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India's Wildlife - A Photography Tour

Tour Code: IND03

A 12-day wildlife photography holiday to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

12 days from £2995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2495 SRS: £595 + an optional 4-day extension

Bandhavgarh is one of the best of India's many excellent Tiger Reserves with an impressive record for consistent Tiger sightings (indeed, a 100% record on these tours!). Set amongst the forested Vindhya Hills, and dominated by the impressive ruins of the hilltop Bandhavgarh Fort, photographers will be in their element. There is an abundance of wildlife subjects to be photographed on every Naturetrek tour to India, but this holiday is specifically designed to allow extra time with each wildlife encounter to allow the composition of that perfect photograph! Whilst the mighty Tiger is the star attraction at Bandhavgarh, the reserve offers a wealth of obliging wildlife subjects, including colourful birdlife and such other mammals as Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chousingha, Nilgai and Grey Langurs.

  • Expertly guided by at least one leading photographer of Indian wildlife
  • 7 nights / 8 days in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve – time for serious photography
  • Excellent opportunities for Tiger photography – from jeeps & elephant-back
  • Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chousingha, Chinkara, Nilgai & Langurs amongst other mammals
  • Wealth of birds, including Peacock, raptors, bee-eaters & other colourful subjects
  • Bandhavgarh Fort – pre 10th century rock carvings & photogenic temple ruins


All included in the price, except for dinner on Day 11.


A simple but comfortable forest lodge at Bandhavgarh, with private facilities.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2 Delhi; overnight train to Katni

Day 3/9 Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Day 10 Final day in Bandhavgarh; overnight train to Agra

Day 11 Full day's sightseeing in Agra; evening train to Delhi

Day 12 Fly London

In his famous ‘Jungle Book’ Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the undisputed status of the mighty Bengal Tiger by introducing Shere Khan as the king of the beasts. Although the cat family includes many impressive and attractive animals, there is an aura of power and majesty about the Tiger which makes it an automatic choice for this title and to observe a male Tiger patrolling his territory in an Indian reserve is to watch an unchallenged ruler strolling through his domain.

Unfortunately for the Tiger, being top predator was no protection against the activities of man, and a combination of habitat destruction and hunting pressures reduced the Indian population from an estimated 40,000 to less than 2,000 before the conservation initiative known as ‘Project Tiger’ sought to halt this rapid decline by the establishment of numerous Tiger Reserves. It is in reserves such as Kanha and Ranthambore that, over the years, many hundreds of Naturetrek clients have savoured the ultimate wildlife experience of watching Tigers in their natural environment. However, in recent times, another reserve, Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, has acquired a rapidly growing reputation as one of the very best locations for consistent Tiger sightings.

Set amid the Vindhya Hills, Bandhavgarh was first established in 1968 but substantially increased in size 20 years later by the incorporation of several adjacent tracts of Sal forest. This is a region steeped in history and, in the heart of the reserve, towering 800 metres above the forest, stands the ruin of a magnificent hilltop fort which bears testament to the succession of dynasties which over the ages ruled this area. A former capital of the Baghel kings, Bandhavgarh Fort was eventually abandoned early in the 17th century and quickly reclaimed by the jungle around it, although it remained a royal hunting reserve for another 300 years, thus ensuring the protection of the forest. Today, careful management has ensured that the park is a haven for Tigers, and it also provides a remarkably picturesque and tranquil setting for that unforgettable encounter with the most magnificent of all big cats. Several Naturetrek groups have already discovered the delights of Bandhavgarh, but it is in acknowledgement of the park’s abundant photographic qualities that we are pleased to now offer this exciting 12-day tour which affords a wealth of subjects, both natural and man-made, for photographers to capture.

