Client Review of India Wildlife Safari Tour: Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills October 6, 2017

Bird Nerd Paradise with a Cultural Appetiser and a side of Tiger!

Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills

By Georgina Steytler

 

That’s what we ordered when we first contacted Reena Tory of Mantra Wild Adventures about designing us a trip to India. I was interested in Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills Tour. I am the bird nerd. My husband is a perfectly sane human being. I admit, it’s not an easy order to fill. It requires a delicate balancing of  culture, nature safaris, iconic sights, lots of good food and accommodation and, of course, plenty of birds.  Did she deliver? You bet.

Mantra Jungle Himalayan Foothills tour Mantra Wild

Georgina Steytler getting friendly with the local treepies at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve

 

Warning: the following may contain bird references…

 

The Cultural Appetiser

Our customised Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills trip began in Delhi, an impressive city with over 11 million people and almost as many Black Kites wheeling around in the air above it. Old Delhi is what it says on the label: a hub of history, culture and food. Our Old Delhi food and heritage walking tour through the chaotic alleyways, overstuffed spice bags, baskets of flowers and lackadaisical dogs ended at the ‘Best Kachori in Delhi’ – the best street food I have ever tasted in my life. My tongue is still singing. Welcome to India!

Old Delhi Walking Tour Mantra Wild Himalayan Foothills

Taken by Georgina Steytler

 

Our cultural and historical forays didn’t end there. A drive through rural India is a visual feast that we devoured as we traveled from Delhi to Agra and Jaipur, and then ventured north towards the Himalayas, rounding off our three week Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills journey in a luxurious mountain retreat sandwiched between moss-covered oaks and red-flowering rhododendrons.

Madan, our ever-patient driver, negotiated the carts, bicycles, winding roads, wandering cows and hungry pigs with aplomb and made sure to keep us (me) in an adequate supply of chocolate, Masala Munchies and a cup of hot Masala tea (the original ‘chai latte’).

 

Even for a birder like me, the Taj Mahal, the jewel of Muslim art in India, was a ‘must see’ part of our itinerary (Reena – we added this part in for Georgina!). As you turn the corner into its vast grounds, it rises up before you like a shimmering marble mirage, nesting on the river’s edge amidst swathes of greenery. The immensity of its scale and its perfect symmetry, convey a palpable sense of serenity. As you near it, you discover that the ‘sheer’ walls are each their own works of art, broad marble canvases into which have been inlaid precious and semi-precious stones in exquisite floral and geometric designs.

Mantra Wild MAntra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills tour

 

In contrast to the glassy glamour of the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s Hindu styled Amer (or ‘Amber’) Fort is a rustic red sandstone hilltop palace set amongst the arid landscape of Rajasthan. The former home to the Rajput Maharajas, it is spread over 4 levels in a maze of courtyards (including one for his queens and mistresses), colonnades, ramparts and secret tunnels. One of the highlights is the Sheesh Mahal, or mirror palace, a stunning area of marble inlaid with mirror mosaics and coloured glasses designed to glitter in the candlelight.

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Georgina and Chris at Amer Fort

By now our appetite had well and truly been whet with all things Indian.

 

Bird Nerd Paradise

After the cultural teaser, it was time to leave civilisation behind and venture into the Indian wilderness… well, not quite. Starting the day with a hot cup of coffee in bed inside your luxury tent, followed with a touch of tiger spotting and rounded off with a breakfast of fresh pomegranate, yoghurt, cereal, and/or a masala omelette can hardly be called uncivilized.  

It turns out that indulging in nature in India does not mean sacrificing comfort. From Ranthambhore and Jim Corbett National Parks to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the lower Himalayas, we stayed in gorgeous accommodation with fantastic food and service, and the odd tiger pug mark at the front door.

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Rustic Vanghat Lodge, Corbett National Park taken by Georgina Steytler

Khem Villas, near Ranthambhore, is located on 25 acres of natural habitat that is an oasis of wildlife with a couple of small lakes (complete with common and pied kingfishers, moorhens, long-tailed shrikes, red-wattled lapwings and a crocodile and babies), a dense forest (with the occasional tiger, deer or leopard hanging about) and open grassland buzzing with pipits, Indian robins, silverbills and lots of other lbjs (‘little brown jobs’).

Khem Villas Landscape at Ranthambhore National Park taken by Georgina Steytler

Even the hotel lobby had its share of wildlife. Apart from the greater goldenback on the palm tree out front and the civet cat living in the bamboo, CCTV showed to us by the manager, showed a leopard  on one night, and an hyena on another, strolling along the outer corridors (to the horror of the pet cat).

