Our Brand New David Attenborough Explorer Itinerary 2020

An incredible wildlife adventure taking in five continents over four months.



We have launched a brand new wildlife adventure for 2020, inspired by the legendary natural historian Sir David Attenborough.

If you’re a fan of the iconic documentary makers’ work you’ll definitely want to find out more about our incredible new itinerary, focusing on the fascinating destinations and wildlife featured across the popular documentaries.

This brand new itinerary for 2020 combines a selection of our greatest wildlife adventures across five different continents to take in some of the most fascinating scenery and species which have been the star of the show in Attenborough’s recent works.

Starting in Antarctica in February and ending in the Arctic in June, passing through South America, Africa, and Asia along the way, this intrepid itinerary offers the chance to see everything from pumas to polar bears, painted wolves and penguins.

Read the full itinerary below.

Antarctica – February 2020 (14 Nights)

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Our intrepid wildlife itinerary begins in Antarctica with an epic 14-night polar adventure in the Falklands. Our Falklands Birds and Wildlife tour takes in the remote wilderness of the Falkland Islands, offering the opportunity to see the most spectacular wildlife this region has to offer, including albatross, 5 different species of penguin, seals, dolphins, orcas and a myriad of birdlife – many of which have played a star part in Attenborough’s documentaries.

South America

Costa Rica – March 2020 (11 nights)

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The tour continues to Costa Rica with our incredible 11-night scuba diving experience in the Coco Islands. This underwater adventure offers the chance to explore one of the most impressive diving destinations in the world, home to over 300 different species of fish. Other fascinating creatures to witness here include turtles, dolphins and sailfish – all which have featured in Attenborough’s documentaries.

Ecuador – March 2020 (9 Nights)

hinese Hat and Rabida Island

The next leg of the tour is our 9-night Galapagos adventure, which takes in the west, central and east islands. The wildlife journey includes the opportunity to see the largest colony of marine iguanas on Fernandina Islands, a visit to a nesting site for the flightless cormorant on Isabela Island and pelican spotting on Rabida Island.

Argentina – March/April 2020 (11 Nights)

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Next up is Argentina, for our brand new Patagonia, Pumas and Glaciers tour. This 11-day tour offers the chance to see pumas in the wild in the very location where Attenborough filmed his unforgettable Seven Worlds One Planet episode. This thrilling tour also includes a visit to  Los Glaciares National Park and a hike along the Southern Glacier.

Brazil – April 2020 (11 Nights)

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Africa

Zimbabwe – April 2020 (6 Nights)

Concluding our time in South America, we head to Brazil for our Amazon, Pantanal and Savannah tour. This trip offers a unique opportunity to see the maned wolf in the wild, as well as the jaguars and anteaters which have featured in Attenborough’s documentaries. This tour includes accommodation in eco-lodges set among the incredible nature, as you visit each of these three fascinating areas of varied terrain.

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Our first Africa leg of this itinerary is in Zimbabwe, where you can visit the Mana Pools National Park which was featured in Attenborough’s Dynasties documentary. This 7-day Super Sensory Safari is a first of its kind and provides a truly immersive safari experience, with activities specifically designed to engage all of the senses, including a walking safari led by expert professional guides.

Botswana – April/May 2020 (12 Nights)

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The second African safari stop is in Botswana where you can see the beauty of the African elephants in the wild at Chobe Riverfront, home to the largest density of African elephants. This Wild Botswana tour also visits Okavango Delta, known as one of the best destinations in all of Africa for wildlife lovers.

Asia

India – May/June 2020 (12 Nights)

andhavgarh National Park

In Asia, take in our Wildlife Special focusing on leopards, tigers and rhinos. This 12-night tour includes tiger viewing in two of India’s best tiger reserves and a safari in Kaziranga Park – home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros.

Arctic – June 2020 (10 Nights)

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This magnificent wildlife itinerary ends in the Arctic with our Introduction to Spitsbergen tour. This 10-night polar expedition will encounter polar bears, arctic foxes, whales and walruses in the wild as you explore the very best of what Spitsbergen has to offer.

This incredible 4-month itinerary taking in five different continents costs from £40,411pp. This doesn’t include transfers between countries. All internal transport within each leg of the trip, accommodation, and excursions are included as stated in each individual tour itinerary.

