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India's Satpura National Park: A Naturetrek Wildlife Festival

Tour Code: IND57

Our regular Wildlife Festivals have proved extremely popular. For this one, in February 2019, we are lucky enough to have been offered exclusive use of our favourite wildlife lodge in India, Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. From this luxurious base, situated in peaceful buffer zone forest, we will explore Satpura National Park the most scenic and tranquil of central India's Tiger Reserves (and our favourite!) and enjoy its fabulous variety of birds and mammals.

10 days from £2995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2495 SRS: £895


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Food

All meals are included in our price. On the pre-tour extensions main meals in Delhi are not included.

Accommodation

A luxury, historic 'palace hotel' in Bhopal, and a fabulous wildlife lodge in Satpura. All rooms have private facilities.

Sloth Bears

Sloth Bears

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2 Bhopal, via Mumbai

Day 3/8 Satpura National Park

Day 9 Fly Mumbai, via Bhopal

Day 10 Fly London

This special holiday will follow a similar format to our forthcoming Wildlife Festival in the Italian Dolomites (which is fully booked), and other recent, highly successful, Naturetrek Wildlife Festivals in Spitsbergen (2006), Nepal (2011), Ecuador (2013), Antarctica (2016) and the French Pyrenees (also 2016). Central to the success of all these gatherings have been the same key components: the camaraderie of a group of like-minded enthusiasts; specially chosen accommodation which is friendly and welcoming; outstanding wildlife ... and a mouthwatering and varied programme of wildlife excursions laid on each day, each led by an expert Naturetrek leader or local naturalist guide (or both), from which you can choose, to suit your particular tastes and interests, on a daily basis. Good food, a well-stocked bar, and an exchange of wildlife stories will complete each day’s activities — the friendships forged as memorable as the wildlife seen. It is hardly surprising that the Naturetrek Wildlife Festival format has proved a popular one.

The tour includes six nights in Reni Pani Jungle Lodge situated close to the entrance of Satpura National Park. We will take exclusive occupancy of the lodge’s 12 twin-bedded cottages and four deluxe ‘tented rooms’, and every day our party of 30-strong will be able to choose from a wide variety of morning and afternoon/evening excursions — each one expertly guided by naturalists from both our complement of expert Naturetrek leaders present as well as from Reni Pani’s superb team of naturalist guides. Amongst them will be our friend, Aly Rashid, a passionate naturalist and conservationist from the local royal family who both built and owns Reni Pani and has had a lifelong association with Satpura. Excursions will include jeep safaris into the national park, walking safaris inside the park, boat trips on the waterways at its edge, local village visits and night-time spotlighting safaris. We will also take wildlife walks and safaris amongst the 30 acres of forest, meadows, ravines and waterholes that comprise the lodge’s grounds, as well as in the wider forest expanses of the surrounding buffer zone. There will also be time to relax, to cool off in Reni Pani’s delightful swimming pool, and enjoy al fresco dining beneath the stars and in the flickering oil lamps of the terrace.

We have chosen India on this occasion because in no other country do we have more experience. It was in India that our Managing Director, David Mills, spent many years prior to founding Naturetrek. Not surprisingly, it then became the very first destination to which we operated a Naturetrek wildlife holiday back in 1987. From that time on, we have sent more wildlife groups to India than to any other country, and we have run multiple tours there in every one of our 32 years since, more than any other wildlife tour operator. Finally, it was in India — in Kashmir, to be precise — that Rajan Jolly, our much-loved Naturetrek India specialist, was born, educated and first cut his teeth in the travel industry prior to spending his last 16 years with Naturetrek.

So, why Satpura? Well, it’s our favourite central Indian National Park and Tiger Reserve. Yet, surprisingly, Tigers are difficult to see here ... and that’s why we love it! This fact means that, for starters, Satpura is not inundated with noisy Tiger-tourists. Far from it, just 12 jeeps are permitted to enter the park at a time. And while Satpura’s Tigers are not habituated as they are in other parks, and therefore very difficult to see (though we have been successful this year on full-day game-drives), Satpura does offer a rich variety of other mammals. Nowhere else are Gaur (Asian Bison), Sloth Bear and the elusive Asian Wild Dog as easily seen. These species, together with Indian Giant Squirrel and Leopard (which is relatively common here) make up Satpura’s ‘big five’. Additionally, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Blackbuck, Wild Boar, Rhesus Macaque, Common Langur and Marsh Mugger Crocodile may also be seen, and perhaps even the elusive Chousingha and nocturnal Rusty-spotted Cat. The park’s fine forests and wetlands also hold a diverse and colourful birdlife — Indian Skimmer, Barheaded Goose, Grey Junglefowl, Red and Painted Spurfowl and a wealth of raptors, hornbills, babblers and bee-eaters being amongst the highlights.

Satpura is also central India’s most scenic national park, with a fabulous landscape of hills, forests, rocky outcrops, gorges, wide waterways and little streams. Concealed within it lie the ruins of ancient temples and Stone Age rock paintings — tantalising testimony to the thousands of years of human occupation of these jungles. Best of all, and unlike any other Tiger Reserve in India, are the multiple ways in which we are able to explore Satpura. Thus, each day, we will be offering you a choice of walks, jeep safaris, boat trips, village visits and night-time spotlighting drives. So, we do hope that, in February 2019, you will join us for this special 10-day Naturetrek Wildlife Festival in Satpura National Park. There is no doubt that the Rashid family, in whose wonderful wildlife lodge and palace hotel (the Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal) we will be staying, will make us very welcome!

Finally, if you would like to extend your holiday, we are offering a wealth of options — amongst them a 5-day pre-tour extension to Ranthambore National Park, and a 4-day posttour extension to Kanha National Park, where Tigers are habituated and more obliging than in tranquil Satpura. A combination of two parks really will offer the best of India’s wildlife!

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Tue 19th February 2019 - Thu 28th February 2019

3

£2995

more details

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

Tue 19th March 2019 - Thu 28th March 2019

FULL

£2995

more details

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

Visiting: India

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