February 23 to March 14, 2025
Journey to the heart of India exploring its famous wildlife reserves and national parks as you encounter beautiful birds, magnificent tigers, and a diverse array of other mammals. Track India’s wildlife for five days in the biodiverse Bandhavgarh National Park and six days in the vast Ranthambhore National Park. Experience Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, a unique wetland sanctuary, by walking and riding in rickshaws along the embankments. Beyond the wild, discover cultural landmarks like the iconic Taj Mahal and the Khajuraho Monuments. While your goal may be encountering tigers, enjoy plenty of opportunities to appreciate other animals and as well as India’s rich culture. This expedition blends the marvels of nature with India’s deep heritage for an unforgettable journey.
- Search for tigers and their prey, including Indian gazelles (chinkara), four-horned antelope (chowsingha), chital, nilgai (blue bull) in parks famous for wildlife: Ranthambhore and Bandhavgarh.
- Enjoy primates such as rhesus monkey and northern plains gray (Hanuman) langur.
- Photograph sunrise at the Taj Mahal and spend a morning among the famous Khajuraho temples.
- Experience India by 4×4 jeep, private bus, train, and rickshaw!
- Relish the hospitality of India’s friendly people while staying in lovely accommodations.
- Begin your journey early on our Snow Leopards trip February 11 to 25, 2025. Search for the elusive snow leopard in the incredible Trans-Himalayan mountains of Ladakh, India.
- Continue your journey on our Nepal trip.
Itinerary Updated: August 2023
Print Trip Safari Options
|Feb 23-24||Travel to Delhi, India.|
|Feb 25||Arrive in Delhi from our Snow Leopards trip or from home.||Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport, Delhi|
|Feb 26 - Mar 2||Take a flight and drive the rest of the way to Bandhavgarh. Spend the mornings and afternoons game driving in open jeeps.||Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh||B, L, D|
|Mar 3||Game drive in the morning then head to Khajuraho.||The Lalit Temple View, Khajuraho||B, L, D|
|Mar 4||Visit the temples, then after an early lunch, drive to Jhansi Railway Station and catch the Gatimaan Express train to Agra.||Taj View Hotel, Agra||B, L, D|
|Mar 5||Watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. After breakfast, drive to Bharatpur. After lunch, visit the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.||The Bagh, Bharatpur||B, L, D|
|Mar 6 -11||After a morning in Keoladeo National Park, drive to Ranthambhore and spend 5 full days game driving in open jeeps.||Ranthambhore Kothi, Ranthambhore||B, L, D|
|Mar 12||Drive back to Delhi after last morning game drive in Ranthambhore.||Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport||B, L, D|
|Mar 13||Take flights homeward or join our Nepal trip.||B|
|Mar 14||Arrive home or join Nepal group.|
Our Trip Leaders
Born in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Vishnu is a professional naturalist and ornithologist who has led trips throughout India since 1989. He has an extensive knowledge of both flora and fauna and spent a month leading a trip with Gail and Doug Cheeseman in 1989 covering Central, Eastern, and Western India. He wrote a book with his brother, Colonel Shyam Singh, on the birds of Bharatpur and is a member of Bombay History Natural Society (BHNS).
Sunil has 15 years of experience as a naturalist, including Bharatpur where he lives, Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Ranthambhore, Kanha Jungle Lodge, and many others. He earned his master’s degree and is a member of Life Line for Nature Society, the Bombay Natural History Society, World Wildlife Fund for Nature India, and the Guide Association of Keoladeo National Park. He participates in mammal censuses, non-native plant eradication, such as water hyacinth removal, and in vulture surveys. He is a wonderful teacher with a great personality.
Scott is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, and travel. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, his research and photo assignments have taken him to the far corners of the globe and all seven continents. National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, NY Times, and renowned magazines have used his photography. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.
Mohan Singh Solanki
Mohan turned his childhood passion into a flourishing profession. He graduated from University of Rajasthan in India and was awarded Naturalist Guide's title from the Government of Rajasthan’s Department of Forest and is an approved tourist guide from Government of Rajasthan Department of Tourism Art and Culture. Using his vast knowledge of flora and fauna he has birded and guided all over India for more than 15 years, including Keoladeo National Park.
