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There is nowhere in the world quite likethe Indian subcontinent! So rich is theregion in flavour and variety, whether itis the scenery, culture, history or wildlifewhich most appeals to your taste, thatevery visit is packed with unique andunforgettable memories. City life in modernIndia may outwardly sport all the trappingsof the 21st century, but underlying this is aunique culture which has developed overthousands of years and permeates everyaspect of society. Delhi has had manyrulers during a long and turbulent history,whereas the machinations of life in thefabled city of Kathmandu were virtuallyunknown to the rest of the world untilcomparatively recent times and it has beendescribed as a city with more temples thanhouses and more gods than people. Totravel through the Himalayan foothillsbetween these two diverse cities is one ofthe most beautiful and fascinating journeysin Asia - a journey that encapsulates thesheer variety of this magnificentsubcontinent.We begin our tour in India's capital, NewDelhi, then board an overnight train to visit Corbett National Park. A mouthwateringmenu of sub-Himalayan birding is on offerat Corbett, but the park also holds a wealthof mammal species, amongst them IndianElephant and that most supreme of Asianpredators, the Bengal Tiger. Arguably oneof the most picturesque of India's nationalparks, Corbett was named in honour of thelate Jim Corbett, a legendary hunter-turned-conservationist who played an importantrole in helping to create the reserve. Manyof the birds we are likely to see in Corbettare characteristic of the Himalayan regionand include a number of Palearctic raritiesto set pulses racing! After spending four nights in Corbett, wetravel next to Bardia National Park, situatedin the lowlands of western Nepal.Comprising magnificent Sal and riverineforests, and extensive grasslands, Bardia's936 square kilometres are home to Tiger,Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, a few Blackbuck,Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking and HogDeer, Nilgai, Wild Boar and Sloth Bear, aswell as Marsh Mugger Crocodile and theendangered fish-eating Gharial. Nearly 400species of birds occur in the park andduring our 3-night stay here we will hope tofind such species as Great Slaty andStreak-throated Woodpecker, CrestedKingfisher, Wallcreeper, Large-billed LeafWarbler and Greater Racquet-tailedDrongo. Bardia is bordered to the west bythe Karnali River, one of the largest inNepal, and this enables us to explore thepark by raft, as well as by jeep and on foot.An inflatable raft trip down to the southernboundary of the park is a tranquil way ofviewing the birdlife and water-oriented animals such as Smooth Otters and bothMugger and Gharial Crocodiles. TheKarnali River is also one of the best areasin Nepal to view the highly endangeredGanges River Dolphin.In order to break the long journey toChitwan, we will spend one night in Lumbiniand explore the fascinating complex ofancient temples and modern stupas whichmark the birthplace of Buddha. We will thencontinue to Chitwan National Park. Thismagnificent reserve is one of the fewremaining undisturbed vestiges of the 'terai'region, which formerly extended over thefoothills of India and Nepal. It has aparticularly rich flora and fauna, protectingpopulations of both One-hornedRhinoceros and Bengal Tiger as well asmany other mammals and a stunningvariety of birdlife. A diversity of riverine andforest habitats, interspersed with opengrassland, ensures that there are alwaysnew areas to explore during our stay andever present in the distance are the snowysummits of the Himalayan giants whichstretch across Nepal in an unbroken linefrom east to west. We will spend two nightsinside the park, and two outside, in order toexplore a full range of habitats. We head finally to the capital of Nepal,Kathmandu, pausing along the way to scanfor Ibisbills, White-capped Riverchats andother waterside birds that frequent the fast-flowing Trisuli River, the course of which theroad follows. After a sightseeing tour ofKathmandu, we conclude a memorabletour with a birdwatching trip to the forestedslopes of Phulchowki which, at 2,740metres, is