Contact us now to book

Tiger in India Great Indian Bustard & Tiger Conservation In India

Pioneering Indian conservationist and wildlife expert Harsh Vardhan

Wildfoot Ambassador and long-term friend, Harsh Vardhan is a pioneering Indian conservationist and wildlife expert. For many years now Harsh has been working tirelessly to further the conservation and protection of two of India’s most majestic yet most threatened species. The Tiger and The Great Indian Bustard. Here Harsh gives us a report on progress to date.

The Great Indian Bustard

For many years WILDFOOT travel has been campaigning passionately to conserve and protect the critically endangered ‘Great Indian Bustard’ (Ardeotis nigricpeps), an impressive and intelligent bird found in the Indian Thar desert. As part of the ongoing process of conservation, we have hosted several lectures at Birdfair in an effort to generate support for this deeply threatened species. As a direct result of those who have supported our efforts to date, we have the following good news to report:

In June-July 2019, all seven Great Indian Bustard eggs recovered in the wild, have hatched successfully in India’s Desert National Park. All the chicks are doing well and strutting proudly around their new home.

BustardsTwo female Great Indian Bustards, have been fitted with satellite transmitters. They have not mated yet, so no eggs have been produced yet. But watch this space

With less than 100 Great Indian Bustards left in the wild, their revival is an eight-year project. A project which will take time, commitment and money. We urge all our friends and supporters to help in any way they can.

As we prepare 2019 Birdfair, our partners in India are busy collecting Lesser florican eggs (another Bustard species) in the Shonkalia area, with the aim of breeding  them in captivity at Jaipur Zoo.

TIGERS

Thanks and congratulations to our friends and supporters of our Tiger conservation movement. The number of Tigers in India’s National parks has reached 3,000. Thanks to camera-trap devices which have now been in use for four years, the fall in Tiger number has halted.

tiger in india drinking from a poolThat means more amazing opportunities for wildlife encounters with Tigers in India’s wilderness. Whilst fifty Tiger Reserves are involved in this project, only a few can boast the best sightings. Ranthambhore, Tadoba, Kanha and Bandhavgarh. It is worth noting that these same four reverse are all recognised as amazing bird habitats with a huge array of impressive birdlife. Satpuda is also worth mentioning as great area so encounter for mammals and birds.

opticron logoWe are proud to have OPTICRON as a committed and caring partner in the conservation of wildlife in India.
Opticom have kindly provided binoculars to National Park Guides in India who cannot afford to purchase themselves. This helps conservation in many ways but particularly with wildlife protection including anti-poaching.

WILDFOOT India experts Manoj and Graham are delighted to welcome anyone one interested in a unique big cat and Birding tour of India – WILDFOOT India Stand, Rutland Birdfair 16,17 & 18 August 2019

 

A tiger in the woodland area of Ranthambhore National Park A Fascinating Indian Wildlife Tour

Wildfoot Travel's Simon Rowland Reporting From his wildlife safari in India
Wildfoot Travel’s Simon Rowland took a trip to India recently, exploring wildlife parks and other areas of interest to make sure we give our clients the best possible advice and put together the most rewarding wildlife adventures in this beautifully compelling and endearing country.
Here is his day-by-day account of the trip which provides useful insight and inspiration for those considering a visit to India.

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9 year old dominant male tiger Harsh Vardhan – Wildfoot Ambassador

Two male Great Indian Bustards facing wind mill threats in India's Gujarat
Two male Great Indian Bustards facing wind mill threats in India’s Gujarat

Pioneering Indian conservationist and wildlife expert Harsh VardhanPioneering Indian conservationist, wildlife expert and good friend of Wildfoot Travel, Harsh Vardhan is coming to talk at the Rutland Birdfair this August.
Ahead of his trip, we caught up with him and asked him a few questions, to find out exactly what he’s been up to and what his plans for the future are.

If you are coming to the Birdfair, make sure you don’t miss Harsh’s talks:

18 Aug Friday 2pm ‘Great Indian Bustard’ – only 90 left in the world, what’s next for this amazing iconic bird.

20 Aug Sunday 2pm ‘Indian Tiger population increases’ – a good news story. But do tigers have a place to go?’

After the lectures Harsh will be on the Wildfoot Stand to meet anyone interested in visiting India.