Mantra Wild Mantra Jungle Himalayn Foothills

Sloth Bear, Ranthambhore National Park taken by Georgina Steytler

At Jim’s Jungle Retreat near Corbett National Park, from the luxury of our own balcony, I photographed pygmy woodpeckers, sunbirds, bulbuls and hornbills as well as a troupe of grey langurs that, to my delight, and the gardeners horror, set about causing chaos amongst the pond lilies.

Jim's Jungle Retreat Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Brown Headed Barbet at Jim’s Jungle Retreat, taken by Georgina Steytler

In fact, there are few places in the world that can match Corbett National Park for birdlife, with over 600 species recorded. To put that in perspective, that is half the bird species of India present in 500 square kilometres. Welcome to bird nerd nirvana.

As a birder, however, it was Vanghat Lodge, tucked away in a remote valley on the other side of Jim Corbett National Park, that provided the richest pickings.

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Spotted Owl, Vanghat Lodge Corbett National Park, taken by Georgina Steytler

Away from roads, and perched beside the Ramnagar river (which you have to cross on a raft) Vanghat Lodge offered unrivalled peace and tranquillity amongst spectacular natural surroundings. With cliffs rising high on each side, the warning calls of deers and langurs could be heard echoing down the valley, revealing the presence of a predator somewhere nearby. At night, we saw a porcupine snuffling in the grass and awoke one morning to find the tell tale signs that an elephant had spent the evening helping himself to the plants outside our bedroom door.

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Ramganga River, Vanghat Lodge, taken by Georgina Steytler

When not hunting wallcreepers, crested kingfishers and cute little white-capped redstarts by the river, I was busy madly photographing the incredibly beautiful slaty-headed parakeets feeding on the fruiting trees outside our room or the Himalayan rubythroat, white-headed laughingthrush, grey treepie or the exquisite little red-billed leiothrix in the garden (to name just a few).

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Crested Kingfisher, Vanghat Lodge at Corbett National Park, taken by Georgina Steytler

As to the safari trips, of course, any safari has to start with the proviso that animal sightings, especially tigers, are not guaranteed. But here’s the thing. Even if you don’t see a tiger, you get to spend the best hours of the day driving around some stunning scenery. From cliffs to sweeping plains, forest ravines to pebbled streams to (in Ranthambhore) the ruins of a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site sitting high atop a mountain, the national parks were a treat of their own. Throw some wildlife into the mix, such as a leopard, jungle cat, yellow-throated martens, crested serpent eagle, the massive Brown Fish owl, griffon and red-headed vultures, mountain goats, spotted deers, Sambar deers, Indian scops owls, spotted owlets, wild boar, blue antelope, Indian Gazelle, Indian Peafowls, grey langurs, sandwich-stealing rufous treepies and a couple of sloth bears (which, it turns out, aren’t hanging from trees), and you have a recipe for traveller’s (and photographer’s) heaven.

 

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Jungle cat at Corbett National Park, taken by Georgina Steytler

 

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills

Indian Gazelle at Ranthambhore National Park, taken by Georgina Steytler

 

A side of Tiger

What about the tiger I hear you ask? The answer is yes. On our last safari in Ranthambhore we were fortunate to come face to face with a magnificent male Bengal tiger. Of all the experiences on our trip, this was the most unforgettable.

Mantra Jungle and Himalayan Foothills Mantra Wild

Tiger at Ranthambhore National Park, taken by Georgina Steytler

You can check out the photos from our holiday at: www.wildandendangered.com.au/

Georgina and Chris Steytler travelled in India on our Mantra Jungles and Himalayan Foothills Private tour. We also customised this tour further to Georgina’s interest of birding.

Contact us for a customised Wildlife Safari Holiday to India

 

What Makes for a Great Photo on an Indian Wildlife Safari August 29, 2017

What Makes For A Great Photo on an Indian Wildlife Safari?

Guest post by Australian Professional Photographer, Michael Snedic. He talks to us about his photo tips and how to apply this while on an Indian Wildlife Safari.

I am often asked the question “What makes for a great photo while on safari”?

Indian wildlife safari

With millions-upon-millions of photos being taken everyday around the world, you could easily feel like your images are ‘swallowed up’ in the sheer quantity of images taken. While on an Indian Wildlife Safari, it’s important to be prepared.

The thing is, no matter what camera(s) you own, you can capture a moment, such as a particular wildlife behaviors, simply by knowing your camera and its settings and by being prepared.

Indian wildlife safari

 

For landscape photography, it could be an amazing sunset or Aurora that you are trying to capture. By getting out there on a regular basis with your camera, it greatly increases the chance of capturing that ‘magic moment”. Knowing your camera’s settings and capabilities also reduces the chance of ruining a shot.

 

I recommend you research where certain wildlife species are found and then do a reconnaissance trip. See where they mostly likely are at certain times, where they might feed, any spots such as waterholes where they might bathe or drink, or courtship spots. Once you have done this, go back a few times and sit quietly, camera in-hand. The chance of capturing that ‘special’ wildlife behaviour on camera is far greater.

