India,

Luxury Wildlife Safari in Western India

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Tailor-Made Tour
16 Days
From 8450
Honeymoon
Big Cat Safari
Culture and Archaeology
Luxury
Off The Beaten Track
Photographic

Tour Introduction

16 Days from 8450 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Head west and explore the remote Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan on a private overland journey in search of rare wildlife, beautiful landscapes and enchanting tribes.

Starting in Gujarat, you would first head to the Gir National Park in search of Asia’s last lions and charismatic Maldhari cattle herders.  Continue to the grassy plains of Velavadar to see elegant blackbuck antelopes, skulking grey wolves and striped hyenas.   Visit the vast salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch to see the unique wild horses that only exist here; together with desert animals such as the Indian desert cat, sandgrouse and desert fox.

Skirt along the eastern edge of the mighty Thar Desert and head into the granite hills of the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan in search of the leopards that make the hills their home and which have formed a unique and harmonious relationship with the local Rabari herdsmen.

Finally, head to Ranthambore: arguably India’s most famous tiger park and home to a large population of wild tigers, Rajasthani tribespeople and ancient sandstone fort.

Throughout the trip you will be accompanied by expert naturalist guides and you will be staying in some of India’s most remote and exclusive wilderness lodges to add a great deal of luxury, comfort and old colonial charm to your wonderful overland adventure.

Full Itinerary

Price from 8450 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Mumbai Airport

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

Staying at Hotel Niranta. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
Sasan Gir National Park

Walk to the departures area and take flight to Diu. Met by your private naturalist guide and enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant before driving (approx. 2.5hrs) to the Gir National Park. Rest of day at leisure.

Staying at Woods at Sasan. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Sasan Gir National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon private game drives in the Sasan Gir National Park. 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. There are marsh mugger crocodiles, monitor lizards and plenty of interesting bird life to be seen, too.

Staying at Woods at Sasan. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Sasan Gir National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon private game drives in the Gir National Park. The park is steeped in history and folklore. It boasts temples of great antiquity such as Kankai Mata and Tulsishyam, a place of pilgrimage with hot springs. The forest is famous for its cattle herders, the Madharis, whose buffalo form a substantial part of the lions' meals. Extremely hospitable, the Madharis’ lifestyle has changed little over the years and their folklore and traditions are a unique record of the coexistence of humans with lions.

Staying at Woods at Sasan. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Blackbuck National Park

This morning after an early breakfast you transfer by road to Velavadar. The journey can be completed in 4hrs. Afternoon private game drive in the Blackbuck National Park.

The only tropical grassland in India to be given the status of a national park, the Blackbuck National Park is a 36 kms patch of savannah-type scrubby grassland well suited to the requirements of these lovely animals. The park is set between two rivers, a few miles from the Gulf of Cambay sea coast.

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 Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Blackbuck National Park

Morning an afternoon private game drives in the Blackbuck National Park. The blackbuck is endemic to India and is rated among the most elegant antelopes and one of the fastest animals over a long distance. During the rule of the Maharajahs of Bhavnagar, Velavadar was harvested for grass to feed the royal cattle herds and the antelope were protected except for the occasional hunting camp. Early March is the rutting period when one can witness mating contests between rival males. This is the time in the blackbuck year when the males establish their dominance over the harems of females and many skirmishes occur as the younger bucks seek to displace the older animals and claim their right to reproduce.

Staying at Blackbuck Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Blackbuck National Park

Another day in the beautiful Blackbuck National Park. 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 Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Little Rann of Kutch

After an early breakfast you depart for the Little Rann of Kutch to explore the Wild Ass Sanctuary and the surrounding region. 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 sanctuary is best known for its herds of the handsome, chestnut brown Asiatic wild ass which does not survive elsewhere and is the last of India’s wild horses. They are found in herds of 30 or so and are capable of withstanding severe dehydration.

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.

Your accommodation here is the simplest of the trip but is the best option for the park.

Staying at Rann Riders Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Little Rann of Kutch

Morning and afternoon game drives in the Little Rann of Kutch. 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

Say goodbye to your private guide and enjoy private road transfer (6 hours) to Jawai. Lunch at the lodge, then enjoy and afternoon shared safari in search of leopards and other wildlife. Located in a wild and little-visited region of Rajasthan, the area around Jawai is dominated by desert-adapted scrub forest and rolling granite hills, making this perfect country for leopards.

Staying at Sujan Jawai. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Jawai

Another day looking for leopards (shared vehicles). You will also have the chance to meet with local Rabari herdsmen who still wear their traditional costumes complete with bright red turbans. Learn about their traditional way of life and the unique relationship they have with the leopards that share their land.

Staying at Sujan Jawai. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Jawai

Spend a final morning looking for leopards in the hills of Jawai. Then enjoy a 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.

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. Steep crags embrace a network of lakes and rivers: atop one of the hills is the impressive Ranthambore Fort, built in the 10th century.

The terrain fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with dhok, being the most prominent tree. The lakes in the area attract tiger which are often spotted at the water’s edge. Old crumbling walls, ruined pavilions, wells, and other ancient structures stand witness to the region’s glorious past. 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. With the strict measures that have been taken for their conservation, they seem quite accustomed to human activity and are not disturbed by it. 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.

