WEST INDIA TIGERS, LIONS & BIRDS
13 Days and 12 Nights
Small group, fully escorted; maximum of 8 travelers plus tour guides
This tour is designed for:
1) Bird and Nature Photographers, with photo opportunities for Asiatic Lion and Bengal Tiger
2) Bird and Nature Watchers who want to see Asiatic Lion and Bengal Tiger
Suitable for photographers of all skill levels; for bird and wildlife photography, a minimum of 300mm lens required; 400-600mm lens strongly suggested.
Our local nature guides are intimately familiar with the birds and wildlife of these areas and ensure that we find, identify, and photograph many, many species! Bring more memory cards than you think you’ll need! Note - most of this tour is in the Indian state of Gujarat, which is a ‘dry’ state; no alcohol can be sold.
Was $6,360 FLASH SALE: Now $5,406 (based on double occupancy)
Single occupancy supplement: $889
Multiple Tour Discounts available
Fully escorted upon arrival in Mumbai, to conclusion in Jaipur
12 nights lodging
All meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on final Day 13
All ground transportation
Does Not Include:
Internal flight to/from Mumbai-Rajkot (approx. $175 USD )
Internal flight to/from Ahmedabad-Jaipur (approx. $100 USD)
Camera fees at some parks (approx. $20 USD per day at Velavader, Gir, and Little Rann of Kutch)
Travel insurance (optional, but strongly encouraged)
Visas (approx. $100 for US citizens)
DEADLINE TO BOOK THIS TOUR IS 10 OCTOBER 2019
January 20, 2020
Mumbai to Rajkot to Gir National Park
We meet as a group and fly together from Mumbai to Rajkot in Rajasthan; then make the four hour drive to our lodging near Gir National Park. Upon arrival, we’ll settle into our lodge and enjoy dinner together while talking about the birds and wildlife we’ll see in the next few days.
DAY 2 & 3
January 21 & 22
Gir National Park Photography - Asiatic Lions & Birds
We'll take early morning and afternoon jeep safaris in Gir National Park. There are only 500 Asiatic Lions remaining in the world, and they all live at Gir. We may see a lion from a distance, or one that is only a few feet away. Perhaps we'll see a lion with a kill, or a lioness with a young cub. Along with the incredible lion-viewing opportunities, Gir is excellent for birds; we'll observe and photograph multiple species.
When we're not on our jeep safaris you can relax, or enjoy numerous birding and photo opportunities near our hotel.
Velavadar Blackbuck National Park
We’ll drive from Gir to Velavadar and Blackbuck National Park, where we we’ll photograph the Indian Blackbuck, a variety of different birds, and many other animals as part of our afternoon Jeep Safari, after which we’ll return to our lodge for dinner.
Velavadar Blackbuck National Park
About 4,400 blackbuck live in Blackbuck National Park, with the males being particularly gorgeous. It is also one of the last remaining refuges of the severely threatened Indian Wolf, and one of the best places to see Striped Hyena. We’ll do both a morning and afternoon Jeep Safari, returning to our lodge for lunch. Our small group gives us the flexibility to go where the birds and animals are most abundant.
The park contains the world’s largest harrier roost; Montagu’s Harriers dominate, but impressive numbers of the Pallid and Western Marsh Harriers also occur. Among the many other birds we’re likely to encounter are Ashy-crowned, Rufous-tailed, and Bimaculated Larks; Isabelline Shrike; and both Sykes’s and Paddyfield Warblers. We also hope to observe and photograph the Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Greater Flamingos, numerous waterfowl and shorebirds, and perhaps even Sarus Crane. Greater Spotted Eagles are also fairly common winter visitors.
Travel to Little Rann of Kutch Sanctuary
A travel day from Velavadar to the Little Rann of Kutch, where we will check into our lodge and have dinner. The sanctuary is one of the last places on earth where the endangered wild ass sub-species Indian Wild Ass can be seen.
DAY 7 & 8
January 26 & 27
Little Rann of Kutch Sanctuary
We’ll experience a morning and evening Open-Jeep Safari at The Little Rann of Kutch reserve each day.
