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A TIGER ENCOUNTER

At the crack of dawn, crawling in an open jeep braving the chill in the fresh morning breeze... a spotted deer raises an alarm call as we take in the sounds of the forest, the black-faced langurs from treetops join in... loud cries of the peacock herald the presence of the big cat. An exhilarating journey through some of India's best national parks; rocky hills rising from valleys; dense forests and swamp;, vast open meadows, grass lands, lakes and rivulets; the chances of sighting a tiger are excellent with the rich flora and fauna offering plenty else including some rare birds. We stay in some of the finest resorts in each park in comfortable, high quality accommodation with first class hotels in the cities.

Day 1 Delhi
Arrive into Delhi, stay at the Maidens; at leisure, maybe dine at Chor Bizarre.

Days 2 & 3 Ranthambore
Take a day train to Sawai Madhopur, transfer to the Khem Vilas or Ranthambore Kothi. Ranthambore is home to sloth bear, chinkara, porcupines, jungle cat, leopards, marsh crocodile, nilgai, monitor lizards, tigers... and over 300 species of birds. Enjoy jeep safaris for two days, with the option to visit the fort looming over the park.

Days 4 to 6 Overnight Train and Bandhavgarh
Take an overnight train for Bandhavgarh; arrive next morning and transfer to the King's Lodge. The park is situated in the Vindhya hills with an undulating terrain and is home to spotted deer, sambar, blackbucks, wild oxen, sloth bear, nilgai, barking deer, leopard and tiger. The rich and varied birdlife includes golden orioles, parakeets, hornbills and partridges. Enjoy jeep safaris in Tala, Magdhi and Khitauli zones. Visit the local village school, where some of the work is funded by jungle lodges.

Days 7 & 8 Kanha
Drive to Kanha, stay at the Earth Lodge. Kanha is one of the largest parks in the country, with some 22 species of mammals. Most commonly sighted are the spotted deer, swamp deer, blackbuck, langur, jackal and three-striped palm squirrel. Less commonly seen are the tiger, Indian hare, dhole or wild dog and bison or gaur. Rarely sighted are the fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, panther, mouse deer, etc. Over 200 species of birds are found in the mixed forest and its bamboo breaks. Enjoy jeep safaris and a village visit.

Day 9 Pench
Drive to Pench for a night at the Jungle Camp; enjoy a jeep safari. With the Pench River meandering through the park, this is an excellent spot to break your journey to Satpura, while giving yourself another opportunity to sight the tiger.

Days 10 to 12 Satpura
Drive on to Satpura, stay at the Reni Pani Lodge, Forsyth Lodge or Denwa Water Escape. Satpura has a rugged terrain with sandstone peaks, narrow ravines and dense forests. An excellent park for jungle walk, jeep safari and boat ride. There is the option of elephant safari as well. Sightings of leopard and bear are good and with some luck, the tiger; rich in birdlife.

Day 13 Bhopal-Delhi
Drive to Bhopal to board a flight for Delhi or Mumbai.

Price indication: $2500 to $3000 per person for a private tour for two.

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