Ansar specializes in wildlife photography and guides many wildlife tours in northern and eastern India and in Bhutan. He is an expert on India’s birds and mammals. Ansar was born at Bharatpur and comes from a family of foresters who have worked in the Keoladeo National Park for two generations. Many of his photographs have appeared in magazines and books. He is also active with Life Line for Nature Society, a Bharatpur-based nonprofit working towards the welfare and conservation and wildlife and nature.
A glimpse into our journey
Arrive in Delhi from our Snow Leopards trip or from home
Our local agent will transfer you from the airport to the hotel. If you would like to arrive earlier, we can arrange divergent airport transfer and extra nights.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Feb 26 - Mar 2
Fly (2 hours) to Jabalpur and drive (4 hours) to Bandhavgarh. Though less visited than other parks, Bandhavgarh is full of fascinating historical monuments and wildlife. Because of the heat during this time of year, the tigers tend to gather at the waterholes. With hills, valley, rivers, marshes, and meadows, the vegetative biodiversity in Bandhavgarh is unique. Tigers are the keystone species, but 34 mammal species, 260 bird species, and 70 butterfly species also call it home. The varied topography of the national park is home to animals like the jackal, mongoose, sloth bear, leopard, and of course, the tiger. The temples in the park have tenth century rock carvings of the incarnations of Vishnu, and among the temple rocks you may find blue rock-thrushes, crag-martins, and other birds.
You’ll spend the mornings and afternoons game driving in open jeeps with a break in the middle of the day for walking, lunch, and rest. You’ll depart early enough to be at the national park gates when it opens at dawn. While we cannot guarantee that you’ll find tigers each day, you will spend as much time in nature as possible to increase your chances! You may find Indian gazelles (chinkara) grazing in the grassland areas with four-horned antelope (chowsingha) and nilgai (also known as blue cow and blue bull – the largest of the Asian antelopes). Rhesus monkey and the northern plains gray (Hanuman) langur are common in the park. The birding around the lodge is outstanding with parakeets, hornbills, minivets, leafbirds, flycatchers, and others.
Bandhavgarh to Khajuraho
After one last morning game drive in Bandhavgarh, head (5 hours) to Khajuraho. Khajuraho is known not only for its temples’ symmetry and design, which are among the most creative examples of Indian architecture, but also for the intricate and erotic carvings on their walls. Only 22 of 85 temples built between 950 and 1050 during the Hindu dynasty of the Chandela Rajputs remain today. Carvings depict griffins, nymphs, beasts, revolting demons, gods in cosmic evolution, fear, doubt, jealousy, ardent love, and consummate passion – to name more than a few. Many of the temples are dedicated to the Hindu deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The most magnificent, the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, representing Chandela art at its zenith.
Khajuraho to Agra
Visit the Eastern and Western Temples of Khajuraho early in the morning. After breakfast, leave Khajuraho for Jhansi with a packed lunch. Drive (2.5 to 3 hours) to Jhansi Railway Station and catch the Gatiman Express (2.5 hours) to Agra.
Taj Majal to Bharatpur
Get up early to arrive at the Taj Mahal for sunrise – the most magnificent, stunning time of day, with less people and fantastic photo opportunities. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved consort Mumtaz Mahal, this mausoleum is pure white marble. More than 20,000 people worked on the buildings and grounds combining Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles, taking 22 years to complete! It is truly one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The surrounding grounds are home to Eurasian hoopoe, purple sunbird, green bee-eater, several species of doves, and other birds. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast before driving (2 hours) to Bharatpur where your hotel is on 12 acres in a 200-year-old former maharajas’ heritage garden with abundant bird life.
In the afternoon, you’ll head for the marshes of Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Keolade is the ancient Hindu temple in the center of the park, and Ghana refers to the dense forest of former times. Before becoming a national park, former maharajas protected the marshlands for duck hunting in the late nineteenth century. Most of India’s wildlife reserves were once hunting reserves, and this was the best one until it became a national park, and hunting was prohibited. You’ll ride in rickshaws around the bunds (embankments) to the best places for observing birds and mammals. Look for sambar, nilgai, and chital (spotted deer) in woodlands, grasslands, and in the shallow waters of the wetlands. If the weather is right, large Indian rock pythons come out of their underground hiding places to sun themselves. This is also an excellent place to watch mammals like golden jackal, striped hyena, fishing cat, jungle cat, nilgai, sambar, blackbuck, and wild boar.
