India, Western India,

In Search of the Rare Wildlife of Western India

Scroll
Tailor-Made Tour
16 Days
From 4250
Big Cat Safari
Birding
Budget
Off The Beaten Track
Photographic

Tour Introduction

16 Days from 4250 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Mammal lovers will particularly love this trip for the opportunity to see some of Asia’s rarest mammals including three species of big cat (Asiatic lion, Indian leopard and Bengal tiger), smaller cats (possibilities of jungle cat, Indian desert cat, rusty-spotted cat and caracal) and other rare carnivores such as the Indian grey wolf, striped hyena, sloth bear and golden jackal.

Herbivores include the majestic blackbuck, endemic onager (wild ass), India gazelle, Asia’s largest antelope (nilgai) plus the diminutive chousingha (four-horned antelope).

Although favouring mammals, birders will not be disappointed.  You will visit the world’s largest harrier roost where you can see upwards of 2000 harriers (mostly Montagu’s but also including pallid and marsh harriers); desert and grassland species including sandgrouse and lesser florican plus a wide range of water birds including flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbills and large flocks of demoiselle and common cranes.

Traversing the vast western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, this private overland journey is sure to reveal some of Asia’s rarest and most exciting wildlife as well as encountering some great landscapes and enthralling tribespeople along the way.

Full Itinerary

Price from 4250 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Mumbai

Arrive Mumbai (BOM) and walk to your hotel in the airport building.

Staying at Hotel Niranta. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
Gir National Park

In the morning walk to the departures area and take flight to Diu. Break for lunch before private transfer (approx. 2.5hrs) to the Gir National Park. Rest of day at leisure.

Staying at Asiatic Lion Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Gir National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon game private drives in the Sasan Gir National Park - escorted by local park guides. The park was established to protect the last remaining population of the Asiatic lion and the park now provides a home to over 600 of the endangered lions (from a low of 20 in 1900).

Sasan Gir is a hilly and rocky forest and consists of teak with a mixture of deciduous trees, including sal, dhak, and thorn forests. Lions can often be seen early in the morning and at dusk and there is plethora of other wildlife here including a good leopard population, jungle cat, golden jackal, nilgai, chousinga (four-horned antelope), spotted and sambar deer, and troops of langur monkeys.

The 200-plus bird species include the peafowl, Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse, common green pigeon and several species of dove. Sasan Gir is also home to the marsh crocodile which can be sighted easily in its rivers and particularly in the lake of the Kamaleshwar dam.

Staying at Asiatic Lion Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Gir National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon private game drives in the Sasan Gir National Park. As well as the excellent wildlife, you can also see some of the Maldhari herders that also make the park their home.

Staying at Asiatic Lion Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Blackbuck National Park

Morning private transfer (approx. 4 hours) to Velavadar. Afternoon game drive in the Blackbuck National Park - escorted by local park guide. The park is a 36 square kilometre patch of savannah-like grassland well suited to the requirements of large herds of the beautiful, endemic blackbuck antelope. Other wildlife seen include herds of nilgai, jungle cat, golden jackal and Indian hare and there is a small but increasing population of Indian wolves and striped hyenas that are now being seen quite regularly. Birdlife includes sandgrouse, larks, lesser floricans and one of the world’s largest winter roosts of harriers.

Staying at Blackbuck Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Blackbuck National Park

Morning and afternoon private game drives in the Blackbuck National Park - escorted by local park guides. As well as the endearing antelopes you will also be on the look-out for their predators. The Indian wolves generally hunt in pairs or small packs whereas the striped hyenas tend to be more solitary, that is unless you are lucky enough to find some with pups in a den.

Staying at Blackbuck Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Blackbuck National Park

Morning and afternoon private game drives in the Blackbuck National Park - escorted by local park guides. As well as its exotic mammals, the park is also famous for its birdlife. Harriers roost here in large numbers (mostly Montagu’s harrier with the occasional pallid harrier and marsh harrier) with other raptors including eagles (short-toed , Aquila, greater spotted and steppe), kestrels, kites and the abundant shikra. Eurasian eagle owls can occasionally be seen hunting during daylight here. The shallow lake and waterways surrounding the park also attract large flocks of demoiselle and common cranes plus sandgrouse coming to drink.

