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This tour has been crafted to provide a true insight into the fascinating culture and remarkable wildlife that India has to offer, with the best opportunities to see tigers.

Combining three of India’s best national parks for seeing the elusive Bengal tiger - Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh - this trip not only boasts iconic wildlife, but also visits cultural landmarks including the stunning Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, often regarded as the draft of the Taj Mahal. Travelling by car, plane and sleeper train, this is our most popular tailor-made itinerary in the subcontinent.

Starting in Pench, where wildlife abounds, here you may encounter leopard, dhole (Indian wild dog), gaur (Indian bison), sambar, chital and sloth bear and even Bengal tigers. Heading north, you head to Kanha National Park which is home to 22 mammal species including muntjac, swamp, spotted and barking deer, common langur, rhesus monkey and three of India’s four lowland antelopes – nilgai, four-horned antelope (chowsingha). The bird life here is prolific with 220 species recorded, and highlights include racket-tailed drongo, golden oriole and crested serpent eagle. Finally, you visit Bandhavgarh, home to an abundance of mammals including chital, sambar, muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, chowsingha, wild boar, leopard and dhole, and with over 275 bird species, it really is a haven for wildlife.

Suggested Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart UK

  2. Day 2: Arrive Delhi

    On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your overnight hotel.

    Accommodation: Le Meridien Hotel, 1-night

  3. Days 3-4 : Fly (or drive) to Nagpur & transfer to Pench National Park

    Taking a packed breakfast from the hotel, you'll transfer back to the airport and fly to Nagpur. On arrival you'll be met and transferred to Pench, a drive of around three and a half hours. Enjoy an afternoon vehicle safari.

    Accommodation: Pench Tree Lodge, 2-nights

    Note: Depending on flight schedules, it may be necessary to transfer by road to Pench.

  4. Days 5-8 : Drive to Kanha National Park

    After a final safari, it's a five hour drive from Pench to Kanha. Over the next few days you'll have vehicle safaris into Kanha National Park to seek Bengal tiger and other wildlife. You return to the camp each day for lunch, before heading back to the park for another safari in the afternoon.

    Accommodation: Shergarh Camp, 4-nights

  5. Days 9-12 : Morning game drive, drive to Bandhavgarh National Park

    The drive to Bandhavgarh takes approximately five hours, where you can enjoy vehicle safaris in the Park, which is home to the highest concentration of tigers in India.

    Accommodation: Tree House Hideaway, 4-nights

  6. Day 13: Morning in Bandhavgarh, overnight train to Agra

    After a final jeep safari, transfer to Katni railway station, where you’ll board the overnight train to Agra.

  7. Day 14: Visit Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Itmad-Ud-Daula

    On arrival in Agra you'll transfer directly to your hotel to freshen up and then head out on a half day city tour of Agra Fort, Itmad-Ud-Daula and of course the iconic Taj Mahal at sunset.

    Accommodation: Hotel ITC Mughal, 1-night

  8. Day 15: Free morning, evening train to Delhi

    The morning is free to explore more of Agra, before transferring to railway station for an evening train back to Delhi, taking around three hours. 

    Accommodation: Le Meridien Hotel, 1-night

  9. Day 16: Fly back to the UK

    Transfer to Delhi airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.

You should note: As with all our itineraries, you can mix and match accommodation and, of course, extend or shorten your stay in any location.

Key info

Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 16 days from £3,795 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 15 days from £3,145 pp
  • Single supplement: From £1,780
  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Activities available:
    • Culture
Featured locations:

Pench National Park

Pench National Park is renowned for the richness of its flora and fauna. Nestling in the Satpura Hills, it takes its name from the nearby river, which winds through the park. Its most famous residents are tigers, but is also home to large herds of Indian bison and four endangered species of vulture.

  • Where: Madhya Pradesh
  • Ideal for viewing: chital, nilgai, sambar, tiger, gaur
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Tiger safaris

Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park offers some of India’s finest tiger viewing. The setting for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book', the undulating grassland and deciduous forest also supports a further 22 species of mammal and its waterholes create tranquil spots for bird watching in the surrounding jungle.

  • Where: Madhya Pradesh State
  • Ideal for viewing: Asiatic jackal, barasingha, Indian gazelle, nilgai, tiger
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Tiger safaris

Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest known density of Bengal tigers in India, and over the years has maintained an excellent record of sightings. Its rocky hills, grassy swamps and forested valleys create a diverse ecosystem that is home to other predators and mammals, as well as 250 bird species.

  • Where: Madhya Pradesh State
  • Ideal for viewing: chital, leopard, sloth bear, tiger, white-breasted kingfisher
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Tiger safaris
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Pench Tree Lodge

This exclusive lodge, situated on the outskirts of Pench National Park, features just six chalets perched amidst the trees in an undisturbed area of forest in the small village of Sarrahiri. Guests can enjoy treetop dining or a dip in the swimming pool between safaris and nature walks into the wildlife-rich park.

Shergarh Camp

Nestling on the edge of Kanha National Park, this camp is an oasis of tranquility with six spacious canvas tents set in young woodland. Overlooking a pool fed by two natural springs, you can expect to see a variety of birdlife, including kingfishers, cormorants and hundreds of egrets.

Tree House Hideaway

Set in grounds of over 8 hectares, on the border of Bandhavgarh National Park, is the aptly named Tree House Hideaway. This intimate lodge has five rustic, elegantly-furnished treetop rooms, and a communal dining area encircling a large mahua tree, immersing guests into the surrounding nature.