Birds, Lions and Tigers

This is a fascinating journey through exotic Rajasthan and the western state of Gujarat, exploring the region’s rich cultural heritage and natural abundance. Tigers at Ranthambore, lions at Sasan Gir, birdlife at the Bharatpur and Hingolgarh sanctuaries can be seen together with a kaleidoscope of historic forts, fascinating palaces, vibrant towns and remote villages to make this tour an unforgettable experience.

The tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal and nearby Fatehpur Sikri, the 16th-century Mughal capital, before arriving at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, home to hundreds of rare species including egrets, kingfishers and the spectacular migratory Siberian cranes. We continue our journey to famous Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places to see tigers in the wild. A highlight of the trip is a two-night stay in the Pink City - Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Few places in India showcase such a glittering array of sights: imposing Amer Fort, the bejeweled City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and the teeming city bazaars.

On reaching Gujarat, our focus moves back to the natural world: we visit the otherworldly salt flats of the Rann of Kutch, famed for its population of Asiatic wild ass, and Sasan Gir National Park, home of the last surviving population of the majestic Asiatic lion. We take safaris into the park in search of the big cats and other wildlife. En route between these two far-flung natural wonders, a stopover in the atmospheric old town of Bhavnagar is included to provide a fascinating glimpse into Gujarati life.

Our Wild West adventure ends with a visit to the nearby Hingolgarh Bird Sanctuary, before a drive takes us to the Gujarati capital, Ahmedabad, followed by an enjoyable train ride south to Mumbai.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Asiatic lions at Sasan Gir National Park
  • Tigers at Ranthambore National Park
  • Elephant ride at Amer Fort, Jaipur
  • Rann of Kutch, the salt flats located on western tip of Gujarat
  • The colourful, exuberant city of Jaipur

Day 1. Traditional welcome and transfer to the hotel

  • Upon arrival at the International airport of Delhi followed by a traditional welcome transfer to our hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2. Way to one of the seven wonders of the world

Delhi - Agra
  • After the breakfast, we drive to Agra. Upon arrival we check-in to the hotel.
  • visit the Agra Red Fort, a historical fort in the city of Agra and its walls are richly adorned with red sandstone. Till 1638, this fort was main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty. Thereafter the capital of Mughal was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi.
  • Visit of Taj Mahal, a 17th century marvel in poetic description. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj is a dream in white marble with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work. Shah Jahan, the fifth Moghul King, built this beautiful mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died at the birth of her fourteenth child.

Day 3. Head towards Bharatpur enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri

Agra - Bharatpur
  • In the morning, we drive to Bharatpur, famous for Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary. En-route we visit the Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted royal city constructed by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. This impressive and well-preserved citadel served as the political capital of Akbar for 14 years until in 1585 he abandoned Fatehpur Sikri due to dearth of water. Afternoon is free.

Day 4. Morning Rikshaw Ride in the park and journey to Ranthambore

Bharatpur - Ranthambhore
  • After the breakfast, we take a Cycle-rickshaw ride into the Sanctuary to spot a large variety of birds and animals. More fascinating than any other bird is the spotted owlet that grabs the attention of all the wildlife enthusiasts.
  • In the afternoon, we drive to the Ranthambore National Park.

Day 5. Two games drives in the Park

  • Today, we have Two Game drives to the park to wander through the jungles to find the elusive tiger. We wake up early morning and leave for our First safari in the Ranthambore National Park. We track the tigers and other wildlife through the morning and return to the hotel for breakfast. Thereafter, we leave for Another safari after lunch to catch glimpses of some more animal and bird species. At the end of this adventurous day, we return to the hotel and relax.

Day 6. Way to Pink City

Ranthambhore - Jaipur
  • In the morning, we drive to Jaipur - popularly known as the Pink City that is the colorful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich cultural heritage and colorful past it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was established in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the then ruler of Amer. Also known as 'The City of Victory', Jaipur was the first planned city of its time with imposing forts, dazzling palaces, beautiful gardens and markets. Evening is free to explore the colorful bazaars of Jaipur.

Day 7. Exploration of town

  • After the breakfast we drive to the ancient capital of Amer, 11 km from Jaipur. Famous for its massive Amber(amer) Fort, Amer was the ancient capital of Kachwaha dynasty for 6 centuries. We take an Elephant ride (optional), an experience to remember for a long time, to reach the Fort situated on the hill. Having appreciated its beauty and captured that in our cameras we visit City Palace Jaipur, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Next, we visit Jantar Mantar, a Solar Observatory built in the 18th century; an astronomical treasure house that measures time according to the movement of the Sun to an error of just 2 seconds with solar devices that give accurate astrological predictions as well till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied facade of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 to allow royal ladies to watch processions and other the festivities on the road through its 953 ‘jharokas’or small windows without being seen by the public.

Day 8. Fly to Ahmdabad and exploration of town

Jaipur - Ahmedabad
  • In the morning, we will be transferred to the Airport to board our flight to Ahmedabad.
  • Ahmedabad is one of the jewels of Gujarat state. Beautifully carved historicals monuments such as Step well at Adalaj , The Rani Mosque etc make this town unavoidable during the trip to Gujarat. We visit Calico Textile Museum, one of the finest textile museums in the world and housed in one of Gujarat's famous carved wooden havelis (mansions). The museum displays a magnificent collection of rare textiles dating back to the 17th century. Gandhi Ashram or the Sabarmati Ashram, located near Vadaj, was once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi who founded it in 1915, and today without doubt, it is the biggest tourist attraction in Ahmedabad.