Staying at Blackbuck Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Little Rann of Kutch

After an early breakfast you depart by private transfer for the Little Rann of Kutch to explore the Wild Ass Sanctuary. The journey to Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) should take about 4.5hrs. You should arrive by lunchtime and settle in before beginning to explore the park this afternoon.

The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the rains. The area is now within the Dhangadhra Sanctuary and protects a vast, arid, desert-like landscape, home to an array of desert-adapted fauna and flora. The star species is the Asiatic wild ass (onagar), an attractive wild horse now very rare and completely confined to the area. Other mammals that could be seen include blackbuck, chinkara (Indian gazelle), nilgai, Indian hares and jerboas. The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats, and a few hyenas.

Birds include many species of sandgrouse, desert warbler, hoopoe, larks and thousands of wintering waterfowl and flamingos.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Little Rann of Kutch

Morning and afternoon private game drives in the Little Rann of Kutch - escorted by private lodge guides. As well as the rare and unusual mammals of the park, the area is particularly good for birds and has been declared a RAMSAR Site. Here you can see large flocks of larks, and other dryland birds like sandgrouse, coursers, plovers, chats, warblers, babblers, shrikes. During the winter months, huge numbers of birds gather in the lakes and marshes in and around the Rann including both demoiselle and common cranes plus flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks and other waterfowl. The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like the short-toed eagle, aquila eagles, six species of falcon, buzzards and three species of harrier.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Jawai

After an early breakfast, pick up and drive (6 hours) to Jawai Bandh. Lunch at the lodge, then enjoy an afternoon private jeep safari in search of leopards and other wildlife - escorted by private lodge guides. The leopards here have a unique, harmonious relationship with the local sheep herders; spending their days sheltering in the granite hills and descending to prey on livestock in the late afternoons and evenings.

Staying at Jawai Sagar. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Jawai

Another day looking for leopards by private jeep.

Staying at Jawai Sagar. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Jawai

Spend a final morning looking for leopards in the hills of Jawai. Then private transfer through miles of desert scrub and farmland (approx. 6 hours) to the Rajasthan heritage hotel of Shahpura Bahg.

Staying at Shahpura Bahg. Includes Breakfast.

Day 13
Ranthambore National Park

Depart hotel and private transfer (approx. 4 hours) to Ranthambore. Lunch at your hotel and enjoy your first private tiger safari in the afternoon. Ranthambore is one of the largest and perhaps best known of all of India’s tiger reserves, with beautiful semi-arid scenery with the spectacular Ranthambore Fort as a backdrop.

Staying at Ranthambore Kothi. Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Ranthambore National Park

Morning and afternoon private jeep safaris in search of tigers and other wildlife - escorted by local park guides. Other mammal highlights here can also include leopard, jungle cat, caracal, desert cat, sloth bear, golden jackal, Indian fox, striped hyena, sambar deer, spotted deer, blue bull, Indian gazelle and ruddy mongoose.

Staying at Ranthambore Kothi. Includes All Meals.

Day 15
Ranthambore National Park

Morning and afternoon private jeep safaris in search of tigers and other wildlife - escorted by local park guides. OPTIONAL guided visit of Ranthambore Fort.

Staying at Ranthambore Kothi. Includes All Meals.

Day 16
Ranthambore National Park

Enjoy a final morning private jeep safari in Ranthambore. Transfer (approx. 4hrs) to Jaipur airport and board flight to Delhi. OPTIONAL day use of hotel before your fly home.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

India Western India

Niranta Airport Transit Hotel

Overview

Located within the main Mumbai airport terminal building, this new hotel offers the perfect combination of comfort and convenience.  Rooms come appointed with queen size beds with cotton linen, individually controlled air-conditioning, efficient lighting, large flat screen HD TV, complimentary wifi, in-room safety deposit box, spacious luggage shelves, tea/coffee maker, stocked mini bar and snacks.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
61
Facilities

There is an onsite bar and restaurant which is open 24hrs a day. Rooms come appointed with queen size beds with cotton linen, individually controlled air-conditioning, efficient lighting, large flat screen HD TV, complimentary wifi, in-room safety deposit box, spacious luggage shelves, tea/coffee maker, stocked mini bar and snacks.

