Wildlife Group Tour

India Group Tour - Tiger Conservation Safari

Walk, Canoe and Jeep through Tadoba, Pench and Satpura National Parks

11 days

from $3,895pp
  • Escorted by award winning naturalist and BBC photographer, Kartikeya Singh
  • Walk, canoe and drive 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 small group tiger safari in India, visit the tiger reserves of Tadoba, Pench, and Satpura in search of the Bengal tiger, staying in award winning lodges.

Escorted by award-winning naturalist, Kartikeya Singh, time will be spent searching for the iconic tiger. Learn how to identify tracks and signs of tiger. Set camera traps and understand the tiger’s habitat and prey species. Explore the parks by jeep, canoe and on foot and encounter India's wildlife, gaining 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 higher standard of comfort such as Reni Pani Lodge 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. There are three longer road journeys of approximately five hours, which are unavoidable but comfortable vehicles are provided with in car snacks and soft drinks. During the jeep safaris in the National Parks, you need to be able 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. There is walking involved in this trip so you will need to be able to walk comfortably for up to five hours.

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 Tiger Trails. 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.



Departing on:
  • 3rd March 2019

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights $Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
3rd Mar 2019 13th Mar 2019 $ 5,258.25 $ 911.25 $ 1,194.75 Kartikeya Singh Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation on twin share basis in all mentioned lodges and hotels.
  • Domestic Flights
  • Full Board throughout apart from the final evening in Mumbai.
  • Game Drive Permits in Tadoba, Pench and Satpura National Parks.
  • Local Tipping of Guides and Drivers
  • Sightseeing, Game Drives and Activities with your Expert Leader.

what is excluded

  • Cost of any optional activities
  • Excess Luggage Charges
  • Indian Visa
  • International Flights
  • Single Room Supplement Cost
  • Travel Insurance

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

We advise arriving in to Mumbai the day before due to the early departure the following day.


Please meet at Mumbai airport today at 6am. Meeting place to be arranged.

Fly Mumbai to Nagpur


Tadoba National Park
On arrival at Nagpur you will be met by your expert guide, Kartikeya Singh. The drive to the National Park is approximately two and a half hours. Arrive in time for a leisurely lunch and some down time. Being mindful you may be tired there are some optional activities planned this afternoon.

- An accompanied nature walk in and around the buffer zone with great bird spotting opportunities.

- Set camera traps in the designated areas.

If you feel that you would be able to hit the ground running and would like to go on a jeep safari in the park this afternoon, please let us know and we will prebook your safari. This is an additional cost.

Later this evening there will be a hosted talk on Tadoba Park followed by a welcome dinner.



Since April 1, 2015 the state government of Maharashtra, India, has declared Chandrapur District as a ‘dry district’ (Tadoba and all the properties at every gate are located within this district). This implies a ban on the sale, purchase, production and consumption of liquor at this destination. Visitors/guests are not allowed to carry their own liquor as well, although we are not aware of strict checks on this.


Please note that Tadoba is a dry state and no alcohol will be served at the lodges.


You will be staying at Tiger Trails, full board

Day 2

Morning Game Drive
Early this morning meet your guide Kartikeya and the rest of the group for a biscuit and a cup of tea or coffee before sunrise. Set off in an open jeep with Kartijeya to accompany you. You will also collect a local park guide at the gate on entry to the park. Entry into the core of Tadoba is from the Khutwanda gate which lies adjacent to the lodge and is connected to the centre of the park.

Spend the morning exploring Tadoba by jeep, listening to the sounds of the forest and seeking out the elusive tiger. There is also plenty of other wildlife to view during your game drive. A picnic style breakfast and drinks will be available during the drive.

On your return to the lodge around 10:00 you will be offered a full breakfast. Before lunch, review the night time activities on the camera trap recordings.


Time Spent at Tadoba National Park
During your stay you will learn how to set camera traps and how to identify animal tracks. There is an opportunity to sleep in a machan overlooking a watering hole which is frequented at night by bison, sloth bears and tigers.


Afternoon Game Drive
After lunch rejoin your jeep to spend the afternoon on a game drive accompanied by Kartikeya and a local guide. Return to the lodge just after sunset. Rest and freshen up before meeting the group again around the camp fire to exchange stories from the day. Pre-dinner drinks and snacks will be offered followed by an evening talk on the tigers of Tadoba and their territory. Dinner will be served.


