Project Tiger

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN DELHI

Upon arrival at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be welcomed by your &Beyond India host and chauffeured to The Oberoi, New Delhi.

Delhi was established around 900 BC and is today the capital of the largest democracy of the world. A mixture of bustling international metropolis, medieval chaos and regal splendour, the city is crammed to bursting point with tombs, temples, monuments and ruins, all of which exist side by side with modern suburbs and glass and chrome skyscrapers.

In this quintessentially Indian city a surprise lies around every corner. Colonial architecture in New Delhi is combined with ancient Islamic and Mughal ruins, modern suburban developments and even a touch of rural India. It houses two UNESCO World Heritage sites; Humayun’s Tomb and The Qutub Minar.

Located in New Delhi, India’s capital city, The Oberoi New Delhi reflects the city’s spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the city centre near business, commercial and shopping districts, the luxury hotel overlooks Delhi’s prestigious Golf Club on one side and the heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb on the other. 

Day 2: DELHI

After breakfast, meet your expedition leader Aditya Panda in the lobby for a quick brief about the day’s events before setting out for a sightseeing tour of Delhi. Start the day with a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb, a complex of buildings built as the Mughal Emperor Humayun’s Tomb, commissioned by Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562.  Followed by the tour you will embark on a drive through New Delhi’s former colonial expanse, stopping by the magnificent President’s Palace, known as the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, the World War I memorial. The official residence of the President of India stands at the opposite end of the Rajpath from India Gate. 

India Gate is a 42m (137ft) high stone arch of triumph stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. It bears the names of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the campaigns of WWI, the North West frontier operations of the same time, and the 1919 Afghan fiasco.

Return to your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Enjoy a cocktail reception and an interaction with a renowned conservationist. The focus of the conversation today will be the challenges and the successes of tiger conservation in India. How science and money from various sections of the society and government helped in the overall conservation of habitat. The protection of landscapes lead to an increased population of wild tigers and many other iconic animals. This will be followed by a delectable dinner at the hotel.

Day 3:  AGRA

This morning you will be driven to Agra (an approximately four-hour drive).

The city of Agra flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and attracted artisans from Persia and central Asia. Agra is where Emperor Shah Jahan celebrated his immortal love for his Empress in marble, the Taj Mahal. Agra is still famous for handicrafts products such as inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work. 

You will be met on arrival and assisted to check-in at The Oberoi Amarvilas.

The Oberoi Amarvilas is considered one of India’s best hotels is a mere 600m (1968ft)  away from the Taj Mahal, every single room in this property looks towards the monument. After settling in, you will embark on a guided tour of the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal to view it at sunset. For many years through the Mughal rule, especially during the period when Agra was the capital of the Empire, Agra Fort was expanded and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings within the fort include the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jehangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace) and Musamman Burj. The Taj Mahal is said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world and is the manifestation of the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in its architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy.

Day 4: RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK

Revisit the spectacular Taj Mahal at sunrise and then return to the hotel for breakfast. Afterward drive on to Ranthambhore National Park (approximately five-hour), stopping en route at Abhaneri. The village of Abhaneri has a spectacular 9th-century multi-tiered step-well, known as the Chand Baoli. After lunch at the nearby restaurant, you will continue on your journey to Ranthambhore National Park.

Tucked between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, the Ranthambhore National Park boasts a magnificent landscape with boulder-strewn highland plateaus, lakes, and rivers, dotted with old forts and abandoned mosques, creating a wonderful atmosphere for both bird and mammal viewing. Ranthambhore National Park is perhaps most famous for being one of the original ‘Project Tiger’ reserves and it still affords some of the best opportunities anywhere in India to see a tiger. At the center of the park lay the ruins of the 10th to 16th century Ranthambhore Fort which dominates the leafy forests from its perch atop a dramatic rocky outcrop. You will be met on arrival and assisted to check-in at Sujan Sherbagh, an award-winning camp inspired by the safari campsites of the 1920s.

Day 5: RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK

Embark on a scheduled early morning and afternoon safari in an exclusive vehicle. Park drives in Ranthambhore National Park are in open 4×4 vehicles. You will be accompanied by an experienced naturalist who will explain and point out interesting flora and fauna. 