India Western India

Asiatic Lion Lodge

Overview

Located just 10 minutes from the nearest park gate, the Asiatic Lion Lodge is perfectly located to explore the famous Gir National Park.  With just 16 cottages, the lodge is small and friendly with a strong focus on wildlife and conservation.  The simple rooms are laid out in blocks of four or eight rooms and come equipped with air-conditioning and hot water showers.  There is a small pool to refresh in plus two restaurants serving a range of local delicacies.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
16
Facilities

"Flavours of Forest" Restaurant, Cafe Forest (Jungle Side Cafe with Library), Swimming Pool, Air-Conditioning, Tea/Coffee Maker, LCD TV, Refrigerator, Eco friendly Toiletries, drinking water, free WiFi. Please note: as Gujarat is a dry state, no alcohol can be purchased at this lodge.

Local Wildlife

Close to the hotel is the Gir National Park, home to the world’s last surviving population of Asiatic lion. The park also has a healthy population of leopard, deer, antelope and over 300 species of bird.

Optional Activities

Safari game drives in the national park, bird walks, village visits, Siddi tribal dance, cycling, bush dinners, camp fire.

India Western India

Blackbuck Safari Lodge

Overview

Not to be confused with its similarly-named neighbour, the Blackbuck Safari Lodge offers simple rooms approximately 10 minutes from the Blackbuck National Park.  The 18 rooms are located in four small blocks surrounded by grassland.   The rooms come complete with hot water showers and air-conditioning plus a pleasant veranda to sit out.  There is a small swimming pool and a good restaurant serving both western and local dishes.  Poolside and campfire dining can also be arranged.  There is a large pond attracting waterbirds with additional birdwatching in the surrounding grassland.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
18
Facilities

Air-conditioned rooms, air-conditioned restaurant, small swimming pool, hot water showers, WiFi, Tea/Coffee maker,
Refrigerator. Please note: as Gujarat is a dry state, no alcohol can be purchased at this lodge.

Local Wildlife

The Blackbuck National Park supports the largest population of blackbuck in India and is home to 14 other species of mammal including Nilgai, (blue bull antelope), Indian grey wolf, striped hyena, jungle cat, wild boar, Indian hare, Indian hedgehog and golden jackal. Over 140 species of birds have also been recorded here: the grasslands support many specialities such as the localised white-browed bushchat and many species of lark and wheatear. During the winter the wetlands are home to thousands of waterfowl as well as an impressive roost of over 2,000 harriers.

Optional Activities

Jeep safaris in the Blackbuck National Park, cycling and birdwatching.

India Western India

Rann Riders Camp

Overview

The Rann Riders Camp is a friendly, family-run resort located close to an area of bird-rich wetlands in the Dasada district of western Gujarat. The resort is laid out in the form of a small village to maximise privacy and provide space for the lush gardens that surround the rooms.

The accommodation is provided in cottages built to resemble the traditional kooba and bhunga houses of the local communities. Each cottage is elegantly decorated with a warm, cosy feel but all have quite basic amenities. They are equipped with hot water bathrooms, a dressing area and twin or double beds made of natural cane materials.

There is a good restaurant in the main building serving buffet meals with particularly good Tandoori dishes: continental and other cuisine is also available from an a la carte menu. There is also a swimming pool and sunny lounge area to enjoy in between safaris.

The resort is an ideal base from which to explore the extensive Rann of Kutch on 4×4, walking and camel safaris in search of the special wildlife, as well excursions to visit the local villages. The resort also has a large stable enabling horseback safaris across the desert landscapes.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
10
Facilities

Private bathrooms (hot-water), restaurant, bar, air-conditioning, swimming pool and laundry service. Please note: as Gujarat is a dry state, no alcohol can be purchased at this lodge.

Local Wildlife

The nearby Little Rann of Kutch is the last stronghold of the Asiatic wild ass and herds of these elegant equines can be seen on most excursions. The sanctuary is also a great place to observe nilgai, (blue bull), chinkara (Indian gazelle), blackbuck, jungle cat, golden jackal, Indian fox, Indian hare, Indian wolf, striped hyena and desert wildcat. The Little Rann of Kutch is also an excellent birding area and has been designated a RAMSAR site for its importance for wintering water birds.

Optional Activities

Safari excursions into the Little Rann of Kutch sanctuary, camel and horseback safaris and camel cart rides and excursions to local tribal villages.

