Location of Adventure
Group Size Limit
A very important feature of our India wildlife safari is the limited group size, as nature encounters are best experienced away from crowds within the intimate setting of a small group.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
Arrival and departure airport transfers (if you are staying at the Taj Mahal or Trident hotels), internal flights, accommodations, meals from dinner Day 1 to lunch final day, purified drinking water during activities and drinking water and soft drinks at meals, services of an NHA Expedition Leader, local guides and lodge staff, most gratuities, still camera fees in all parks, all permits, entrance fees and taxes.
Travel to and from start and end points of trip (Delhi, India), early arrival and late departure airport transfers (if you are not staying at the Taj Mahal or Trident hotels), alcoholic beverages, passport and visa fees, some gratuities, optional activities, fees for video cameras in parks, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, Internet, etc.), airline baggage fees, required medical evacuation insurance and optional travel insurance.
Easy to Moderate
In order to participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted for at least one mile over uneven terrain, to climb stairs at some accommodations, and to climb a short ladder to get into and out of our safari vehicles. Activities include a city walking tour that could be as long as three miles, walking with luggage through multiple airports, and walking on sometimes dark and uneven paths at our accommodations. Wildlife drives in the parks take place on very rough and bumpy dirt roads with many ruts and potholes, in conditions that are potentially veru dusty. Travelers with back problems or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such conditions should take this into consideration. The trip also involves many very early morning starts and long, full days of activities with little downtime. Some drives between locations are long (5-6 hours) and can occur amid rather chaotic local driving conditions.
Important Information About This Trip
Most of our guests choose a trip to India for encounters with the country’s unique wildlife. While the nature experiences here are exciting, there is a fundamental difference between the wildlife experience in the Indian jungle and a typical African safari. At times, guests who are lured to India by tourist brochures promising “tiger safaris” can be disappointed to see fewer animals than they expected, or at least fewer than they might normally see in Africa. It is not that the surviving jungles are thinly populated with wildlife, but, similar to places like Costa Rica where the forest vegetation is dense, animals have mastered the art of camouflage in thick cover and can be extremely difficult to spot. We design our itineraries to capitalize on the best places to see tigers. But various factors can affect potential sightings, including inclement weather, which creates small pockets of water that allow the animals to remain hidden in the forest, rather than being driven into the open to drink. There is no doubt that India's nature, and the forests Kipling immortalized, offer wondrous discoveries. The secret for visitors lies in the assistance of expert guides, as well as knowing what to expect, and in understanding that the privilege of stepping into a wild natural realm is a reward in itself.
Safari Vehicle Routes & Seating Allocation
Indian park regulations are extremely strict with regard to seating arrangements on wildlife drives. Requirements dictate that guests be confirmed in specific vehicles upon booking, well in advance of the departure date, and we are unable to change vehicles while we are exploring each park. To the best of our ability, we attempt to ensure that guests who are traveling with a partner or friend will have seats together during wildlife drives. Because couples or friends are booked together in the same vehicle and are unable to split up during drives, it may mean that in some instances, certain vehicles will contain fewer guests than others.
It is also important to understand the limitations based on available vehicle space. Each open safari vehicle has two front seats and two rows of bench seats. Park regulations require that the front two seats be occupied by a park ranger and registered driver-guide. Our Expedition Leader is allowed more flexibility and will switch among vehicles for each drive so that all guests are able to spend equal time with him or her. However, this means that as our Expedition Leader rotates vehicles, there may be times when there will be three people (two guests and one Expedition Leader) to a row—our Expedition Leader may be required to sit in the rear left seat of the vehicle. Please note that all of these rules are dictated by the park service, and unfortunately, we have no control over this process.
Please note also that there are different driving routes inside the national parks. Because India's park service allocates a route at random for each vehicle on wildlife drives, there is no guarantee that any of our vehicles will get a different route within each park every time. Please be aware, therefore, that it is possible the vehicle you are assigned to could take the same route inside the park multiple times, and these routes may not correspond to suspected tiger locations. Unfortunately, Natural Habitat Adventures has no control over this process, which is set and managed by the park service. Though unlikely, it is also possible that we may see film crews during our time in the parks. These crews pay an exorbitant price to film inside Indian parks and, as a result, they do enjoy certain advantages that regular tourists do not, such as spending the entire day inside the park and having access to places where others cannot go.
Since the areas we travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for our guests' safety. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we request that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We will add the cost of a medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
Getting There & Getting Home
Arrive in Delhi in time to participate in a guided tour that starts at approximately 1:30 pm on Day 1. You are free to depart Delhi anytime after 9 pm on the final day. We can best serve you if our Natural Habitat Adventures Travel Desk makes your reservations, as we are intimately familiar with the special requirements of this program and can arrange the most efficient travel. Please call us at 800-543-8917. Note that while we offer you the best possible rates available to us on airfare and additional nights' accommodations, you may find special web rates or better fares online.