Wildlife In Central India

Wildlife in Central India

This adventure takes us deep in to the heart of India, discovering magnificent wildlife and scenery in four different national parks which all have one thing in common: Bengal tigers. The different park environments are also perfect for seeing other endemic wildlife including sloth bear, sambar deer and crocodile.

Wildlife in Central India

There are few sights in the natural world more awe-inspiring than observing a wild Tiger at close quarters. We focus on providing this supreme wildlife experience during visits to Satpura, Pench National Park, Kanha National Park, all renowned for their populations of Tiger. 

Tour Highlights

  1. Satpura National Park – Venture out by boat, four-wheel drive and on foot in search of sloth bear, leopard and crocodile.
  2. Kanha National Park – Chital, Sambar and Neelgai are often spotted.
  3. Pench Tiger Reserve – The inspiration for Kipling’s Jungle Book, as well as a healthy population of tigers, it is home to Chital, wild boar and jackal.
  4. Tadoba Andhari National Park – Go off the beaten path to a rarely visited park and tiger reserve.

Itinerary

Delhi – Bhopal – Satpura – Kanha – Pench – Tadoba – Mumbai

Day 01: Arrive in Delhi
Airport welcome and transfer to your hotel.
Day 02: Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. This morning you will be introducing the children to Delhi in style, on a morning's private bicycle rickshaw tour. Your rickshaw driver/guides will cycle you through the winding alleys of the markets of Old Delhi where you and the children will witness Indian city life up close as you pass street barbers and stall keepers selling colourful garments, spices and sweets. Hop off whenever you want a closer look, lunch and visit to the white marble Gurudwara Sikh temple which has a community kitchen as well as a very interesting museum on the history of the Sikh community. After lunch, it is time for an introduction to Indian history and architecture with a visit to Humayun's Tomb, also in New Delhi and somewhere for the children to run around in the shaded formal gardens surrounding the elegant tomb of a Mughal king.
Day 03: Delhi – Bhopal (flight)
After breakfast transfer to domestic airport and flight to Bhopal. According to flight timing, proceed on a sightseeing tour of Bhopal. The major places you will cover include Taj-UL-Masjid, Bharat Bhawan (the center for visual and performing arts) and the Jama Masjid. Later, return to the hotel for night stay.
Day 04 : Bhopal (30 kms) Bhojpur (120 kms – 03 hrs) Satpura NP
After breakfast we leave Bhopal and make our way to Bhojpur, famous for the incomplete Bhojesvar temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple consists of the inner sanctum which houses one of the largest lingas (a phallic symbol that represents the god Shiva) in India, crafted from a single rock. It is topped with an elegant dome supported by massive pillars as the outer walls and superstructure of the temple were never built. We continue on our journey, stopping to visit the Stone Age Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, named after the mythological hero Bhima. The shelters are the site of the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and mark the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. At least some of the shelters were inhabited by Homo Erectus more than 100,000 years ago and the oldest rock paintings are around 30,000 years old. A short drives brings us in to Satpura National Park, our base for the next two days.
Day 05: Satpura NP
Today we begin our search for wildlife with a visit to Satpura National Park with its rugged hills, sandstone peaks and deep gorges. The park is visited less than many in India and gives us a real sense of being out in the wilderness. We'll take a jeep safari in the morning seeking Bengal tigers, Sloth bears, Leopards and Malabar giant squirrels, amongst the many types of deer that inhabit the park. In the afternoon we will go on a guided walk in the park's buffer zone. Being on foot offers us the chance to take in the smaller residents of the park, from butterflies to ants, and gives us time to stop and smell wildflowers or appreciate the knarly trees of the native sal and teak forests.
Day 06: Satpura NP
This morning we head out by boat on Tewa Lake which has some delightful coves and bays. We glide silently along the lake, scanning the shore for leopards and the large Mugger crocodiles that bask alongside the lake. In the afternoon we take to jeeps and head in to the park in the hope of spotting a Bengal tiger, leopard or perhaps a pack of wild dogs.
Day 07: Satpura NP – Kanha NP (325 kms – 07 to 08 hrs)
Today we leave Satpura and make our way to Kanha National park. The drive will take us most of the day but there will be plenty of opportunities along the way to stretch our legs.
Day 08: Kanha NP
Kanha is one of India's larger parks and offers a very high chance of spotting tigers and their favourite prey, Chital and Sambar deer -The park is very different to Satpura, consisting of open grassland areas, meadows, bamboo forests and some hills covered with tropical forests. We take jeep safaris both in the early morning and late afternoon - the best times for seeing wildlife. While we hope to spot tigers many other species can be spotted including gaur, barking deer, sloth bear, jackal, macaques, mongoose and leopard.
Day 09: Kanha NP - Pench NP (210 kms – 04½ hrs)
After a final early morning safari in Kanha we drive to Pench National Park. The drive will take us approximately five hours, depending on the road conditions, but we will take plenty of opportunities to stop along the way.
Day 10: Pench NP
Named after the River Pench which flows through the park, this beautiful area is generally considered to be the inspiration and setting for Kipling's 'Jungle Book'. Although Kipling himself never actually visited the area, he was an avid reader of the works of the British explorers that did. The park's teak forests have an unusually high density of wildlife including a good number of tigers and wild dogs known as Dholes. Pench sees quite a low number of visitors and offers a very good chance of spotting tigers.
Day 11: Pench NP – Tadoba (225 kms - 05 hrs)
We take one last early morning jeep safari in Pench National Park before we move on to Tadoba National Park. Again, the drive between national parks is approximately five hours. On arrival in Tadoba we are free to relax ready for an early start in the morning ready to explore the park.
Day 12: Tadoba
Tadoba is off the beaten track for most visitors to India, yet it is well worth visiting as tigers, honey badgers and leopards all thrive in the park. Predominantly teak and bamboo forest with a large lake lying to the south west, the park's densely forested hills are interspersed with meadows which are the favourite hunting grounds of the park's tiger population. We take an early morning jeep safari and a second afternoon safari to increase our chances of spotting the park's famous inhabitants.
Day 13: Tadoba ( 145 kms – 03 hrs) Nagpur (Flight ) Mumbai
We head out early morning for our final safari in Tadoba before driving to Nagpur, approximately three hours away, where we board a flight to Mumbai. We arrive into Mumbai late in the evening and check in to our hotel.
Day 14: Mumbai - Departure
This morning we experience the vibrant, bustling and chaotic city of Mumbai. We'll explore the narrow alleys and ramshackle houses of the Dharavi slums, a thriving community made famous by the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' and the Mahatma Gandhi Museum where we'll discover fascinating remnants from the great man's life. We'll also visit the eerie Towers of Silence where the Parsis laid out their dead for birds to dispose of, thereby returning them to nature in line with their Zoroastrian belief, and the Dhobi Ghats, the world's largest outdoor laundry where clothes are cleaned by beating them on a huge stone. Finally we'll see the impressive Prince of Wales Museum which will take us through the natural and archeological history of India, and the nearby Gateway of India arch, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary's visit in 1911 but not completed until 1924, and famously the exit point for the final British troops from the sub-continent after independence. Our trip ends in the early evening in the hotel in Mumbai after our city tour where we have a day room arranged for a shower and freshen up before your flight
  • Best Season:

    October-November and February to May

map of Nawabs of Lucknow

The highlights of this trip

Tadoba National Park

The Tadoba-Andheri Tiger Reserve, situated in the Chandrapur District of Maharashtra, spans over 625 square kilometres.

It became one of India’s 28 Project Tiger Reserves as recently as 1993. Its hills support a dense tropical dry deciduous forest, largely made up of teak and bamboo and is carved by the Andhari River and dotted with Tadoba Lake. Although Tadoba has a healthy population of tigers, they are not used to human presence and slow to show themselves. It is worth spending several days here to have a chance

Stone Age Rock Shelters

An archaeological wonder, the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters take tourists back in time. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Housing 500 or so paintings that have a stark resemblance to the ones found in Australia’s Kakadu National Park, cave paintings of Kalahari Desert’s Bushmen tribe and France’s Upper Paleolithic Lascaux.

Dharavi Slums

Our ethical and educational Dharavi slum tours give visitors a unique glimpse into everyday life for many Mumbaikars while breaking down the negative stereotypes associated with slums.  80% of the profits from every tour are invested back into the community through the programs of our NGO, Reality Gives and most of our guides are from the community.

Dharavi is an economic powerhouse in the middle of Mumbai   As an industrial center with small-scale manufacturing, Dharavi is home to over 1 million people and is overflowing with houses, shops, temples and mosques.

  • Wildlife 95% 95%
  • Monuments 75% 75%
  • Local Experiences 70% 70%
  • Landscapes 95% 95%

The best tour I have experienced.

“A wonderful experience highlighted by having Dheeraj an excellent leader with extensive knowledge of birds and wildlife. Having witnessed nine tiger sightings including cubs feeding on a deer carcass in Satpura and the close-range sighting of a male tiger in Tadoba. Altogether one of the best tours I have experienced. Huge thanks to Dheeraj.”

Alina & Family – Annecy, France

A particularly heart-warming moment.

“Denwa Backwater Retreat was excellent as usual. The highlights of the tour were the 4 adult tigers and the 2 cubs and then the sloth bear walking across the road just in front of our vehicles. The 2 leopards, but they were in the distance at a waterhole. Wild dogs were also next to our vehicle. It was very hot 42 to 45 degrees Celsius, so no thermals were needed. We also had swimming pools at most of the places we have stayed. On the game drives it was very hot and dusty. Some long distant driving with detours and lots of dust too. Food was good, if you like it spicy, but I usually found something to eat which was not spicy. I have done this tour once before after the wet season, now in the dry season and so it was good to see the difference in wildlife and landscapes. “

Denise & Yves – Narbonne, France.

Discover our other tours in Central India

Homestays In North East

Northeast is about its people so the best way to discover this region is to stay with its inhabitants.

Wild Assam

Off the tourist trail, North East India is home to some of the most endangered wildlife in the world. Arriving into Assam, drive to Manas National Park on the fringes of the Bhutan border, which plays host to over 450 species of bird as well as secretive big cats including tigers, clouded leopards and panthers.

Hornbill Festival

Nagaland is steeped in history and tribal tradition. Wander through tribal villages and soak up the atmosphere at the Hornbill Festival, where Naga culture is brought to life in colourful song and dance.

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