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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

The mighty peaks of the Himalaya, thegreatest mountain range on Earth,provide an awesome backdrop duringthis holiday which combines the very best ofNepal's 'terai'(lowland forests andwetlands) with the scenic splendours ofDarjeeling - with its surrounding hills andtemperate forests - and KazirangaNational Park in Assam, home of theendangered Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. Our tour begins in Kathmandu, capital ofthe magical mountain kingdom of Nepal,where we overnight before journeying byroad through the delightful terraced foothillsabove the Trisuli River to the Royal ChitwanNational Park. This magnificent reserve isone of the few remaining undisturbedvestiges of the terai, a region of riverinejungle, Sal forest and swamps which onceextended throughout the lowlands of Nepaland northern India. This wonderful habitat,formerly mosquito-ridden and inhabitedonly by the indigenous and malaria-tolerantTharu people, has a particularly rich floraand fauna, including large populations ofboth Indian One-horned Rhinoceros andBengal Tiger, as well as many othermammals and a stunning variety of birdlife.Chitwan's diversity of riverine and foresthabitats, interspersed with opengrasslands, 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.After spending three nights in Chitwan, wedrive east to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reservewhich lies close to the border with India,on the floodplain of the Sapta-Koshi, oneof the three main tributaries of the Ganges.The reserve comprises endless riversideand wetland habitats, together with tallgrassland with patches of scrub forest anddeciduous mixed riverine woodland, setagainst the backdrop of the easternHimalaya, which includes Mount Makalu(8,475 metres), the world's fifth highestmountain. Koshi Tappu offers prime habitatfor a variety of wildlife, and in particularsupports the last surviving population ofwild Water Buffalo in Nepal. Nilgai (BlueBull), Wild Boar, Jungle Cat and bothSpotted and Hog Deer are amongst othermammal species finding sanctuary in thereserve, whilst nearly 400 species of birdshave been recorded, including theendangered Swamp Partridge, Red-necked Falcon and Striated Marsh Warbler.Koshi is also an important staging groundand resting place for migratory birds and many new species for Nepal have beenfound here. The endangered Gharial andthe Marsh Mugger crocodile may beobserved in (or beside) the Koshi River,and the fortunate may even encounter therare Ganges River Dolphin. Our next destination is Darjeeling, wellknown as a popular hill-station during thedays of the British Raj and centre of arenowned tea-growing region. Situated at1,980 metres, the town is charming, ifrather ramshackle, but a fine base fromwhich to soak in the magnificent views ofMount Kanchenjunga and the Himalaya,and from which to enjoy the birds of theregion's temperate oak and rhododendronforests, amongst which are many easternHimalayan specialities. There may also bean opportunity to sample the world famousnarrow-gauge railway which loops its wayuphill to the town from the plains, affordingviews from many vantage points of themagical Himalaya on clear days. A short flight from Bagdogra will take usinto Assam for the final phase of our tour.Kaziranga National Park is one of the mostpicturesque wildlife parks in India and lieson the southern banks of the BrahmaputraRiver, to the north of the Mikir Hills whichrise to an elevation of over 1,000 metres.The predominant vegetation is a mixture of tall grassland and riverine forestintersected by marshes, streams and ox-bow lakes known locally as 'jheels' or'jils'. Kaziranga is famous for its populationof Indian One-horned Rhinoceros,estimated to be in the region of 1,500animals, and the park is by far the bestplace in India to see them. Other speciallarge mammals to be found here includewild Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer andIndian Elephant. We have three full days toexplore Kaziranga by both jeep and,perhaps, on elephant back, and to enjoythe profusion of its wildlife. There is alwaysplenty to see here and, if we are verylucky, we may even encounter one or twoof the more secretive residents such asGaur, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bear or even theever-elusive Tiger! Returning to Guwahati, we fly to Delhiwhere hotel rooms have been reservedprior to an early morning transfer to theairport to catch the international flight backto London. Back in the city, there will betime to reflect on the many wonderfulwildlife encounters of the precedingfortnight or perhaps to investigate the cityshops in search of a few bargains!The Best of India & NepalA 17-day holiday exploring the finest wildlife sites amongst the floodplains and foothills of the great Himalaya, including the jungles of Chitwan and vast wetlands of Koshi Tappu in Nepal, plus the forests of Darjeeling and the best reserve in India, Kaziranga. Friday 16th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £3,495 Friday 8th February - Sunday 24th February 2013 Cost: £3,495 Friday 15th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £3,495Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Kathmandu.Day 3/5Chitwan National Park.Day 6/8Koshi Tappu WildlifeReserve.Day 9/11Darjeeling.Day 12/15Kaziranga National Park.Day 16Delhi.Day 17Fly London.AccommodationComfortable tourist hotels inKathmandu, Darjeeling and Delhi;simple but comfortable lodges ortented camps elsewhere. Allrooms/tents have private facilities,except at Koshi. FoodAll included in the price, except formain meals in Kathmandu andDelhi. Allow £20.Grading Grade A. This is a wildlife tour thatincludes no strenuous walking.Focus Birds and mammals.LeaderTika Ram Giri, Hathan Choudhary orSuchit Basnet, plus local guides.Single room supplement£495.Extensions Pre- or post-tour extensions withinIndia or Nepal gladly arranged onrequest.Web quick search: IND33234Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryINDIANEPAL BHUTAN BANGLADESH PAKISTAN TIBET BAY OF BENGAL MUMBAI KOLKATAKOSHI TAPPUWILDLIFE RESERVECHITWANNATIONAL PARKNEW DELHIKATHMANDU DARJEELING BAGDOGRA KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK GUWAHATISunrise over Mount KanchenjungaNilgaiSal forest, Chitwan