Indian Wildlife safari tour

People regularly tell me how lucky I am to have captured an osprey that has just caught a fish, flying straight towards me. The thing is, there was no luck involved but instead lots of planning and patience. I spent three years trying to get that ‘perfect’ shot. It took six plane flights, thousands of kilometres of driving, 50-60 boat trips and hundreds of hours of time, to get the shot (pictured below). In the end, I could virtually predict what the osprey would do and was ready with my camera. Luck wasn’t a factor in any way….

India Wildlife Safari photo tour

With so many images wildlife images out there, a shot needs to have that special ‘something’ to make it stand out. It may be an unusual behaviour by an animal or while tracking a tiger on an Indian Wildlife Safari. Only recently, while presenting a Photo Expedition of the Arctic Circle, a polar bear came right up to our ship, completely unafraid. I carefully followed it with my camera and lens, not leaving my focus off it for one second. This went on for quite some time then suddenly it leapt across some ice. I was ready with my camera and took some shots, using a fast shutter speed to freeze any action.

Above all, I encourage you all to get out there with your camera and have fun. The more you are out there, the higher the chance of capturing that special shot.

Michael Snedic, is leading our next Indian Wildlife Safari Tour in January 2018.

We will be visiting 4 of India’s best National Parks. Package includes all accommodation staying in boutique lodges and luxury tented camps, park entrance fees, game drives, most meals, and personalised photography mentoring with Michael + a visit to the Taj Mahal. For more info, click here. 

About Michael Snedic

Michael Snedic is one of Australia’s most accomplished wildlife and nature photographers, writers and tutors. His photos and photography articles have been published in numerous publications both in Australia and internationally, since the year 2000. He has been photographing across Australia (and overseas) for the past 20 years and he has loved every minute of it! He is owner of ‘WildNature Photo Expeditions’, and has presented photography workshops and tours across Australia and the world for the past 15 years. He is an Australian Ambassador for Lowepro, Lenscoat and the Nature Conservancy Australia for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

An experienced, professional photography tutor, Michael is also a writer of photography articles for magazines such as Australian Geographic, Australian Photography +Digital, Wildlife Australia, Australian Birdlife as well as the UK’s BBC Wildlife.

Michael regularly conducts photography workshops and tours, across the width and breadth of Australia. Locations include Lamington National Park (O’Reilly’s)Bowra Sanctuary Birds (Qld), Far North Queensland Birds, Bunya Mountains Birds, Lord Howe Island, Tasmania and Girraween National Park (Qld). 

Overseas photography expeditions he organises and leads include Africa (various locations), the Arctic, Antarctica, the Sub-Antarctic, the Russian Far East, India, Galapagos Islands and Peru/Incas.  

He is thrilled to have joined the team at Mantra Wild Adventures and looks forward to showing guests how to get the best possible shots of both the wildlife and landscapes, as well as the culture, of amazing India!

Michael is very passionate about wildlife and nature photography and loves sharing his images and photographic knowledge with others.

Visit Michael Snedic’s WildNature Photo Expeditions HERE

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala August 11, 2017

By Julie Miller.

Kerala is a beautiful state in Southern India that has something to offer all types of travelers. Here are our 10 reasons to visit Kerala.

#1: God’s Own Country

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala Mantra Wild

With its tropical vibe, slower pace and rich, unique culture, Kerala feels a world away from the chaotic, dusty northern states of India. It’s like South-East Asia with all that’s tantalising about India thrown in for good measure – the perfect combination.

#2: The people

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala Mantra Wild Adventures

Keralans are highly intelligent, well educated (with a 94 percent literacy rate), extremely feisty and staunchly political, which all makes for lively and entertaining conversation. It also makes for a lot of strikes, so be prepared for disruptions!

#3: The food

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala, Kerala Tours with Mantra Wild

With a long coastline and dozens of inland waterways, Keralan cuisine is naturally seafood-based, with light coconut flavours, zingy spices and fewer carbs than traditional Mughlai cuisine. I’m drooling just thinking about it…

(Ask us about our Farm Kitchen experience!)

#4: The backwaters

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala, Kerala tours with Mantra Wild

There’s no more relaxing experience than to punt silently through the palm-fringed backwaters in a converted rice barge, or kettuvallam, watching life on the 900 km of waterways pass by. There are hundreds of houseboat cruises available, from half-day trips to week-long meanders.

(Check out our Backwaters tour)

#5: Ecotourism and homestays

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala. Kerala Wildlife Tours with Mantra Wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodation in Kerala tends to be low-key and eco-friendly, with more than 400 registered homestays and boutique guesthouses. A leading local hotel group, CGH Earth, revolutionised the concept of sustainable tourism, sourcing local goods, creating job opportunities and being kind to the planet – and their resorts still set the bar in ecotourism.

