here we head to Bharatpur, to bird one of the most significant wetlands in all of Asia, found within Keoladeo National Park. A few of the birds we could see here include the White-throated King Fisher, Imperial Eagle and the Indian Courser. The Sarus and Brolga Cranes are also targets when visiting these world-class wetlands.
After a night to refresh back in Delhi, we travel by air to Kolkata, then drive south to the Sundarbans National Park. The Sundarbans are the largest expanse of mangrove habitat in the world, and as such, they are a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. This area is renowned for its species diversity, and is home to over 400 species of birds, the Saltwater Crocodile, Indian Python, and a large population of Bengal Tiger. We will explore these mangroves by boat for the next three days in search these species, as well as its birds, keeping an eye out for the Purple Sunbird, Asian Open-billed Stork, Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker, Black-capped & Mangrove Kingfishers, and the Crested Serpent Eagle.
Our next area to visit is the world-famous Kaziranga National Park, in the far eastern State of Assam, home to the world’s largest population of the Great One-horned Rhinoceros. Conditions permitting, early one morning we’ll travel into the park on the backs of Elephant to see these magnificent animals up close. As we further explore Kaziranga, we’ll search for the rare Hoolock Gibbon, with its strange and haunting call, the elusive Great Hornbill, and many more of the hundreds of bird species known to frequent the park. After our adventures in the far-east of India, we fly back to Delhi to overnight and pack up for our journey home.
We hope you’ll join us, as this trip is sure to be as exotic as it is unforgettable!
Group is welcomed at the Delhi Airport by Wild Latitudes guides, transfer to the hotel to settle in for an evening of rest after a long flight.
Today will be a casual day to help us ease into the time zone. We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then meet to go over the tour, after which we’ll head out to bird a few local greenspaces, and visit the local markets.
We catch the fast, first-class train to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort before we head to Bharatpur, home to the Keoladeo National Park which we’ll explore and bird the following day.
Spend the day birding this vast wetland and Important Bird Area searching for such species as the Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Brolga & Sarus Cranes, Indian Black Ibis, Oriental Pratincole, Egyptian & Indian Vultures, Asian Green Bee-eater and the Indian Roller, just to name a few.
Optional pre-breakfast birding then we catch the train back to Agra to airport hotel in Delhi, positioning us well for our flight to Kolkata in the morning.
Fly to Kolkata then drive south to the Sundarban National Park, arriving in time to bird the grounds of the Sundarban Tiger Camp, hoping to spot such species as the Small Minivet, Pale-billed Flowerpecker, Common Flameback, Red-whiskered Bulbul and maybe the Indian Scimitar Babbler.
We’ll explore the Sundarban National Park, touring the mangroves in a large, comfortable boat dedicated to our group. Species like the Green-billed Malkoha, Slaty-breasted Rail, Mangrove Pitta, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, and Black-capped Kingfishers are good possibilities. In the evening, the local indigenous people may treat us to a traditional dance.
Continue our exploration of the park by boat, and tour a village of local Adivasi people in the afternoon.
We travel back to Kolkata, arriving at our hotel by mid-afternoon, with time to bird the ground of our charming, British-era hotel.
Short flight to Jorhat, then drive to the Wild Grass Resort, a wonderful lodge near the Kaziranga National Park, arriving there by with time to do a bit of birding.
Today we’ll bird a number of local hotspots including Panbari National Park, searching for the rare Hoolock Gibbon. May also bird the Brahmaputra River today by boat. Transportation is in open air jeeps, while in and around Kaziranga, allowing us access to even the most remote sections of the park.
An early-morning Elephant ride to view the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros (conditions permitting). The park also contains populations of 35 other large mammals, including Indian Elephant, Indian Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger and the largest population of Wild Water Buffalo in the world. Kaziranga is also an Important Bird Area, and is home to over 450 species of birds, and we plan to spot our share of them!
We will bird a new region of the park in the morning, and possibly bird the river by boat in the afternoon, visiting a local temple and or village markets.
Sadly, today we leave our friends at Wild Grass and the beauty of Kaziranga, and travel back to Jorhat to catch our flight to Kolkata then on to Delhi. We hope to arrive at our hotel with plenty of time to freshen up before we head out for an evening dinner.
Today we’ll slow the pace everyone enjoys a free day to explore Delhi, perhaps visiting the local markets for one last chance to buy souvenirs. Group flies home in the evening, and we’ll dine together before heading to the airport.
This tour is full.
FEE for TOUR: $5,795
START DATE: Feb 4, 2024
DURATION: 14 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 10
TRIP FOCUS: Birding and Wildlife
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
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