Tigerland – The Nilgiri Biosphere – Jungles Of South India
The Nilgiri Biosphere in the Western Ghats is India’s premier biosphere reserve, with a range of forests and habitats Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai, Waynad, Eravikulam and Periyar.
A typical afternoon safari in a South Indian Jungle you can encounter a pack of wild dogs cornering a chital stag. An elephant herd frolicking in water, the haunting cry of a peacock. A sambhar calling in alarm as the Tiger is on the move, leaving its tracks on the dusty path. A herd of Gaur with massive horns and pale green eyes stare back at you. Calls of mynas, drongos pierce the silent murmur of forest streams.Tall trees, swaying bamboos and grassy expanses. A unique feature of these moist deciduous forests are the open grassy swamps where the soil is clayey, perennially moist and supports a luxuriant growth of green grass all the year round. These are ideal spots to watch large concentrations of ungulates.
Day 01: Arrive Bangalore. Met & transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Bangalore – Coorg (252 kms / 6 hrs)
Morning: brief overview of Bangalore. After an early lunch drive to Coorg. The moist deciduous forests of Dubare are home to many wild animals and a plethora of birds. Sighting of wild Asiatic Elephants are regular and so is spotting the sambhar and the spotted deer. The Indian Bison or Gaur and bears are also seen in these forests. Visitors also get to notice many crocodiles in the waters of River Cauvery at Dubare. Birdlife in Dubare is wonderful with peacocks, patridges, kingfishers and woodpeckers topping the list. Overnight at Dubare Elephant Camp.
Day 03: Coorg / Dubare Elephant Camp.
Today’s activities will include. Elephant Interaction, Coracle Ride, Bird watching, trekking, joy fishing & campfire.
Day 04: Coorg – Nagarhole (95 kms / 2 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Nagarhole. The Nagarhaole National Park in Karnataka shares its boundaries with the famous Bandipur National Park in Karanataka, which together form a part of the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wayanad Reserve in Kerala. About 643 kms in area, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the tiger along with the other wild life species and around 250 bird species. Located aside the river Kabini, the dam and the reservoir of this mighty Kabini river acts as a natural barrier separating the two wildlife sanctuaries – Bandipur and Nagarhole – in Karnataka.
Day 05: Nagarhole
Morning & evening safaris.
Day 06: Nagarhole – Bandipur National Park (130 kms / 3 hrs)
Morning drive to Bandipur National Park.Situated among the foothills of Western Ghat & Nilgiri Mountains, Bandipur has remarkable variety of flora and fauna.
This place is home to Leopard, Asiatic Wild Dogs, Stripped Hyenas, Jackals, Jungle Cats, Leopard Cats, Rusty Spotted Cats, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civets, Otters and four different species of Mongooses (the common stripe necked, brown and ruddy mongooses), Gaur, Sambar, Cheetal, Muntjac, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Four-Horn Antelope, Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Fruit Bat, Spender Loris, Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Wild Pig, Black Saped Hare and variety of reptiles such as Rock Python, Cobra, Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizard, Rat Snake, Wolf Snake, Common Krait, Runel’s Viper Bamboo Pit Viper and Green Keel Back are also found here. Bandipur is great destination for birding also. Afternoon visit inside the wildlife sanctuary in jeeps. Overnight stay at the wildlife lodge.
Day 07: Bandipur National Park
Morning & evening wildlife viewing and bird watching. Overnight stay at the wildlife lodge.
Day 08 : Bandipur National Park – Coimbatore (152 kms / 5hrs)
After breakfast drive to Coimbatore through Ooty. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Coimbatore – Munnar (160 kms / 5hrs)
After breakfast drive to hill town of Munnar, Located at a height of 1600mts.Munnar town was the summer resort for British. Munnar is the highest tea estate in the world. Afternoon at leisure or free for optional activities – explore the Tea Gardens or Botanical Garden. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Munnar – Eravikulam National Park
Morning & afternoon drive to Eravikulam National Park (15 km) to see the Nilgiri Tahr. Eravikulam National Park, The area is tropical evergreen forest. Grasslands, shrubs, and forests are what one finds throughout. Grasslands with patches of forests known as sholas in between cover almost the entire region. This Sanctuary is set up for the preservation of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The park is home to Elephants, Sambhars, Gaurs, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri, Langur, giant squirrel, Tigers and Leopards. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Munnar – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (150 kms / 3 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Periyar. In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary’s environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.
Afternoon Nature Walk in Tiger Reserve. Which abounds with birdlife comprising of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Morning boating in the Periyar Lake for the best opportunity to see wildlife at close quarters. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.
Day 13: Periyar – Kumarakon (140 kms / 3 hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakon Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the bird sanctuary is spread across 14 acres. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an ornithologist’s paradise is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Cochin
Drive to Cochin (2 hrs). The influence of medieval Portugal, Holland and England can still be seen in this fast growing coastal city. It is also known as the spice city of India. Most of the worldwide spice expors originate here. An afternoon half-day sightseeing includes St. Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was buried for 14 years before his remains were transferred to Lisbon. His tombstone still stands there. The church was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars. Nearby is the Mattancherry Palace or ‘DutchPalace” built in 1557 AD. The central hall on the 1st floor was the coronation hall of the rajas of Cochin. Other rooms depict scenes from the Ramayana and Puranic Legends connected with Hindu gods. Next we’ll see the Chinese Fishing Nets along Vypeen Island (set up between 1350 – 1450 AD). These cantilevered fishing nets were introduced by traders from the courts of Kublai Khan.
Evening fly to Chennai or Bangalore airport for flight to home.