Staying at Sujan Sher Bahg. Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Ranthambore National Park

Morning and afternoon private jeep safaris in search of tigers and other wildlife. 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 Sujan Sher Bahg. Includes All Meals.

Day 15
Ranthambore National Park

Morning and afternoon private jeep safaris in search of tigers and other wildlife. OPTIONAL guided visit of Ranthambore Fort.

Staying at Sujan Sher Bahg. Includes All Meals.

Day 16
Ranthambore National Park

Enjoy a final morning private 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

Woods at Sasan

Overview

The first and only boutique resort in Gir, the Woods at Sasan is located within an eight acre mango orchard around 10 minutes’ drive from the park entrance.  Each of the 38 rooms is decorated with local materials and each feature either a private garden or open-air terrace.  There is a pleasant swimming pool plus four excellent restaurants serving a range of local and western meals.  By far our favourite is the Swadesh which serves delicious and authentic vegetarian dishes from the region.  There is also an excellent Ayurveda, Yoga and Wellness centre.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
38
Facilities

Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows, interiors of unpolished stone, lime plasters and hand-tooled wood enhanced by terrracotta, toran or traditional bead-work and hand-woven macramé wall-hangings. Hand-dyed khadi linen and elegant furniture custom-made from reclaimed wood, offer a stay that is luxurious yet understated. Rooms come complete with complimentary WiFi, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV and safety deposit box. 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, Yoga and Wellness treatments.

India Western India

Blackbuck Lodge

Overview

Beautiful Blackbuck Lodge sits within 70 acres of private grasslands on the edge of the Blackbuck National Park in Gujarat state.

There are 14 luxurious private villas secluded amongst the grassland to increase privacy and all are equipped with their own verandahs and chairs for watching the night sky and enjoying birds and even the occasional blackbuck during the day. Each spacious villa benefits from attractive furniture, air-conditioning, king size beds, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, minibar, room service and tea and coffee making facilities. There is a large bathroom with separate dressing area and an additional outside (hot water) shower for the refreshing experience of showering under the Indian sun.

An attractive restaurant overlooks a small lagoon where many birds can be seen, and serves well-presented cuisine including plenty of vegetarian and local Kathiawadi dishes. There is also a bar, communal lounge and well-stocked natural history library.

There are plans to build a swimming pool and BBQ area in the future.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
14
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, communal lounge, swimming pool, en suite bathroom with hot water and 24-hour electricity. 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

Game drives in the Blackbuck National Park and excursions to visit the local village are also available.

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

Sujan Jawai

Overview

With a beautiful and tranquil rural setting, Sujan Jawai offers luxury accommodation in oversized tents, complete with en suite showers and private decks.   The tents are designed with artistic flare, merging a largely monochrome pallet with 1930’s-style metal furniture and accents of red, paying homage to the local Rabari herdsmen turbans.  The camp has excellent wildlife guides and its own open-topped jeeps to explore the local countryside in search of leopards and other wildlife.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Swimming pool, restaurant, library and outdoor seating area with fire pit. Eight luxury tents with private sit out and en suite bathroom. One Royal Tented Suite with private heated swimming pool. One two-bedroom Family Suite with private dining area.

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

Suján Sher Bagh

Overview

Perfectly situated for the famous Ranthambore National Park, Sher Bagh is a haven of tranquillity and sophistication.  With just 10 luxurious tents and 2 tented suites, the lodge is small and intimate and plays homage to the classic safaris of old.  Expect sumptuous safari tents, evening drinks round the campfire and indulgent meals served under the stars.  The Suján family have played an active role in the conservation effort at Ranthambhore for nearly five decades; working closely with tigers through filming, monitoring, researching and creating local awareness.  Their legacy is an elegant and conservation-focussed lodge offering a fantastic wildlife experience to all.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
12
Facilities

10 tents and 2 tented suites all with en suite hot water showers, air-conditioning and complimentary WiFi. There is a heated swimming pool, library and restaurant.

Local Wildlife

Mammals include tiger, 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. Birds include painted sandgrouse, painted spurfowl, grey francolin, painted storks, Eurasian spoonbills, a variety of migratory ducks and waders along with raptors such as white-eyed buzzard, oriental honey buzzard, crested serpent eagle, kestrel and the Egyptian vulture.

Optional Activities

Game drives in the Ranthambore National Park, visits to the UNESCO Ranthambore Fort, cooking classes, village visits.

Route Map

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Blackbuck Lodge: 22.044573, 72.019907
Rann Riders Camp: 23.319583, 71.846543
Woods at Sasan: 21.124979, 70.571227
Niranta Airport Transit Hotel: 19.098593, 72.874277
Sujan Jawai: 25.117392, 73.199026
Shahpura Bagh: 25.623046, 74.920358
Sujan Sher Bagh: 26.054413, 76.420152

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

Another excellent holiday from Reef and Rainforest. Everything was well organised and coordinated throughout our trip. Very knowledgeable and friendly guides, clearly keen to ensure we had an excellent experience. Highlights were Udaipur, Tigers, rural India and the three wildlife lodges.

Mrs JC - Musselburgh