1.     At what age did you start to feel that something had to be done about conservation and wildlife protection within India?
A: In 1969-70, when the IUCN General assembly met in New Delhi and the crisis over Tigers erupted . India’s Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi banned Tiger hunting in 1970 all over India. So emerged Project Tiger. “An impossible project” we all thought!
As it rolled on, I tried to attend most meetings. I read all about wildlife and as a journalist I commenced reporting wildlife conservation.
I covered the visit of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to Ranthambhore in 1974, at the time he was President of WWF – International.
My news item went round the globe within hours and the die was cast.
Prince Bernhard observed a Tiger and a leopard sharing the same kill at 10 pm in the park in the peak of winter and we all shivered as we watched the scene through torch lights fixed to the engine of a jeep!
2.  What are the most important conservation and wildlife issue in India today?
A: The needs of our population creates a huge amount of pollution. The natural habitat is disappearing and finding a solution seems to be a low priority. Things are improving but only at a snail’s pace thanks to layers of bureaucracy (a legacy left by the British).
3.  You are a major force and campaigner for Indian birds and wildlife, what is the good news to come out of India at this time?
A: Science has been a priority in conservation for the past two decades. Tiger Conservation is an iconic success for India in the eyes of the world. There has been global cooperation from WWF, BirdLife International etc., which has helped us to gain ground.
Yet all this is simply a drop in the ocean, the force of Indian non-government organisations (NGO) is fierce. Each one keeps a vigil over wild species and each on is willing to take a stand against authorities who are in the wrong. These organisations are spread all over India, though not networked yet they are doing a very good job individual.
I myself am an NGO.
4.     We know you will be giving two lectures at Rutland Bird Fair this year in August, one on the Ranthambore Tigers and the other on The Great Indian Bustard looking at the future for both species.
Can you see a positive outcome for the survival of the Bustard Harsh and the growth of the numbers of Tiger in India?
A: Bustards: India started its conservation in 1979-80 when I successfully prevented Arab Sheikhs from carrying out illegal falconry in the That desert.
The Bustard conservation was started and inviting overseas experts, we held the first ever international symposium on Bustards in Jaipur in 1980.  We produced a book “Bustards In Decline.” But the bureaucracy and the damned  forest officers paid little attention, so the Great Indian Bustard was driven to the brink of extinction. The population has plummeted from 1,300 in 1980, down to only 90 today!

Hue and cry has been our lone defence. 2017 saw a meeting in Jaipur attended by experts from  Britain and  Spain to decide on captive breeding of the species in the Desert.  I  attended the meeting but a strong section of the government did not want me to be included. They thought I was too harsh and too critical, so they tried to keep me out but I went to the meeting anway .

We live in hope.  The habitat has been better protected for the past 4 years in the Desert, by the same set of forest officials who were doing nothing earlier, so officials can improve.

