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224Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryThese days, Tiger tourism in India is bigbusiness, and the numbers ofoverseas tourists visiting such well-known reserves as Bandhavgarh,Ranthambore and Kanha are unavoidablyhigh. This exciting wildlife tour to centralIndia, however, focuses on the lesser-knownnational parks and Project Tiger 'TigerReserves', notably Tadoba-Andhari andSatpura, that as yet attract very fewoverseas tourists. Indeed, you may evenfind yourselves to be the only foreignvisitors! On this tour you will also benefitfrom the ease and convenience of flyingright into the heart of central India's 'Tigercountry', as we use the scheduled serviceof Jet Airways from London to Nagpur, thecapital of Maharashtra, via Mumbai. In sodoing, we not only offer the wildlifeenthusiast the ultimate luxury - a holiday toIndia that largely avoids sprawling cities,huge crowds, long train journeys, domesticflights, etc! - but we also minimisetravelling times and maximise the time wemay spend in these little-known reserves.On our arrival in Nagpur we overnight in thecity before taking a 4-hour drive to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, situated in theChandrapur District of Maharashtra. Thereserve, spanning over 625 squarekilometres, incorporates both TadobaNational Park (which became Maharashtra'sfirst national park in 1955) and AndhariWildlife Sanctuary, and became one ofIndia's 28 Project Tiger Reserves as recentlyas 1993. Its hills support a dense tropicaldry deciduous forest, largely made up ofTeak and bamboo, carved by the AndhariRiver. As many as 40 Tigers are reputed tosurvive here, plus a great many othermammals such as Leopard, Sloth Bear,Gaur, Wild Dog, Striped Hyena, Jungle Catand Chousingha (the Four-hornedAntelope), not to mention a rich birdlife.Best of all, although the park hosts localday visitors, the numbers of overseastourists are negligible since there is alimited choice of accommodation, ours being a pleasing 12-roomed lodge on the outskirts of the reserve. After three nights in Tadoba, a 6-hour drivebrings us to Pench National Park. Thispreviously little-known reserve was thesetting for the popular BBC TV series 'Tiger- Spy in the Jungle', narrated by Sir DavidAttenborough. Designated as Project Tiger's19th Tiger Reserve in 1992, Pench todayprotects 758 square kilometres of primeTiger habitat in the southern reaches of theSatpura Hills which lie in the Seoni andChhindwara districts, the region whichinspired Rudyard Kipling's 'Jungle Book'.The pools along the seasonal Pench Riverand a large dam provide the primarywatering holes for Tigers and all otherwildlife. Elsewhere the terrain is rugged andthe region's hills are cloaked in bothsouthern moist deciduous forest andextensive dry, deciduous forest, dominatedby Teak. Gaur, Wild Boar and Grey Langursare common here, as are Sambar, Spottedand Barking Deer. With luck we might alsosee Asiatic Jackal, Nilgai and Dhole, oreven a Leopard which are generally seen inthe peripheral areas of the park where theyare able more easily to avoid Tigers. Nextwe travel to Satpura Tiger Reserve, whichwe will not only explore from jeeps, boatand perhaps elephant-back, but also, mostsignificantly, on foot - the walking safaristhat we are able to do in Satpura not beingpossible in most of India's other TigerReserves. Only on foot is it possible toobserve, appreciate, learn about andinterpret the finest details of the jungle andits natural history - the smells, sounds,signs and tracks of so thrilling anenvironment as the home of the Tiger andso many other species, where wildlifeencounters on foot are among the mostmemorable. This is by far the best way toenjoy a wealth of birdlife (perhaps a Rufous-bellied Hawk Eagle or Malabar PiedHornbill) and offers a chance of suchsmaller mammals such as Malabar GiantSquirrel, as well as many of the largermammals that we'll have seen in Tadobaand Pench.After spending four memorable nights inSatpura we drive to Bhopal, the capital ofMadhya Pradesh, visiting the 10,000-year-old rock shelters of Bhimbetka en route. Weovernight in Bhopal before our