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. Travelling 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
Overnight in Delhi and enjoy a city tour of Old and New Delhi
Days3-4: Fly (or drive) to Nagpur and transfer to Pench National Park
Taking a packed breakfast from the hotel you'll transfer back to the airport and fly to Nagpurr. On arrival you'll be met and transferred to Pench, a drive of around two hours. Enjoy an afternoon game drive.
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 game drive it's a four hour drive from Pench to Kanha, where you'll stay for 4 nights. Over the next couple of days you'll have game drives into Kanha National Park to seek Bengal tiger and other wildlife. You return to the camp for lunch before heading back to the park for another game drive in the afternoon.
Day13: Morning in Bandhavgarh, then overnight train to Agra
After a final game drive, it's an hour's drive to Umaria railway station, where you'll board the overnight train to Agra.
Day14: Visit Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and 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.
Day15: Free morning, evening train to Delhi
Day16: Depart Delhi, arrive UK 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.
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 daysfrom £4,295 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 15 daysfrom £3,620 pp
Single supplement: From £1,230
When to go: Oct-Apr
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, Wildlife Art Safaris, 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, Wildlife Art Safaris, 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 the small Sarrahiri village. 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 21 acres, 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..