Our holiday begins in the capital city of Delhi, but we pause only briefly before catching an overnight sleeper train to Katni, the railhead close to Bandhavgarh. From here we drive to comfortable accommodation just outside the reserve where we stay for seven nights. During the following days we will board jeeps for morning and afternoon excursions into the national park, each visit charged with that unique tingle of anticipation generated by being in Tiger territory. Even here, appearances by Tigers can never be predicted or guaranteed and sometimes only a giant footprint in the dust, or a distant roar, betrays the presence of our quarry. However, perseverance has its rewards and that magical moment when the lord of the forest finally emerges into view will never be forgotten. Depending on the situation it is often possible to approach Tigers closely by jeep and much film is sure to be expended during such encounters. Even without the Tigers, there is much to see in Bandhavgarh. Herds of Spotted Deer roam the reserve and constitute one of the main prey items for the Tigers, although the utterly endearing little fawns look far too appealing to deserve such a fate. Other herbivorous residents are less conspicuous but include Sambar, Chousingha, Chinkara, Nilgai and Muntjac. Several hundred species of birds have been recorded in the reserve and it is often the excited behaviour of the birdlife that first announces the presence of a prowling Tiger, although the anxious chatter of Grey Langur Monkeys and barking alarm calls of Spotted Deer quickly relay the warning to all the creatures in the vicinity! The wildlife at Bandhavgarh will be mostly viewed from jeeps, but ‘riding elephants’ are also employed on occasions to traverse some of the areas impassable to vehicles and travelling on one of these huge animals as it plods with sure footsteps through fast-flowing streams or picks its way along a rocky trail, is a thrilling adventure, spiced with the constant possibility of coming upon a Tiger at rest.

With so much wildlife to photograph, participants will need to take plenty of memory cards, and as a diversion from the wildlife, may also wish to visit the scenic Bamera Dam at nearby Panpatha Sanctuary or Majhauli Dam, a good place for birdwatching. Bandhavgarh Fort is currently closed to tourists, but also contains rock carvings and photogenic deserted temples dating back to the 10th century and beyond. This wonderful national park richly deserves its reputation as one of the top Tiger Reserves in the subcontinent and we are confident that photographers will be delighted by the range of subjects during this specially designed tour.

Nature Heritage Resort, BandhavgarhNature Heritage Resort, BandhavgarhNature Heritage Resort, BandhavgarhNature Heritage Resort, BandhavgarhBandhavgarh National Park (Paul Marshall)Bandhavgarh National Park (Paul Marshall)Indian Scops Owl (Paul Marshall)Spotted Deer (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Lesser Adjutant (Paul Marshall)Wild Boar (Paul Marshall)Common Langur (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Common Langur (Paul Marshall)Long-tailed Shrike (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Bathing Elephant (Paul Marshall)Indian Peafowl (Paul Marshall)Sambar (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Common Langur (Paul Marshall)White-throated Kingfisher (Paul Marshall)Tiger Tracking on Elephant (Paul Marshall)Spotted Deer (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Tiger (Paul Marshall)Long-tailed Shrike (Paul Marshall)Changeable Hawk Eagle (Paul Marshall)Tiger, Bandhavgarh (Himanshu Rathore)Sloth Bear, Bandhavgarh (Himanshu Rathore)Tiger (Dave Brotton)Tiger (Dave Brotton)
S. Strong
Our tour leader was excellent. We saw the tigers which was what I came to see, also saw some rare sightings of leopard and sloth bear. The staff at our accommodation were very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed the food although I am not very familiar with Indian cuisine, it was not too spicy or hot.
West Midlands
Both guides were truly excellent and worth their weight in gold.
An excellent trip, well organised and with a very good guide and photography expert in Talat Khalid. Tiger sightings were outstanding with good views on 10 (of the) 15 safaris. The overnight trains were also fun. Overall, this was about the best tour I have ever done. Thanks!
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Wed 24th October 2018 - Sun 4th November 2018



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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2495 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Chambal and Bharatpur extensionMore info

Visiting: India

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Tour Extensions

If you wish to prolong your holiday we offer the following extensions.

Chambal and Bharatpur extension

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Rajan Jolly
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Tour Reviews

Our tour leader was excellent. We saw the tigers which was what I came to see, also saw some rare sightings of leopard and sloth bear. The staff at our accommodation were very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed the food although I am not very familiar with Indian cuisine, it was not too spicy or hot.
S. Strong, Hampshire