return flight toLondon, via Mumbai. For those wishing toextend their stay in India, or wishing also tovisit one of the mainstream Tiger Reserves,we recommend taking advantage of ouroptional extension to Kanha National Park,perhaps the best place in the world in whichto see a Tiger, plus a wide range of othermammals and birds. Unknown India - Tadoba & SatpuraA 13-day holiday in search of the birds and mammals of central India's lesser-known national parks andTiger Reserves - Tadoba, Pench and Satpura - plus an optional extension to Kanha National Park.Tuesday 20th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £2,895Tuesday 15th January - Sunday 27th January 2013 Cost: £2,895Tuesday 26th March - Sunday 7th April 2013 Cost: £2,895 Tuesday 19th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £2,895Kanha extension available on all tours Cost: £795Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Nagpur.Day 3/5Tadoba National Park.Day 6/7Pench National Park.Day 8/11Satpura National Park.Day 12Bhopal.Day 13Fly London.Kanha extensionDay 12/15Kanha National Park.Day 16Nagpur. Day 17Fly London.AccommodationTourist hotels, Nagpur and Bhopal;comfortable lodges elsewhere. Allrooms have private facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. This is a wildlife tour thatincludes walking safaris in the hillyterrain of Satpura.FocusBirds and mammals.LeaderBunty Mandhayan, HimanshuRathore, Harsha Jayaramiah,Chandra Hada or Tika Ram Giri,plus local guides.Single room supplement£450 (extension: £125).Web quick search: IND41TIBETNEPALPAKISTANNEW DELHI KOLKATAINDIAKANHATIGER RESERVE(EXTENSION)NAGPURSATPURATIGER RESERVETADOBATIGER RESERVEPENCHTIGER RESERVEBHOPALMUMBAI(EXTENSION)(EXTENSION)Male BlackbuckIndian Wild DogsMadhai Meadow, Satpura National Park and Tiger Reserve

In this vast and varied country, wheretravel by any means is at besttime-consuming, it is all too easy to spendtoo little time in one place. This holiday isdesigned specifically to allow ample time forthe appreciation of the outstanding wildlifeof Kanha, one of India's finest and mostremote Tiger Reserves. We have chosen totravel mostly in March and April because,whilst it will be hotter than the winter, thereduced water holes, shorter grass, andfallen leaves resulting from the dry Indianwinter, provide the very best Tiger andmammal-watching conditions. Departures atother times of the year offer cooler weatherthough sometimes fewer Tigers.Kanha lies in Madhya Pradesh, in the verycentre of India. Here, in the days of theBritish Raj, endless hill forests, broken onlyby golden grasslands and well wateredvalleys, teemed with the subcontinent'slargest concentrations of game. Today,sadly, they have all but disappeared, exceptwithin Kanha's 1,945 square kilometres,where the abundance of wild animals is asclose a match to the spectacles of the eastAfrican plains as India can provide.This beautiful reserve is situated on aplateau in the Maikal Range, andincorporates a crescent of hills, rising to 915metres, that embraces broad, undulatinggrasslands speckled with clumps ofbamboo and Sal. Mixed deciduous forestcloaks the hills and borders the meadows.Small pools, and a perennial lake, providedrinking holes for the animals year-round.The reserve is famous for its Swamp Deer-the only population of the hard-ground racein existence-for whose protection KanhaNational Park was first established in 1955. Once, these deer roamed central India inherds of many thousands. Today there areonly 300 left, though this represents a goodrecovery since 1970 when just 70 individuals remained. However, since the launch of theinitially successful Project Tiger in the early'70s, Kanha has been one of the Project'skey Tiger Reserves and, because its widemeadows are so suited to successful Tiger-viewing, it has become one of the bestplaces in the world in which to search forthis king of beasts. In fact, continuedpoaching has made this elusive mammalharder than ever to see. However, it is theconsolation of excellent all-roundmammal-viewing that makes this tour so worthwhile. If the Tigers prove difficult to see, you canbe assured of a host of other mammals thatshould include