#6: The wildlife

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala. Periyar Wildlife Tours Mantra Wild

There are a number of popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, including six national parks protecting endangered species such as Bengal Tiger, sloth bear and Indian bison. The Eravikulam National Park in the West Ghats is a sanctuary for the endangered and very bold Nilgiri Tahr (a type of mountain goat); while the Periyar Tiger Reserve harbours more than 40 reclusive tigers as well as more visible populations of Asian elephants, Sambar deer, Lion-Tailed Macaques and 265 species of beautiful birds. (Check out our Kerala Wildlife Experience ).

#7: Hill stations

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala. Munnar Tea Tours Mantra Wild

On the lush, misty slopes of the Western Ghats, tea plantations snake across the hillsides, ablaze with the colourful saris of women working in the fields. Located 1600m above sea level, the hill station of Munnar has long offered an escape from the coastal humidity, and is a lovely place for a weekend retreat.

#8: Beaches

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala. Kerala Ayurveda and Wellness Tours Mantra Wild

Kerala boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in India, with white sand, coconut palms and surprisingly few people. Marari Beach Resort, for instance, is located on a beautiful stretch of deserted beach, with a nearby fishing village adding some local colour.

# 9: Ayurveda

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala Mantra Wild Kerala Tours

Ayurveda, the ancient science of wellness and longevity, is an integral part of Keralan lifestyle, with the largest number of practitioners in the world. There are a number of dedicated Ayurvedic resorts in the state (Book one with us, here), while treatments and specialised programs are offered in most hotels. (Here is another great wellness experience)

#10: Kochi

10 Reasons to Visit Kerala, Mantra Wild Kerala Tours

Our 10th Reason to Visit Kerala…With a long and fascinating multicultural history based around the spice trade, Kochi (or Cochin) is a great base for exploring Kerala, with an excellent range of accommodation, sophisticated restaurants and good shopping. Don’t miss a sunset sail on the harbour to watch the huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets – the symbol of the city – being raised and lowered.

Have you been to the state of Kerala? Tell us about it in the comments below! We hope that our 10 Reasons to Visit Kerala will pursuade you to travel to Kerala on a tour! Contact us for more info. 

Here are some more Kerala Tours, or we can craft an India tour to your needs:

Mantra Kerala Wellness Experience (4 Nights/ 5 Days)

Mantra Kerala Wildlife Elements (10 Nights/ 11 Days)

Mantra Kerala Ayurveda

Mantra Kerala Wellness and Backwaters tour

 

 

 

 

 

Corbett’s Hidden Gem: Vanghat Lodge May 23, 2017

Vanghat Lodge is a paradise for nature lovers

Does waking up to nothing but the sounds of birds, the wind in the trees, and the rush of a pristine mountain river appeal to you? If you dream of an unspoiled wild safari holiday in India, consider Corbett National Park and staying at the hidden gem, Vanghat Lodge. It’s one of the stops on the Himalyan Elements tour, and will give you one of the most unique tiger safari tours of India available.

 

Himalaya elements Mantra Wild

Photo Credit: Mariellen Ward

Room to breathe. That’s the first thing I thought when I arrived at Vanghat Lodge near the Jim Corbett National Park buffer zone.

No roads, no power lines, no connectivity. Nothing but pure nature, fresh air, thick forests, a sparkling river, and the seen and unseen presence of birds and wildlife. Room to breathe, space to unwind, and all the wonders of nature to absorb.

Vanghat is a very special place. Located deep in the forests of Uttarakhand, adjacent to the Corbett buffer zone, you have to trek in two kilometres to get to it. Past tiny villages of thatch roof cottages, and across the Ramganga River by makeshift river, the adventure begins even before you arrive.

Mantra Wild Safari Vanghat

To cross the Ramganga, you sit on a small wooden raft buoyed up by tires, and people on either side pull you across with an attached rope. It’s ingenious, low-impact, and fun … and it sets the tone for the adventure you will have.

Vanghat Lodge Mantra Wild

Photo Credit: Mariellen Ward

From the rocky river side path, you can’t even see Vanghat Lodge, it is so well immersed into the landscape. Formerly a small village – that’s where the name comes from – owner Sumantha Ghosh kept one of the original stone buildings when he developed the site several years ago.  He added four thatched roof cottages, a dining room, and a residence for staff and volunteers, ensuring that all the buildings were spaced apart to allow privacy, and the movements of animals.

Elephants are known to walk through the property, once knocking down the roof of the well, and many other birds and animals can be spotted without venturing off the lodge grounds. By the fire one night, we saw a porcupine ambling along. Not far from the property, we saw tiger pug marks. Other animals that have been seen on or near Vanghat include sambar deer, wild boar, and sloth bears.

