Tiger photography tour

Join me on an adventure to experience tigers and marvel at the Taj! In April 2013 I will lead a tour to experience the amazing wildlife and culture of India. A majority of the tour will be divided over three of the best national parks in India; Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench. These parks provide some the best opportunities to watch and photograph the majestic tiger, alongside a host of other wildlife including sambhar deer, langur monkey, wild dog, sloth bear, leopard, wild boar and hundreds of colourful birds. Whilst the tour will focus on wildlife, we will also experience fascinating local cultures, meet villagers and as a grand finale visit one of the wonders of the world; the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal.

Tour highlights at a glance:

– Daily safari jeep rides at the best times of the day to view wildlife (dawn: c. 5:30am – 9:30am / dusk: 3:00pm – 5:30pm).
– Visiting during the best wildlife viewing season of the year.
– Spotting your first wild tiger!
– Each member has a 1:1 day of safari with me, I will provide tips to help you get the best photographic opportunities.
– Being part of a specially organised tour to maximise photographic opportunities.
– Daytime activities including macro photography, visiting local villages and of course relaxing next to the pool with a cold drink!
– “Camping” at Pench Jungle Camp (don’t worry, its luxury camping, not a camp-bed in sight!)
– Experiencing Indian food, culture and hospitality.
– Marvelling at the Taj Mahal.

Key information:

– April 7th – 16th 2013 (10 days)
– An incredible £1599 per person! (single supplement: £350).
– Small group size to ensure you get the most from the tour (min: 4, max: 7).

What’s included:

– All transfers from Jabalpur onwards, including single flight back to Delhi.
– All accommodation.
– All food.
– All jeep safaris in the National Parks (maximum of two guests per jeep for the best photographic opportunities).
– Expert local guides.
– Photography guide (Jonathan Lewis)

What’s not included:

– International flights (these start from £399 return London – Delhi, check out www.skyscanner.net for the best deals).
– Single internal flight from Delhi to Jabalpur, alternatively you can catch a very cheap but long train ride (I can arrange for this to be organised, let me know if you need any help).
– Personal travel insurance (mandatory).
– Tips for local guides.
– Alcoholic drinks.

Tour itinerary

Day 1: Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh

We will meet at Jabalpur airport and transfer by air conditioned car (maximum of 4 clients per car) to our lodge at Bandhavgarh. Bandhavgarh National Park contains the highest concentration of tigers in India and therefore is one of the best places to view and photograph them in the wild. There is a saying about Bandhavgargh: “in any other Park, you are lucky if you see a tiger. In Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you don’t see one!”. The journey to Bandhavgarh takes around 3 hours, the scenery and bustling Indian life will keep you entertained along the way. On arrival we will check into Kings Lodge (http://www.kingslodge.in), our home for the next few days. Once you’ve settled into your rooms you will be given a welcome talk by both Jonathan and a local naturalist guide and driver. We will then take our first evening jeep safari in Bandhavgarh National Park to view and photograph the many species the park has to offer.

Kings Lodge photographs, Bandhavgarh

Day 2: Bandhavgarh National Park

Today we have a full day of safaris to various zones of the national park (two safaris, one at dust and one at dawn). Your guides will communicate with others to find out where tigers have been spotted recently and we will travel to these areas in search of this majestic animal. Along the way we will be looking out for other mammals and birds to photograph, along with taking in the scenery. Between safaris you will have a chance to rest, relax at the swimming pool, edit your photographs or photograph wildlife around the lodge.

Day 3: Bandhavgarh National Park

We’ll spend another full day tracking down the wild inhabitants of Bandhavgarh. The high concentration of tigers in the park combined with the dry season make it likely that we will see tigers so keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready!!!

Day 4: Bandhavgarh National Park to Kanha National Park

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Kanha Tiger Reserve (250 km – 5hrs). You’ll be provided with a packed lunch which we’ll stop at the Fossil Park to eat. When we arrive at Kanha we will meet with a local naturalist who will explain about Kanha National Park. Kanha’s rich bamboo and sal forests inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his famous novel “The Jungle Book” and the scenery is really quite spectacular. There is a population of wild dogs at this park which with any luck we will see on our safari trips. We will stay at Kanha Earth Lodge (http://www.kanhaearthlodge.com) whilst we explore the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the park. On Wednesday national parks are closed for tourists so instead we will visit a local village to learn about the culture and lifestyles of local people.

Day 5: Kanha National Park

We will enjoy a full day game viewing (dawn and dusk safaris) in Kanha National Park. We will explore the exceptional natural beauty of the park, along with the unique and varied wildlife which lives here. Spotting and photographing tigers in Kanha National Park is truly a wonderful, rewarding and memorable experience. In our break between safaris I will run an optional macro workshop. This will cover both the basics of macro photography and then we will set up studios and photograph insects from around the area. This workhop gives a unique and fascinating perspective of Indian wildlife.

