A N U N F O R G E T A B L E E X P E R I E N C E
Kumaon is a mountainous district of Uttarakhand in northern India. Famed for its hill stations, its natural landscapes, and its wildlife, as well as its historic and cultural sites, this fascinating region has been drawing visitors for centuries. All of them fall in love with what they find.
Indus Experiences has created this special programme for those who want ample time to observe and appreciate the natural world, as well as to capture it on camera. Ornithologist and ecologist Richard Baines, and wildlife photographer Steve Race, will together lead this intimate group tour, with highlights including birding at Jungle Lore Lodge, hiking on the Binsar Estate, and game drives and an elephant ride in the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Destinations include: Nainital, Kathdhara, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary , Corbett Tiger Reserve and Taj Mahal Agra
Nature and Photography of the Kumaon Hills, India
Small Group tour Led by Richard Baines & Steve Race
Saturday 04 March – Saturday 18 March 2017*
* This tour is now fully booked. Please watch this space for new upcoming tours.
(Meals: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Departure from Birmingham International Airport with Emirates Airlines. Departures from London Heathrow and other regional airports are available on request. If you wish to join the tour from a country other than United Kingdom please contact us for a land only price for the tour.
Morning arrival in Delhi, where you will be met at the airport by a representative of Indus Experiences, and transfer to Hotel Lalit Grand . This afternoon you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, with a special focus on photography.
Travel on the Shatabdi Express day train to Kathgodam, then transfer to Pangot to check in to Jungle Lore Birding Lodge for two nights. India’s premier lodge for bird watchers, Jungle Lore is situated in the Nainital Hills, where more than 250 species birds have been recorded. Your guide will lead you on walks through the terraced fields and forest, and from Cheena Peak the views are especially fine. B,D
Today we will have the chance to take a day trip to Nainital, a charming, British-era hill station built around a pear-shaped lake. The lake is a great area for birdwatching and photography with a large diversity of habitats. If conditions are good we will be able to take a boat trip on the lake to increase opportunities for wildlife and photography. B, L, D
Drive to Kausani, stopping at colonial Ranikhet on the way. A small hill station with views of peaks in the Himalayan foothills, Ranikhet is known for the steeply terraced fields which line both sides of the valley. At Kausani, you will stay one night at the Sun n Snow Inn. Kausani looks out towards the peaks of Trisul, Nanda Devi, and Panchchuli, we will spend time in this area which is perfect for wildlife and landscape photography. B,D
It is a very scenic drive from Kausani to Binsar, and en route you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Baijnath Temple at Bageshwar. Built in 1204 and in constant use since then, this Shiva temple is an importance place of pilgrimage for Hindus, and both the buildings and the colorfully dressed pil-grims make for beautiful photos. You will stay at the Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor for three nights. B,L,D
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand kings until the 18th century, and it gives its name to one of northern India’s most important wildlife reserves. You’ll rise early for a morning hike, the route carefully chosen to maximise the birdlife you will see. There are more than 200 species of birds at Binsar, including woodpeckers, Eurasian jays, tits, forktails, and parakeets. Grand Oak Manor was the private home of General Sir Henry Ramsay, cousin to the Viceroy of India, and in the evening you’ll take a guided tour of the estate. B,L,D
Today you will explore more of the Binsar Wildlife Reserve, taking a day hike to Kathdhara Village, which lies within the wildlife reserve. The walk takes about five hours round trip, including breaks for birdwatching and photography and a picnic lunch, and you’ll be able to see traditional Kumaoni architecture, as well as experience village life. B,L,D
Drive to Corbett Tiger Reserve, stopping briefly on the way in the town of Almora. Almora has a vibrant old bazaar, and you will learn a little about its history during a heritage walk. You will stay for three nights at Jim’s Jungle Retreat, a luxurious eco-conscious wildlife lodge on the edge of the reserve. B,L,D
Rise early for an elephant ride through the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Not only will you get your bear-ings but you’ll have a superb view into the tree canopies. There are around 50 species of mammals into the park, and countless birds and reptiles. It is the oldest national park in India, and has one of the largest populations of Bengal tigers. You might well see them on your afternoon game drive. B,L,D
