Bird Watching Tour of India
FRC-446468/444094
17 Nights
Price on Request
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Shortlist

Airfare: Please call for special roundtrip airfares

Single Supplement: Please call for further details

Visa: A valid passport and entry visa are required for travel to India. Please consult with your Consulate for more information

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Superior Cabin (with private balcony) – additional £291
Suite (with private balcony) – additional £1039

At A Glance

What's Included

  • Pre-cruise accommodation in a bed & breakfast basis
  • Life enriching tours and excursions
  • All entrance fees
  • All pre-cruise tours including Delhi, Chabal, Taj Mahal Jaipur and more
  • Entrance to the Kanha National Park 
  • Tea estate visits
  • Local village visits
  • Entrance and safaris in Kaziranga National Park
  • Buffet breakfast & lunch on board
  • A'la Carte dinners on board
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled water during the cruise
  • Luxurious air-conditioned cabins on board

What's Not Included

  • Gratuities. 
  • International & domestic air fares.
  • Expenses caused by factors beyond our control like delays, political disturbances, taxes, lost luggage, etc.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video fees, medical expenses, airport departure tax, travel insurance etc.
  • Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
  • Any further tax levied by the government of India
  • A supplement for the peak period of 20th December, 2017 until 5th January, 2018 will be quoted on request.
Itinerary
1
Day 1
Arrive Delhi

Welcome to the capital city of India where you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Explore this wonderful city then stay overnight at hotel. (No meals)

2
Day 2
Delhi – Chambal

After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Chambal.

National Chambal Sanctuary is located in Etwah district of Uttar Pradesh State in India. It is spread over the areas from which river Chambal passes through. Chambal River passes through three states of India. Sanctuary was first designated as a protected area in 1979 in an attempt to revive the Gharial population from on-going poaching. It covers a 400km stretch with 1 to 5 km stretch of mud cliffs on both the sides of Chambal river ravines. A total area of 1235 sq km is protected under the National Chambal Sanctuary. There is more than 250 resident and migratory bird species, and enjoys a prime location for all wildlife enthusiasts. One can see tumbling acrobatics of the Indian skimmer as a rare sight in most areas.

Upon arrival check in at the Chambal Safari Lodge. This evening enjoy a talk on the Chambal Sanctuary.

3
Day 3
Chambal

This  morning you can enjoy an early morning river safari along the Chambal River. Set against a stunning backdrop, framed by the ravines and sandbanks, the calm waters of the Chambal River are best explored on boats. The gentle pace of the River Safari is designed to provide spectacular sightings of the gharials, muggers & turtles basking in the sun, the many migratory and resident birds flying sorties and the occasional glimpses of the Gangetic river dolphins breaking surface.

Return to Chambal Safari lodge for breakfast. This evening, enjoy a sun set river safari.

4
Day 4
Chambal – Agra - Bharatpur

After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Bharatpur. You will stop at Agra enroute for a city tour and visit to the Taj Mahal as well as lunch at the local restaurant.

The Taj Mahal is one the greatest monuments to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. (please not the Taj Mahal remains closed every Friday).

Arrive in Bharatpur and check-in to your hotel. Rest of the day is free.

5
Day 5
Bharatpur

This morning enjoy an early morning visit Keoladeo National Park including the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by Rickshaw Ride.

Rickshaw paddlers have in-depth knowledge of the park and its wildlife. Enthusiasts and bird lovers can also explore park on Bicycle or even can walk through the nature trails.

After lunch we will again visit Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) by Rickshaw Ride.

Bharatpur, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that hosts thousands of birds, especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to be resident. It is also a major tourist center with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971 and is also a World Heritage Site.

6
Day 6
Bharatpur - Delhi

After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Delhi. Arrive Delhi and check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.

7
Day 7
Delhi – Jabalpur/Drive to Kanha (Approx. 190 Kms / 5-hour drive)

This morning, check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Jabalpur.

Upon arrival into Jabalpur you will begin the drive to Kanha National Park (approx. 5 hours drive).

Arrive into Kanha and check-in to your hotel.

(pleas note the National Park remains closed for afternoon safari on every Wednesday).

8
Day 8
Kanha National Park

You will have two full days to explore the Kanha National Park enjoying both morning & afternoon game drives.

Kanha Tiger Reserve is spread over an area of 1,949 sqkm , making it one of the best habitats for tigers in India. The park is situated in the Central Indian Highlands, which are part of the extensive tableland that forms India’s main peninsula. Kanha’s undulating landscape is dotted with dense groves of vegetation, hillocks and meadows.

Of all these habitats, it is Kanha’s meadows that are its lifeline, as they sustain large numbers of Chital, Sambar, Barasingha and Gaur, which in turn support populations of predators and co-predators including Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats and Foxes.

The national park is also home to over 1,000 species of flowering plants and about 300 species of birds, with the  lush sal and bamboo forests providing inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous book, “The Jungle Book”.

Its greatest achievement, however, has been the preservation of Hard Ground Swamp Deer or Barasingha from near extinction. Today, they number more than 400 and are the only surviving population of Barasingha in the wild.

10
Day 10
Kanha – Raipur (Approx. 250 Kms / 6 hour drives) & Fly Kolkata

After breakfast, check-out from your hotel with packed lunch and drive to Raipur to board your flight to Kolkata.