You will be staying at Tiger Trails, full board

Day 3

Morning Game Drive
Morning game drive in Tadoba National Park with the tour expert and lodge naturalists. Explore the jungle by jeep before returning to the lodge late this morning.


Visit to Central Indian Forest Rangers College
This afternoon you are driven to Chandrapur range to visit the planned site for the rehabilitation of wildlife that has been captured during a human/animal conflict. Continue to visit the Forest Rangers College to meet with rangers and learn about their training and what challenges they face. Lunch will be taken at the college mess.

On your return to the lodge you will take an afternoon boat safari. The lake shores are the preferred hunting ground for tiger in the early evening.


You will be staying at Tiger Trails, full board

Day 4

Drive from Tadoba National Park to Pench National Park (Road Journey)


Pench, on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, has been known through the ages for its rich flora and fauna. Named after the river that flows nearby, Pench was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983, though it had been declared a notified area in 1972. In 1992, Pench was included under the umbrella of Project Tiger as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.

Pench is home to the Asiatic leopard and is still one of the best places in India to spot this creature. The dam in the park is a favourite spot for bird watching. Other wildlife spotted here are chinkara, wild dog, sloth bear and jackal. Visitors also now have the option to visit the Maharashtra side of the Pench Reserve, which is often less crowded and is growing in its reputation for sightings of a host of animals and bird species.

Visitors view wildlife by jeep in morning and afternoon game drives much like other parks. Pench has a good reputation for tiger sightings and is less crowded, so the overall safari experience is more personal.


Tadoba to Pench
Before departing for Pench there is time for a final morning game drive. An early lunch will be served before moving on to Pench National Park. This drive is approximtately five hours. All national parks are closed on Wednesday afternoons so this is a good use of your time. On arrival, time may be spent at leisure. Later this evening there will be a presentation on the tigers of Pench.

The evening meal will be a farm to table experience with cooking demonstrations of some favourite Indian dishes.


You will be staying at Pench Tree Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 5

Morning Game Drive
Wake early this morning and meet the group for a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit before joining your jeep for the morning safari. The jeeps are open-topped and sun protection will be needed. Enter the park for the morning and explore this incredibly diverse landscape. Tune your ear to the calls of the jungle and get involved tracking the elusive tiger. Return to the lodge at approximately 10am for a full breakfast. The rest of the morning may be spent walking in the buffer zone around the camp, spending time with the local naturalists and speaking with your tour expert about the serious issues surrounding tiger conservation.


Visit to local village and school
This afternoon you are taken to visit a local village and school to see how the conservation message is conveyed to the next generations growing up in this wilderness. On return to the lodge there is a cooking class on option should you be interested in trying your hand at cooking a local curry.


You will be staying at Pench Tree Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 6

Excursion to Rukhad Wildlife Sanctuary
This morning, after breakfast, drive for 30 minutes to the Rukhad Wildlife Sanctuary where you explore the sanctuary, surrounding forest and tribal villages. Bicycles are available for this excursion. You are accompanied by a local park guide as as well as Kartikeya, and a back by vehicle with trailer to carry the bikes. If you prefer not to ride a bike then you can ride in the vehicle instead. Lunch will be taken at Sakata Forest Rest House. This is a fascinating area to visit, rarely seen by most visitors to this region. This is a priviledged insight into this intact tiger corridor. Return to Pench Tree Lodge later this afternoon.


You will be staying at Pench Tree Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 7

Morning Game Drive
A final morning jeep safari will take place in Pench before returning to the lodge. After lunch start the drive to Satpura, approximately five hours. On arrival at Reni Pani enjoy a sundowner.

Drive from Pench National Park to Satpura National Park (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 8

Activities at Satpura National Park
While staying at Reni Pani you have two activities each day including jeep safaris, boating and a walking safari. Accompanied by a naturalist guide from Reni Pani and also your expert leader, Kartikeya, explore Satpura on foot, to see the park close up. This is the only park in India where walking within the boundaries is possible.


Morning Walking Safari
Take a morning walking safari with the tour expert and the lodge naturalists.


Evening Jeep Safari
Take an evening jeep safari into the park with expert naturalists and your guide.


You will be staying at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 9

Morning Jeep Safari
Meet very early this morning to join your jeeps and venture in to the national park. Accompanied by naturalists, you explore the jungle, listening and looking for signs of the ever elusive tiger. Return to the lodge for a rest and lunch.


Afternoon Boat Safari
This afternoon you are taken on a motorised boat safari. Boat safaris are another unique activity at the Satpura. The Denwa river which flows into the mammoth tawa dam some 16 kms downstream, attracts several bird species and is home to a number of Indian Fresh Water Crocodile.


