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.
Day1: Depart UK
Day2: Arrive Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your overnight hotel.
Accommodation: Le Meridien Hotel, 1-night
Days3-4: 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.
Note: Depending on flight schedules, it may be necessary to transfer by road to Pench.
Days5-8: 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.
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 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 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
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
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.
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.
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.