India,

Off The Beaten Track in Western India

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Tailor-Made Tour
14 Days
From £2849
GEOIP Not Available
Big Cat Safari
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

14 Days from £2849
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

This is a perfect itinerary for nature lovers in search of some of India’s lesser-known but equally exciting wildlife, landscapes and culture while staying in superb accommodation. Start with the sight of elegant blackbuck galloping across the rolling grasslands of Velavadar, then journey into the forests of Gir National Park in search of the last remnant population of the once widespread Asiatic lion. There will also be a visit to the Jamnager Marine National Park to explore the coral reefs, inter-tidal shores, mangroves and mud flats to see the bountiful marine life and vast flocks of wintering migratory birds. End with the wilds of the Rann of Kutch to observe herds of the graceful Asiatic wild ass and maybe a pack of Indian wolves scouting the landscape for a meal. This special tour will reveal rarely seen Indian wildlife in out-of- the-way reserves not normally visited by outsiders.

Full Itinerary

Price from £2849
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in India

Arrival in Mumbai and connect with flight to Ahmedabad. Met on arrival and transfer to Velavadar National Park and to lodge.

Staying at Blackbuck Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 2
Velavadar National Park

A full day of guided safaris in Velavadar. The park is a 36 square kilometre patch of savannah-type scrubby grassland well suited to the requirements of large herds of the beautiful, endemic blackbuck antelope. Other wildlife seen include herds of nilgai, jungle cat, golden jackal and Indian hare and there is a small but increasing population of Indian wolves and striped hyenas that are now being seen quite regularly. Birdlife includes sandgrouse, larks, lesser floricans and one of the world’s largest winter roosts of harriers.

Staying at Blackbuck Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Sasan Gir National Park

Today enjoy a last morning safari through the park. In the afternoon transfer to Sasan Gir National Park and to your lodge. The park was established to protect the last remaining population of the Asiatic lion and the park now provides a home for around 500 of the endangered lions (from a low of 20 in 1900).

Staying at Lion Safari Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Sasan Gir National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the park. Sasan Gir is a hilly and rocky forest and consists of teak with a mixture of deciduous trees, including sal, dhak, and thorn forests. Lions can often be seen early in the morning and at dusk and there is plethora of other wildlife here including a good leopard population, jungle cat, golden jackal, nilgai, chousinga (four-horned antelope), spotted and sambar deer, and troops of langur monkeys. There are marsh mugger crocodiles, monitor lizards and plenty of interesting bird life to be seen, too.

Staying at Lion Safari Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Sasan Gir National Park

Another full day of game drives in the national park.

Staying at Lion Safari Camp. Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Jamnager Marine National Park

Enjoy a last morning game drive and then transfer to Jamnagar Marine National Park. On arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure.

Staying at Express Residency. Includes Breakfast.

Day 7
Jamnagar Marine National Park

A full day to explore Jamnagar National Park and marine sanctuary, created to protect the extraordinarily rich aquatic life that lives in the coral reefs, mangroves, saltpans, mudflats and estuaries of the Gulf of Kutch. A trip to the offshore islands gives a fascinating experience with a wealth of marine life such as corals, sponges, large shoals of fish, crabs, eels, octopus and even turtles, dugongs and dolphins. Birdlife here is also very important and it is possible to see flamingos, western reef herons, and flocks of migratory waders, terns and gulls.

Staying at Express Residency. Includes Breakfast.

Day 8
Rann of Kutch

Transfer inland to Bhuj and to the lodge in the Rann of Kutch. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Staying at Infinity Rann of Kutch. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9
Rann of Kutch

A full day to explore the Neiya grasslands in the Rann of Kutch. The area is important for many semi-arid bird species such as the rare Indian great bustard, and over-wintering McQueen’s bustard; it is also possible to see large flocks of chestnut-bellied sandgrouse and steppe eagles among many others. There is a small population of Indian wolf here and, with luck, a pack might be seen patrolling the open landscape.

