India: Tigers & Taj Photo Safari w/ Andy Biggs

April 18—29, 2017 | From $14,750


Introduction

In April 2017, Andy Biggs will lead a private group of photographers to India to photograph wild tigers and India's wide variety of native wildlife, as well as to the world famous Taj Mahal. The safari will include all-day permits in Bandhavgarh, thus increasing our likelihood of great photographic opportunities. These permits allow us to choose the region of the park we would like to be in at any given time.

Tigers are highly endangered and India's National Parks provide some of the last remaining places where one can observe these beautiful cats in their natural habitat, often at close range. Sixty-five percent of the world's remaining wild tigers are found in India and this safari offers superb opportunities to see and photograph these big cats.  India also teems with a wide array of antelope and deer and boasts fifteen species of primates. In all India has over 400 species of mammals, so this trip will focus not only on seeing and photographing tigers, but also on India's unique and varied wild fauna. The birdlife in India is also abundant. 

We will spend six nights each at one of India's best tiger-viewing National Parks: Bandhavgarh. Bandavhgarh has high densities of tigers and native wildlife. We have selected the top level of accommodation for all locations on this trip to ensure comfort, good food, and excellent service throughout. India is unlike anywhere else you have visited and nothing you have done before will likely be comparable. If you have ever thought about seeing wild tigers or a visit to India, this trip was designed based on our own experiences to offer an amazing adventure.

Andy Biggs | Andy is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. He has been guiding African photographic safaris for more than 15 years, and he considers Africa his second home.

Andy Biggs | Andy is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. He has been guiding African photographic safaris for more than 15 years, and he considers Africa his second home.


Ready to learn more about this photo safari? Click below to get started!


Itinerary @ a Glance

  • Day 1: Arrive in India!
  • Day 2: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 3: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 4: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 5: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 6: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 7: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Day 8: Return to Delhi
  • Day 9: Exploring Agra + The Taj Majal
  • Day 10: Exploring Agra + The Taj Majal
  • Day 11: Return to Delhi
  • Day 12: Say Goodbye to India!

Safari Highlights

  • Six days in one of India's best National Parks, photographing tigers and native wildlife
  • All-day photographic permits increase our likelihood of great photographic opportunities
  • The best accommodations throughout the trip with the best service and food quality
  • Visit the Taj Mahal to photograph this iconic location  
  • Private road transfers and/or air travel between all stops throughout the trip
  • Extra luggage allowances to accommodate the special needs of our photographic equipment
  • A focus on up-close and real wildlife experiences from the surroundings of premier accommodations

Is This Trip For You?

This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone's photographic needs. No question is off limits and no inquiry is too basic. Here are some key points to help you decide:

All Levels Welcome | We’ve designed the trip to fulfill all photographic aspirations. Photographers of all skill levels will use the experience as an opportunity to learn from one another.

We Stay Focused | We emphasize photographing in the field. We will spend most our time and effort on safari / photographic activities and making images.

A Collective Experience | Non-photographer spouses / companions and videographers will also love this safari for the unique access to animals, nature and local culture. 


Detailed Itinerary

April 18 | Welcome to India!

Arrive at Delhi’s International Airport. You will be warmly welcomed and chauffeured to The Trident Gurgaon Hotel. Our stay is here is on bed & Breakfast basis and dinner will be on your own account as we recognize that everyone will arrive at different times, but usually late in the evening. Dinners are included for the rest of the trip after this evening.

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April 19—24 | Bandhavgarh National Park

After an early breakfast we will be chauffeured to the airport for our flight to Jabalpur. Our flight to Jabalpur will take approximately two hours, and upon arrival we will be met by our ground staff and will be driven to Mahua Kothi, our accommodations for the next six nights. The drive will take around 3 hours, and when we will arrive we will relax and settle in at our lodge in time for an early dinner.

Bandhavgarh National Park is an essential stop on any serious tiger safari as it is has one of the highest concentrations of this magnificent animal.  A relatively small park with a thriving tiger population, it offers guests a good chance of encountering the king of the jungle, as well as a selection of other exotic wildlife. Cradled between the picturesque Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges, Bandhavgarh boasts a breathtaking mixture of dense green valleys and rocky hills. Its mixed deciduous forests and woodlands are interspersed with flat grasslands and serene waterholes. 

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Bandhavgarh covers about 450 square kilometers.  It is bordered by great cliffs and eroded rocks and on its highest point stands "Bandhavgarh fort", estimated to be some 2,000 years old. Around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines and ancients Sanskrit inscriptions. The vegetation is chiefly of sal tree forest in the valleys and bamboo forest on the lower slopes throughout the park. Bandhavgarh was once a Shikargah or game preserve hunted by the Maharajas of Rewa. The park offers a variety of wildlife in addition to tigers, including the gaur (Indian bison), sloth bear, sambar deer, barking deer, muntjac (barking deer), nilgai antelope, wild boar, Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, ratel, grey mongoose, striped hyena, jungle cat, and leopard. The common langur and rhesus macaque are the primates found here. There are 250 species of bird known to occur in the park. 

Each day we will have two game drives inside the park, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Since we have all-day permits, we can also choose to stay in the park all day long, depending on what we are seeing. If sightings dictate staying, we will stay. If we choose to go back to camp for lunch, we can take a break and then come back at a time of our choosing. 

April 25 | Return to Delhi

Today we will drive back to Jabalpur, which will take around 3 hours. On arrival in Jabalpur we will head directly to the airport in order to make our flight back to Delhi, which is at 16:10. We will arrive in Delhi at 18:00 and will be transferred to the Trident Gurgaon Hotel for the night. The rest of our evening is at leisure, and we can either dine at the hotel or go next door to the Oberoi Hotel for a different dining experience.

