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n this photographic safari, we visit Bandavgarh and Kanha national parks, the two finest wildlife sanctuaries in India that house the Royal Bengal Tiger. Home to abundant wildlife, Kanha is an amazingly beautiful and spacious park, with expansive grasslands and scenic vistas. Though smaller in size, Bandavgarh is equally stunning, with an abandoned fort and palace that nature has taken over. Inside these parks, we explore and photograph wildlife in private 4-wheel drive vehicles, as well as on elephant-back.
From there we delve into ancient India, with visits to the millennium-old temples of Khajuraho and Benares (also known as Varanasi). Built on the banks of the holy river Ganga (Ganges), Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world and could well be thought of as the “Soul of India”—a fitting end to our photographic journey.
Although its emphasis is on photography, this tour is suitable for any adventurous traveler who is seeking a vacation out of the ordinary. In addition to our photography expert, the trip is also escorted by a cultural guide.
This Top Guide trip is operated by Far Horizon Tours.
Sales, reservation and pre-trip preparation is being handled by our U.S staff:
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Easy to Moderate Touring
Easy to Moderate Touring generally indicates walks or time on one’s feet of 3-5 hours each day during sightseeing excursions; possible adverse weather conditions (heat, humidity); and some driving on dirt or poorly maintained roads.
Photography and sightseeing excursions can be exhausting and long (from sunrise to sunset), thus giving the tour a “moderate” rating. Bathroom facilities during excursions and long drives are frequently nonexistent or limited to the facilities at a local restaurant or shop. Overnights will be in 3 to 5-Star accommodations/lodges. Elevations throughout the trip remain below 5,000 feet.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
You are met on arrival and escorted to our hotel.
Airport Pullman Hotel
Day 2: To Kanha National Park
Fly to Jabalpur, in the heart of India, and then continue by car to Kanha Tiger Preserve.
Kanha Earth Lodge (B, L, D)
Days 3, 4, & 5: Exploring Kanha National Park
Kanha was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s classic “Jungle Book” stories. This unique tiger preserve is home to some 22 species of mammals, and has the largest population of tigers in India. During our sunrise and sunset excursions into the park, we will look for this elusive and majestic feline. We will also have the opportunity to visit local villages in the buffer zone of the park.
Kanha Earth Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 6: To Bandhavgarh National Park
Departing Kanha, we continue our tour of India’s prominent big-game parks as we travel to Bandhavgarh National Park. The park is located in one of India’s last remaining areas of substantial forest, in what was originally part of the princely state of Rewa, home of the rare white tiger.
Kings Lodge (B, L, D)
Days 7 & 8: Exploring Bandhavgarh National Park
We have two full days to explore Bandhavgarh, with sunrise and sunset game drives and elephant-back safaris in this fantastic wildlife park. Though small, the park abounds in many of India’s endangered animals—spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, blackbuck, four-horned antelope, gaur (Indian bison and largest of the world’s oxen), sloth bear, leopard, and the royal Bengal tiger. Daytime sightings of tiger are more likely at Bandhavgarh than at any other preserve in India.
Kings Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 9: To Khajuraho
We have one final sunrise game excursion into Bandhavgarh before we drive to Khajuraho. Time permitting, we will visit the smaller temple complex for sunset photography.
Radisson Jass (B, L)
Day 10: Exploring Khajuraho / To Varanasi
We rise early this morning to explore the 10th-century Chandela temple complex, made famous by their erotic carvings. Taking the early afternoon flight, we reach the ancient city of Varanasi, the “Soul of India.” With over 500 temples, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the country. This afternoon, take a walking tour of the ghats, followed by a sunset boat cruise on the sacred River Ganga.
Radisson Varanasi (B)
Day 11: Exploring Varanasi
Witness devotees performing their morning religious rites on the ghats as we take a sunrise boat cruise up the Ganga. We then visit Sarnath, the site where Buddha gave his first sermon. This evening we are treated to a special dinner at a private home, with a performance of classical Indian music and dance.
Radisson Varanasi (B)
Day 12: Morning in Varanasi / Depart India
We spend the morning in Varanasi and then fly to Delhi. This evening, we have a sumptuous “Farewell Dinner” at one of Delhi’s finer restaurants before heading to the airport for our return flights home.
Airport Pullman Hotel (B, FD)
March 30 – April 12, 2017
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Starting City: Delhi (airport code – DEL)
Ending City: Delhi (airport code – DEL)
6 – 9 participants: $5,945 per person
10 – 12 participants: $5,200 per person
Single Supplement: $925
Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 12 participants
Internal Asia Airfare: $360 per person (subject to change by airline)
Delhi – Jabalpur; Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi
Included in Land Cost
• All accommodations, based on double occupancy
• All taxes and service charges
• All transportation using private, air-conditioned vehicles
• All arrival/departure airport/hotel transfers
• All park entrance and conservation fees at Kanha and Bandhavgarh National parks
• All entry fees at all temples, museums, and monuments on sightseeing excursions
• Private sunrise and sunset game drives at Kanha and Bandhavgarh national parks in open-air, 4-wheel drive vehicles, accompanied by a Park Naturalist
• Breakfast every day
• Lunch and dinner as mentioned in the above itinerary
• Special Farewell dinner
• Bottled water during the day and during meals as needed
• 24/7 Services of professional photographer Lewis Kemper
• TourDirect’s Medical ($25,000), Accident and Evacuation Insurance ($500,000) and Assistance Plan
Not Included in Land Cost
• International airfare to/from India
• All internal India airfare – cost listed separately
• Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the above itinerary
• Movie, video, and still camera fees
• Gratuities to Tour Leader/Guide and local staff (guides, drivers, bell boys, porters, etc.)
• Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, etc.
• Trip Cancellation insurance
At TourDirect, we will assist you in obtaining any necessary visas or other travel permits required for your journey, all done through our Visa Service Partner. Detailed visa instructions, application forms, and information about applicable visa fees will be included in your Pre-Departure Packet.
You must have a valid passport with an expiration date more than 6 months from the date of your return to the U.S. The passport must also have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you will be visiting in Asia.
India: Visas on arrival (with pre-authorization) are available for most nationals, but can only be applied for 30 days prior to arrival, and are valid for single entry only. Visas can also be procured prior to departure from your home country.
No immunizations are required for entry into India or to return to the U.S. However, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from (or have recently visited) a country that has risk of yellow fever. Several immunizations are recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
A copy of the CDC’s recommended immunization list and additional health information will be included in our Pre-Departure Packet.
Please let us know if you wish to arrive early or extend your stay to visit any other sites in India or other South Asian countries—Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka—and we will be happy to make the additional arrangements.
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