On arrival in Kolkata, our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.

This afternoon arrive and check into your hotel.

11
Day 11
Kolkata to Jorhat / Neamati Ghat - Embark MV Mahabaahu

After breakfast, check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Jorhat.

Upon arrival into Jorhat airport you will transfer to Neamati Ghat to board the MV Mahabaahu (with a packed lunch). After the essential safety briefing, you will be checked into your cabin.

On the sun deck, we raise a traditional toast to the mighty Brahmaputra River that carves the valley of Assam. If lucky, you can catch a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic dolphins and notice the sky flocked with bar headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to their abodes on deserted islands as the sun lowers itself in the western horizon.

Late, you will enjoy a talk on 'Sibsagar, the seat of Ahom Civilisation' that ruled the north eastern region of India for six centuries, while a short talk on 'Tea in Assam' continues over High Tea.

This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner on board MV Mahabaahu.

12
Day 12
Sibsagar

After an early breakfast, we start our day with an excursion to Sibsagar. This ancient city was once capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came in the 13th Century AD to the area from the north-east and were essentially of Tibeto-Burman origin.

Sibsagar town literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva’ as it is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom Queen. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be one of the highest Shiva temples in India.

You will also visit The Talatal or Kareng Ghar, which is the palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, an amphitheatre and a place of entertainment or important meetings for the Royals and their guests.

Thereafter, you will be driven to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon and a traditional Assamese lunch with the Tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business for over a century.

You will return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening before dinner.

13
Day 13
Majuli Island Visit/ Mishing Village Visit

Start the day with Yoga or go for a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, orioles, changeable eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, kingfishers, swallows and many more.

As you enjoy breakfast, the ship will sail towards Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive.

After breakfast, enjoy a talk on 'Majuli, the seat of Vaishnav culture’ and then embark on your excursion boats to the mainland where a drive takes you to a scenic corner of a ‘Satra’ (monastery) for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.

Next, proceed to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.

You will enjoy hot lunch back on board MV Mahabaahu and sail towards the closest Mishing Village.

The Mishings live on the bank of the river in 'Chang Ghars', houses with raised platforms.  All Mishing women are expert weavers, and here you can buy ethnic colourful cotton weaves and indulge in a dhoti tying and Mekhela Chaadar wearing demonstration.

After the Mishing Village visit, MV Mahabaahu heads towards Dhansiri Mukh where the waters of Brahmaputra and Dhansiri meet, while you enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location & importance’. Later, enjoy the evening under the stars on a deserted island.

Please note: (The Bonfire may not take place if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions)

14
Day 14
Boat Safari

After Yoga or an early morning walk on a deserted island, MV Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kazirang. You will enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’ before embarking on a  boat safari.

The shores are high but you will be able to see roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throated kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more. 

You will return to the MV Mahabaahu for lunch. This evening enjoy a Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam.’

An evening on a deserted island with bonfire is always exclusive.  We enjoy dinner on MV Mahabaahu.

15
Day 15
Weaver’s Village At Bishwanath Ghat/ Sail To Silghat/ Tea Estate Visit or Jute Mill

After Yoga or a walk on the deserted island and breakfast on MV Mahabaahu, you will enjoy an interesting talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’.  Then step into the excursion boats to go to the shores of Bishwanath Ghat.

Walking through the village you will be struck by the simplicity of life while the weaver women surround you with their silk and cotton weaves.

Later, we will sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch before reaching Silghat. Take a short drive to the Kaliabore tea estate, which is a vast undulating expanse of land with tea bushes and proceed to the tea factory to see the processing of the Assam Tea and get an insight into all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea.

This evening you will return to where the ship is anchored, close by a co-operative Jute Mill which is an interesting place to understand how the Jute fibre takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags.  At sunset, enjoy a cultural evening on the ship followed by an early dinner.

Please note: The tea factory is not operational from mid-December to mid-February as it is time for pruning the tea bushes

16
Day 16
Kaziranga National Park

This morning receive an early morning wakeup call and after a hot cup of tea/coffee, drive out towards the Kaziranga National Park. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds. You will reach the Kohora Mihimukh range of the National Park early, ready to start your morning adventure; a once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where you will go in search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of very interesting birds. 

After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park.

You will return to MV Mahabaahu for a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Assamese themed dinner.

17
Day 17
A Village Visit/Peacock Island

Catch up on Yoga on an island or on the deck for an hour and move on to breakfast while MV Mahabaahu lifts anchor and heads on towards an island that is occupied predominantly by a ‘bangla’ speaking Muslim community who are involved in the extensive farming. After lunch, enjoy a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult and Peacock Island’. After a visit to this village, you will return to the ship for lunch and sail towards the Peacock Island--- famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur.  It would be a good idea to have one’s binoculars and cameras at hand.

Later we will sail towards Pandu Port.

Get ready for the Farewell Dinner ‘Alvida Bhoj’ and enjoy a relaxed evening.

18
Day 18
Guwahati/ Kamakhya Temple Visit/ Departure

This morning you can enjoy a relaxed breakfast.

With packed lunch, drive to the Kamakhya Temple (flight time permitting).  This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine the Kama Khya, goddess of desire. 

You must now bid farewell to the land of Kamakhya and drive to the airport to board your onward flight.