April 26 | Exploring Agra + the Taj Mahal

This morning at a time to be advised locally, you will depart by road for the city of Agra and the Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel (appox. 3.5-hours). Agra was the seat of the mighty Mughal Empire before it shifted its capital to Delhi, and it is home to some of their most inspired architectural creations including the Taj Mahal. In the 16th and 17th century, the Mughal Courts were at their most powerful, and were great patron of the arts, and Agra attracted artisans, poets and musicians from across India as well as Persia and Central Asia, transforming Agra into a cultural and architectural paradise.

Evening you will visit the Taj Mahal is at its best at sunset - just when the light, playing on themarble of the tomb and the reflections in the stillness of the waters, presents this incredible building in all its beauty, majesty and splendor. It is a monument of love built by Shah Jehan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. For twenty two years 20,000 men labored day and night to build this masterpiece, which has held the world awe struck ever since. The Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Overnight at the Oberoi Amarvilas.

April 27 | Agra

This morning you will visit to the Taj Mahal at Sunrise, just when the light, playing on the marble of the tomb and the reflections in the stillness of the waters, presents this incredible building in all its beauty, majesty and splendor. Return to your hotel for breakfast. 

You will also visit the Agra Fort. When the Mughal Emperor Akbar established his supremacy in Northern India, he began his first architectural venture, rebuilding the fort as a beautiful fort palace. The work was completed by his son and grandson, highlighting the Mughal’s ability to blend defensive and decorative architecture. Richly decorated with marble and mosaic, it was in a part of this fort that Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. His private quarters where he was confined, has a magical view of the Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna.

Continue your tour to Itmad-Ud-Daulah, which is the third of Agra’s great monuments. It was the first Mughal building to use the craft of facing buildings with white marble and decorating them with inlaid semi precious stones, and art which reached its zenith in the Taj Mahal. Though lacking the grandeur and artistry of the Taj Mahal, Itmad-Ud-Daulah it is small, intimate and serene. Overnight at the Oberoi Amarvilas. 

April 28 | Agra to Delhi

After a leisurely breakfast, we will depart by road back to Delhi. We will all have hotel rooms available at the Trident Gurgaon. Last evening in India @ your leisure to spend with your new friends.

April 29 | Depart India

You will be transferred to the airport to make your international flight back home. End of Services.


Accommodations

Trident Gurgaon Hotel | Delhi, India | April 18—19, 25—26, 28—29

The award winning Trident Gurgaon is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards, reflection pools and fountains. We will spend one night at the Trident. Accommodation is in Superior Garden View Rooms with en-suite facilities. The restaurants and bars at the Trident, Gurgaon are a treat to the taste buds. Guests can choose from a variety of cuisines and ambiance to enjoy an exceptional dining experience.

Mahua Kothi | Bandhavgarh National Park | April 19—25

Guests in search of an authentic jungle experience won't be disappointed at Mahua Kothi Jungle Lodge, where just 12 kutiyas scattered around an original homestead disappear into the bamboo fronds. Given over to natural forest, the vast grounds create a park-like atmosphere that guests are free to explore on bicycles invitingly parked in the private courtyards of their jungle suites. Eclectic Indian handicrafts create humorous touches and original homestead furniture contributes to the feeling of a personal home. Rural accents, like our traditional vegetable garden or baghia, with a bullock cart that doubles as buffet table, or picnic lunches under the mahua tree, enchant and delight. Cocktails or an evening meal served in the light of the moon on the rooftop of the main veranda enhance the beauty of fragrant Indian nights.

Oberoi Amarvilas | Agra, India | April 27—28

Ranked amongst the leading resorts in the world, The Oberoi Amarvilas offers the best view of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The hotel is located 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and all rooms, suites, lobby, bar, and lounge offer breathtaking views of the monument. Indulge with your own private view of the greatest monument of love. Wake up to the glorious sight of the Taj Mahal, bathed by the rays of dawn. Watch her sparkle by day as the sun shines on her architectural perfection. Allow yourself to be swept away by her romance at dusk. Let the nights be filled with the magic of the Taj by moonlight. Built in a style inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the resort is a splendid display of terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions with rich interiors that take you back to an era of Emperors and Princes.


Pricing & Inclusions

Trip Price

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $14,750 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted in the detailed itinerary above and in exclusions below).

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

What's Included?

  • Accommodation on a shared basis (single rooms may be available - please inquire).
  • 1x trip leader (Andy Biggs).
  • Private game drive activities for our group at Bandgavgarh National Park.
  • We will have all-day photographic permits, thus increasing our likelihood of great photographic opportunities.
  • Private meet and assist services at the airport in Delhi and chauffeured transfer to the hotel.
  • Private vehicles and drivers for all road transfers throughout the trip.
  • Soft drinks and domestic bottled water during sightseeing tours and long drive.
  • Porterage at all the hotels and airports in each city.
  • Scheduled in-country commercial air flights as specified in the itinerary above. 
  • Entrance and still camera fees at all parks and sight-seeing destinations.
  • The current tourism levies and all relevant government taxes.

What's Not Included?

  • International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Delhi, India.
  • Dinner / drinks in Delhi on the first night in Delhi (18 April).
  • Gratuities for hotel staff.
  • Gratuities for game drive driver/guides in the National Parks.
  • Champagne, cognacs, premium-brand spirits, fine wines and cigars.
  • Laundry cost at hotels and lodges.
  • Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
  • Optional pre-/post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari (we would be happy to arrange any and all additional overnights or extensions). 

Ready for your Tigers & Taj Photo Safari with Andy Biggs?

Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this adventure ... When they're spoken for, that's it. If you are interested in joining this group departure, click the button below to let us know!


Photos of India