Our TripsTigers and Red Panda

13 Days | 18 Mar 2020

Days left:

330

Seat left:

12

  • Overview
  • Tour Itinerary
  • How to Reach
  • Where to Stay

India is full of wonderful species waiting to be seen and appreciated. One amongst these and undoubtedly one of the cutest creatures of the wild is the Red Panda. It is also the only “panda” species in the world, since the Giant Panda is actually a bear! And the eastern Himalayas are the only place where one can find these furry mammals.

This journey traverses through hills and plains to find some well-known and some oft-missed wildlife of India. Our program takes you to two states in India – West Bengal in Eastern India, home to Singalila National Park and Madhya Pradesh in Central India for the Kanha Tiger Reserve. The regions differ vastly in terrain, birdlife as well as mammalian life forms.

Singalila National Park is one of the most exotic Himalayan forests in India, located on the Singalila Ridge at an altitude of 7000-12000 feet above sea level with an area of 78.6 square kilometres. A birding paradise, with more than 300 species of birds recorded here, you can look out for exotic birds like Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Brown and Fulvous Parrotbills, Rufous-vented Tit, and Old World babblers like the Fire-tailed Myzornis and the Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Rosefinchs, bull finches, Wren Babblers, Laughingthrushes, Nuthatchs, Treecreepers, Yuhinas, Minivets, Partridges and many more.

There are an estimated 32 Red Pandas within the limits of Singalila. Apart from the Red Panda, other mammals found here are Himalayan Black bear, Clouded Leopard, Leopard, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Serow, Barking Deer, Yellow-throated Marten, Wild Boar, Pangolin, Pika and many other Eastern Himalayan exotics.

Kanha on the other hand is excellent for exploring the deciduous Central Indian jungles. Of course, the highlight of this region is the Bengal Tiger as well as Leopard and Asiatic Wild Dogs, along with a huge variety of birds, quite different to the ones that you would find in Singalila.

 

Day 1

: Arrive in Delhi. There are no special activities today, as we wait for all guests to arrive. Spend the day at your own pace. Overnight at Holiday Inn, Aerocity.

Day 2

: Check out after an early breakfast and transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Bagdogra (1020/1225), where our team will receive you. After lunch, leave for Majua, which lies at the edge of Singalila National Park. Since entry is not allowed into Singalila after 1300, we will spend the night in Majua – a homestay and an excellent location to spot birds and the Bhutan Flying Squirrel. Overnight in Majua.

Day 3

: In the morning, we will make our way into Singalila National Park and Habre’s Nest – our home for the next few days. After lunch, we begin our search for the red panda and the other denizens of Singalila on foot, exploring various trails through the park. Overnight at Habre’s Nest.

Day 4

: Continue exploring Singalila, which offers various opportunities to photograph beautiful landscapes, birds and even flora. The park is home to over 600 species of orchids and the largest concentration of orchid blooms in a single geographical area. Overnight at Habre’s Nest.

Day 5

: Our search for the red panda as well as the diverse birds and wildcats of the region continues. Sandakphu top is situated within Singalila National Park and is the highest peak in West Bengal, offering the best views of the Kangchenjunga range, and is also known as the Sleeping Buddha. Overnight at Habre’s Nest.

Day 6

: Our search for the red panda as well as the diverse birds and wildcats of the region continues. Sandakphu top is situated within Singalila National Park and is the highest peak in West Bengal, offering the best views of the Kangchenjunga range, and is also known as the Sleeping Buddha. Overnight at Habre’s Nest.

Day 7

: Our search for the red panda as well as the diverse birds and wildcats of the region continues. Sandakphu top is situated within Singalila National Park and is the highest peak in West Bengal, offering the best views of the Kangchenjunga range, and is also known as the Sleeping Buddha. Overnight at Habre’s Nest.

Day 8

: Much of today will be spent traveling back to Delhi. After breakfast, transfer to Bagdogra from where you will catch your flight to Delhi (1630/1850). Overnight at Holiday Inn Aerocity.

Day 9

: Take the morning flight to Jabalpur (1010/1155), where our team will receive you and transfer you by road to Kanha Tiger Reserve (4.5 hours way), after an early lunch. You should arrive at the lodge by 5-5.30pm. You can spend the evening exploring the area around the lodge for birding. Overnight at Flame of the Forest Lodge.

