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Premium India & Wildlife


Experience vibrant India through its rich cultural heritage, ancient religion, breathtaking wildlife, and natural beauty. On this 19-day Premium adventure, you’ll safari through four of India's best wildlife parks, including Satpura, Ranthambhore, and Panna – as well as one of the most popular national parks for spotting the royal Bengal – Bandhavgarh Tiger Sanctuary. Discover the Pink City of Jaipur, witness the Mughal splendours of Delhi and Agra, soak up the ambience of holy Varanasi on a sunrise cruise, and see why Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary is renowned as one of the world's best places for birdwatching. Your local leader will bring the magic of India to light, from lavish palaces to vibrant bazaars and the incomparable Taj Mahal. Packed with wildlife hotspots and hidden gems, discover the natural and cultural wonders of India.

19 days, from

$9,105

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: HHPTC
Style: Premium
Theme: Wildlife

Details

Countries Visited:  India
Accommodation: Hotel (9 nights), Lodge (5 nights), Satpura Feature Stay (2 nights), Jaipur Feature Stay (2 nights)
Transportation: Train , Auto rickshaw , Boat , Cycle rickshaw , Private vehicle , Jeep , Metro , Plane
Included Meals:

  • 18 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 13 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Embark on a rickshaw safari through the bird sanctuary of Keoladeo, take an evening boat and night safari in Satpura National Park and search for the elusive royal Bengal tiger on jeep safaris through Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh and Panna National Parks.

  • Explore the architectural marvels of North India, including Jaipur's Amber Fort and Royal City Palace, Agra's Red Fort, and the iconic Taj Mahal.

  • Search for nocturnal animals such as leopards, jungle cats, fruit bats, flying squirrels and flying foxes under the stars, during your night safari in Satpura National Park with a local, naturalist guide.

  • Spend two elegant evenings at your Feature Stay hotel in Jaipur. The heritage hotel has been in the same family since its opening in 1928 and offers opulent details and warm, friendly service.

  • Take part in Exclusive Experiences to remember – visit to a royal haveli in Jaipur and hear the stories of its owner’s ancestors, and cruise down the Ganges at sunset accompanied by local musicians.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to India. An airport transfer is included if you’re arriving today, so you can just focus on the excitement of taking in the energy of Delhi. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight to meet your trip leader and your fellow travellers, followed by an optional group dinner to get to know each other. If you arrive early, why not book yourself on an Urban Adventure through the city – a great introduction to the magic of Delhi!

Day 2: Panna National Park

After breakfast this morning, you’ll hop on a train towards Jhansi with your group – the city sits on the banks of the Pahuj River and is home to some rich history. Listen to your leader’s stories while the walled Jhansi Fort overlooks the centre. Grab some lunch with your group and maybe take a walk around the magnificent Chaturbhuj Temple, which is free to enter. After, you’ll drive towards Panna National Park. This protected Tiger Reserve is home to around 35 tigers, as well as sloth bears, spotted deer, leopards and a wide array of birdlife. When you arrive, you’ll have the option to visit the nearby Temples of Khajuraho – built between 950 and 1050 during the Chandella dynasty, these gorgeous temples are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth the visit. Tonight, enjoy dinner with your group and get a good sleep, ready for your first wildlife adventure tomorrow.

Day 3: Panna National Park

Arise bright and early this morning for your first safari. You’ll head into Panna National Park with a local naturalist guide and discover the beauty of the park’s waterfalls, forested areas and vast open plains. Look out for the roaming tigers that call this place home, and you might even see spotted deer up on their hind legs, eating from a tree – or a leopard or sloth bear prowling the grounds. This park really excels in local birdlife, so make sure you look to the sky and the trees, too! There are over 200 species of bird here, with many of the water birds unseen in any other national park. You will also have the option to prebook a second, afternoon safari to double your chances of ticking off bucket list wildlife.

Day 4: Bandhavgarh National Park

This morning, after a spot of breakfast, say goodbye to Panna National Park and make your way on wheels towards the next destination – ‘The Land of Tigers’ or Bandhavgarh National Park and Tiger Reserve. Bandhavgarh is known for its resident royal Bengal tigers, and the density of their population is the highest known in India. When you arrive, you’ll have time to settle in before a group dinner. You also have the option to book some evening entertainment – a bonfire dance show at the hotel.

