Monthly Archives: November 2016

Indian Adventure 16

Simon from WILDFOOT enjoyed a wildlife adventure in India earlier this year and kept a diary of his travels throughout the summer. Over the last month, Simon’s adventures have been serialised on the WILDFOOT blog, and today he concludes his journey.

Part 16

Finishing my Indian adventure in Guwahati, Assam, I take the time to reflect on my experiences. I have been lucky enough to spot some of the world’s most endangered and sought-after wildlife, and I have also immersed myself in the local culture and learned a great deal about India in the process.

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Concluding my journey in Kaziranga National Park has been a real treat. Despite being off the beaten track – a three-hour flight from Delhi and a five-hour journey from Guwahati Airport – this destination has allowed me to spend some time with the beautiful wildlife that India has to offer.

If you hold a dedicated interest in the one-horned rhino, this is the park for you. Although other regions can be reached in less travelling time, Assam is a beautiful place, and combining your trip to Eastern India with a visit to Bhutan can open up even more possibilities for observing wildlife.

If Simon’s adventures have inspired you to consider a wildlife getaway, please don’t hesitate to contact the luxury travel agents at WILDFOOT today. With a range of exclusive destinations available across Africa, the Americas and Antarctica, we are the number one choice for nature lovers who want to try out something new and make memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Indian Adventure 15

WILDFOOT’s Simon spent his summer on a wildlife adventure in India and kept a log of his journey for you to find out more about on our blog. Today, Simon spends another day in the Kaziranga National Park and spots over 50 species of wild bird.

Part 15

As I spend another day in the Kaziranga National Park, I find out more about this fascinating part of the world. This region holds the highest population of tigers in the entire world, but because of its rich vegetation, there is very little chance of spotting them.

Birding, however, makes for some great sightings. With the opportunity to spot over 250 species, I manage over 50 during my day without looking too hard. A guest at the hotel I stay at was lucky enough to spot a tiger – only fleetingly, but it was a sighting all the same.
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The Kaziranga National Park is closed for six months of the year because of the monsoon season, and the massive expansion of the Brahmaputra River, which takes over any lowlands it may.

Unfortunately, this is also a time when a small number of rhinoceroses are drowned, but this is considered natural wastage by the government, and there is little that can be done to protect them.

In his final update, Simon will reflect on his Indian wildlife adventure and spend more time in the Kaziranga National Park. If you are considering a wildlife adventure of your own, contact the luxury travel agents at WILDFOOT for assistance. With decades of experience of organising trips across Antarctica, the Americas and Africa, we should be your number one choice for your next getaway.

Indian Adventure 14

Simon from WILDFOOT spent part of his summer enjoying an Indian wildlife special holiday, documenting his journey throughout so that you could find out more about it on the WILDFOOT  blog. Today, Simon travels to Guwahati and takes in the sights of the Kaziranga National Park.

Part 14

As the team here at WILDFOOT always endeavours to be a little different with its itineraries, I fly from Delhi to Guwahati, which is the largest city of Assam. The journey is short and comfortable and a similar distance to that between London and Rome.

Kaziranga National Park is too unique to miss out on. I take a diversion to this interesting, diverse region covering some of the world’s most important grasslands and the monsoon flood area of the Brahmaputra River.

The river is one of the world’s longest and most important to the environment and the surrounding natural world. This park is also home to two-thirds of the world’s endemic one-horned rhinoceros.

You will also sight wild elephant on safari plus many other species in this National Park. Birding is amazing by the way. Tigers are prevalent but because of the foliage, very difficult to see so don’t come here hoping for big cat sightings. This region is known for its tea and you will see miles of tea plantation as you travel to the national park.

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While this poor animal is poached for Chinese meditational reasons, numbers are increasing despite a huge 48 lost to poachers in 2014. In the last two years, the Indian government has pulled out the stops with 24/7 park guards shooting to kill anyone who will risk their lives for a piece of horn, which most people know to be of no medicinal use whatsoever.

