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India Tiger Quest

7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

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Day 1: New Delhi, India
Arrive in New Delhi and transfer to the Taj Mahal Hotel. One of the most distinguished addresses in the city, this landmark luxury hotel provides a comfortable respite as you rest up from your travels. The evening is at leisure with dinner on your own—try one of the hotel's many fine restaurants, or inquire with the concierge for nearby suggestions.
Day 2: Discovering Delhi Old & New
India’s thriving capital offers a captivating introduction to the country and its cultures, in vivid counterpoint to the wild places and jungle animals that lie ahead. There are two distinct sections of the city, ancient Old Delhi, and New Delhi, founded in 1911 by the British at the height of their empire. A half-day tour, timed to avoid the heat of midday, explores centuries of Delhi's complex, multi-layered history. A rickshaw ride provides a fitting overview, while a guided walk through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi reveals architectural treasures like Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque and the magnum opus of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Completed in 1656 with labor by more than 5,000 workers, the grand edifice features alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble, with a vast inner courtyard that can hold 25,000 people. This evening we join our Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner and orientation to all the adventures that await.
Day 3: Jaipur / Ranthambore National Park
Transfer to the Delhi airport this morning for our short flight to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s fabled "Pink City" of sandstone. From Jaipur, we travel by road to Ranthambore National Park and our ecolodge, where we spend the next four nights. In comfortable air-conditioned accommodations, we have excellent proximity to the park, as well as a respite from the middday heat. Our lodge is also renowned for its excellent vegetarian cuisine, produce for which is grown in the organic garden on site. 
The former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today Ranthambore National Park is one of India's top conservation success stories. With tiger numbers on the rise, it offers India’s best opportunity to observe them in the wild, especially at this dry time of year when vegetation is sparse and tigers more readily visible. The park sits between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, a broad swath of jungle scrub bordered by steep, rocky ridges and highland plateaus dotted with lakes. More than 300 different plant species grow here, though the environs are largely dry deciduous forest—and that means it's easier to spot tigers and other wildlife, in contrast to places where the understory is lusher. 
This afternoon, we make our first foray into the park. Covering 150 square miles, Ranthambore is one of India’s largest nature reserves, and certainly among its most famous, given its reputation for excellent tiger viewing prospects. While tigers are always elusive, the odds of seeing them are high in Ranthambore, especially at the time of year we visit. 
Days 4–6: On Safari in Ranthambore
Our daily safari drives take place early in the morning and late afternoon, when temperatures are relatively cooler and wildlife more active. We head out in 4x4 vehicles before sunrise each morning, eager for the day's discoveries. In contrast to an African safari where wildlife is often on display before us, India's animals take more effort to find. Tigers typically take shelter under the cover of trees and bushes, hiding from their prey and seeking relief from the heat. Because their black and orange stripes provide excellent camouflage, we have to work hard to locate them. But our Expedition Leaders are seasoned pros at this, and we follow their lead, listening for sounds and watching for signs that may reveal a tiger's location: rustling grass, deer racing away from its presence, birds circling overhead. 
While tigers are our main focus, we also look for other wildlife that is plentiful in the park. Sightings may include spotted deer, nilgai, jackal, jungle cat, sloth bear, sambar, chinkara gazelle, wild boar, langur monkeys and rhesus macaques. Ranthambore is also home to a notable leopard population, though they tend to stay in higher, more inaccessible areas and are not frequently seen. Birds flourish here, too, with more than 300 species in the reserve. Keep an eye out for crested serpent eagles, paradise flycatchers, painted storks, peacocks and many more. 
In the middle of the day, return to the comfort of our lodge to relax or cool off in the swimming pool, or visit the Ranthambore School of Art and Dastkar Ranthambore, a women’s handicraft cooperative. 
Day 7: Sawai Madhopur / Delhi / Depart
Our tiger safari comes to a close today as we transfer to the railway station at Sawai Madhopur for our return to Delhi by train. Day rooms in Delhi are provided before transferring to the airport for homeward flights.
All This Included
Our most tiger-intensive itinerary! If your goal is to search for Bengal tigers with the very best odds of spotting them, this compact adventure is for you. Deep within the jungles of southeast Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is India’s premier tiger safari destination. Our trip is strategically timed for early summer, when visitors are fewer and tigers are less elusive. It’s warmer, yes. But that means tigers must head out of the dry underbrush to quench their thirst at least twice a day—and that is when we safari in search of them. With just four travelers per open vehicle, with a side seat for all, our presence is understated...and the views unimpeded! Ranthambore is home to much more than its famous tigers, too: it’s a veritable Jungle Book of creatures, with chances to spy sloth bear, caracal, jackal, striped hyena, desert fox, mongoose and much more.
  • Accommodations 
  • Services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s) 
  • Local guides and lodge staff 
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 2 through lunch on final day 
  • Most gratuities 
  • Still camera fees
  • Airport transfers on Day 1 and final day 
  • All activities and entrance fees
  • All taxes, permits and service fees
  • Explore Ranthambore National Park at the optimal time of year for tiger sightings—as the weather warms, tigers are drawn into the open in search of water.
  • Look for other jungle wildlife, too: the park's dry deciduous habitat is home to sloth bear, leopard, sambar, chital, palm civet, langur monkeys, pythons and more.
  • Travel with top naturalist Expedition Leaders who are tiger experts, conservationists and all-around interpreters of this wildlife-rich ecosystem—you'll find no better guides!
Delhi: Taj Mahal Hotel and Trident Gurgaon
Ranthambore: Oberoi's Vanyavilas
Pre and Post Add-ons
Agra and the Taj Mahal Extension - 3 Days / Apr – Jun, From $1575
Extend your India adventure with this journey to the fabled Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, impressive monuments to the imperial splendors of the Mughal age.
  • Group size limit is 11 travelers.
  • Not included: Travel to and from start and end points of trip (Delhi, India), early arrival and late departure airport transfers (if you are not staying at the Taj Mahal and Trident Gurgaon hotels), internal flight, alcoholic beverages, passport and visa fees, some gratuities, optional activities, fees for video cameras in parks, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, Internet, etc.), airline baggage fees, required medical evacuation insurance and optional travel insurance.
  • Internal Air Cost: $125 per person (2019 departures); $150 per person (2020 departures).
  • In order to participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for at least one mile over uneven terrain, climb a short ladder to get into and out of our safari vehicles, and tolerate daily excursions in extremely hot conditions. Although we avoid the hottest part of the day during our outings, note that temperatures can be very high and may exceed 110°F. Activities include a city walking tour that could be as long as three miles, walking with luggage through the airport and train station, and walking on sometimes dark and uneven paths at our accommodations. Wildlife drives in the park take place on very rough and bumpy dirt roads with many ruts and potholes, in extremely dusty conditions. Travelers with back problems or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such conditions should take this into consideration. The trip also involves very early morning starts (before dawn) and long days filled with activities.
  • Mandatory Insurance: Since the areas we travel to are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require that all guests have medical evacuation insurance for this program. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat Adventures (NHA), we require that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage. Please note that we will add the cost of NHA's medical evacuation policy (currently $48 per person) to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, phone number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety. 
  • Arrive in Delhi at anytime on Day 1 of the itinerary. You are free to depart Delhi anytime after 8 pm on the final day. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.