 

I sat on my verandah reading a book of stories by legendary hunter, conservationist, and author Jim Corbett – for whom the park is named – and watched a flock of rose-ringed parakeets play in the trees. The forested hills and valleys around Vanghat, adjacent to the buffer zone of Corbett tiger reserve, are just as rich in wildlife and birds. There are an estimated 600 species of birds in this region of the lower Himalayas, and Vanghat is a popular spot for birders.

 

Vanghat offers safari tours, but they are not the usual. In fact, Sumantha Ghosh likes to say that he wants to “un-four-by-four” people. In other words, he wants to get people out of jeeps and walking in the forest.

 

Mantra wild Vanghat Lodge

Photo Credit: Mariellen Ward

When I was there, we went on a five-hour long walking safari across the river and into the park’s buffer zone. We walked up hillsides, along ridges, through heavily forested areas, and to a cascading waterfall. We stopped for tea, put our feet in the waters of the cold, clear stream. We saw langur monkeys, sambar deer, Himalayan goral, more birds than we could count, and lots of signs of the big cat, the tiger: pug marks, scat, and clumps of hair.

 

Back at the lodge, we gathered for lunch in the open-air dining hall and feasted on local specialties and an array of chutneys, pickles, and jams made by a local women’s cooperative. Part of Vanghat’s commitment to being eco-friendly and responsible includes supporting the local community, as well as working to preserve the pristine environment.

 

There are so many ways that Vanghat demonstrates this commitment – from hiring local staff, to heating water with a wood-fired boiler; and from using traditional building methods and natural materials, to helping to end a destructive fishing practice along the Ramganga River.

 

The result of this holistic approach to conservation, and creating a sustainable eco-lodge, is the beauty, peace, and abundance of nature and wildlife you will experience when you are here.

Interested to visit this amazing place? Contact us today to put together a walking safari holiday t o this beautiful part of India.

Written by Mariellen Ward.

BIO

Mariellen Ward is a Canadian travel writer and digital storyteller. Her award-winning blog Breathedreamgo.com is one of the world’s leading travel blogs about India. Mariellen is an advocate of female solo travel and responsible travel. She has been blogging since 2005 and splits her time between Delhi and Toronto. Though Canadian by birth, Mariellen considers India to be her “soul culture” and has spent many years immersing herself in the culture. You can also find Mariellen, as Breathedreamgo, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Wildlife Safari Review: Tiger Safari Tours in the National Parks of Madhya Pradesh May 1, 2017

Guest post by Mariellen Ward

Taking a tiger safari tour in India is a great way to experience the natural heritage of the country. A wildlife safari holiday, such as the Wild Heart of India small group tour, can give you one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on the planet: seeing a tiger in the wild!

 

At first, the only sounds you hear as you drive through the wildlife parks of central India are bird songs and the vehicle’s engine. Herds of graceful spotted deer nibble on grasses in the rolling meadows. A family of wild boar suddenly scoot out in front of you.

Tiger Safari Tour Mantra Wild

As you enter the forests thick with sal, bamboo, and other native trees, glossy grey langur monkeys scamper along the road. Colourful parakeets dart through the air to land in the branches of a tall tree and Indian rollers swoop in playful arcs.

Wildlife Safari Holiday Mantra Wild

Indian Roller

It’s all very peaceful, an idyllic paradise. The natural beauty and pristine wilderness lull you into a gentle and restorative reverie.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari

Photo credit: Keith Davey on Mantra Big 5 Safari Tour

 

But suddenly, one of the guides picks up a distant sound. At first, you don’t hear it. The driver stops and turns off the engine, and the guide jumps up to listen more carefully. This time, you hear it too – a kind of high-pitched shriek. It’s the alert call of an animal, often a deer or monkey, and it can only mean one thing: tiger!

wildlife safari holidays mantra wild

Along with spotting pugmarks and the informed knowledge of guides and naturalists, animal alarm calls are the best way to track the big cats in India’s tiger reserves. At the sound of the alarm calls, especially if they are consistent, the chase is on.

Mantra Big 5 Widllife Safari

Tiger pugmarks

Everyone sits down in the jeep-like vehicle, and the driver races towards the sound of the alarm calls – park speed limits permitting, of course. The excitement and tension rise as all eyes and ears strain to catch a glimpse of sinewy stripes.

With luck, you will see one of these magnificent creatures emerge from the undergrowth. And you will be thrilled. Tigers electrify the forest, and everyone who beholds them. For many, it’s a life-changing experience.

Wildlife Safari Holidays

 

There are about 50 tiger reserves in India, and some of the best are in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Among the top are Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, and Panna. The tiger reserves of India are administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and their practices are helping to save the wild tiger from extinction. India is home to about 70% of the world’s wild tigers. In 2006, there were 1,411 tigers – which increased to 1,706 in 2011 and 2,226 in 2014.