Kanha Earth Lodge Photographs, Kanha

Day 6: Kanha National Park

Today we will again enjoy an exciting full day of safaris in the lush green forest of Kanha National Park.

Day 7:- Kanha National Park to Pench National Park.

Today we will transfer to Pench National Park (210km – c. 4 hours). We will check into our lodge, Pench Jungle Camp (http://www.wildlife-camp-india.com) and into your luxury tent accommodation for the next couple of nights. Once settled in we will enjoy an evening jungle safari and then sit together enjoying a drink and discussing our days experiences.

Pench Jungle Camp photographs, Pench

Day 8: Pench National Park

Today we have a full day of safari in Pench. Wildlife in the dru season is situated along the main river and we will concentrate our searches here. Between safaris there is the opportunity to photograph a kingfisher which inhabits a small lake at the back of the lodge. This makes for a great few hours of photography should you choose!

Day 9: Pench National Park to Agra

After breakfast we will transfer to Nagpur Airport to catch a short flight to Delhi. We will then transfer by car to Agra. We will check into the hotel Clarks Shiraz and go together for a final meal at a local restaurant.

Day 10: Agra and the Taj Mahal

We will finish off the tour with a visit to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, accompanied by a local guide. We will visit the Taj early in the morning to get the best views of this amazing building. After we will transfer back to Delhi and say our fairwells with long lasting memories of Indian tigers, wildlife and the Taj Mahal.

Although I will do my upmost to keep to this itinerary sometimes small changes are unavoidable, therefore this itinerary is subject to change at any point.

Lodge Feedback (taken from trip advisor):

Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh feedback:

“King’s Lodge is wonderful in so many ways: the resort is aesthetic, the staff are warm, helpful and very professional and the location (on the outskirts of the Tala region of Bandhavgarh) is perfect for tiger safaris. This is an ideal destination for niche travelers who are ready to switch off from the world (there is limited mobile connectivity and no television) and focus on the beautiful environs and mingle with fellow travelers from many different countries.”

“My husband and I stayed 2 nights at Kings Lodge which was one of the highlights of our trip to India. The property was very well managed and all staff were warm and welcoming and took great care of us. Our cottage was cozy and clean and having a drink by the bonfire after a long day was quite special. To top it off, we saw 3 tigers in total (only meters away from us) in 4 game drives with no other vehicles in sight!”

“Our 3 night stay here was everything and more than we expected. The food and service were exceptional, all of the staff made the lodge very special. Our stilted cottage was very well maintained and everything was spotlessly clean”

Kanha Earth Lodge, Kanha

“A stunningly beautiful lodge set in the wild!! The lodge is a superb example of modernity blended with nature, filled with artifacts and furniture built entirely out of waste/recycled wood creatively designed by local artisans!The staff was extremely courteous and hospitable going to great lengths to make our stay comfortable while giving us our privacy, the food cooked from locally grown ingredients fresh and tasty and the desserts were mouth-watering!”

“We drove from Jabalpur and almost got lost finding this lodge, this is not your regular lodge – serious wildlife stuff. When we managed to reach there we were gasped for many moments at its setting. It is set in deep forests and merges so well with the Kanha park that it seems it always existed. We were welcomed by the manager and boys, served chai with a complete briefing. We were refreshed instantly and were ready to go. The lodge is built with local stones and some amazing furniture from waste wood and drift wood. You could take hours absorbing the stone work, furniture, tribal artifacts, paintings and the scenery.”

“What a Lovely resort. Made me feel one with nature.The food was delicious and in good quantity.The staff was well trained and v friendly.”

“Our second visit in 5 months! This time for rejuvenation & relaxation. Perfect place for it & fell in love with the place all over again. This time around the vegetation around the lodge was lush green & it actually seemed we were part of Kanha National Park. Forest till your doorstep, literally!”

Pench Jungle Camp, Pench

“Pench Jungle Camp is exactly that, a camp built in lush green grounds 5 minutes drive from the park entrance and Jungle. pleasantly surprised to find large tented rooms with all the mod-cons. The staff are great and seem happy to help at all hours whatever your question or need. Meals were excellent and my only disappointment was that I couldn’t fit more in but with three meals a day two of which being three courses you will never go hungry.”

“We have been to Pench Jungle Camp several times over the last 5 years, where we have always been made to feel very welcome. This trip was no exception. We particularly like the fact that so many of the staff have been there for several years. It is nice to meet them again and find out how they have been getting on.”

“Two nights here was not enough we could easily have stayed longer. The tented accommodation far exceeded our expectations it felt very luxurious with its large bathroom and comfortable beds. The food here was excellent and could not be faulted and the service from all of the staff made our stay even better.”

For more information or to book contact me at jon@norfolk-wildlife-photography.co.uk.