Day 9. Drive to Zainabad

Ahmedabad - Zainabad
  • Today we drive from Ahmedabad to Zainabad, a picturesque town situated on the outer periphery of Run of Kutch. On the arrival, we would be transferred to hotel. Rest of the evening is free to explore the surrounding.
  • We visit Modhera Sun Temple. Architecture of this temple has similitude with that of Konark Sun Temple and Khajuraho Temples. King Bhimdev got in constructed during 1026-27 but it was devastated by the raid of Mahmud of Ghazni. The sanctum sanctorum was scientifically designed so that radition emerging from rising and setting of Sun during the day of equinox fell on beautifully cared statues consstructed by Suryavanshi Solanki Rajputs, in the memery of tgheir beloved God.

Day 10. Excursion in Rann of Kutch

  • This morning, we do a Jeep safari in the Rann of Kutch, a large area of salt marshes located in the Thar Desert mostly in Gujarat and the southern tip of Sindh in Pakistan. It is a seasonally marshy region, the word Rann meaning "Salt marsh", alternating with medaks, elevated pieces of land where vegetation grows. Kutch is the name of the district where this region is situated. This safari is altogether a different experience from all that we have seen and experienced by now. In the evening, we do a Village tour to explore the area further.

Day 11. Way to cultural capital of Saurashtra

Zainabad - Bhavnagar
  • Today we drive to Bhavnagar. It was a princely state untill 1948 when it was merged into independant India.The city offers vibrant shades of traditional Gujarati Culture. On arrival, check-in at Hotel. Later, we can visit following places such as Gandhi Smriti, Barton Library and Takhteswar temple etc.

Day 12. Way to the Park of Gir

Bhavnagar - Sasan Gir Forest National Park
  • Today, we visit the Gandhi Smriti - a memorial that has a library of Gandhian books and photographs providing glimpses into the life of Mahatma Gandhi. It also has a fine collection of art objects representing the culture of the Saurashtra Region.
  • Later, we drive towards the Sasan Gir Forest National Park.

Day 13. Two safaris in Gir Forest

  • Today, is the day for some adventure when we get to do two game drives (Morning/Afternoon) into Sasan Gir National Park to look for Asiatic lions. Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo Persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. The ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the efforts of the government’s Forest Department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The count of 2,375 distinct fauna species of Gir includes about 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species of insects. The carnivorous group mainly comprises Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Bengal Tigers, Sloth bears, King Cobras, Jungle Cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, Indian Palm Civets, and Ratels.

Day 14. In the lapse of nature - Hingolgarh Sanctuary

Sasan Gir Forest National Park - Hingolgadh
  • This morning, we drive in the direction to Hingolgarh Bird Sanctuary. It is a natural habitat and it is a delight for Ornithologist and nature amateurs to observe the different variety of birds. Covering the forest area of 654.07 hectares, this sanctuary has dry deciduous scrub forests which dominates the landscape.
  • The sanctuary gets full of life during rainy season with beautiful shades of green color all around and the area buzzing with life and various life forms. Due to the presence of grasslands and scrub forests, the sanctuary has a unique composition of wildlife. The most prominent wildlife species are Chinkara, Nilgai, Indian porcupine, Indian hare, Mongoose, Wolf, Hyenas, Jackals etc. The unconfirmed presence of a leopard has been occasionally reported by the local people. The sanctuary is remarkably rich in birds with 230 species and has 19 species of snakes of which 3 are venomous.
Hingolgadh - Rajkot
  • After the visit, we head towards Rajkot where we have a night stay.

Day 15. Drive back to Ahmedabad

  • After the breakfast, we drive to Ahmedabad. Upon arrival we have free time to explore the local bazaar of the city.

Day 16. Board train to Mumbai

Ahmedabad - Mumbai
  • Today, we will be transferred to the Railway Station to catch morning train to Mumbai. Late afternoon, we reach railway station and received by driver along with the representative. From there, we are transferred to hotel.

Day 17. Departure to airport

  • We will be transferred to the International airport to catch our flights to our respective destinations.

Individual price per person

1-23-56-89-12
1850$1650$1920$1800$

Included

  • Accommodation for 12 nights on the basis of double room in the hotels mentioned or equivalent on breakfast basis
  • 02 nights on Full board in hotel in Zainabad
  • 02 nights on Full board in Sasangir
  • All ground transportation included in the program using private air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver
  • Park and monuments entrance fees as described in the programme
  • Excursion to Rann of Kutch in Open Jeep - Seat Sharing basis
  • Two game drives in Sasan Gir in private Jeep
  • Two Game drives in Private Jeep at Ranthambore
  • Rickshaw ride in Bharatpur
  • Train tickets in 1st class AC for the sector as mentioned below:
  • (Ahmedabad - Mumbai)
  • English speaking Local city guide as mentioned in the programme (till 05 Pax)
  • English speaking tour leader throughout the trip (from 06 Pax onwards)
  • Govt. Taxes

Not included

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Domestic flight tickets for the sector: (Jaipur - Ahmedabad)
  • Lunch and Dinner through out the trip except Full board in Zainabad and Sasangir National Park
  • Miscellaneous Expenses - drinks, souvenir, personal expenses etc.
  • Tips for driver and other local staff
  • Charges for Camera in the monuments and Parks
  • The cancellation and baggage insurance, assistance and repatriation
  • Indian Visa
  • All services not mentioned in "Inclusion"

17 days from 1650$ per person. Flight not included.

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Departures

29 mai 2015 3 available
8 juin 2015 6 available
25 juin 2015 5 available
20 juillet 2015 8 available
17 août 2015 10 available
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