A guard with a loaded gun is always sent out with each jeep, which is apparently for our safety and to protect from potential attacks, as well as for the general security of the park.

Next time, Simon continues his adventure in the Kaziranga National Park and spots some exotic birds. If you would like to start your own wildlife adventure in India, contact the luxury travel agents at WILDFOOT today. With a range of exclusive destinations and itineraries, we can offer a unique travel opportunity that allows you to make memories and explore some of the world’s most beautiful natural surroundings.

 

Indian Adventure 13

WILDFOOT’s Simon spent time on an Indian wildlife adventure earlier this year and documented his journey for you to peruse on the WILDFOOT blog. Today, Simon travels to the Tiger Den and finds out more about the predatory nature of local tigers and leopards.

Part 13

This is my last day in Ranthambore and I’ve had excellent sightings of Tigers, one leopard and many other wildlife and birding species. It’s been an amazing visit.

Tigers and leopards are seen on many occasions in this area. After the staff finish their shifts at 10:30pm, the tigers and leopards are known to sit on the walls or in the trees and climb over the eight-foot wall of the park to get into the village.

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These predators are driven in by the various free-roaming animals that are readily available in the town – the roaming cattle, pigs and dogs are all easy pickings.

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These regular visitors are all well and good for a tourist, but their visits can also end in human deaths. Last month, a local lady was killed by a leopard and in 2012, a young boy was killed just off the road by a tiger that he disturbed at six in the morning.

Leopards are more likely to stalk a human, while tigers will only attack if they are provoked. It’s clearly not the big cats’ faults, as nature dictates, but those that do kill humans are captured and taken to a zoo so that other human lives are spared.

The forestry commission has decided to take action against the predators, and is creating a wildlife corridor, known as the Keladevi wildlife corridor, within the next six years. Driven by these incidents and the death of Hash Vardan, who was one of India’s best-known and most influential wildlife campaigners, it is hoped that an additional wildlife park will bring the whole area to over 1,000 square kilometres and make the surrounding areas safer for residents and tourists.

This solution will provide comfort for the next decade, and it will be interesting to see how it is implemented in the coming years. The Indian government wheels turn slowly, but it is better late than never.

Next time, Simon travels to Guwahati and takes in the Brahmaputra River. If you would like to start your own Indian wildlife adventure, get in touch with a luxury travel company like WILDFOOT today. We’re on hand throughout the week to answer your questions and put together an itinerary that works for you and your family.

Indian Adventure 12

Simon from WILDFOOT enjoyed an Indian wildlife adventure this summer and documented his travels for you to peruse on the WILDFOOT blog. Today, Simon spots a tiger in the Ranthambore National Park.

Part 12

Very exciting morning as it is my first Tiger Safari across the Ranthambore National Park in search of a tiger. After a short time driving across the beautiful landscape, we spot a tiger just 30 metres away from our truck, giving me an excellent opportunity to take some photographs for my friends and family.

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The Ranthambore National Park covers approximately 400 square kilometres and offers 10 different safari routes. This is particularly useful for those who want to explore different aspects of the park, or who want to try their luck at spotting some of the wide variety of wildlife on offer.

The Forestry Commission highly protects the area, and one of its responsibilities is to ensure that routes take an equal amount of safaris using six-person jeeps and larger vehicles called canters, which carry around 18 persons.

WILDFOOT recommends that you take a jeep option over the canter options in every case. Although a jeep costs more, it offers increased opportunities for wildlife observations. WILDFOOT pre-books these excursions, so don’t for one minute expect to turn up and book on the day. Instead, make sure that you plan way in advance.

Due to the success of the immense tiger protection over the last few years and vertically zero poaching, there are now close to 65 tigers across the National Park, which is up from just 26 in 2007. The Park may sound like a large enough space at 400 square kilometres, but the territories are aggressively fought over by tigers, so jeep safaris are meticulously planned to avoid getting caught up in the action.

