- Escorted by an award winning naturalist Kartikeya Singh
- Hike, Canoe and Jeep through Tadoba, Pench and Satpura National Parks
- Hands on experiences; setting camera traps and learning tracking skills
- Meet conservation experts in the field and visit ongoing projects
During this India Wildlife Conservation and Walking Safari, visit the tiger reserves of Tadoba, Pench, and Satpura and walk the two-day Panchmari Trail, with the hilly backdrop of the range setting the scene.
Escorted by award-winning naturalist, Kartikeya Singh, search for the iconic tiger as well as discovering the region's rich history and culture at Sanchi and Bhimbetka. Explore the parks by jeep, canoe and on foot, see camera traps in action, camp out in secret hides and learn to identify tracks and signs of tigers. Encounter India's wildlife and gain an insight into the challenges they face in today’s modern India. Hear from guest lecturers regarding ongoing conservation issues and related projects including village relocation and tiger translocation programmes, and ways to ease tension between human and animal conflict.
Why Travel with Kartikeya Singh?
Exceptional guides are the first essential component of a successful wildlife holiday and in Kartikeya Singh, Steppes Travel is confident to have found just that. With over 300 days filming with the BBC, and over a decade of field research including the development and implementation of translocation and conservation projects, he is a confirmed expert for this tour. His outstanding knowledge of the habitat and behaviour of tigers gives an undeniable edge to this experience. With his senses in tune with the environment, there will be little missed in his presence.
What are the differences between Tadoba, Pench and Satpura?
Each park offers something a little different. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is one of India’s most exciting and best-protected tiger reserves, undiscovered, and with excellent tiger sightings regularly reported. Dominated by teak forest and bamboo, it’s a rugged landscape comprising cliffs, caves, marshes, perennial lakes and boulder strewn streambeds catering to a host of biodiversity, not least the tiger. Tadoba has a series of camera traps around camps continually monitoring local wildlife. This area is also frequented by six tigers including the dominant male tiger Crooked Tail and the newest entrant, the Halleghat male tiger. Tadoba park management is proactive in offering new experiences and includes walking trails in the buffer area and kayaking on the Irai Lake.
Pench has a wonderfully rich flora and fauna and is home to the Asiatic leopard with the dam in the park being a favourite spot for bird watching. Other wildlife spotted here are chinkara, wild dog, sloth bear and jackal. Pench has a good reputation for tiger sightings and is less crowded so the overall safari experience is more personal.
Satpura, one of Indias best-kept secrets, is cradled in the Satpura Range of the Mahadeo Hills, uncharted and unspoiled, Satpura represents wilderness at its very best. This reserve is part of one of the largest contiguous blocks of forest left in India and is connected to other reserves by forest 'corridors'. This region, therefore, represents the largest block of tiger habitat left in the world and the bird watching is considered among the best. The magnificent deep valleys, high mountains, rivulets, waterfalls and vast reservoir combine to give this park a unique beauty. The terrain is extremely rugged and consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines and dense forests. The Denwa River runs through Satpura's gorges enabling exploration by canoe as well as the jeep. This is the only park that allows walking safaris in India.
What is a typical day like on safari in Central India?
Mornings begin with tea in bed, usually, before 6 am and park entry times vary depending on summer or winter season, but the gates normally open at 6 am – closing again between 9.30am/ 10.30am. All vehicles need to be out of the park before the gate closes after the morning game drive unless you have gained special permission. Breakfast will normally be taken in the park, heading back to the lodge around mid-morning for lunch. Some lodges serve a light breakfast in the park and return for a more substantial brunch around 11 am.
The afternoon is free to make use of the facilities available at your lodge, take time over a leisurely lunch, have an afternoon sleep, or a walk in the grounds. Often situated in the buffer zone, and regularly recording good wildlife sightings, the lodges are worth exploring. During the tour there may be unique experiences during this time of the day. The second game drive, in the afternoon, the park opens around 2pm with a return to the lodge in time for a pre-dinner sundowner. Meals are served back at the lodge – often al fresco around a fire pit, with classic cooking methods.
What is the accommodation like on this tour?
Stay in lodges which offer total emersion into tiger conservation and meet the in-house passionate naturalists. Where possible we have secured accommodation offering a high standard of comfort, including The Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge in Tadoba and Reni Pani Cottage in Satpura. There are wonderful dining opportunities to be had, including Village Farm to Table experiences. We believe we have confirmed the best available and we are confident the owners have a commitment to conservation tourism.
How fit do I need to be to enjoy this tour?
General overall fitness is required. The tour covers a lot of ground and there are three longer road journeys of approximately five hours, which are unavoidable. During the jeep safaris in the National Parks, you need to be comfortable getting in and out of high clearance vehicles. The vehicles may cross bumpy ground at times, so please make us aware of any back problems you may have. The two-day Satpura walking safari involves a descent on the first day of seven kilometres, with a comfortable stop for lunch, continuing with a six kilometre picturesque walk along the Denwa River to camp. The second day is a leisurely walk of 16 kilometres along the banks of the Denwa and pristine woodland habitat, again broken up with a relaxing lunch stop.
Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?
Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of our tour experts. If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so so you do not have to pay for a single room.
Do I need a visa for India?
All visitors need a visa to travel to India. There is now a provision for an online e-visa for citizens of certain countries, including the UK and the visa must be obtained before arrival in all circumstances. Tourist visas issued in the UK have six months’ validity from date of issue.
What will the weather be like in Central India in March?
March welcomes the beginning of summer, bringing hot and sunny days with cooler nights so do bring light clothing and adequate hats for shade. March has average temperatures sitting around 35 degrees, dropping to 20 degrees at night. March is a good time to visit as the foliage starts to thin out, making wildlife easier to spot. The water sources dry up drawing animals from the jungle to the larger lakes.
What is the food like in Central India?
Meals at the lodges are a highlight - delicious and filling, with most of the fresh vegetables coming directly from the large organic gardens on site. The lodges have a strong eco ethos, including small offerings such as providing water to discourage plastic bottles. Breakfast is often taken in the wild, providing an interesting and memorable backdrop. Please note Tadoba is located in a dry state, so no alcohol can be officially served at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge. Perhaps an advance trip to duty-free free might not go amiss.
Can I extend my stay in India after the tour?
Yes, this can easily be arranged at the end of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided and a private guide arranged for sightseeing. From Mumbai, you can easily reach the beaches of Southern India. If the Golden Triangle is on your wish list then we can arrange a short domestic flight from Mumbai.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.