Along with Wild Ass, we’ll see many birds at the Little Rann of Kutch. Due to its unique geographical location, it receives are great waves of migratory birds in winter. Over 200 bird species have been recorded in the area. Species include India's only known nesting colony of the Lesser Flamingo, European Roller, McQueen’s Bustard, Lesser Florican, Demoiselle Crane, Common Crane, Spotted Sandgrouse, Red-necked Phalarope, Cream-colored Courser, Sociable Lapwing, Collared Pratincole, White-Rumped Vulture, Indian Spotted Eagle, a variety of harriers, Greater Flamingo, Dalmatian Pelican, White Stork, Greater Hoopoe Lark and Sykes’s Lark.
Travel to Ahmedabad, Fly to Jaipur
We will drive to Ahmedabad, fly to Jaipur, check into our hotel and enjoy dinner.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Fort
We will arrive at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve , have lunch, then tour the ancient and large Ranthambore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating from the mid-10th century. Plenty of photo opportunities. We’ll return to our hotel for dinner and prepare for two full days of Jeep Safaris.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
Time for tigers! Two full-day safaris in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve; An early morning drive in the dense jungle of Ranthambore in a open roof canters or jeeps for tiger tracking and explore and photograph birds and wildlife. Each jungle visits lasts for about three hours. We’ll return back to the resort for meals. After lunch we’ll return to the park for an afternoon jungle safari.
While tigers will be our primary target Ranthambore has many birds, including Oriental Darter, Cormorants Egrets and Herons, Painted, Wooly necked and black necked storks, Black headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Oriental Honey Buzzard, northern Goshawk, Besra, Bonelli's, Steppe, Greater and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Black, Shorttoed snake and Crested Serpent Eagles, Red headed Vulture, Osprey Painted and Grey Francolins, Indian Peafowl, Pheasant Tailed and Bronze Winged Jacans, Greater Painted Snipe, Great Thick Knee, Black Bellied Terns, Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Red Collared Dove, Alexandrine and Plum Headed Parakeets, Pied & Common Hawk Cuckoos, Scopes Owls, Indian Grey Hornbill, Eurasian Wryneck, Black Rumped Flameback, Long Tailed Shrike, Common Woodshrike, Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Red Collared Dove, Dusky Eagles, Olive Backed Pipit, Baya & Streaked Weaver, Indian Silverbill, Scaly Breasted Munia and many more.
Ranthambore to Jaipur
We’ll leave our hotel in Ranthambore and drive to Jaipur. Depending on your travel plans, you may depart for home from Jaipur Airport, or return to Mumbai to complete your travel home.
Travelers continuing on our next WildLensIndia tour departing 3 February can remain overnight in Jaipur or fly to Delhi. WildLensIndia will be happy to help with these arrangements.
PACING: Relaxed-moderate. Early starts are necessary on most days since we want to be out at first light for great photography conditions. There is quite a bit of automobile travel on our itineraries, but the landscapes and people of India are part of the experience of traveling in this incredible country. Most meals will be sit down affairs, but there will be a few packed breakfasts and lunches.
PHYSICAL DIFFICULTY: Generally easy. Most walks are short and flat.. In some national parks, we will be confined to open-topped safari vehicles when we are inside the parks, and we will do some opportunistic photography on foot near our accommodations.
CLIMATE: In winter it is pleasantly warm and dry (mostly 71°- 90°F, 21°-32°C). Rain is usually not a problem, but may sometimes occur in the afternoons in the form of thunderstorms.
ACCOMMODATION: All accommodations have private en-suite bathrooms, full time hot water, 24-hour electricity and internet (although it can be intermittent).
PHOTOGRAPHY: These trips have both vehicle-based photography and photography on foot. There are excellent opportunities to photograph birds and mammals, with some street and landscape photography also possible.
GEAR: Long lenses (500 or 600 mm) are useful since subjects like birds can be far away. Light is generally abundant, and we won’t do a lot of night photography, so a flash is not essential. A tripod can be useful, but is not essential. There is not enough room inside of the safari jeeps to set up a tripod. Bird watchers will want to bring their binoculars!