India - Photographic........9th to 19th February 2020

Bharatpur & Kanha – Photographic Tour

Although we will expect to see a wide variety of birds, mammals and other wildlife, this is very much a specialist photographic tour. Our activities will be centred on just two localities: Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh.

Bengal Tiger
At Bharatpur our hotel is The Bagh, located just a few minutes away from the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, an outstanding wetland, otherwise known as Keoladeo National Park. Covering a total of 11 sq miles, this World Heritage Site holds a wonderful variety of birds that includes herons, kingfishers, egrets, ducks, jacanas, cranes, crakes, storks and cormorants as well as raptors such as Eastern Imperial Eagle and Great Spotted Eagle and many passerines. Bluethroat, Siberian Rubythroat, Orange-headed Thrush, Small Minivet, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Coppersmith Barbet and White-bellied Drongo are just a few to look out for. Most common among the 27 mammal species recorded here are Nilgai, Spotted Deer (Chital) and Rhesus Macaque but Golden Jackal, Sambar, and Striped Hyaena are also possible. There are simply countless photo opportunities! No buses are allowed so transport within the reserve is by bicycle rickshaw ‘powered’ by knowledgeable guides who know the place intimately and there are roads where you can walk in search of the best shots.
White-throated Kingfisher
Keoladeo National Park is a public place and quite popular but back at The Bagh there is the contrast of exclusive use of several purpose-built photo hides in the extensive grounds. The Bagh is based on a 200 year-old Charbagh which itself is a wonderful place for wildlife and from the hides it should be possible to photograph many bird species as well as several mammals. The hides vary in size but all are of excellent quality and comfort. They are in differing habitats and designed to attract a variety of subjects. You will sit in comfort looking out to attractive perches and water features with pleasing backgrounds as the birds come to feed, drink and bathe. The hides are specially adapted to night photography with artificial light, perfect glass and everything needed to take the perfect photo.
Indian Peafowl
At Kanha, the hotel is The Baagh, this one a rural forest retreat nestled in the heart of the rolling Maikal hills. Again, we will divide our time here between the excellent hotel grounds with several photo hides and the nearby national park. Kanha National Park is also known as Kanha Tiger Reserve and very much our focus of attention here will be Bengal Tigers. This is one of the top tiger reserves in India with a good population density of these magnificent creatures. We will explore the area using 4x4 Jeeps, maximizing our chances by going on early morning and late afternoon safaris, hoping to see this majestic animal crossing our track or hunting for prey. We can also expect to see a number of other mammal species including Gaur, Barasingha, Indian Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Golden Jackal and maybe even Leopard. Kanha also has an impressive selection of birds that includes Crested Serpent Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard, Crested Honey Buzzard, White-rumped Shama, Racket-tailed Drongo, Grey Francolin, Verditer Flycatcher and Changeable Hawk-Eagle.
Indian Flying Fox
The hotel grounds here at Kanha give plenty of opportunities for photography and the photo hides, like those at Bharatpur, are available for our use throughout our time here, including night photography with Jungle Cat very much a possible subject.
All in all, this is a tour that gives marvellous opportunities to photograph an excellent range of wildlife species and to experience the most interesting culture and traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Jungle Cat
Day 1: We fly to New Delhi and overnight in a hotel there.

Day 2: We transfer by bus to Bharatpur, a distance of about 130 miles. After check-in at the hotel and lunch, we spend the afternoon at nearby Keoladeo National Park. In the evening will be our first opportunity to experience the purpose-built photo hides in the grounds of the hotel where possible subjects include Small Indian Civet and Jungle Cat.
Overnight – The Bagh, Bharatpur

Five-striped Palm Squirrel
Day 3: We will spend the morning in the hides at The Bagh. In the afternoon we return to Keoladeo National Park. Later, we will again have use of the hides at the hotel.
Overnight – The Bagh, Bharatpur

Day 4: Today you will be able to choose between Keoladeo or more time in the hides at the hotel. Again the hides will be available in the evening.
Overnight – The Bagh, Bharatpur

White-breasted Waterhen
Day 5: An early transfer back to New Delhi for an internal flight to Raipur and then by bus to our hotel, situated close to the famous Kanha National Park. The rest of the day, including the evening, can be spent using the photo hides in the hotel grounds.
Overnight - The Baagh, Kanha

Day 6: The whole day will be spent in 4x4 vehicles exploring the forests and bamboo thickets of renowned Kanha National Park where our main target will be Bengal Tiger but where there is an interesting selection of other mammals such as Golden Jackal, Gaur, Spotted Deer (Chital), Barasingha and Common Langur as well as many birds.
Overnight – The Baagh, Kanha

Oriental Darter
Day 7: This morning we will be using the photo hides at the hotel. In the afternoon, there will be another excursion to look for Tigers.
Overnight – The Baagh, Kanha

Day 8: A morning excursion in Kanha National Park; the afternoon and evening at the hotel’s photo hides.
Overnight – The Baagh, Kanha

Day 9: Another, last chance this morning to visit Kanha National Park before our afternoon transfer to Raipur and a flight to New Delhi.
Overnight – New Delhi

Days 10 & 11: Return overnight flight to UK.

Tour ref: AA2031

Deposit: £600
Single Room Supplement: £TBA

Leader: Peter Dedicoat

Max Group: 6 Min Group: 4

Includes: Economy class scheduled return flights (UK-New Delhi-UK; New Dehli-Raipur- New Delhi), accommodation based on twin occupancy, meals, jeep safaris, ground transportation, entrance fees and services of leaders.

Excludes: Travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature, visa fees and excess baggage charges on internal flights.
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