 

Top tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh

 

Kanha National Park is the largest tiger reserve in India, with a core area of 945 square kilometres. It’s considered one of the best managed parks in India, has won many awards, and is a prime destination for many safari tours. The park is well known for having a significant number of Bengal tigers and for rescuing the Barasingha (swamp deer) from near extinction by creating a breeding program. It is also home to many species of animals and birds – there’s always a lot to see in Kanha, even if you don’t spot a tiger or leopard.

Wild Heart of India Mantra Wild

Kanha National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park is about a four or five-hour drive from Kanha, and is equally good for spotting tigers. It’s smaller, at 400 square kilometres, but it has one of the best tiger densities in all of India. Bandhavgarh is also a very beautiful park, with a hill-top fort, striking cliffs and some amazing vistas and vantage points. Photographers tend to love Bandhavgarh. About 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds have been recorded in this park.

wildlife holidays India

Bandhavgarh National Park

Pench National Park stretches along the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh and is named after the Pench River that meanders through it. Pench is famous as the location that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The park is a good place to spot leopards and many birds, including migratory birds drawn to the waters of the wide and shimmering river. It’s rich in wildlife, birds and plant life, with more than 1,200 species of plants recorded. Pench tiger reserve has highest density of herbivores in India.

Leopard hiding behind fallen tree trunk at Panna National Park

Panna National Park is another important tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. It’s located just a short drive from the UNESCO World Heritage site Khajuraho in the northern part of the state. The core zone is 543 square kilometres of very picturesque scenery owing to the Ken River, deep gorges, lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. Wildlife sightings are common in Panna as the park is rich in many animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, wolves, blue bulls, foxes and many others. The park boasts one of the highest densities of the gorgeous Paradise Fly-Catcher.

India wildlife holidays

Panna National Park

Would you like to visit one of these national parks?

Wild Heart of India Small Group Photo Safari tour will be visiting some of these parks

Mantra Big 5 Private Tour visits Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks.

More info? Contact us at info@mantrawild.com.au

BIO

Mariellen Ward is a Canadian travel writer and digital storyteller. Her award-winning blog Breathedreamgo.com is one of the world’s leading travel blogs about India. Mariellen is an advocate of female solo travel and responsible travel. She has been blogging since 2005 and splits her time between Delhi and Toronto. Though Canadian by birth, Mariellen considers India to be her “soul culture” and has spent many years immersing herself in the culture. You can also find Mariellen, as Breathedreamgo, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

The Ultimate Foodie Tour: Old Delhi Heritage and Food Walking Tour April 10, 2017

Written by Julie Miller

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of Indian street cuisine, the heady mix of spices tantalising the senses and triggering the appetite. But like many other travellers to India, I’m often hesitant about eating street food, with fears of the notorious ‘Delhi Belly’ tempering my gastronomic adventures.

Old Delhi Walking tour

The solution to this is local knowledge; and when it comes to food, there’s no one more informed than our guide on Mantra Wild Adventure’s Food and Heritage walking tour of Old Delhi. Not only is Ramit a passionate historian, but he’s also the ultimate foodie – enthusiastic and perpetually hungry. Over the course of several hours, he’ll lead us to his favourite street stalls in Chandni Chowk, with the aim of proving to us that food purchased in this ancient marketplace is not only safe to eat, but also innovative and delicious.

 

First stop on our walking tour is a stall called Manohar Dhaba, which has been selling the curiously named Japanese Samosas since 1949. Unique to this vendor and made from a secret recipe, these samosas are created from 60 layers of pastry, an explosion of spiced peas and potatoes in a crunchy casing that costs just 8 rupees (around 15c) each.

Mantra Wild Heritage and Food Walking Tour

Mantra Wild Heritage and Food walking tour Old Delhi

 

Many of the stalls in Old Delhi date back to the 1800s, handed down from generation to generation. The famous Paranthe Wali Gali (Paranthe Alley), for instance, was originally known for its silverware shops, before a string of paranthe walas moved in during the 1870s. During its peak in the 1960s, there were 20 restaurants in this tiny laneway selling versions of the fried North Indian bread – only three remain, each one crammed with diners eagerly devouring the crispy flatbread, prepared in a street-front wok and served with dipping curries and condiments.

Sweet treats are also high on every Indian’s agenda, with one of the most popular a sticky curl of fried dough called jalebi. The oldest and most famous jalebi wala, dating back to 1884, is called – surprise, surprise – The Old and Famous Jalebi Wala, with the sticky pretzels whipped up before your eyes in what amounts to an amazing display of culinary street theatre.

