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Our small group tour takes you off the beaten track in search of two of India’s most exotic mammals – the endearing yet elusive red panda and the majestic tiger.

We start our journey travelling high into the Eastern Himalayas to the remote wilderness of Singalila National Park, straddling the Indian-Nepalese border. The park's temperate broad-leaf and coniferous forest provides the ideal habitat for the red panda. We stay at Habre’s Nest, a small lodge dedicated to the conservation of the red pandas of the forest and we search for these secretive mammals by joining trackers on walks from the lodge.

Whilst the red panda will no doubt be the highlight of our time spent at Singalila, the national park is sure to provide us with many other spectacular wildlife encounters. The area is a birder’s paradise with over 300 species of bird having been recorded here and mammals we hope to spot include yellow-throated marten, leopard cat, Himalayan serow and barking deer.

After our time in Singalila we travel south to prime tiger country in Central India and the lesser visited national park of Panna. With an estimated population of 30 tigers in Panna, we enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris in search of this majestic big cat. We will also be on the look out for other iconic Indian wildlife such as dhole, leopards, sloth bear along with over 200 species of bird.

We can also offer this small group tour as an independent tailor made holiday should you be unable to travel on one of our departure dates. Please contact one of our wildlife travel experts for further details.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart UK

  2. Day 2: Arrive Delhi

    We arrive late morning into Delhi and transfer the short distance to our hotel located near the airport.

    Accommodation: Holiday Inn Aerocity, 1-night

  3. Day 3: Fly to Bagdogra, transfer to Darjeeling

    Departing Delhi this morning, we take a flight to Bagdogra where we then continue by road to the hill station of Darjeeling.

    Accommodation: The Elgin Darjeeling, 1-night

  4. Day 4: Transfer to Singalila National Park

    We leave Darjeeling this morning to begin our journey to Singalila National Park. The first part of our journey is the drive to Manebhanjen, where we then transfer into Land Rovers to complete our final ascent to Habre’s Nest travelling through the spectacular and rugged landscape of the Eastern Himalayas.

    We aim to reach the lodge by lunchtime and meet with the trackers who would have been out during the morning looking for red pandas. This will hopefully allow us to participate in our first walk through the forest this afternoon in search of them.

    Accommodation: Habre’s Nest, 5-nights

  5. Days 5-8 : Red panda tracking in Singalila National Park

    During our time at Habre’s Nest, our days are likely to follow a similar pattern. After breakfast we set out on foot with our dedicated trackers in search of the red panda. Whilst most of the walking trails are accessible directly from the lodge, Land Rovers are readily available to transfer us to sightings made further afield. For those wanting to enjoy the rich birdlife of the area there will be time in the early mornings to make use of Habre’s Nest in-house bird hide.

  6. Day 9: Transfer to Bagdogra, fly to Delhi

    This morning we depart Habre’s Nest driving by Land Rover to Manebhanjan, where we then continue by minibus to Bagdogra to catch our flight to Delhi.

    Accommodation:  Holiday Inn Aerocity, 1-night

  7. Day 10: Fly to Khajuraho, transfer to Panna National Park

    Departing Delhi this morning, we fly to Khajuraho before taking a short drive to Panna National Park. We arrive in time for lunch at our lodge before enjoying our first safari in the park this afternoon.

    Accommodation: Sarai at Toria, 5-nights

  8. Days 11-14 : Explore Panna National Park

    During our four full days in Panna National Park, we use small safari vehicles setting out each morning and afternoon on drives to discover the parks wonderful wildlife. Amongst the beautiful waterfalls, dense teak forest and grasslands, we will be on the lookout for not only the majestic tiger but also sloth bear, leopard, dhole and some of the 200 species of bird that have been recorded.

    Should our tour happen to fall over a Wednesday afternoon (when it will not be possible to drive in the national park), you may wish to relax and reminisce on your wildlife experiences you have encountered so far or alternatively we can arrange an optional visit to the nearby temples of Khajuraho.

  9. Day 15: Transfer to Khajuraho, fly to Delhi

    This morning we enjoy a final jeep safari in Panna National Park before transferring to Khajuraho for our afternoon flight to Delhi.

    Accommodation:  Holiday Inn Aerocity, 1-night

  10. Day 16: Fly to the UK

    We depart Delhi on a flight to London, arriving later the same day.

You should note: This itinerary is also available travelling on an independent basis as a tailor made holiday. Please contact one of our wildlife travel experts for further information.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 16 days from £5,495 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 15 days from £4,945 pp
  • Group size: 6
  • Departures:
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Return flights between Delhi-Bagdogra & Delhi-Khajuraho
    • 4 nights hotel accommodation
    • 10 nights lodge accommodation
    • Most meals (breakfast only in Delhi, full board elsewhere)
    • Transfers
    • Services of a local naturalist leader
    • Park fees
  • Activities available:
    • Nature drive
    • Walking
Featured locations:

Singalila National Park

Lying on the India-Nepal border on the Singalila Ridge, Singalila National Park is one of the most exotic Himalayan forests in India. The park is one of the best locations within India to search for the elusive red panda and is a birder's paradise with more than 300 species found here.

  • Where: West Bengal
  • Ideal for viewing: red panda, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, barking deer, yellow-throated marten
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Birdwatching

Panna National Park

Panna National Park is one of India’s least explored parks and combines very well with Bandhavgarh. Its environment is one of teak and dry deciduous forest, mixed with open grasslands, woodlands and thorny woodlands, that create diverse habitats for many mammals and over 300 bird species.

  • Where: Madhya Pradesh State
  • Ideal for viewing: desert cat, jungle cat, nilgai, rusty-spotted cat, tiger
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Tiger safaris
Featured accommodation:

Habre’s Nest

Located in Kaiakata near the India-Nepal border, Habre’s Nest offers a unique homestay style experience combined with wildlife research and conservation. A small property of just four bedrooms, all offering sunset views, Habre’s Nest is perfectly positioned for searching for the region's red pandas.

Sarai at Toria

The Sarai at Toria sits on the riverside, close to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, an area of natural beauty and wonderful history. Covering three hectares, the grassland and jungle of this eco-friendly retreat attracts colourful dragonflies, a host of bird life and many mammals.