Staying at Infinity Rann of Kutch. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Rann of Kutch

Today transfer to Dasada and the famous Little Rann of Kutch. After arrival at the lodge the rest of the day will be at leisure. There is a nearby lake that is good for birding and it is possible to wander through some of the local villages to see their craftwork.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Little Rann of Kutch

Morning and afternoon game drives in the Little Rann of Kutch. The area is now within the Dhangadhra Sanctuary and protects a vast, arid, desert-like landscape, home to an array of desert-adapted fauna and flora. The star species is the Asiatic wild ass (onagar), an attractive wild horse now very rare and completely confined to the area. Other mammals that could be seen include herds of blackbuck, chinkara (Indian gazelle), nilgai, Indian hares, golden jackals, jungle cats and jerboas. Birds include many species of sandgrouse, desert warbler, hoopoe larks and thousands of wintering waterfowl and flamingos. There will also be a visit to the 11th century sun temple of Modhera.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Little Rann of Kutch

Another day of morning and afternoon game drives in the Little Rann of Kutch. Returning to the camp at mid-day there will be the opportunity for some more sightseeing in the local villages where there are some tribal communities that produce beautiful traditional embroideries.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
Little Rann of Kutch

A final morning game drive. After lunch transfer to Ahmedabad and your next hotel.

Staying at House of MG. Includes Breakfast.

Day 14
Mumbai

Transfer to the airport and fly to Mumbai and connect with your international flight home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

India Western India

Hotel Express Residency

Overview

The elegant Hotel Express Residency in Jamnagar, Gujarat state, is a one of a chain of superb hotels all providing excellent facilities and service. Although a modern business hotel it showcases much classical Indian décor and architecture. Located in Jamnagar’s oil refinery district 20 km from the centre of Jamnagar, the hotel has good access to main roads and the airport. Its principal business is as a business hotel and offers excellent facilities as a result.

Hotel Express Residency has a choice of deluxe and executive rooms as well as many suites. All the 168 spacious rooms have private bathrooms, a view of the garden or swimming pool, air-conditioning, satellite TV, 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi/cable internet.

The restaurant provides fine dining with international dishes available from buffets as well as an a la carte menu. There is also a poolside café for light snacks and drinks.

Other facilities at the hotel include a pleasant tropical garden and large swimming pool, gym, billiards table, business centre, laundry and ironing service, currency exchange, childcare, electronic safe and 24-hour room service.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
168
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini-bar, 24 hour room service, laundry and ironing service, free Wi-Fi, two restaurants, garden, swimming pool, gym, business centre, electronic safe, currency exchange and child care.

India Western India

Lion Safari Camp

Overview

The Lion Safari Camp is one of the best options for accommodation for visitors to Gir National Park in Gujarat state. The camp is located in a private mango orchard close to the Hiran River and has 14 luxurious African-style tented rooms situated in a shady glade.

Each tent has a comfortable double bed or twin beds and a sofa, and amenities such as air-conditioning, bedside and writing tables, clothes storage, verandah and a private bathroom with hot water showers.

There is a restaurant serving delicious regional cuisine with plenty of vegetarian options available, as meat is not widely eaten in the state of Gujarat. The meals are served buffet style but an a la carte menu can be requested.

There is a small games room for guest use, and in the evenings the locals perform a traditional tribal dance.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
16
Facilities

Private tented rooms with private bathroom attached, restaurant, games room, air-conditioning. Please note: this is a dry camp and no alcohol is served.

Local Wildlife

Gir National Park was formerly the hunting ground of the Nawabs of Junagadh, who declared it a reserve to protect the last wild population of Asiatic lions in the world. From a low of 20 in 1900, there are now over 500 surviving in the forests of Gir. There is an interesting diversity of other wildlife too, including a good population of leopard, jungle cat, golden jackal, nilgai, chousinga, (four-horned antelope) spotted and sambar deer. Troops of grey langur monkeys are common and around the watercourses marsh mugger crocodiles, monitor lizards and a plethora of birds could be seen.

Optional Activities

Game drives in the national park, visits to local villages and guided birdwatching walks around the buffer zone of the camp.

India Northern India

House of MG

Overview

The House of MG, which is named after Mangaldas Girdhardas, (an important philanthropist of the 20th century) is a boutique heritage hotel in the city of Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. Built in 1924 originally as a stately home, it has since been restored to provide modern amenities and a high level of comfort while still retaining the charm and stature of the former home. The central location of the hotel is perfect for walking to shops, restaurants and temples in the town.

There are 15 rooms spread across a variety of spacious suites. All rooms come with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, minibar, satellite TV and comfortable seating areas.