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Great success has brought a problem of sorts – a natural one of tiger territory. The tigers are pushing out because of territorial issues with each other into villages, farms and settlements, so it will be fascinating to see what happens in the coming years as tiger numbers continue to increase.

In his next update, Simon will discover more about the tigers and leopards that reside within the Ranthambore National Park. To find out more about taking part in your own Indian wildlife venture, don’t hesitate to contact the luxury travel agents at WILDFOOT today.

Indian Adventure 11

This year, WILDFOOT’s Simon spent time in India, documenting his wildlife journey throughout. We are serialising Simon’s travels on the WILDFOOT blog. In his latest update, Simon arrives at Ranthambore to begin a three-day mini-adventure.

Part 11

The Ranthambore National Park is world-renowned for being a place where one can observe the tiger in its natural habitat. Only four hours away from Agra and about the same from Delhi, I don’t understand why anybody would miss out on this wonderful region when enjoying a wildlife holiday in India.

It is only a 10-minute ride from the train station to our lodge, which is called The Tiger Den Ranthambore. The accommodation is a good 3.5 stars in quality, but the location is peaceful and far enough out of the town to be a haven for good birding opportunities around the property.

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There’s a pool, large attractive lawns and rose gardens here. The staff are very helpful and friendly and Patrick, the hotel manager, is amusing, friendly and runs a tight ship. All of the food is served buffet-style, and there is a delicious range of options from which to choose.

The view of the landscape from our accommodation is magnificent. The area offers a diverse range of terrains, from flat deserts to large red hills, which are some of the oldest in the world.

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Diverse, too, are the wildlife offerings. Most visitors travel to Ranthambore exclusively in hope of spotting a tiger, but it would be a lost opportunity not to embrace the other rich wildlife and reptile opportunities. Leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, wolves, mongoose, porcupines, spotted deer, sambar deer, langur monkeys, wild boar and crocodiles can all be spotted – not to mention various species of snake and lizard, which are very hard to find most of the time.

Bird species number up to 230, so visiting Ranthambore is essential for any keen birder. The travel experts at WILDFOOT recommend at least three or four nights in Ranthambore, so I decide to spend three days here exploring everything that the area has to offer.

In his next update, Simon will explore the Ranthambore National Park in search of a tiger. If you would like to find out more about enjoying your own Indian adventure, get in touch with the travel experts at WILDFOOT today.

Indian Adventure 10

Simon from WILDFOOT spent his summer taking part in an Indian wildlife holiday. Throughout his journey, he recorded his highlights for you to peruse on the WILDFOOT blog. In this update, Simon finishes his adventures in Keoladeo Park and boards a train to Ranthambore.

Part 10

As I finish my day at the Keoladeo Park, I soon look forward to my accommodation. Laxmi Vilas is a mid-standard property and close to the National Park. There are two parts, an older original part which has been built on to in recent years whilst keeping the same Heritage style.

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The property was once a haveli – a kind of local manor house for heads of the village or area in years gone by. Some of these turn to ruin because of a lack of funding, but some are turned into small and quirky guesthouses and hotels like the Laxmi. This haveli is particularly attractive due to the National Park on its doorstep, and I am pleased to spend the night here before I awake for my journey to Ranthambore.

The next morning, I embark on my five-hour journey. There are air-conditioned seats and beds, which are particularly useful for those wishing to travel overnight. I have enjoyed all of my train journeys in India so far, as I find that each one is a real social occasion offering the chance to meet diverse Indian personalities.

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The journeys are also an opportunity to share food and discussion if the language allows. On more than one occasion, passengers have wanted to share whatever local delicacy they have been enjoying, so I take my seat and await my next culinary experience on my journey to Ranthambore.

In Simon’s next instalment, he will explore the Ranthambore National Park. If you are interested in following in Simon’s footsteps and taking part in your own Indian wildlife holiday, rely on WILDFOOT, the luxury travel company, to arrange everything you need for the adventure of a lifetime. In addition to organising flights, accommodation and transfers, we work closely with our partners around the world to deliver authentic, intimate wildlife experiences for you to enjoy.