Tigers’ Golden Jubilee Tour in India
This is a 9-days Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve Tour which is relaxed paced and available on request. The year 2023-24 marks the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger. We invite you to a niche Tiger Reserve in India to enjoy a thrilling time with this carnivore and its associate species.
The 1960s saw tigers in deep crisis - hunting all over India was rampant and their recovery rate plummeted. The 1969 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) raised alerts andin 1970 India imposed a total ban on hunting tigers. It marked a turning point.
Project Tiger’s formal launch was in 1973, at nine especially designated forests in the country. Project Reserves rose from 9 in 1973 to 52 in 2022.
Prime amongst these is the base for our trip: Ranthambhore, which has gained a reputation as a vital breeding ground. Opening with a dozen tigers, it has survived the challenges of its first decades in which its size has grown from 400 sq. km to 1,200 sq. km. Currently, its tiger population is estimated at seventy.
Three days of jeep safaris of the site, accompanied by trained and local naturalists to allow you good sightings, will take you up close and personal with the tigers: well, as close as it’s feasible to be with these fierce, magnificent creatures. You’ll become intimate with their habitat.
You will also take part in a special tiger workshop, meeting forest officers and other experts to understand how conservation, with its scientific focus, is one of the last half century’s true success stories: and what acute challenges remain.
The tour extends into a day-long bird watching excursion in India’s top birding site, Keoladeo National Park, a UNESCO and Ramsar Site, a renowned heronry and wintering ground for migratory birds, using a bicycle rickshaw and assisted by an expert bird guide.
After these top Indian wildlife sites, we end the tour with a visit to perhaps the most fabled tourist destination in the world – the Taj Mahal– before your return flight to Delhi.
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve Tour Highlights:
- Have our jeeps and tiger-experts guide you to close encounters with the most thrilling animals on Earth
- Explore the wilds of Rathnambore, and learn how this has become the world-leading reserve for tiger breeding
- Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger, and meet with the experts who are driving it forward
- Meet the local community, and learn how they co-exist with tigers
- Walking and gri-rickshaw birding of Keoladeo National Park, India’s number one birding hotspot, for close-up encounters with the magnificence of its birdlife
- Round off the tour with the architectural marvels of Fatehpur Sikri, and a visit to the most precious building in the world: the Taj Mahal
- Photographers welcome
If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Great Indian Bustards and Thar Desert Tour has to offer.
Alternative Tour Name: Tigers’ Golden Jubilee Tour in India
At the airport, you will be greeted. To catch the next a/c train, travel to the railroad station (40 minutes). Travel to Sawai Madhopur for five hours. Transfer (10 min) to the wilderness-based Tiger Den Resort. With the guest cottages dispersed throughout the landscape, this is nature at its finest. Overnight.
Every day, we will go on experienced nature-guided Jeep safaris from 6.30 to 10 in the morning and 2.30 to 6 in the evening. We'll try various approaches to absorbing information from recent reports of tiger sightings. Experience the thrill of observing Sambhar, Spotted deer, Blue Bull, Wild Boar, Mongoose, Marsh Crocodile, among a flutter of about 100 bird species, Owls out throughout the day, Indian Thick-knee by the edge of water, and peacocks all around. Continue to wait until the Tiger, Leopard, or Sloth Bear is directly in front of you.
The areas with the highest likelihood of sightings are Raj Bag, Padam Talab, Malik Talab, Lakarda, Bherda, Jhalra, Tamba Khan, Naal Ghati, and Phuta Khurra. In the 12th century, the first self-sacrifice by Rajput women occurred in this woodland, which is home to a historic fort.
Although these are leisurely safaris, occasionally we must shield our faces to protect them from dirt kicked up by moving jeeps. We like to bring blankets from our hotels for morning safaris so we may protect ourselves from the bitter cold and fog. Woolen hats are advised. Overnight.
We will meet forest officers and specialists at the resort during the Tiger Workshop (9 AM–4 PM). Enjoy presentations on the prey-predator equation, tiger tourism, stakeholder interests, problems facing forest employees, poaching, management of satellite areas where tiger dispersal is posing new threats, success stories as well as threats still facing this big cat and its associate species in conservation. Afternoon open discussion will be followed by a group photo.
There will be a Golden Jubilee Souvenir given to you. A special field trip (4–7 pm) to the communities surrounding the tiger reserve will be planned, giving participants the chance to meet the farmers who everyday deal with the threat of carnivores while tolerating the pain and melancholy of this conservation effort.
To see birds such the White-tailed Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, Bronze-winged Jacana, Indian Roller, Green Bee-eater, and Shikra, among others, stroll along the Banas River. You will drive after dusk to look for Golden Jackal, Hyena, Jungle Cat, and even a Leopard. Afterward, overnight.
Transfer (7.30am) to station for air-conditioned train. Arrive at Bharatpur by 9:00 am. Transfer to the historic resort of Lakshmi Vilas. On both days, we will go on a full-day bird watching expedition in the UNESCO and Ramsar-listed Keoladeo National Park, escorted by a knowledgeable bird guide.
There are no barriers to walking here. It is a well-known heronry and migrating birds winter there. Among others, we'll go after owls, eagles, nightjars, bitterns, and crakes. We are free to roam wherever we like, with birds on either side of the walking path for a few kilometres. fantastic opportunities for photos. In order to watch birds such as harriers, falcons, larks, and pipits, among others, we will explore grassland areas.