Day 5: Bandhavgarh National Park

Set off on your morning safari through Bandhavgarh National Park and Tiger Reserve this morning. With a local naturalist guide by your side, you’ll have a great chance of spotting one of the many royal Bengal tigers that prowl these lands – keep your eyes out for the other residents, too! There are also white tigers, leopards, wild boars, gaurs (buffalo), langurs, eagles and deer due to the biodiversity of the grounds – a mix of tropical forest, swamps, cliffs, Sal trees and grasslands. See the scores of birdlife soar above, the energetic langur jump from tree to tree and the wild boar sitting lazily by the water. You’ll also have the option to pre-book an afternoon safari today (if you just can’t get enough of the diverse wildlife that calls this park home).

Day 6: Bandhavgarh National Park

This morning, you’ll have breakfast as a group, and if you fancy, you can head out on another morning safari drive through the great lands of Bandhavgarh National Park. Alternatively, enjoy a free, lazy morning of rest and relaxation – maybe reading a book in the sunshine or going for a swim in the pool. This afternoon, you’ll head out on another safari, to strengthen your chances of spotting the gorgeous Bengals in their natural habitat. Your naturalist guide will give you all the insights into how these beautiful beasts live day to day in the park and as always, give you the best chance to spot as much wildlife as possible! Tonight, enjoy a group dinner and share photos of all the day’s finds.

Day 7: Jabalpur

Say goodbye to Bandhavgarh National Park this morning after breakfast and make your way towards Jabalpur. Surrounded by low hills in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, this city is a popular spot with visitors, known for its natural landscapes and historic architecture. When you arrive, you’ll head out on a leader-led walking tour of the city to get your bearings then you’re free to discover at your own pace. Maybe head to the rocky hilltop on the western outskirts to see the Madan Mahal Fort, built in 1116. Or, head west to the Pisanhari Ki Madiya Jain temple for great views over the city. Before finding the best spot for dinner, why not go chasin’ waterfalls – Jabalpur has four!

Day 8: Satpura National Park

Say goodbye to Jabalpur this morning and drive to the Satpura Mountain Range. Watch the central Indian landscapes pass you by as you chat with your fellow travellers, take the opportunity to have a much-needed nap or get stuck into your favourite podcast. When you arrive at Satpura National Park, settle into your new surroundings before heading out on an exciting night safari with a naturalist guide. As you drive through the forested ranges of this national park and tiger reserve, watch out for nocturnal animals that can only be spotted once the sun goes down – leopards, flying squirrels and flying foxes are just some of the creatures that come out under the stars.

Day 9: Satpura National Park

Fuel up on a good breakfast this morning and (if you’ve prebooked the optional morning safari today), head out to see Satpura National Park in the sunlight. Among the cascading waterfalls, deep canyons and natural pools of Satpura, sunlight sees a high density of sloth bears here, as well as giant squirrels, deer, a range of different monkeys and hundreds of birds! After a group lunch and some time to rest (or your free afternoon if you opted out of the morning safari), you’ll get ready for your second evening exploration, but this time, by boat! Watch the sun go down from a boat sailing through the park, and from the waters, try to spot the nighttime jungle cats, fruit bats and flying foxes.

Day 10: Agra

Continue your adventure this morning with a drive to Bohpal. This is a bit of a long travel day, so make dure you’ve for your favourite book, playlists and car games ready! Maybe grab some lunch in Bohpal and then take a train towards Agra, your destination for tonight. When you arrive, you’re free to head out wherever you wish for dinner – your local leader always has great recommendations!

Day 11: Agra

Wake up in the beautiful city of Agra this morning and after breakfast, head out for a morning in Keoladeo National Park. This huge bird sanctuary and national park has long been recognised as one of the world's most integral breeding and feeding grounds for local birdlife. When you arrive, you’ll take a rickshaw safari ride through the sanctuary with a local naturalist guide. As well as the 260 species of bird that live here, you may also spot some of the deer, nilgai (antelope) and boar that reisde in the park. Return to Agra and get ready to tick off one of the Seven Wonders of the World off your bucket list – that's right, Agra is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Taj Mahal! Marvel at the 17th century structure as you learn about its history (and snap some pretty epic pics) and soak in the majesty of this amazing site, at sunset no less.

Day 12: Ranthambhore

Start the day with a visit to one of the finest looking forts in India – the magnificent Agra Fort. Learn how a fortress and prison was built out of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565, then conversions and additions by Shah Jahan transformed the fort into a palace. Explore elegant courtyards and a labyrinth of buildings while you try to take in the grand scale of this remarkable structure. After your visit, depart Agra and make your way to Ranthambore, arriving in the late afternoon. On arrival, you may like to take a stroll around town, put your feet up and relax beside the pool, or enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant.

