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Tiger Safari Holidays India Bandhavgarh Kanha Taj Varanasi Khajuraho

Mumbai + Bandhavgarh Tiger Safari + Kerala


IPK12M
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Combine bustling Mumbai, with Bandhavgarh National Park - renowned for some of the best tiger sightings in India. Afterwards fly to beautiful Kerala in southern India, with its tranquil lakes & backwaters. Visit Kumarakom & stay overnight on a traditional rice houseboat. Complete your holiday relaxing on Mararikulam beach. English speaking city guide, private driver, jeep safaris & sightseeing included.
Tiger Safari Kerala India Bandhavgarh Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
• 
Mumbai
• 
City Tour
• 
Elephanta Island
• 
Bhandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
• 
Jeep Safaris
• 
Cochin
• 
Kathikali Dance
• 
Kumarakom
• 
Rice Houseboat
• 
Mararikulam Beach
• 
Mumbai
• 
City Tour
• 
Elephanta Island
• 
Bhandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
• 
Jeep Safaris
• 
Cochin
• 
Kathikali Dance
• 
Kumarakom
• 
Rice Houseboat
• 
Mararikulam Beach
Day 1
You will be met at Mumbai Airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in this bustling city.
 
Formerly known as Bombay, this is the most populous city in India and its commercial capital, as well as the home of the Bollywood film industry.
Day 2
Today enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Mumbai, starting with a 1-hour ferry ride to Elephanta Island - originally called Gharapuri ("Fortress City") but renamed by the Portuguese who found a large stone elephant here.
 
The Elephanta Caves date from between 450 to 750 AD and are now a World Heritage site, containing gigantic rock effigies of the Hindu faith. One of the most interesting of the large sculptured panels is the three-headed Shiva - shown as the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer. Another Shiva panel shows the God dancing the 'Tandava' and thereby causing the world to shake.
 
Afterwards your tour continues with visits to the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum, Crawford Market, Jain Temple, the beautiful Hanging Gardens, the circular Tower of Silence, Gandhi's house at Mani Bhawan and the open-air laundromat at Dhobi Ghat.
 
Note: Price of Wales Museum is closed on a Monday.
Day 3
Transfer to Mumbai Airport for your flight to Jabalpur.
  
Here you will be met and transferred 4-hours to Bandhavgarh National Park - once the hunting reserve of the royal family of Rewa and today one of the most famous tiger reserves in the world. Covering 168 sq miles (437 sq km) of bamboo, grassland and deciduous forests in the Vindhya Hills of Madhya Pradesh, this reserve is where the amazing white tigers were discovered.
Days 4 To 5
Today is devoted to the wildlife of Bandhavgarh National Park on a shared jeep safari.
 
Early morning is the best time to track tigers and other wildlife, but be aware that it is extremely difficult to find tigers in the jungle and sightings are never guaranteed. Best viewings are generally at the end of the dry season (March to May, although it is extremely hot from April onwards), when the tigers search out the waterholes - but you need to take at least 4 game drives for a good chance of a sighting.
 
In the afternoon return to the park for another shared jeep safari before dinner. There are at least 150 bird species as well as mammals such as sloth bears, langur monkeys, wild boars, wild dogs, mongoose and three types of deer - chital, sambar and barking.
 
Note: This tiger reserve is closed every Wednesday afternoon, when only a morning game drive is offered. The park is also closed during the Holi & Diwali festivals, as well as during the monsoon season (July to early October).
 
Please note we always try to book jeep safaris, but these can only be reserved 120 days in advance and cannot be guaranteed - in which case your game drive will be in a 20-seater canter. In the winter months, morning safaris require warm clothes including woolly hats and gloves to protect you from the wind chill in your open vehicle.
Day 6
Transfer 4-hours to Jabalpur Airport for your flight to Mumbai and onward connecting flight to Cochin in the beautiful southern state of Kerala - fondly called "God's own Country". This Arabian seaport, now known as Kochi, was at the centre of the spice trade for many centuries.
 
On arrival enjoy a city tour of Cochin - known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and Chinese as an important trading centre. The Portuguese established the first European settlement in India here and the city was later colonised by the Dutch and then the British.
 
Visit St. Francis Church built by the Portuguese, where explorer Vasco Da Game was first buried. Also see Mattancherry Palace (also known as the Dutch Palace) with its old murals depicting scenes from Hindu legends associated with Shiva, Vishnu and Krishna (closed Fridays); Jew Town and the Jewish Synagogue (closed Fridays & Saturdays). Time permitting, you can also visit the Dhobi Khana communal wash-house run by the Tamil community, or the pilgrimage church of St George in Edappally, one of the oldest and largest churches in India. Then walk to see the old shore-operated Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, each operated by a team of up to six fishermen.
 
In the evening a special treat awaits - a performance of the famous Kathakali classical dance.
Day 7
This morning your driver will collect you from your hotel in Cochin and introduce you to the beauty of rural Kerala, as you travel 2.5-hours to the small town of Kumarakom, situated on Vembanad Lake - the largest backwater in India.
 
Check into your hotel and relax surrounded by these tranquil waters.
Day 8
At leisure to relax and enjoy the leisurely lifestyle and wonderful food of Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake - an important habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and shrimps.
 
Kerala is famous for yoga and ayurvedic spa treatments. Bird watching is also outstanding, with nearby Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary offering a safe refuge for many migratory birds. Sunset boat rides, pedal boats and fishing are available from some hotels.
Day 9
This morning board your air-conditioned Rice Houseboat set on Vembanad Lake. This network of backwaters, lakes and rivers stretches over 930 miles (1,500 km) and provides a vital waterway for transporting people and their produce, once used to transport goods from isolated interior villages to the larger towns but now largely used for pleasure.
 
As the water is level with the land here, spend the afternoon relaxing and watching the agricultural lives of the people who live along the canals and work in the rice paddy fields, as you cruise through the Kerala Backwaters.
 
In the evening see the sun setting over the tranquil backwaters and enjoy dining on delicious local Kerala cuisine prepared by your chef.
Day 10
After breakfast disembark at the merchant town of Alleppey and drive 30-minutes to the beach village of Mararikulam.
 
Along the way we stop at a Local Village to gain an insight into how the people live and work in this region. We then continue to our beach hotel to relax on the shores of the sparkling Indian Ocean.
Days 11 To 12
At leisure to relax at Marari Beach in the fishing village of Mararikulam.
 
Enjoy holistic Ayurvedic treatments, for which this region is famous. You can participate in yoga classes, visit the Velorvattom Mahadeva temple and shop for local handcrafts in the market. You can also enjoy the tasty but spicy southern Indian cuisine, particularly their wonderful seafood, but because of strong currents swimming in the sea here is not recommended, as there are no life guards on duty.
 
There is also a butterfly garden, which can be explored with a in-house naturalist, along with the coastal birds of the region.
Day 13
Transfer 1.5-hours to Kochi Airport for your flight home.
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