We enjoy spending the morning (driving) at locations outside of Keoladeo Park in order to observe new birds, such as Great Thick-knee, Indian Thick-knee, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Thrushes, Bats, Indian Courser, and perhaps Indian Skimmer. After lunch, we drive for 1.5 hours to Agra, where we check into the Hotel Mansing Palace.
Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal during the sundown. As we move across this rectangular garden complex with classic Mughal architecture, Noisy Parakeet, Common Myna, Crimson Sunbird, Laughing Dove, Black Kite, and other garden birds will be all around us. At the Yamuna River, which flows over the northern portions of this monument, you can see Common Moorhen, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Black Ibis, Herons (Grey, Pond, and Black-capped Night), Egrets (Cattle, Intermediate, and Little), Black-winged Stilts, and a few duck species. Overnight.
A leisurely breakfast is served at this cozy accommodation. Visit Red Fort, where nearly all Mughal rulers lived, after lunch. Drive for 4 hours to get to Delhi in the evening. to the airport to catch a flight. Farewell.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Painted Spurfowl, Woodpeckers (Yellow-crowned and Black-rumped), Indian Scops owl, Dusky Eagle owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Gray Nightjar, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Indian Thick-knee, Great Thick-knee, White-tailed Lapwing, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Indian Courser, Jacanas (Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged), Golden Jackal, Hyena and Jungle Cat. Great photography opportunities. We will explore grassland habitats to observe Harriers, Falcons, Larks, Pipits, Thrushes, Bats, and maybe Indian Skimmer. Nearly 350 bird species are found in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve while more than 400 bird species in Keoladeo National Park. Totally walking experience in Keoladeo National Park and birds are at hand-shaking distance. Park.
What is included?
- All lodging and boarding at double/twin occupancy.
- All meals, with packed lunch as necessary.
- Entrance fees.
- Experienced Bird Guide/Naturalist.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off.
- All surface transfers, transport in a/c deluxe car or large vehicles for a group.
- Domestic air-fares, a/c train berths, as per need.
- Walking experiences in villages to meet the conservation community.
- A walk after sunset to explore nocturnal species.
- Assistance throughout the tour, providing first-aid medical relief as required.
What is not included?
- International air-fare.
- Visa fee.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Personal expenses.
- any other item not included in “What is Included.”
We have long experience with wild species, their habitats and their seasonal movements. We are also alert to how they have to modify behaviour to meet environmental pressures. We use our vast experience in the field, in conservation and through 25 years of welcoming overseas guests, to satisfy your enquiries by email before bookings are confirmed.
Upgraded hotels/resorts having established character for hospitality and a heritage background, located away from the crowd, with en-suite facilities, clean bed-sheets, pillows, extra towels, soap, etc, extra chairs and table in an a/c room. Courtyard, lobby, garden, sitting outside area, and separate restaurant facilities are available.
A deluxe a/c driver-driven car to accommodate a minimum four persons (including driver and guide) with sufficient space for baggage, optics, etc. Open driver-driven jeep (4x4) for safaris in Parks to accommodate six persons excluding driver and guide. The same driver to be in attendance throughout the tour.
Airport pick-up, surface travel and drop-off by a/c deluxe car, escorted by the guide or our executive. Group travel is likewise served.
Either individual or couples. Groups can be minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 persons.
A wide variety of Indian, Western and often Chinese dishes. Breakfast: Tea-coffee, toast with butter-gem, omelet, scrambled eggs, stuffed ‘parantha” (fried bread), potato vegetable, yogurt, fruits. Lunch: soup, green vegetables (2), lintel, Indian bread (tandoor), chicken/mutton, salad, ‘papad’ pickles, yogurt (‘raita’), sweet dish, tea-coffee. Dinner: soup, green vegetables (2), different lintel, boiled rice (or ‘pulao’), Indian bread (tandoor), chicken/mutton, salad, ‘papad’ pickles, yogurt (‘raita’), sweet dish or fruit salad, tea-coffee. Guests are welcome to suggest what they would like cooked for them. The chef will speak to them in person to cook accordingly: less spice, with less oil, etc.
From October to June, the Parks will remain open. We are happy to give advice about the best time to visit for climate / migratory species etc.
The tours are at an easy pace, using a vehicle throughout the day and walking for about 100 meters daily to add to you own species’ list. No rough walking or climbing over hills. Guests can rest in vehicle if so needed. We have catered happily to guests in their 70s and 80s. If desired, any guest can be driven back to the hotel to avoid further travel on any day.
Ideally you let us know the specifics of what you wish to experience on your tour. We aim to answer in detail within hours. We can dialogue through email or WhatsApp. Wi-fi will be available at hotels, often for a small payment. Cellphones may lose coverage in some regions during the field-tri[ elements but arrangements will be made to meet the needs of guests.
Guests are required to obtain their own insurance. Do inform us in advance of any likely medical needs so we can accommodate them. Doctors can be invited to your hotel, (payment needed), to respond to urgent health needs and recommend any medication. Some pharmacies remain open round the clock and guests can visit with the driver/naturalist. Treatment through such pharmacies is cheap in India. Inform us in advance of any dietary needs.