Immerse yourself in exotic India, an extraordinary land rich in wildlife and cultural wonders. Explore Pench, Kahna, and Bandhavgarh national parks, where you will seek out magnificent wild tigers in their native habitat.
Learn more about what San Diego Zoo Global is doing to save wildlife from this region of the world.
October 30—San Diego/Newark/En Route
Your journey begins as you board your flight in San Diego for your overnight flight to Delhi via Newark.
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel in the premier business and commercial district, Connaught Place. Right next to lively shopping centers and colorful streets, the Lalit Hotel is also within proximity of historical landmarks.
Spend today exploring Delhi, India’s capital and political hub. In Old Delhi, visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, the Red Fort, once the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire. Explore the walled city of Old Delhi on a traditional rickshaw ride. Continue to “New” Delhi and visit Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Tonight’s welcome dinner will offer you an introduction to the richness of Indian cuisine.
November 2-3—Nagpur/Pench National Park
This morning, fly to Nagpur and proceed to Pench National Park. Nestled in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills, the landscape supports a mosaic of vegetation and the highest density of herbivores in India, including gaur, chital, sambar, nilgai, wild dog, and wild boar. The key predator is the tiger, followed by leopard, wild dog, and wolf. Other animals include the sloth bear, chousingha, chinkara, barking deer, jackal, fox, palm and Indian civets, hyena, and porcupine. In addition, there are over 285 species of resident and migratory birds.
November 4-5—Kanha National Park
After breakfast, you will drive to Kanha National Park, which provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. This is the land of the tiger, leopard, and wolf. Porcupine, spotted deer, jackal, sloth bear, jungle cat, macaque, dhole, barasingha, and a stunning spectrum of birds make Kahna a must for any wildlife enthusiast. Activities over the next two days will consist of jungle safaris in 4 x 4 vehicles, which are open from all sides to give you a panoramic view of the landscape. Nature walks can also be arranged as well as visits to local villages.
November 6-8—Bandhavgarh National Park
Next, drive to Bandhavgarh National Park, set among the Vindhyan Mountain Range in Madhya Pradesh. Home to the famous white tigers of Rewa, the sanctuary has the highest-density tiger population of any wildlife park in the country. Other wild animals in Bandhavgarh include nilgai, chital, chinkara, gaur, sloth bear, and wild boar, along with 250 species of birds. Like Kanha, jungle safaris are by jeep. It is advisable to go on every possible safari, because a tiger sighting is never guaranteed and no sighting is the same.
Drive to Khajuraho, situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh. Upon arrival, embark on a tour of the eastern group of temples. Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples, considered the "high point" of Indian architectural genius in the medieval period. The temples are now a World Heritage Site, and they are some of the best preserved monuments of this antiquity.
Fly to Varanasi on the north bank of the Ganges River in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world, dating back about 3,500 years. Your afternoon tour involves Sarnath, a small Buddhist town that is home to the Archeological Museum and the Mahabodhi Buddha Temple. Stroll in the deer park where Buddha himself often meditated. In the evening, be part of a service on the banks of the river and take a ride through the chaotic roads of Varanasi.
Take an early morning boat cruise on the holy river Ganges to witness the cremation site as well as the morning ritual of devout Hindus washing away their sins in the river. Enjoy a city tour of Varanasi, including a visit to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Continue to the airport to board your flight to Delhi, where a day room awaits you at the NOVOTEL AEROCITY. The balance of the day is at leisure before you transfer to the airport for your flight home, departing after midnight.
November 13—En Route/ San Diego
Arrive in San Diego this afternoon, bringing with you incredible memories of roaring tigers, ancient ruins, and amazing people.
Jaipur and Agra
October 24 – 31—Pre-Tour Extension
The ultimate requiem of love, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his beloved wife. Marvel at its perfect symmetry and how the marble reflects an array of hues in the sunlight. Continue to the “Pink City” of Jaipur, with its aristocratic atmosphere, unique architecture, and amazing shopping opportunities.
Kaziranga National Park
November 13 – 16—Post-Tour Extension
Stretching over an area of 166 square miles on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, Kaziranga is one of the last refuges of the Indian rhino. Spend your days in an open jeep viewing a variety of wildlife such as wild elephants, gaur, jungle cats, hog badgers, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, jackals, porcupines, pythons, sambar deer, sloth bears, tigers, and leopards. The park also boasts a large avian population, including the black kite, Brahminy kite, Indian roller, Himalayan griffon, gray-headed fishing eagle, gray peacock pheasant, Pallas’s fishing eagle, and red jungle fowl.