Day 10

: Begin exploring Kanha Tiger Reserve today on two drives. Guests visiting Kanha can explore the jungle by taking 2 safari drives into the core area of the park. These drives are for 4 hours in the morning and about 3 hours in the evening. The starting and end times may vary depending on the season as well as sunrise and sunset time. Overnight will be at Flame of the Forest Lodge.

Day 11

: Continue exploring the park on two safari drives. Kanha is divided into five tourist zones. Although the wildlife diversity in each zone may be similar, the landscape differs quite a bit. Overnight at Flame of the Forest Lodge.

Day 12

: Continue appreciating the flora and fauna of Kanha Tiger Reserve on two safari drives through the forest. Overnight at Flame of the Forest Lodge

Day 13

: In the morning, take your last drive into Kanha. After an early lunch, transfer by road to Jabalpur airport and catch your flight to Delhi (1625/2020), from where you will connect to your international flight back home.

Forest Rest House (inside Corbett Tiger Reserve)

Indian forests have Forest Rest Houses (FRH) inside all our protected forests. Most of these were built at the time when India was still a British Colony. Corbett tiger reserve was the first National Park in Asia. The park is spread over 1300 sq.km. The park has many FRH that can be booked by the wildlife enthusiasts who want the experience of spending the night inside the forest.

These rest houses are very basic and lack electricity, however, the experience of living inside the forest which is home to wild tigers, leopards, elephants and more is an unparalleled experience when compared to staying at a lodge (In India all lodges are placed outside the park boundaries). The couple of advantages of spending the night inside the park are:

  • You spend more time in the park. It takes close to an hour to get deep into the park if living in a lodge. Since you are already inside you get the advantage of spending undisturbed time with the wildlife.
  • Certain areas of the park can only be accessed if you are living inside the park.
  • The experience of animals moving around you in the night and the sounds of the jungle that are not diluted by the noise pollution of a populated area adds tremendous value to a wildlife enthusiast.

Flame of the Forest Lodge

Flame of the Forest is an intimate Lodge, designed with heart and soul. A private courtyard mirrors the entry to a local home. It provides an atmosphere of a life connected to nature and a serene window to tranquil moments. Each of the four cottages have a deck with a stunning view over looking the river and the forest beyond. Depending on the season, the river is either filled with water or is a sandy riverbed, inviting you for a walk. The inside of the Cottage is as cosy as it is spacious. Nothing but a huge window front divides your space from the stunning view across the river, the sunset beyond and the moon descending into the forest, depending on the lunar cycle.

Relaxation, good food and vacation, are the ingredients not to be divided. The kitchen is the heart of Flame of the Forest and it is nourished from their own vegetable garden, local markets, fresh river fish from the Narmada river and recipes from Grandmothers, mothers and sisters Kitchen. We do our very best to serve you authentic and fresh Indian food. A beautiful and an indigenous lodge that helps them seek their way back to their roots.

Corbett Tiger Reserve: Jim’s Jungle Retreat

Jim’s Jungle Retreat is a highly rated wildlife 5 star luxury resort in Jim Corbett, India with eco-sensitive lodges that offer an immersive jungle experience to its guests in over 15 acres of replanted forest. Only 18 independent cottages can be found here among water bodies, grasslands and mixed deciduous flora from the Terai planted decades ago.

Reflecting the area’s Raj-era legacy and that of the wandering pastoral tribes of the Van Gujjars, they offer three accommodation styles designed with a focus on aesthetic, comfort and local history of the area. These include jungle cottages and bungalow-style lodges borrowing from their architectural past, with large wrap-around verandas, a living area, a bedroom and en-suite bath.

Luxuriant fabrics, fine linen and subtle detailing creates a comfortable and a sophisticated environment. Century-old lithographs and plates of Indian wildlife scenes frame the walls. The furniture is designed with extensive use of local craftsmanship and material with each residence uniquely inspiring charm and exclusivity in itself.

Corbett is home to nearly 10% of bird species in India, of which nearly 600 resident and migratory species can be found here. At the Retreat, you’ll have a chance to see these magnificent feathery creatures. Their curated bird walks within and outside the retreat will take you to the riverbed, the Machaan, along our Mahavan, Python and Bagh Machaan trails, where over 150 species can be seen.

The organic farm at the Retreat offers fresh vegetables sourced for their delicious ‘farm-to-table’ cuisines. The veggie patch can be explored by guests where they can pick their own vegetables and learn about sustainable farming and ancient techniques.

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