The park is one of India’s finest examples of dry deciduous forest interspersed with grassland. It is where the zoogeographical zones of the Orient and the Ethiopian merge and it is possible to see tigers from the orient hunt chinkara (gazelles) and antelope. The entire forest has scattered battlements and remnants of abandoned buildings that tigers are said to frequent. 

Ranthambhore National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and became one of the original Project Tiger Reserves from 1973. The mammalian diversity of the park mirrors its significance as a premier conservation site. Apart from its flagship attraction, the forest is also home to the leopard, sloth bear, the jackal, hyena, wolf, and caracal among the carnivores, besides a wide variety of ungulates, the most prominent of which are the nilgai, India’s largest antelope, and the majestic sambar, a forest deer.  Ornithologists will appreciate the reserve’s woods and lakes that are home to over 250 bird species making it an important bird sanctuary in its own right.  Easily the most visible of these is the plucky rufous treepie, which is famous for its catwalks on top of safari vehicles and vans. Other fascinating water-birds such as the painted stork and the purple heron can be seen in large numbers along the park’s many lakes and water-bodies. The crested serpent eagle and the fishing eagle are among the raptors at the top of the avian hierarchy.

Days 6-7: RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK / JAIPUR

Enjoy an early morning safari seeking out wildlife. Marvel at the copper coat of the Bengal tiger, as it seeks refuge from the harsh sun and cools off in nearby rivers, inhabited by stealthy, snub-nosed marsh crocodiles. Listen to the sounds of the Indian jungle as the elegant spotted chital deer alerts its kin to the presence of any predator, the wide-eyed sambar deer graze the grasslands and colonies of langur chatter in the treetops. The enigmatic jungle, with its many moods, is sure to mesmerise and delight. Hop in the vehicle of a thrilling half-day safari in the afternoon that begins at around 12h30 and ends at sunset…The next day, experience a scheduled morning safari drive in an exclusive vehicle.

Return to your hotel for breakfast and spend the remainder of the morning at leisure. After an early lunch, you will be met and driven to Jaipur (approximately 3½-hour drive). You will be met upon arrival and assisted to check-in at the Jaipur Marriott Hotel, where guests looking to relax and recharge can indulge in the revitalizing services at the hotel spa.

Day 8: KANHA NATIONAL PARK

Your morning starts early with a packed breakfast as you are driven to the airport (approximately 10- minute drive) for your flight to Delhi.

Upon arrival at New Delhi Airport, you will be assisted to connect for your onward flight to Raipur. You will meet on arrival at Raipur Airport and be driven to Singinawa Jungle Lodge on the edge of Kanha National Park with charming styled cottages set in a forest area (approximately a four-hour drive). 

Kanha National Park has an ideal habitat for tigers and their prey species. Prime tiger wilderness, it was one of the first areas to be protected under Project Tiger and is one of the largest conservation areas today. Lush sal and bamboo forests are interspersed with vast grassy meadows while the Banjaar River forms the south-western border of the park and provides a steady water source for the abundant wildlife.

Days 9-11: KANHA NATIONAL PARK / KOLKATA

Explore the dense jungles of Kanha National Park on early morning and afternoon park drives in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. A specially trained naturalist will accompany you throughout, pointing out and explaining details about the jungle.  Step into the famous Jungle Book as you look out for large herds of spotted deer and swamp deer that are preyed on by packs of dhole (Asiatic wild dogs) and tigers. A series of large meadows are interconnected by an excellent network of forest tracks and dirt roads.  Nocturnal animals like fox, hyena, jungle cat, civets, ratel, or honey badger and hares can be seen outside the park confines. Gliding in the water, turtles, and amphibians drift and float. Cast your eye to the tops of shady trees and glimpse kaleidoscopic fluttering as hundreds of bird species paint the sky with magnificent splashes of color.  On one of the evenings, you will be joined by renowned tiger scientist, Dr. Raghu Chundawat who will share his experiences from many years of field research and a lifetime of knowledge on Indian wildlife and its conservation.

The next day, you will hop in the game vehicle for a short early morning safari in shared vehicles. After an early lunch you will be driven for four-hour to Raipur Airport to connect for your flight to Kolkata. You will be met on arrival and driven to The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, conveniently located close to the airport. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or indulge yourself in the Heavenly Spa.