Old Delhi Heritage and Food Walking tour Mantra Wild

As the midday heat bears down on us, Ramit hails a bicycle rickshaw to hasten our progress through the increasingly chaotic Chandni Chowk. Instead, we find ourselves trapped in a claustrophobic traffic jam, cheek to jowl with dozens of other bicycles as well as bullock-drawn carts, honking taxis and garland-decorated trucks using their size as leverage. It’s hilarious, but also rather terrifying – and we alight 20 minutes later outside the Old Delhi Spice Market, grateful for our lives and ready to continue our walking tour.

Mantra Wild Old Delhi Heritage and Food Walking tour

 

The spice market – the oldest in Asia – is both a visual and olfactory delight, pungent with the aromas of ground turmeric, cumin, nutmeg and nuts. There’s even a section dedicated to chilli, bags of fiery red peppers stacked to the rafters setting me off in a fit of sneezing.

Old Delhi Heritage and Food Walking Tour

 

But Ramit isn’t done with feeding us just yet. Despite our protestations that we are fit to explode, he promises one last snack that we won’t be able to resist – a dessert called Mango Kulfi. Stepping into an unmarked, near-empty concrete space in a nondescript back alley, we are presented with slices of frozen mango, stuffed with a creamy filling thickened with rice flour.

Old Delhi Walking Heritage and Food Tour

 

It’s a veritable taste sensation, sweet and cooling and the perfect epilogue to our eye-opening, mouth-watering and belly-expanding Indian food tour.

Our Old Delhi Heritage and Food Walking Tour is AUD$150 per person in conjunction with a Mantra Wild Holiday package.

Have you been to Old Delhi? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

 

 

 

5 Authentic Ways to Experience Incredible India September 29, 2016

We recently hosted a webinar with Travel Industry Network for our lovely travel agents, and I really wanted to share this valuable information with you. These are my 5 ways to experience India in an authentic way. It’s also how we craft and create amazing India tours for our clients. We don’t just create India tour packages, but we create experiences that transform and changes lives.

Enjoy this webinar, it’s about 30 minutes.


Experience Authentic India with these tours…

Wild Heart of India Safari Experience (Walking tours, Village experiences, Wild India, Small Group tour)

Delhi Foodies Tour (Walking tour, Cooking experiences, food food food!)

Punjab Farmstay Rural Experience (farmstay, authentic food, farm tours)

Kerala Backwaters Tour (farm kitchen experience, authentic Ayurveda and unique hotels)

Interested to know more? Contact us today.  We would love to hear from you!

Reena xx

 

 

Birdlife of India on an Indian Wildlife Safari September 1, 2016

This is the final post by our client Keith Davey, about his experience of the birdlife of India while on our Mantra Big 5 Private Tour in February 2016.

There are 1300+ species of birdlife in India. This compares with about 800+ species in both Australia and the United States of America. India is a bird-watchers paradise, and the best places to see them are in India’s magnificent national parks. One of the best ways to observe and photograph the wonderful and colourful Indian birds is to go on one of the Mantra Wild Safari and Adventure Tours.

The easiest birds to observe are the water birds, since they congregate near lakes and rivers where they can feed on the abundant fish or other aquatic life. Because they are in open spaces they are more easily seen and photographed. Water birds are often larger than forest living birds, with the exception of the carnivorous hawks and eagles.

 

Mantra Big 5 Safari Tour

 

Our naturalist drivers were well aware that we would find water birds on almost every body of water we came across. There were only a couple of water locations where there were no birds at all. Most lakes, swamps and rivers have an abundance of water birds which kept Pat and I busy taking great photographs.

 

Mantra Big 5 Birdlife Mantra wild

In India we saw geese, daters, egrets, cormorants, herons, kingfishers, lapwings, pelicans, ducks, storks and a variety of migratory waders. Some were similar to the types that we would find in Australia, others were very different.

The Great Cormorant seemed familiar, as did the Oriental Darter and the Intermediate Egret.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari

The Great Cormorant

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari

Oriental Darter

Mantra Big 5 Safari Tour

Intermediate Egret

The two herons were similar to those found in Australia, with interesting differences. The Swamp Heron was like a tubby Hight Heron while the much larger Grey Heron is more stocky than our herons.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Swamp Heron

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari Tour

Grey Heron

But the Spot-billed Pelican was a bit smaller and more marked.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Spot Billed Pelican

The Kingfishers are brilliantly coloured, swift fliers over water. The White-breasted Kingfisher and Stork-billed Kingfisher are very attractive.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari Tour

White Breasted Kingfisher

Mantra Wild Adventures Mantra Big 5 Safari Tour

Stork Billed Kingfisher

The cute Red-wattled Lapwing was seen in every national park where there was water and was also common on waterways at the small nearby towns. It soon became a firm favourite.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Red Wattled Lapwing

We only saw the spectacular Bar-headed Goose at Kaziranga national Park in north-east India, because there was so much water there in large swamps.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari tour

Bar-headed geese, Kaziranga National Park

But the Indian water birds that intrigued us most were the storks. We photographed six varieties.