the highest mountain in thevalley. Many species typical of the highHimalaya occur here and, with accessfacilitated by a road, we can enjoysearching for these without recourse tomountaineering or trekking!For those wishing to extend their holiday,we offer an extension east from Chitwan toKoshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, one of Asia'sfinest wetlands. Here, a remnant populationof wild Water Buffalo may be seen, as wellas other mammals such as Ganges RiverDolphin, Jungle Cat and Golden Jackal.From the delightful Koshi Camp up to 160bird species may be seen in a single day,amongst them such local specialities asRed-necked Falcon, Striated Marsh Warblerand the endangered Swamp Partridge andBengal Florican. It is a restful andrewarding spot to conclude a holiday!India & Nepal - Corbett to KathmanduThis 17-day holiday, in search of birds and mammals, offers a mouthwatering combination of the best national parks in the Himalayan foothills - Corbett in India, and the Sal and riverine forests of Bardia and subtropical jungles of Chitwan in Nepal, plus birdwatching and sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Friday 16th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £3,795Friday 8th February - Sunday 24th February 2013 Cost: £3,895 Friday 15th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £3,895Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve extension available on all tours Cost: £795Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Delhi; overnight train toCorbett.Day 3/6Corbett National Park.Day 7/9 Bardia National Park.Day 10 Lumbini.Day 11/14Chitwan National Park.Day 15/16Kathmandu.Day 17Return London.Koshi Tappu WildlifeReserve extensionDay 15/18Koshi Tappu WildlifeReserve.Day 19/20Kathmandu.Day 21Fly London.AccommodationComfortable tourist hotels in Delhiand Kathmandu; simple butcomfortable lodges and tentedcamps elsewhere. Most have privatefacilities. FoodAll included in the price, except for main meals in Delhi andKathmandu. Allow £20.Grading A. This is a wildlife tour thatincludes no strenuous walking.Focus Birds and mammals.LeaderTika Ram Giri or Suchit Basnet, pluslocal guides. Single room supplement£695 (extension: £95).Web quick search: IND23232Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryINDIANEPAL TIBET KOSHI TAPPUWILDLIFE RESERVE(EXTENSION)BIRATNAGAR CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK LUMBININEW DELHI KATHMANDU CORBETT NATIONAL PARK Mt EVEREST BARDIANATIONAL PARKRed-flanked BluetailHimalayanFlamebackTiger

Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking Information233In the rugged heart of India lies one of themost spectacular and rewarding of TigerReserves, Satpura National Park. A havenfor wildlife, thankfully it is little-known andattracts relatively few visitors, having onlytwo tourist lodges. Yet it is one of the keyplayers in the chain of central Indian TigerReserves designed to protect one of India'smost extensive Tiger landscapes. Satpura is,quite simply, classic Tiger country. Here,open woodland, dense forest and grassymeadows rise from the shores of the Tawareservoir in a series of hills, plateaux andsheer red sandstone cliffs to the Pachmarhiplateau and the peak of Dhoopgarh - thehighest point of central India. It is astunningly beautiful landscape - gnarled,eroded and fissured, with plunging gorges,rushing streams, ruined temples, ancientcave art and Stone Age rock paintings, plusa wealth of biodiversity unmatched in centralIndia. Indeed it is thought that the SatpuraHills once formed the montane corridorbetween the eastern Himalaya and theWestern Ghats before the softer rock oneither side of Pachmarhi eroded to leave anisolated 'highland island' supporting manyspecies of plants and animals that havelong since disappeared elsewhere in centralIndia. Indian Giant Squirrels and IndianMouse-deer, for example, still occur, and theskies are often patrolled by Black Eaglesand Mountain Hawk-eagles.With such a range of habitats and altitudes,Satpura offers a wealth of wildlife-viewingthat is amongst the best in India. Nowhereelse are Gaur (the giant Asian Bison), themuch sought-after Sloth Bear and theelusive Asian Wild Dog so abundant andeasily seen. These