Day 12: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

This morning you will be met and driven to the airport for your flight to Jorhat. On arrival at Jorhat Airport, you will be met and driven to the nearby Haroo Charai Tea Estate (approximately 30 minutes’ drive) for a delicious lunch with a walk around the estate learning the intricate art of tea cultivation. After lunch, continue for another two hours to Diphlu River Lodge in Kaziranga National Park.

Diphlu River Lodge has a boundary river that separates its extensive grounds from the national park itself, and the jungle views are exceptional. The lodge makes full use of local materials and artifacts that blend in with the stunning natural surroundings. Home to some of India’s largest mammals, Kaziranga National Park boasts a thriving population of one-horned rhino, Asian elephant, and Asiatic wild buffalo, as well as the swamp deer known as barasingha, wild boar, sloth bear, and tigers. Everything appears larger than life here. Some of the largest snakes in the world, including the reticulated and Indian pythons, king cobra, and banded krait, slither through the vegetation. The reserve is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with almost 500 species encountered, including many migrants.

Day 13: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

Embark on a scheduled early morning and afternoon safaris in shared vehicles.  A park drive inside Kaziranga National Park is very different from other parks in India. Large parts of the park are made up of tall grasslands with patches of swampy water bodies covered with beautiful water lilies. One-horned rhinos and herds of Asian elephants are seen busily grazing. Swamp deer or barasingha are often seen wading through the water bodies chomping on weeds, and during the rut hanging weeds on their large antlers to impress the females. 

Incredible for birdwatching, a variety of water birds are found around the waterbodies as well as an impressive number of birds of prey in the forested areas. Carry your binoculars and look out for the endangered hoolock gibbons and the swamp francolin. In between the safaris you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) located close to the national park. 

CWRC is a facility where orphaned or injured wild animals of several species are treated and subsequently returned to the wild. The centre is run by Wildlife Trust of India and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The centre attends to a wide range of wildlife emergencies resulting from natural or anthropogenic causes. Observe how the handlers tend to the orphaned animals and learn about the various challenges that are faced in these areas and how the animals are rescued and rehabilitated.

You will be guided through the centre getting to see the animals and thereafter attend a talk explaining the kind of work they do.

Day 14: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

Early this morning you have the option to go on another exciting safari inside the national park. Return to the lodge and we will drive (approximately 1-hour drive from Lodge) to Silghat for a river cruise (in lieu of the afternoon safari) on the Brahmaputra River. 

Home to many magnificent freshwater residents, the Brahmaputra River is one of the key waterways in Asia, spanning 3 848km (2 391mi.) in length. The river drains the Tibetan plateau and then flows through India and Bangladesh. Along its journey it is fed by many smaller rivers and streams.  Lunch, tea, coffee and snacks will be served on-board and the cruise will last about five hours. Look out for the sleek Gangetic dolphins.

Days 15-16: DELHI

Embark a last captivating short early morning safari in shared vehicles.

Later with a packed lunch, you will be driven for four hours to Guwahati Airport to connect for your flight to Delhi. You will be met on arrival and driven to JW Marriott Aerocity, where you can relax, work out in the fitness center, treat yourself to a spa treatment or take a dip in the shimmering swimming pool.

Early the next morning, embark on a last captivating short early morning safari in shared vehicles. Later with a packed lunch, you will be driven for four hours to Guwahati Airport to connect for your flight to Delhi. You will be met on arrival and driven to JW Marriott Aerocity, where you can relax, work out in the fitness center, treat yourself to a spa treatment or take a dip in the shimmering swimming pool.

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Be part of a once-in-a-lifetime journey as you explore the world of tigers, and discover the profound, sustainable efforts to ensure the future of these iconic big cats.

Immerse yourself in this extraordinary 16-day Limited Edition itinerary that celebrates and acknowledges 30 years of &Beyond leaving our better world a better place, through our Care of the Land, Wildlife and People, that coincides with the epic milestone of the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger in India, one of the world’s most successful conservation programs. With a focus on tigers, these dynamic predators in the wild that are symbols of strength, courage and dignity, your journey takes you to three iconic national parks set up under this project, Ranthambhore National Park, Kanha National Park, and Kaziranga National Park.

Dates:

Dec 1-16, 2022

Jan 12-27, 2023

Price: from $10712