Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks in Assam
March 23 to 30, 2013
| At a Glance |
Other Details |
If Denali is the "Serengeti of North America" and the Pantanal is the "Serengeti of South America," then Kaziranga is the "Serengeti of Asia!" Coupled with Nameri National Park, a tiger reserve since 2000 and very well patrolled, these two gems of wealthy Assam will immerse us in some of Asia's best wild lands. Kaziranga on the south bank of the huge Brahmaputra River and Nameri on the wild side of the Bhorelli River both have special species not seen on the Central India safari that precedes this extension. Kaziranga is the only place where you can photograph the rare and endangered Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros in the wild from an elephant's back! It is also the best park to see a herd of wild Asian Elephants. There will be new species of birds, including possibilities, such as the Ibisbill, White-winged Duck, and Blue-naped Pitta at Nameri. Enjoy watching and photographing the fascinating wildlife behavior that we will encounter.
Sambar © Guddu Khan
At a Glance
Optional Extension: This 8-day extension to Assam is immediately following our safari in Central India, March 8 to 24, 2013.
Cost: $2,500 per person, double occupancy, not including airfare. Review cost details.
Leaders: Rajveer Singh, Ansar Kahn, plus drivers.
Group Size: 9 participants, not including leaders.
Number of Days: 8, including estimated travel time.
Conditions: A non-smoking safari for people who are very interested in all wildlife and spending the maximum time in the field.
Itinerary Updated: July 2012.
||Continuing from Central India safari, fly from Nagpur to Kolkata. Hotel Hindustan.
||Fly to Guwahati and drive to Kaziranga, where rhino are abundant. Hotel Wild Grass.
|March 25 - 26
||Enjoy one of India's richest wildlife parks, Kaziranga National Park! Hotel Wild Grass.
|March 27 - 28
||Morning in Kaziranga then Nameri National Park, another wildlife paradise. Eco Camp.
||Return to Guwahati and fly to Delhi. Enjoy a dayroom before night flight homeward.
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Note: See the Central India itinerary for details of previous days.
March 23, Saturday: Fly from Nagpur to Kolkata
Drive from Kanha to the Nagpur airport for an evening flight to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) with Rajveer, Ansar and Babloo. See Flight Information on page 4. Transfer to the Hotel Hindustan International for dinner and overnight. Review flight information.
Lodging: Hotel Hindustan International
Asian Elephant © Ansar Khan
March 24 - 26, Sunday - Tuesday: Kaziranga National Park!
Leave Kolkata on a late morning flight to Guahati in Assam, arriving midday. Stay for lunch at the airport restaurant then drive 225 kilometers on picturesque roads that follow along the Brahmaputra River among rice paddies being plowed with the help of Asian Water Buffalo. Enjoy the very lush farmland all the way to Kaziranga National Park. Stop occasionally for new waterbirds and raptors that frequent these alluvial floodplains, perhaps at Deepor Beel located about an hour and a half drive from the Guwahati Airport. Check in at the Hotel Wild Grass on the edge of the park. Stay three nights with full days exploring this area, riding in national park open jeeps with three rows of seats. Kaziranga is one of India's most diverse in wildlife species, both birds and mammals, including river dolphins in the Brahmaputra River. Kaziranga protects the very endangered Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, which we hope to see at close proximity from up high on elephant back. On two of the three mornings we'll depart at dawn on elephant back, either at 5 am or 6 am. Search also by jeep for mammals, including Swamp Deer (Barasingha), Hog Deer (Para), Guar (Indian Bison), and wild Asian Elephant. We could also encounter three species of primates, Capped Langur, Assamese Macaque and Hoolock Gibbon, as well as three species of cats, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) and Jungle Cat, although unlikely as the latter two are more secretive than the tigers in this park. The tigers are not habituated to elephants as they are in the previous two national parks that we visited, but the rhinos are definitely very habituated to domestic elephants and their mahouts. One possible place to observe tiger is from one of the watch towers at Kaziranga. Other mammals present in Kaziranga are Sloth Bear, Common Otter (Lutra lutra), Hog Badger, Wild Boar, Golden Jackal and the Gangetic Dolphin. We'll have a boat ride in hopes of encountering dolphins at Kaziranga. Many reptiles are resident and a few are occasionally encountered, including the Gharial and two species each of pythons and monitor lizards. Black-necked Stork (Greater Adjutant), Pallas's and Gray-headed fishing eagles, and many waterbirds inhabit the Jheels, which are swampy flats with a broad pool of shallow water in the middle, usually fringed with reeds and typical of Assam. This park is a World Heritage Site covering 430 square kilometers along the mighty Brahmaputra River, ideal habitat for the Great Indian One-horned Rhino and so many more mammals. Explore the park by elephant one morning and by four-wheel drive jeeps the rest of the time, including stops at watch towers for wildlife viewing. Kaziranga National Park grasslands are rich in raptors, including the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Brahminy Kite, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, and others.