species, together withthe beautiful Indian Giant Squirrel and theLeopard (which is relatively common here),make up Satpura's 'big five'. Sambar, Chital,Muntjac, Nilgai, Blackbuck, Wild Boar,Rhesus Macaques and Common Langurs,Marsh Mugger Crocodiles, and even theelusive Chousingha, may also be seen,while Indian Skimmer, Bar-headed Geese,Grey Junglefowl, both Red and PaintedSpurfowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Tawny-belliedBabbler are amongst Satpura's avianspecialities.What we hope you will not see here is aTiger! It is true that there are plenty of themin Satpura (at least 40 within its 1,503square kilometres), but these are wild Tigers- fearful and wary of you. They are nothabituated to man, as the Tigers ofRanthambore, Kanha and Bandhavgarhhave become. They will not stroll amongstyour jeeps, or lounge at the feet of yourelephant; but they will watch you from afar,and endeavour to avoid you. At least, that iswhat we hope; for once Satpura's Tigerslose their natural shyness, this fabulousTiger Reserve will be swamped with tourists,and the tranquillity of this most spectacularof Tiger Reserves will be lost. So, if youshould be so lucky as to see a Tiger here,enjoy a rare and natural sighting and keep itto yourself!But there is so much more that is specialabout Satpura. Here, unlike in any otherTiger Reserve of north or central India, youmay walk in designated areas of the park,and truly absorb the sounds, sights, smells,signs, tracks and so on of so thrilling anenvironment as 'Tiger country'. Here youmay explore the shores and inlets of Tawareservoir by boat or canoe, paddled by localfishermen, in search of a rich spectacle ofwaterbirds and other wetland wildlife.Perhaps you will choose to explore theforest by elephant-back and, with just 12jeeps currently permitted to enter the park atany time, game drives in Satpura will be asrewarding and enjoyable as they get! What's more, Satpura is easy to reach. It liesjust a 3-hour drive from the modern airportof Bhopal, and allows a visit to thefascinating 10,000-year-old rock shelters ofBhimbetka en route. Best of all, in this clean,peaceful and scenic part of rural India, justtwo luxury lodges service Satpura. They areamongst India's leading 'eco-lodges', sogood that we stay in each one for threenights. We are confident that you will loveSatpura and, if you are really concerned thatyou may not see a Tiger, we offer anoptional extension to Kanha National Park,where the Tigers are rather more obliging!Not Just Tigers! Satpura -Best of Central India A 10-day holiday to the most scenic and peaceful of central India's Tiger Reserves, the little-known Satpura National Park, in search of a classic selection of birds and mammals, including Leopard, Sloth Bear, Asian Wild Dog, Gaur and Indian Giant Squirrel. An optional extension to Kanha National Park is available. Friday 9th November - Sunday 18th November 2012 Cost: £2,395Friday 21st December - Sunday 30th December 2012 Cost: £2,695Friday 8th February - Sunday 17th February 2013 Cost: £2,395Friday 15th March - Sunday 24th March 2013 Cost: £2,395Friday 5th April - Sunday 14th April 2013 Cost: £2,495Friday 8th November - Sunday 17th November 2013 Cost: £2,495Friday 20th December - Sunday 29th December 2013 Cost: £2,795Kanha extension available on all tours Cost: from £850TIBETNEPALPAKISTANNEW DELHI KOLKATA JABALPUR(EXTENSION)INDIA PRIPARYAKANHATIGER RESERVE(EXTENSION)NAGPUR(EXTENSION)SATPURATIGER RESERVEBHOPALMUMBAI(EXTENSION)(EXTENSION)Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Bhopal.Day 3/8Satpura National Park.Day 9Fly London, via Mumbai.Day 10Arrive London.Kanha extensionDay 9/12Kanha National Park.Day 13 Nagpur.Day 14Fly London.AccommodationA luxury, historic 'palace hotel' inBhopal, and two fabulous wildlifelodges in Satpura. All rooms haveprivate facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingGrade A. This is a wildlife tour thatincludes walking safaris, canoe andelephant rides, and jeep safaris.FocusBirds and mammals.LeadersDavid Raju at Forsyth's Lodge, andAly Rashid at Reni Pani JungleLodge.Single room supplement£225 (extension: £145).Web quick search: IND45Satpura National ParkAsian Wild DogSloth BearLeopardBar-headed Geese