India Western India

Jawai Sagar

Overview

With a beautiful location next to a towering granite outcrop (where leopards can occasionally be seen) and looking out over the extensive Jawai  lake, the resort has just twelve rooms arranged in three blocks facing a large swimming pool.  Each large air-conditioned room has hot water showers and a balcony with views over the lake and surrounding countryside.  There is a very pleasant sit-out area with campfire at night plus restaurant with open-air rooftop terrace. The lodge has good guides and open-sided vehicles to explore the neighbouring Jawai and Bera areas.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
12
Facilities

Air-conditioned rooms, hot showers, complimentary toiletries, drinking water, large swimming pool.

Local Wildlife

Leopards are the main wildlife attraction here, they reside in the granite hills by day and venture down to raid livestock by night.

Optional Activities

Game drives in open jeep, village visits, nature walks, alfresco dining.

India Western India

Shahpura Bagh

Overview

Located roughly equidistant between the Rajasthani cities of Jaipur and Udaipur, Shahpura Bagh makes the perfect stop-off on your Rajasthan journey, or a destination in its own right.  Surrounded by two manmade lakes, the property is an aquatic refuge amongst the otherwise dry landscape of Rajasthan.  The 11 luxury suites are situated within 45 acres of gardens and farmland and are individually furnished with antiques and fine fabrics, and some feature ensuite whirlpool bathrooms.  From here you can boat and birdwatch on the lakes or take side trips to nearby forts, villages and temples.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
11
Facilities

11 luxury suites, air-conditioning, WiFi and a large swimming pool

Local Wildlife

With over 250 small lakes, Shahpura Bagh is a bird watcher’s paradise with over 180 species of birds.

Optional Activities

Birdwatching, boat trips, visits to nearby forts, villages and temples.

India Northern India

Ranthambhore Kothi

Overview

Built in the style of old British Bungalows, the Ranthambhore Kothi is a very comfortable and well-priced hotel located around 15 minute drive from the Ranthambore National Park.

The hotel offers 28 well-appointed and aesthetically designed rooms comprising of suites and regal rooms. These rooms and suites come with the distinctive features like modern interiors, huge courtyard and private balcony to enjoy the fascination sight of open gardens, swimming pool and the tiger sanctuary.

Dining at this hotel can be changed to suit your needs. The main courtyard is the usual mealtime destination, although the poolside bar is a great place to get drinks and snacks, and the staff are more than happy to set up location dining experiences. Whether you fancy enjoying a meal surrounded by wild trees, or a candle lit dinner under palms, almost anything can be arranged for you.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
28
Facilities

Mini bar, tea and coffee facilities, safety deposit box, ensuite bathroom with toiletries, outdoor shower and air conditioning. Swimming pool, spa, library area, pool bar, and dining area.

Local Wildlife

The forests of Ranthambore National Park were once the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The desire to preserve the game for sport was responsible for their conservation and subsequent rescue by Project Tiger. The Park sprawls over an estimated area of 400 sq kms. The terrain fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The lakes in the area attract tiger which are often spotted at the water’s edge. The forest is peppered with battlements and other remnants of Ranthambore Fort. Tigers frequent these ruins too, and are spotted often during the day busy in their normal pursuits, especially stalking or hunting and taking care of their young. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora including 300 species of trees, 50 of aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles (including the marsh crocodile) and amphibians and 30 mammals.

Optional Activities

Go on a jungle safari to Ranthambhore national park, or a village safari to see how the locals live. Enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment, relax in the pool or explore the wild surroundings on foot. Go on a gharial sighting boat tour at the National Chambal Sanctuary, visit the Devpura Black Buck Sanctuary, or go birding at Surwal Lake. Alternatively explore Ranthambhore fort, Trinetra Ganesha Temple or take a tour of the local village.

Route Map

loading map - please wait...

Rann Riders Camp: 23.319583, 71.846543
Ranthambhore Kothi: 26.053746, 76.407662
Niranta Airport Transit Hotel: 19.098593, 72.874277
Shahpura Bagh: 25.623046, 74.920358
Asiatic Lion Lodge: 21.155651, 70.544156
Blackbuck Safari Lodge: 22.034998, 71.949686
Jawai Sagar: 25.060357, 73.189093

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Domestic flights included.

Best Visited:

November to May

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Everything worked like clockwork, a big thank you to all the team for another excellent Reef and Rainforest tour – is it any wonder we don’t want to use another tour operator!

Dr F W - Bucks