You will spend a full day in the Corbett Tiger Reserve, with game drives in both the morning and the afternoon. Explore the dense jungle, take a walk through the forest, learn about Jim Corbett’s conservation work, and perhaps even go fishing on the river Ramganga. B, L,D
Travel by train back to Delhi, and have the rest of the day at leisure. Stay at The Lalit Grand Hotel. B
No visit to India would be complete without seeing the Taj Mahal, so you will take a morning train journey to Agra. Visit Agra Fort and the Tomb of Itima-du-Daula and after a photography in the glo-rious Mehtab Garden, you will arrive at the Taj in time for sunset. It is, quite simply, the most ro-mantic, beautiful building you’ll ever see. B
Leave Agra after breakfast to visit the Mughal pearl, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Fatehpur Sikri, an abandoned city built of sandstone which is uniquely well preserved. Return to Delhi , stay-ing overnight at Ibis Hotel near International Airport. B
Transfer to Indira Gandhi International airport for your return flight to Birmingham with Emirate air-lines or a regional UK airport. B
- Tour Leaders
- How to Book this Tour
- Travel Insurance
Richard Baines - Ornithologist/Ecologist
Richard is an experienced ornithologist/ecologist who has been studying and working as a Nature Guide and in Wildlife Conservation for 30 years. From recording UK migrant birds as a volunteer for Flamborough Bird Observatory to monitoring Siberian migrants in China; he has become highly experienced in bird identification and ecology. He was born in North Yorkshire and lived here for most of his life. He has worked extensively with the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) including a project in 2014 surveying a large area of open moorland for breeding waders such as Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). He has travelled extensively especially in Asia, recently spending 3 months birding in Thailand. He returned from Gujarat in December 2015 with a great passion for Indian birds and of course the food! He is currently studying part time for his MSc in Environmental Conservation. Richard is very keen on always increasing his knowledge on the ecology of birds and other wildlife. His greatest asset is his knowledge and enthusiasm, he loves passing on his experience of wildlife to a wide range of ages and abilities.
Steve Race - Wildlife Photographer
Steve is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. He has been a keen naturalist and birder for over 30 years, lived on the Yorkshire Coast all of his life and believes there is no better place for variety of habitats and amazing wildlife. Inspired by the natural world around him Steve captures incredible wildlife images. In 2013 he was “Commended” in the “Wildlife Photographe¬¬r of the Year Awards” and “British Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards” in which in 2015 he was “Highly Commended”. His work has been published in national and regional media and magazines, leaflets, websites and publications. Steve has also been featured on BBC Countryfile, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and regional television programmes. He also runs regular exhibitions, workshops, and delivers talks and lectures. Steve has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as Education Officer at Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire and taken part in numerous projects for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, National Trust and other conservation organisations.
International flights in economy class on Emirate Airlines via Dubai. Supplement costs for club class are available on request.
Train journey in first air conditioned executive class on Shatabadi Express from Delhi to Kathgo-dam and on Gatimaan Express between Delhi and Agra.
Air-conditioned accommodation with private facilities on twin, double sharing and single room occupancy.
Meal Plan: Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
All sightseeing arrangements including wildlife viewing and photography tours and walks.
Services of an experienced local English speaking guide.
Services of Mr Richard Baines and Mr Steve Race as professional nature and photography experts
Complimentary mineral water while travelling and on sightseeing.
Full ATOL Bonding.
Cost does not include:
Visa fee for India. (E-Tourist visa facility is now available for India, we will send relevant information how to apply to all participants.
Any expenses of a personal nature.
- To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
- If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
- It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
- It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
- It covers you for all activities.
- Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
- If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.