Lodging: Hotel Wild Grass
Wild Dog © Chotu Khan
March 27 - 28, Wednesday - Thursday: Morning at Kaziranga then to Nameri National Park
Enjoy another full morning at Kaziranga inside the park. After lunch, drive to Nameri National Park (110 kilometers). On arrival, check into the Eco Camp, which is very comfortable with "Swiss cottage tents" covered with thatch. The park covers an area of about 200 square kilometers in deciduous forests with the River Jia Bhoroli flowing through it. Nameri was set up as a sanctuary in 1985 and became a national park in 1995. It has been part of Project Tiger since 2000, listed as a tiger reserve, so many other species benefit from the added protection. A very rich area with more than 300 bird species, we'll look for four different hornbills, plus bee-eaters, barbets, babblers, bulbuls, Ibisbills, and the very endangered White Winged Wood Duck. In addition to wonderful birds, there is a tremendous diversity of reptiles and insects and the list of mammals is also large here with Leopard, Indian Bison (Guar), Sambar, Hog Deer, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Wild Dog (Dhole), Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Capped Langur, Malayan Giant Squirrel, and the endangered Hispid Hare, a rabbit native to the foothills of the Himalaya. Nameri is known all over India for Golden Mahseer flyfishing. The snow fed Jia Bhoroli River with the peaks of Eastern Himalayas as a backdrop makes for a very scenic experience. Ceiba, dalbergia, jujuba, and many other species of trees add to the biodiversity. One morning enjoy river rafting on the Jia Bhorelli through the forests. Stop along the way to have a picnic lunch and to bird on river islands. We will also explore the park walking on foot trails, accompanied by forest guards.
Lodging: Eco Camp
March 29, Friday: Return to Guwahati and fly to Delhi; enjoy a dayroom before flights home
Later this morning drive to the Guwahati Airport (180 kilometers) with a picnic lunch. Arrive in time to check in and board the afternoon flight to Delhi, arriving in time for dinner. Transfer to the Radisson Airport Hotel for dinner and rooms. In the late evening, transfer to the international airport to check in for your international flight that will most likely depart near or after midnight. Review flight information.
March 30, Saturday: Arrive home
Arrive home depending on flight schedules, or you may choose to stay longer in Delhi. We are happy to assist you with your arrangements.
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Payments and Cancellations: All reservations require a deposit due at the time of making the reservation. Upon receiving your deposit and reservation form, we will send trip materials with additional information to help you prepare for your safari. Until the final payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person. This fee may go toward another tour if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip's departure date. There are no refunds given after the final payment due date. If you are a single traveler and desire so, we will find a roommate for you, if we cannot find a roommate we may have to charge you the single supplement fee. We reserve the right to charge for cost increases that occur between now and the date of travel, including changes due to the cost of lodging and transportation.
|Cost per Person
|Deposit - due now to reserve your space
|March 1, 2012 - second payment
|December 1, 2012 - final payment
|• All costs listed above are per person, double occupancy.
• For reservations made after the second payment date, the deposit and second payment will be due with registration.
- All activities, leaders, transport, park and monument entry fees, and accommodations as described in the detailed itinerary above.
- Tips to drivers and lodge personnel, including bellboys.
- Meals from dinner on March 23 through dinner on March 29 and Indian brand mineral water during drives, meals and sightseeing.
- English speaking local cultural guides for the sightseeing tours.
- Representative meetings at the airports and hotels for assistance.
- Porterage at airports.
- Government service tax/Value added tax.
- Still camera fee.
- Airport transfers at times and dates specified in the detailed itinerary - on March 23 and 29.
- All airfare, airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees. See the Central India itinerary for international flight costs. Internal airfare for three flights taken with this extension is $421 (ticketed July 2012). We will arrange and book these flights and add the cost to your final payment.
- Extra nights at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Delhi are $258 for a double and $240 for a single and a single airport transfer with "meet and greet" service is $50 per vehicle (quoted July 2012 and subject to change).
- Gratuities for Rajveer, Ansar and Babloo. Tipping is, of course, discretionary, however we suggest budgeting $15 per day or a total of $100 per participant for this trip. The gratuity will be collected at the end of the tour.
- Video camera fee in the parks of India, which is approximately $3 to $10 per day, per camera, depending on the park. On arrival at the Delhi airport, sometimes the people at customs make a note on the passport about a video camera and a form has to be filled in that it is for personal use and will be taken out of the country.
- Travel insurance.
- Airport transfers at times and methods other than described in the detailed itinerary above.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, and items not on the regular menu (if you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your reservation form), etc.
