The magnificent Tiger by K Barnes

Tour Dates: Feb / March 2023 Dates tbc please email (Delhi to Delhi) 
Tour Price: £2,999pp plus flight
Estimated Flight Price: London to Delhi approx. £650 return
Internal Flight: Nagpur – Delhi approx: £50
Deposit: £500 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £300 – £350
Minimum Number: 6 people
Maximum Group Size: 8 people

Target Species
Birds: Sarus Crane, Black-necked Stork, Grey Francolin, Small Pratincole, Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern, Indian Courser, Dusky Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Orange-headed Thrush, Brahminy Starling, Stork-billed Kingfisher and many more!!
Mammals: Tiger, Sloth Bear, Indian Wild Dog, Leopard, Ganges River Dolphin, Nilgai, Golden Jackal, Rhesus Macacque.
Plus Gharial and Marsh Crocodile.

Tour Summary
This new tour is a great introduction to birding in India with a great selection of birds and an excellent chance of seeing Tiger very well along with a number of other impressive mammals. On arrival at Delhi we will do some leisurely birding just outside the city at a very productive wetland. We then spend 4 nights close to the Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) where some excellent and varied birding awaits us. We can explore the area on foot from our accommodation as we are just a few hundred metres from the entrance to the sanctuary. We then move on and break our journey at the relaxing Chambal River where Indian Skimmer and Gharials will entertain us before travelling to Agra where there will be an option to visit the world famous Taj Mahal! After an overnight sleeper train on the Telangana Expressto Nagpur we enjoy the grand finale at the Tadoba National Park. A total of four nights at this park will give us plenty of time to look for Tigers along with Sloth Bear, Indian Wild Dog and Leopard!

A relaxed itinerary  designed to saviour the impressive birdlife at the Bharatpur Wetlands, the Chambal River and and the wonderful Tadoba National Park. The itinerary includes 4 nights each at Bharatpur & Tadoba, plus a boat trip on the Chambal River and 8 Jeep drives whilst at Tadoba. There will be fantastic opportunities for photography too! 

ACCOMMODATION: 12 nights in India
Good quality lodges and hotels throughout the tour
1 night Delhi, 4 nights Bharatpur, 1 night Chambal River, 1 night first class overnight train, 4 nights Tadoba and 1 night Delhi.
Inclusive Meals: Full board starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 13

DAY 1: Arrival Delhi
After arriving at Delhi International Airport we will transfer to our hotel for time to get organised before lunch. During the afternoon we will enjoy some excellent birding at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary.
Sultanpur is a wetland situated in Gurgaon district of Haryana on Gurgaon-Farrukh Nagar road. The main attraction is the impressive and varied selection of wintering waterfowl and waders, though Sind Sparrow and Brook’s Leaf Warbler are both frequently seen here and there are occasional records of Indian Courser too. This small bird sanctuary will certainly have plenty to keep us entertained for our first afternoon before we return to our hotel in Delhi and relax for the evening. Overnight Delhi Hotel

DAY 2: Delhi – Bharatpur
After breakfast we will travel to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a journey time of around 5 hours. We will spend the rest of the day birdwatching inside Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Night at Bharatpur Hotel

Orange-headed Thrush by K Barnes

DAYS 3 and 4: Bharatpur
During the next couple of days we will explore the sanctuary on foot.  Birdlife is relatively tame here so photographic opportunities will be excellent. We will have plenty of time to explore the wetlands, woodlands and dry grasslands with scattered scrub.  Species that we will be looking for include Black, Yellow and Cinnamon Bitterns as well as noisy, squabbling juvenile Painted Storks, jostling Eurasian Spoonbills and elegant Egrets. In the extensive wetlands we will scan through the various species of duck, where Spot-billed Duck, Comb Duck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck and Lesser Whistling-duck should be easy to find. As we scan across the wetland we should also find mammals such as Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, perhaps some Wild Boar and Nilgai, also known as Blue Bull. Nilgai is the largest antelope species found in India. Golden Jackals are usually around and we cannot fail to see the troops of Rhesus Macaques.
Our local guide should know a place where we can try for Dusky Eagle Owl along with the much smaller Spotted Owlet, Indian Scops Owl and maybe Brown Hawk Owl too. Towards the far side of the sanctuary extensive grasslands are dotted with trees and shrubs and here we will find a different suite of species.  Species like Baya Weaver, Indian Silverbill and maybe Barred Buttonquail, Jungle Bush Quail or the spectacular male Red Avadavat along with Pipits, Prinias and Bulbuls.  Harriers, mostly Marsh, Montagu’s and Hen are regularly hunting over the site and roost nearby.
Other birds of prey will include Crested Serpent Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Greater Spotted, and Eastern Imperial Eagles, to name just a few. Their presence can cause havoc over the wetlands, scattering ducks and waders in all directions! Night at Bharatpur