You will be staying at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, full board and house beverages

Day 10

Satpura to Bhopal
After breakfast take a canoe safari on the river. You can choose to row or just sit back and enjoy the experience.

After lunch you are driven to Bhopal, a drive of approximately four and half hours. On the journey stop off at the impressive rock art cave complex at Bhimbetka. The domestic flight today back to Mumbai departs at 20:25 hours -plenty of time for an enjoyable final day.


Visit to the Bhimbetka Caves
Visit the rock shelters of Bhimbetka. Containing the Indian Subcontinent's oldest and richest collection of prehistoric artwork, Bhimbetka's caves number more than 700, with around 500 of these decorated by ancient paintings. Depicting scenes that include ceremonies, hunting, religious rites and childbirth, these colourful cave murals span a range of eras, with the oldest images dating back around 12,000 years.

Hugging the banks of Upper Lake and located right in the heart of India, Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state, Madhya Pradesh. Known as the City of Lakes, due to the number of natural and artificial lakes, Bhopal is also one of the greenest cities in India. Many people stopover here as the gateway to the wildlife parks of Central India and for those who wish to explore the extensive textiles industries that thrive here.

Fly Bhopal to Mumbai


You will be staying at Sand and Sun Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Suggested Flight Departure
We suggest Jet Airways departure from Mumbai. Jet operate two flights a day from Mumbai to London Heathrow. Either opt to take the early morning departure on the 13th March on Jet Airways 9W120, departing 02:25 arriving in London at 07:00 local time. You will not require an overnight stay in Mumbai if you opt for this flight. We can book you an airport lounge for your comfort.

Alternatively, the 9W116 departs at 09:25 the same morning, arriving home to London at 13:55. You will require an overnight stay at the Sun & Sand hotel near the airport.

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is a city teeming with culture, architecture and people. This vast metropolis, energising and dynamic, is home to proud and liberal 'Mumbaikars'. Having boomed as a port during the 18th and 19th century, Mumbai is rich with colonial architecture, whilst towering contemporary structures underline the city's recent prosperity. These glimmering skyscrapers contrast greatly with these are the city's slums, which make up large parts of this modern city and serve as a reminder of the mixed fortunes of its residents. There are incredible places to eat in Mumbai including historic Parsi restaurants such as Brittania & Co. Mumbai is also the home of Bollywood so watch out for film sets throughout the city.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Tiger Trails

Tiger Trails

Tiger Trails near Tadoba National Park is for wildlife enthusiasts whom want to be in the heart of the park, only two minutes' drive from the park's most central gate....

View Accommodation

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge is a small but perfectly formed camp, situated in the buffer zone of Satpura National Park in Central India....

View Accommodation

Pench Tree Lodge

Pench Tree Lodge

Sleep up high in the branches of the trees within a 40 acre private forest reserve....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of India

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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Kate Hitchen, Travel Expert

"Kate was calm and bent over backwards to accommodate my jitters about going to Kashmir in the light of tighter FCO guidelines just a few days before our departure. She was absolutely correct in advising against what I thought we should do. Several times during the holiday we said that, 'Kate was dead right about that!'."

"We asked for a rather particular kind of Indian holiday. You delivered it in full. Highlights? Honestly, each day was a highlight in itself. "

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Lecturer

Kartikeya Singh

Kartikeya Singh is the founder of Wildlife and Forestry Services with a Masters degree in Ecology and Environment and more than twenty years of experience working in the field of wildlife in India, this includes eight years of research experience working with Wildlife Institute of India studying Indian wolves and lions. He is one of the specialists involved in the reintroduction of Gaur (India Bison) from Kanha to Bandhavgarh as an initiative to reverse the local extinction of the species. Kartikeya has worked as an additional photographer on documentaries produced by BBC.

He has over ten years of experience in the wildlife tourism sector working with some of the most prominent establishments as the resident naturalist, freelance expedition leader and freelance trainer. Kartikeya has experience developing and implementing conservation management projects for the government, translocation of wild animals, wildlife conflict management, and customised training to frontline forest department staff. Kartikeya is the recipient of TOFT best lodge naturalist of the year 2010 inaugural award.
Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 12

Tour Expert:

Kartikeya Singh

Departure Date (S):

  • 3rd March 2019

  • Active -  The pace of this tour will involve a variety of activities throughout the duration of the itinerary, expect long days and very little time at leisure.


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