There is a large restaurant called the Agashiye serving healthy and tasty dishes from all across India as well as some international cuisine. An additional restaurant can be found at the lotus pool where guests can enjoy a tasty gourmet dinner before or after a swim in the beautiful indoor swimming pool.

Several conference rooms, a café, coffee shop, massage room, health club and a local artisan gift shop are also available on the property.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
15
Facilities

2 Restaurants, café, coffee shop, indoor swimming pool, health club and massage room, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, gift shop, mini bar, satellite TV, and laundry service.

Optional Activities

Tours of Ahmedabad.

India Western India

Infinity Rann of Kutch

Overview

The Infinity Rann of Kutch is part of a chain of luxurious wildlife lodges found in some of the best wildlife sites in India. The Infinity Rann of Kutch resort is situated within the village of Nani Aral, close to the dormant Dhinodar volcano.

The accommodation is in luxurious, beautifully designed, large African-style tents built and designed to replicate the local bhoongas. Each tent contains a large comfortable double or twin bed, private verandah, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, private (hot-water) bathroom with separate rain shower, writing table, tea and coffee facilities and Wi-Fi (charges may apply).

The Casuarina Restaurant serves delicious and diverse Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine in buffets. There is a communal terrace where bonfires are lit during the winter and other facilities include a swimming pool, children’s games area, volleyball court, cricket pitch and lounge. There is also a conference room where wildlife and conservation slideshows are presented.

Excursions from the lodge include safaris in the Rann of Kutch, bird watching, nature walks, and tours of the local Rabari nomad tribal villages and temples.

The area is close to the Neiya grasslands, an important area for many semi-arid bird species such as the rare Indian great bustard and overwintering McQueen’s bustard. Steppe eagles and large flocks of chestnut-bellied sandgrouse are also commonly seen, among many others. There is a small population of Indian wolf here and, with luck, a pack might be seen patrolling the open landscape. The area is also seasonally flooded providing a sanctuary for hundreds of water birds including pelicans, flamingos and storks.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
24
Facilities

Restaurant, swimming pool, games activities, hot water bathrooms, private veranda, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Wintering water birds and resident semi-arid bird specialists such as Indian bustard. A small population of Indian wolf is present and is occasionally seen.

Optional Activities

Safaris, bird watching and nature walks, heritage, village and temple tours.

India Western India

Blackbuck Lodge

Overview

Beautiful Blackbuck Lodge sits within 70 acres of private grasslands on the edge of Velavadar National Park in Gujarat state.

There are 14 luxurious private villas secluded amongst the grassland to increase privacy and all are equipped with their own verandahs and chairs for watching the night sky and enjoying birds and even the occasional blackbuck during the day. Each spacious villa benefits from attractive furniture, air-conditioning, king size beds, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, minibar, room service and tea and coffee making facilities. There is a large bathroom with separate dressing area and an additional outside (hot water) shower for the refreshing experience of showering under the Indian sun.

An attractive restaurant overlooks a small lagoon where many birds can be seen, and serves well-presented cuisine including plenty of vegetarian and local Kathiawadi dishes. There is also a bar, communal lounge and well-stocked natural history library.

There are plans to build a swimming pool and BBQ area in the future.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
14
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, communal lounge, swimming pool, en suite bathroom with hot water and 24-hour electricity. Credit cards accepted.

Local Wildlife

Velavadar National Park supports the largest population of blackbuck in India and is home to 14 other species of mammal including Nilgai, (blue bull antelope), Indian grey wolf, striped hyena, jungle cat, wild boar, Indian hare, Indian hedgehog and golden jackal. Over 140 species of birds have also been recorded here: the grasslands support many specialities such as the localised white-browed bushchat and many species of lark and wheatear. During the winter the wetlands are home to thousands of waterfowl as well as an impressive roost of over 2,000 harriers.

Optional Activities

Game drives in Velavadar National Park and excursions to visit the local village are also available.

Route Map

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Infinity Rann of Kutch: 23.411718, 69.310945
Hotel Express Residency: 22.312308, 73.172083
Lion Safari Camp: 21.168284, 70.576086
Blackbuck Lodge: 22.044573, 72.019907
House of MG: 23.027048, 72.581612

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Domestic flights within India are included.

Best Visited:

October to May

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Thank you for arranging such a thoroughly enjoyable trip, which went so smoothly. We hope to return to India again before too long.

Mr & Mrs J C - Middlesex