Yellow-wattled Lapwing by K Barnes

DAY 5: Bharatpur – Indian Courser Site – Bharatpur
After breakfast we will visit a site where Indian Coursers are often seen.  This excursion usually takes most of the day, but of course any time remaining on our return we will spend inside Bharatpur National Park. Night at Bharatpur Hotel

DAY 6: Bharatpur – Chambal
We will take an early breakfast and spend our final morning inside Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary looking for any species that we may have missed. We will then head to Chambal, a journey time of around two hours.  On arrival we will explore the Chambal Safari Lodge grounds and local fields where we are sure to find many new species of bird. Night at Chambal Safari Lodge

Gharial by K Barnes

DAY 7: Chambal – Agra and Taj Mahal (overnight train to Nagpur)
After an early breakfast, we will enjoy a three hour boat safari on the Chambal River. The target bird for today is the impressive Indian Skimmer and with luck we should see several of them patrolling up and down the National Chambal Sanctuary.  Black-bellied Tern is a species that has become more scarce in recent years, though we will certainly look for it. Along the river banks we will look for feeding Red-naped Ibis, Grey and Black Francolins, Small Pratincoles, numerous waders and perhaps a Pallas’s Gull. Aside from birds, Gharial, a rare fish-eating crocodile, and Marsh Crocodile occur in good numbers as well as several species of turtle. We will also be looking for the Ganges River Dolphin. Later in the day we will explore the sandy habitats on foot where we hope to find White-capped Bunting, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark and many others. 
During the afternoon we will drive to Agra where there will be an opportunity to visit the world famous Taj Mahal. We will then have dinner in a local restaurant before boarding the first class air conditioned overnight sleeper train (Telangana Express) to Nagpur. Overnight on the train.

Indian Skimmer by K Barnes

DAY 8: Nagpur – Tadoba
We should arrive in Nagpur at around 09:30am and we will then be met by our driver who will transfer us to our lodge.

This afternoon we will enjoy the first of 8 exclusive jeep safaris at Tadoba. In Central India and the heart of Tiger country is Tadoba National Park. Tadoba’s increasing Tiger population is a great success story. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, situated in the Chandrapur District of Maharashtra, spans over 625 square kilometres and incorporates both Tadoba National Park (Maharashtra’s first national park in 1955) and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary. More recently it became one of India’s Project Tiger Reserves in 1993. Tigers are doing exceptionally well here and we have excellent opportunities of seeing many other great mammals such as Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Gaur and even Tree Shrew, not to mention a rich birdlife. Night at Lodge in Tadoba

DAYS 9, 10 and 11: Tadoba National Park
During the next three days we will take morning and afternoon jeep safaris inside the Tadoba National Park core zone or buffer zone.  We will start early each morning and be back with plenty of time to relax at the lodge either side of lunch.  Nights at Lodge

Tigers by K Barnes

Day 12: Tadoba – Nagpur – Delhi
After a final morning jeep safari inside Tadoba National Park buffer zone we will return to our lodge and we will then transfer to Nagpur airport in good time to take an internal flight to Delhi. On arrival we will be transferred to our hotel near the airport. Night in Delhi 

Day 13:  Delhi
Transfer to Delhi International Airport.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Leaders: Wise Birding Leader & local bird guide
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin en-suite rooms, all meals except dinner on night 12, bottled water, all entrance fees, all transport including, boat trips, jeep drives and train travel plus services of the local guides and leader
Not included in cost: International airfare, internal flight, travel insurance, optional Taj Mahal entrance fee (approx £18), camera fees in Bharatpur, Chambal and Tadoba (approx. £2 – £5 per day dependent on camera type) drinks other than water and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: £450
Transport: A/C Minibus through the tour
Difficulty: Easy
The vast majority of birding is done in close proximity to the vehicle or from jeeps and boats. Some short walks on flat trails in gallery forest / grassland.
Climate: Varied from very cold in the early morning to warm in the middle of the day
Tour Start Point: Delhi airport, India
Tour End Point: Delhi airport, India
Suggested Airlines: British Airways, Virgin or Air India

Bharatpur Wetlands by Peter Clarke