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To Make a Reservation: Please contact us (there are many methods of contacting us) to assure space availability and to let us answer your questions. Then, print our reservation form, fill out one form per person, and post it to us in the mail with your deposit. Or fill out our handy online information request and we will send you more information.
|Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris
20800 Kittredge Road
Saratoga, CA 95070
|Toll Free: (800) 527-5330
Fax: (408) 741-0358
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Our Leaders: Rajveer Singh grew-up at Bharatpur near Keoladeo National Park. His family members are descendents of Maharajas and have a reverence for wildlife that fostered his very early comprehensive interest in birds and mammals. He graduated from the University of Rajasthan, has studied nature and wildlife extensively, and has led many wildlife and birding groups throughout India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Rajveer is an excellent guide and an expert on mammals and birds of India with a lot of passion for sharing his love of India's natural and cultural history.
Babloo Ikrar Khan
Both Babloo Ikrar Khan and Ansar Khan were born at Bharatpur and come from an important family of foresters who have worked in the Keoladeo National Park for two generations. Both have traveled widely, especially in India leading bird and wildlife tours in north, central and east India. Both are experts on the birds and mammals of India. Ansar specializes in wildlife photography. Many of his photographs have appeared in magazines and books and can be seen on his photo gallery website. He is also active with the Life Line for Nature Society, a Bharatpur based nonprofit, working in the field of conservation and wildlife awareness. Babloo is a member of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature India and was recently awarded a grant by the Oriental Bird Club to survey the status of vultures in the eastern district of Rajasthan. Both are highly respected among naturalists in India.
Flights: Details for the international flights to and from Delhi are described in the itinerary for the main Central India part of the safari.
Arrival: Described in the itinerary for the main part of the safari.
Departure: Depart from Delhi (DEL) on a late night flight after 10 pm on March 29 or very early in the morning on March 30 (possibly requiring an extra hotel night, not included).
We will arrange and book these three internal economy class flights and the costs will be added to your final payment (quoted December 2010, subject to change). Note: the cancellation fee is $25 per flight.
- Nagpur/Kolkata: IndiGo Flight 403 (March 23, depart 5:30 pm, arrive 7:00 pm). $175 per person.
- Kolkata/Guwahati: Saravia Saratov Flight 7013 (March 24, depart 10:55 am, arrive 12:10 pm). $190 per person.
- Guwahati/Delhi: Saravia Saratov Flight 7080 (March 29, depart 3:30 pm, arrive 5:55 pm). $340 per person.
4WD Toyota Innova
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Transportation and Lodging: Enjoy excellent lodges and one tented eco-camp. From Guahati to Kaziranga, Nameri, and return to Guahati, we will use non air-conditioned Tata Sumos, which is the only make of 4W vehicle available in Assam, (three per vehicle, plus a driver and one of our guides). In Kaziranga we'll have two elephant rides each, as well as ride in three national park open jeeps with three rows of seats, and in Nameri a river rafting trip.
Climate: It will be warmer weather in Assam than in Central India. Temperatures vary at this season from cool to very comfortable, depending on the time of day. It will be very cool in the early morning and in the evening. It will be the "dry" season, but rain will likely be encountered, as climates are fairly unpredictable these days. Bring a warm jacket that is rain and wind resistant. Insects are not normally a problem in these areas, but we recommend that you bring insect repellant.
Travel Insurance: Emergency Medical Insurance is optional, but encouraged, for this tour. Read about travel insurance and our recommendations and requirements.
Detailed information about your specific tour will be sent to you after you make your reservation with us. These trip materials include information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc. Please take a moment to read this important informtation upon receipt.
- Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
- Maximum time in the field: We try to spend as much time in the field as possible to observe wildlife behavior, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.
- Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
- Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but understanding and accepting the risks, both medical and logistical, are important. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but due to the fact that we often travel to locations far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this trip. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs, since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your tour deposit and signed reservation form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
If you would like to be on our mailing list or request information, please use our online information request form or contact us to give us your name, address, email address and phone number. Please note we will never share your personal information with anybody!
Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris, Saratoga, California, act only as agents and shall not be responsible or become liable for any delay incurred by any person in connection with any means of transportation, nor for the loss, damage, or injury to person or property by reason of any event beyond the control of the agency or default of such agency suppliers. We reserve the right to cancel the tour prior to departure in which case full refund will constitute full settlement to the passenger. No refund will be made for any unused portion of the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of booking. All rates are based on current tariffs, exchange rates and fuel prices and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein. By sending your initial deposit, you agree to accept our payment schedule as a contract. If payments are still outstanding two weeks after the due date, your space may be forfeited. Baggage is at the owner's risk.
Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris is registered as California Seller of Travel #2063050-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris is a participant in the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation (TCRC). In event of a client canceling where a refund is applicable in accordance with the schedule above, or in the event that CES needs to cancel the trip, all payments for transportation or travel service not provided to the client shall be promptly refunded, unless the client instructs us otherwise in writing. All client payments are deposited into a trust account in accordance with California law. If for any reason a valid refund is not forthcoming, the client may request reimbursement from the TCRC within six months of the scheduled end of the tour. Please feel free to ask us for more information.
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All material © Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris.
All photos © Doug or Ted Cheeseman, unless otherwise credited.
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