Bharatpur to Ranthambhore
Mar 6 -11
Spend your last morning in Keoladeo National Park observing wildlife. Take rickshaws around the bunds (embankments) to the far reaches of the park with stops along the way for great photography where you may find darters, cormorants, ducks, geese, egrets, eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and dozens of other birds.
After lunch, drive (4.5 hours) to Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan where you will spend the next five days looking for tigers and other wildlife. Ranthambore National Park is famous for its tigers, as it’s one of the best places in the country to see these majestic predators in the wild. The varied topography of the park is home to many mammals including predators like jackal, mongoose, sloth bear, and leopard, but the main attraction is tigers. Surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravali hill ranges and located near the outer fringes of the Thar Desert, Ranthambore offers the best of the desert lands.
Ranthambhore to Delhi
After a final morning in the park, drive (5 hours) back to Delhi.
Arrive home or join Nepal group
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Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Trip Cost, double occupancy||$11,875|
Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except for one-way flight from Jabalpur to Delhi), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.
If you are a single traveler, we will find a roommate for you, but if we cannot find you a roommate, we may charge you a single supplement. Single rooms cost extra and are subject to availability.
|Payment||Due Date||Amount Per Person|
|Deposit||Due now to reserve your space||$2,500|
|Second||April 1, 2024||$2,500|
|Final||September 1, 2024||Remaining Balance|
Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space.
Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $2,150 per person ($2,000 per person is for the pre-purchased, non-refundable and non-transferable game drives in Ranthambhore and Bandavgarh and the Delhi to Jabalpur flight); $150 per person of the cancellation fee can be applied toward another trip if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.
- All leaders, transport, park entry fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Transfers between the Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport hotel and the Delhi Airport on February 25 and March 13.
- Accommodations for the nights of February 25 through March 12.
- Meals from breakfast on February 26 through breakfast on March 13.
- One-way flight from Delhi to Jabalpur; non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Transportation by private bus in Delhi, Ranthambhore, Bharatpur, and Agra.
- Game drives by 4×4 jeep in Ranthambhore and Bandhavgarh; non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Train tickets to Agra.
- Refillable water stations at hotels.
- Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.
- All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees. Round-trip airfare is approximately $850 to $1,500 between the US and Delhi, depending on origin.
- Passport and visa fees.
- Divergent airport transfers and extra hotel nights for an extra cost.
- Gratuities – tipping is always discretionary. However, we suggest budgeting about $15 to $20 per participant per day for 16 days with our resident guides (about $240 to $320 total per participant).
- Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. For more information see www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.
Temperatures generally range from the 50’s°F at night to the 80’s°F during the day. Although most days will be hot, it can be cool and breezy in the early morning. It is the dry season, but rain is possible.
Most days consist of early mornings, game drives on uneven roads, and full days in nature that require good energy levels. Most walking is optional around lodge grounds between game drives. Transportation between locations ranges between two and 7 hours. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.
Unless listed as included, airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.
Flights you book
- Delhi, India (DEL) on February 25 by 11:59pm. If you are arriving from our Snow Leopards trip, see the Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information.
- Delhi, India (DEL) after 12:00 am on March 13. If you are continuing on our Nepal trip, see the Flights section in its itinerary for departure information.
Flights we book for you: The one-way flight from Delhi to is Jabalpur included in the trip cost.
All lodges have air conditioning.
On game drives in the parks, you travel in open, six-passenger 4×4 jeeps that provide 360° viewing and excellent photography opportunities; we’ll have three participants in each vehicle sharing with one of our resident guides, a park ranger, and a park driver. In Keoladeo National Park you’ll have the opportunity to travel in a rickshaw. Between parks and cities travel by private bus, train, plane, or 4×4 vehicles.
Our company ethos has always regarded conservation as inseparable from responsible tourism. We struggle with the dilemma that traveling worldwide expends climate-changing carbon. However, we wholeheartedly believe that traveling with us will cultivate your passion for conserving our beautiful world, while stimulating each destination’s local economies.
We take you to amazing destinations, navigating far and wide, and when we do, we recognize that the world pays a steep price. Taking this into account, we have made each trip carbon neutral.
And, by signing up with us, you pledge to offset your carbon emissions to and from your trip, either through your favorite offsetting organization or by using our handy carbon calculator.
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