plenty of Sambar, Spottedand Swamp Deer and Common Langurs.We should also see Gaur (the huge Asiaticbison), Wild Boar, Asiatic Jackal, and withluck, Leopard and Dhole (the Indian wilddog). Sloth Bear and two of India's lowlandantelopes -Chousingha and the beautifulBlackbuck - also occur and may be seenwith patience and good fortune. Birds, too,will be amongst the attractions of this tour.We should see a good selection of birds ofprey, including vultures, Black-shoulderedKite, Crested Serpent Eagle and White-eyedBuzzard. Open country birds, such asPainted Francolin, Indian Roller, Yellow-andRed-wattled Lapwings, and a variety of larksare common, whilst, in the forests, MalabarPied Hornbill, Black-headed Oriole, and aselection of flycatchers, babblers anddrongos may be found.We begin this holiday with an overnight flightto Delhi, and will have a full day and night atleisure in the capital, prior to the longoverland journey to Kanha, which is one ofthe country's most remote reserves, beingsituated in the very heart of rural India, along way from any of the great cities. Firstwe will travel by air-conditioned sleeper onthe overnight 'express' train to Jabalpur;from there we will drive by minibus to ourcomfortable forest lodge, situated on theedge of the reserve.During our week at Kanha, we will explorethe reserve fully by means of early morning,and evening, jeep drives and elephant rides.By being in the reserve at the beginning andend of each day, when both mammals andbirds are most active, we will maximise ourchances of exciting sightings! Ourbirdwatching walks must take place outsidethe reserve, as walking is not permittedinside India's Tiger Reserves, but shouldnonetheless be most rewarding.On our return from Kanha to Delhi, we willbreak the journey for a full day in Agra; anopportunity to visit the Taj Mahal and AgraFort before our return to London. We alsooffer a 4-day extension to the Chambal River(for Ganges River Dolphins) and BharatpurBird Sanctuary, one of the finest birdingspots in the world, for those of you whocannot resist the opportunity! Alternatively,you might choose to visit the beautifulRanthambore Tiger Reserve instead.Just Tigers!A 13-day appreciation of the birds and mammals of Kanha, India's most rewarding Tiger Reserve, with an optional extension to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.Bharatpur or Ranthambore extension available on all tours Cost: from £750Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationTIBET NEPAL PAKISTAN NEW DELHI BHARATPUR BIRD AGRA SANCTUARY (EXTENSION) KOLKATABAY OF BENGAL INDIA KANHA TIGER RESERVE JABALPUR RANTHAMBORE TIGER RESERVE (EXTENSION) Outline itinerary Day 1Depart London. Day 2Delhi.Day 3Full day in Delhi;overnight train toJabalpur. Day 4/10Kanha Tiger Reserve. Day 11Final morning at Kanha;overnight train to Agra. Day 12Full day's sightseeing inAgra; then drive to Delhi. Day 13Return London.N.B. 18th January and 15th Marchdepartures include an internal flightand night's accommodation in Agraon Day 11, instead of overnighttrain.Bharatpur/Ranthambore extension Day 12Evening transfer fromAgra to Bharatpur. Day 13/15Bharatpur/Ranthambore. Day 16Delhi. Day 17Return London.AccommodationA tourist hotel in Delhi; simple butcomfortable forest lodgeselsewhere, all with private facilities.FoodIncluded in the price, except formain meals required in Delhi. Allow£30.GradingA. This is a wildlife tour with littlewalking.FocusTigers, other mammals, and birds.LeaderNick Acheson, Harish Sharma,Chandra Hada, Himanshu Rathore,Bunty Mandhayan, HarshaJayaramiah, Indrajit Latey, SaravanaKumar or Dilip Saini, plus localguide.Single room supplement£295 (extension: £150).Web quick search: IND26225Fri 9th - Wed 21st Nov '12 Cost: £2,395Fri 14th - Wed 26th Dec '12 Cost: £2,695Fri 18th - Wed 30th Jan '13 Cost: £2,695Fri 8th - Wed 20th Feb '13 Cost: £2,495Fri 8th - Wed 20th Mar '13 Cost: £2,495Fri 15th - Wed 27th Mar '13 Cost: £2,695Fri 22nd Mar - Wed 3rd Apr '13 Cost: £2,495 Fri 5th - Wed 17th Apr '13 Cost: £2,495Fri 18th - Wed 30th Oct '13 Cost: £2,495 Fri 8th - Wed 20th Nov '13 Cost: £2,495Fri 20th Dec '13 - Wed 1st Jan '14 Cost: £2,695KanhaRoyal Bengal Tiger