 A. Tiger: Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is overflowing with cubs. Nine females have cubs at present (July 2017)  or about to become adults or are pregnant.
We have nearly 68 Tigers compared to only 14 in 1994.
They are moving out of the park. Adult male cubs go out, as the dominant males do not allow them to remain inside (psychologically not letting them mate with own mothers too).
They go out and live in scrub areas with no natural prey. So they prey upon cattle, which makes the villagers unhappy . The forest officials have no plan to deal with the excess tiger population. They say it is a success but we say ‘yes it is a success but the excess population is getting decimated in areas where there is no Tiger Management’.
5.     You have edited, co-written and authored various wildlife, birding and conservation books in the past. You are working on about an Indian tribe called Bishnois – Can you tell us more about the book and its subject?
A: More than 500 year old success story .
Bishnoi Sect (not a tribe), were born in the desert and live by 29 principles, nature conservation being one of them.
Of the million people on earth who are Bishnois, one fifth of the them live in Jodhpur, the gateway to the desert.
They give away their lives to protect gazelles and black bucks and what do they receive  a double column piece in the daily newspaper!
I’d like to revive the spirit of the Bishnois and make it as widely acceptable as possible.
Flora and fauna both are for humanity’s welfare, and should not be confined to one community or a single country. The Bishnois were the first ‘Hug The Tree’ movement starters. In 1730, 363 men and women gave away their lives at Khejreli (near Jodhpur) when the prince wanted to cut trees to burn lime for a new palace to be built. Four such self sacrifices have occurred around that area since.
We all should take their exemplary examples forward. The book is to outline all this in a broader context including other communities across the world involved in similar initiatives. There is a long way to go.
6.     How can our wildlife and conservation community from all over the world support Indian wildlife campaigns especially the ones you are involved in right now?
A: By joining hands together, arriving at consensus and assuming the lead role in fields. Not merely as academics, or confined to face-book items and pep talks over dinner. Together we can make a difference.
Look at Wildfoot Travel’s and Simon Rowland.  We were unknown until a year ago Today, Simon is taking the the lead and putting us on the map. Now we need a thousand more Simons dotted around the UK.
7.     Your love of wildlife has no doubt rubbed off on your children and also your grandchildren and I know you are very close with them. Do you feel there’s a growing wildlife and conservation movement within the youth of India today?
A: It is Incredible. 21 years ago, inspired by my first visit to BBWF when Tim Appleton MBE (One of the founders of Rutland Bird Fair) took me around Rutland in a golf cart, my eyes were opened and I decided to have a Birding fair at Man Sagar lake at Jaipur to conserve it.
The Officers laughed at me, some laughed and said – ‘he has no money but he talks big!’ The Birding Fair will be 21 in Feb 2018, incurring a few million rupees expenditure.
I knew people s would not join it, so I lured students-teachers community. Not an exaggeration, we have a quarter million constituency of students-teachers  who support conservation. At each walk, some one says hi to me, so I ask them who they are, they answer “sir I attended 5 or 7 birding fairs, now I am an engineer or a doctor!”
Lake restoration was our biggest success. People had to use a handkerchief by 2006-07 as they would walk by this 1.5 sq. km lake, But not today. Thanks to an eco system, based approach the heritage lake got conserved but the same lake is once again getting degenerated – the government, has different ideas.
I am currently pitted against the present Chief Minister, she is imperious but I am willing to go to jail if she can pronounce a sentence from her side, which she cannot!
8.     Simon tells me you are a very modest person Harsh, you are always committed to highlighting “the cause” rather than yourself. You have been associated with fierce & sometimes overwhelming conservation struggles within India. What’s next for Harsh Vardhan and what’s close to your heart right now?
A: I have handed over leadership to the next generation and I am trying to ensure they do better than I could.
We had  no volunteers 20 years ago. Today there are about sixty volunteers and a core team of ten. They provide technical inputs, leadership and support.
So the ‘White-naped Tit’ work is led by them. I take a back seat. This bird is rarely observed and only in 6 – 7 places in arid India. It is found about 15 km away in the hills from where I live.
Writing a book on the Bishnois, a profile of wetlands etc. are high on the agenda for me, hopefully they will progress nicely.
The Oriental Bird Club, run by Krys, a Brit, will soon mention the White-naped Tit. Krys informed me yesterday as I introduced Sajal Jugran, next in command here with me, to join hands with Krys. Why just me alone, they should all be involved.
9.     What are your five “must see” wildlife locations of India?
A: Of a total 50 Project Tiger Reserves in India designated so far (2017), only 5 can actually show you Tigers. Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and Tadoba.
Others are not well managed and are facing problems from terrorism or do not offer basic facilities to vsitors
It is difficult to single out a must see five. I am more emphatic on habitat conservation, I have never been a botanist but my emphasis for the past decade has been more on vegetation, edible and non-edible grasses. if cattle are fed well, there will be less pressure of grazing on forests so forest species shall survive better.
10.  We are hoping you will be expertly leading small groups for us in the next 24 months, with a focus on the Indian Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Birding, off the beaten track India and also with a little culture thrown in.  What can we expect from these unique itineraries and what exciting spectacles do you have in store?

A: India has limitless attractions. There are few people who have the skill and knowledge to make sure you get the most out of an indian Wildlife experience.
I can offer A mix of Tigers, Birds, Bishnoi and Culture within two weeks. Visitors need authenticity, simplicity, no show business, and an easy pace with plenty of time to observe the target species.

Check out  this captivating video of a tiger shot by Harsh’s son and fellow Wildfoot Ambassador Manoj Varhan.

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.