Day 13: Ranthambhore National Park

Rise early for a morning safari. Ranthambore National Park is one of the original Project Tiger reserves – a place where nature has reclaimed ancient fortresses and temples and is teeming with wildlife. In 4WD safari vehicles, take game drives to search for animals, including the majestic tiger which stalks through the jungle. Even if they are too stealthy to see, the park is filled with other animals like gazelle, hyenas, sloth bears, crocodiles, jackals, three types of antelope (nilgai, sambar and chital) and leopards to watch out for. Enjoy some downtime at the resort in the afternoon, then venture back out for an evening safari through the park – another chance to spot some of this region’s resident tiger population. You may also have the opportunity to explore the 1000-year-old Ranthambore Fort, where two pavilions that have survived the ravages of war and time, Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court, give an idea of its old grandeur.

Day 14: Jaipur

Today you will travel to Jaipur, the capital of the Rajasthan region. Arrive at your Feature Stay accommodation, the fabulous Hotel Narain Niwas Palace. This beautiful heritage hotel has been run by the same family since its opening in 1928 and retains the warm feel of a traditional family home, while opulent touches emanate from every corner – look out for delectable chandeliers, stained glass windows and peacocks roaming the grounds. Surrounded by a glittering swimming pool and lush gardens, you’ll enjoy a magical escape from the rush and racket of the outside world. Take some time to settle in, then join your leader on a walking tour through the crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles, past traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches. Hear stories of the city’s culture and history as you explore crowded bazaars filled with handcrafted textiles, folk art, and the local speciality of semi-precious stones. Dinner this evening is something a little bit special – head to the home of a local family for a wonderful homecooked dinner. Chat to your friendly hosts about their way of life and learn their culinary secrets.

Day 15: Jaipur

Begin the day with a visit to the extravagant Amber Fort – the jewel of Jaipur. It is quite a sight, with its soft shades of red, sandstone and white marble with elaborate Hindu-style flourishes. Your leader will share the stories of a fallen empire as you explore ornate rooms, lavish murals, frescoed arches and delicate jali work. Afterwards, stop at one of India's most photographed buildings, the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds', to capture your own photo. Then pay a visit to the striking City Palace, a marvellous blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Tour the grounds and learn about its construction by the founder of Jaipur. Later in the afternoon, hop on a rickshaw and travel to a royal haveli. Haveli’s are old mansions which were ornately decorated as a display of wealth, many of which remain across the city today. Here you will meet the owner of the haveli who will give you a tour of the property and share fascinating photographs and stories of his ancestors who once ruled the nearby provinces. Head to the rooftop for drinks and take in sweeping views of Jaipur’s old walled city.

Day 16: Varanasi

Depart your feature stay accommodation then board a flight bound for Varanasi. On arrival, make a stop off at Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment and features a number of stupas and museums to explore. Continue on to the city of Varanasi. Awash with shrines and temples, it is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience the city’s spirituality. Varanasi may not be known for its cleanliness, but there’s no denying it is one of India’s most inspiring places.

Day 17: Varanasi

Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges. Your leader will explain the significance of India’s most sacred river as pass by the many ghats and temples along its banks. Then, join your leader for a walking tour of the Old City and uncover its secrets as you walk through narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, past the dhobi wallahs, burning ghats, and the endless temples that echo with bells and the pungent aroma of incense. In the evening, return to the Ganges to see it from another perspective during a sunset cruise. You will be joined by local musicians on board and watch a beautiful flower and candle ceremony take place – an experience that is sure to be etched on your memory long after your time in India is over. Witness pilgrims performing ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies as the sun sets over this sacred city.

Day 18: Delhi

Depart Varanasi and catch a morning flight to Delhi. In the afternoon, get a real taste of the city during a tour with your leader. Navigate the city’s metro system and arrive in Old Delhi where you’ll wind through its lanes and markets. It’s not the real Delhi without a traffic jam so hop aboard a traditional rickshaw and weave your way around the streets surrounding the Chandni Chowk marketplace. Stop by India’s oldest and largest mosque, the Jama Masjid, then head into the Sikh temple of Sheeshganj Gurudwara for a moment of peace and to observe the spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. The rest of the afternoon is free for further explorations, then come back together in the evening for a final dinner as a group. This last meal will take place in a beautiful haveli dating back to 1887. Enjoy a feast of Mughlai cuisine, street food dishes and kebabs in a stunning historical setting – a perfect finale to your Indian adventure.

Day 19: Delhi

Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. For those who wish to stay on in Delhi to further explore the city, we are happy to help in booking accommodation (subject to availability). Perhaps pre-book an Urban Adventure and let a local show you more of this mega city.