One was the the Black-necked Stork, that we in Australia call the Jabiru.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Black-necked stork

But the other storks were new to us. They ranged from fully black to fully white in colour, with intergrades between. There was the Black Stork, the whitish Open-billed Indian Stork, the red-faced Painted Storks and the Wooly-necked Stork.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife safaris

Black Stork

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari tour

Open-billed stork

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari and birding tours

Painted Stork

 

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Wooly-necked stork

But the stork that appeared to be demented was the Lesser Adjutant. It was a big bird that seemed to have an evil glint in its eye as it searched for aquatic prey.

Mantra Wild adventures birding tours

Lesser Adjuntant

The forest or jungle-living birds were no less interesting. None of them seemed familiar to us and some of them may be endemic to India. The western and central national parks were all dry to moist deciduous forest where the trees had large leaves that fall during the summer. Some parks had numerous clumps of bamboo for the animals to hide. Most birds preferred to perch in mid- to reasonably large-sized trees. But the Junglefowls and Peafowl preferred the ground.

Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild Adventures

Peacock

The Red Jungle Fowl was so similar to our domestic chickens, you could easily see where they were first domesticated.

Mantra Big 5 Safari Tour Mantra Wild adventures

Junglefowl

The largest aerial birds of the forest were the two hornbills. The most common was the Grey Hornbill. We also saw a few Great Hornbills, a most spectacular bird.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari tour

Grey Hornbill

Mantra Big 5 Birding tours

Great Hornbill

Two drongos caught our attention. The more drab Black Drongo with its scissor-shaped tail and the very long tailed Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Black drongo

Mantra Wild Adventures Birding tours

Racket-tail Drongo

There were two parrot-like birds. The most common is the Alexandrine Parakeet and the Plumb-headed Parrot, both which perched in the highest branches of tall forest trees.

Mantra Big 5 India Wildlife Safari birding tours

Alexandrine Parakeet

Mantra Wild Adventures Birding tours

Plum – headed Parrot

Then there were the numerous other birds, such as the red-vented Bulbul which was in every national park we visited, but was also common in the flowers of the wonderful lodges where we stayed.

Mantra Wild Adventures Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Red-vented Bulbul

We photographed the cute little Bushchat in Corbett national park, sitting on a termite nest on our way to see the tiger and boar crossing the duty riverbed.

Mantra Wild Adventures Wildlife Safari and Birding tours india

Bushchat

 

The iridescent Oriental Magpie Robin darted in and out of the bamboo.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Oriental Magpie Robin

Or the Scarlet Minivet that preferred more dense vegetation in the trees.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Scarlet Minivet

The most strange bird we saw was the Sirkeer Malkoha with its contorted posture while it was singing. It is in the cuckoo family, but doesn’t lay it’s eggs in other birds nests.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife Safari tours

Sirkeer Malkoha

One common bird in the central Indian national parks was the Rufous Treepie. It is attracted to the places where humans were eating their lunches at remote ranger stations inside the national parks.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Rufous treepie

A loud knocking on tree wood attracted our eye to the Lesser Goldenback Woodpecker with its spectacular red hat.

Lesser Goldenback woodpecker Mantra Wild Adventures

Lesser Goldenback Woodpecker

But the bird that both Pat and I feel in love with was the very pretty Indian Roller, a bird common to many national parks that we visited.

Indian Birdlife Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Indian Roller

The major group of birds that was most spectacular and impressive was the the carnivorous owls, hawks and eagles. By far the cutest birds of the Indian jungle were the little and not so little owls. One particular favourite was the tiny Jungle Owlet, perched at the entrance to its nest in a broken-off tree limb.

Mantra Big 5 bird life safari tour

Jungle Owlet

The other cute owl was the Scops Owls. This pair looked so cute together.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour mantra wild adventures

Scops Owl

Another cute owl was the Indian Eagle Owl. Their diet consists of rodents and small birds of the forest.

Mantra Big 5 Safari tour

Indian Eagle Owl

A larger owl was the Brown Fish Owl.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife safari and birding tours

Brown Fish Owl

Now we come to the eagles and buzzards. One noteworthy hawk is the Crested Eagle Hawk with its spectacular-looking head feathers.

Mantra Big 5 Wildlife safari tours india

Crested Hawk Eagle

The most common eagle that we saw in a couple of national parks that had large bodies of water was the Grey-headed Fish Eagle. It most always sat on a perch, overhanging the water, scanning for prey. We were lucky to see a large juvenile sitting in its nest in a tall tree, looking out for its parents to return with fish food.

Mantra Big 5 birdlife

Grey headed fish eagle

We only had rare glimpses of the largest of the eagles. We were able to quickly photograph this Buzzard Eagle as it soared overhead. Photos like this quickly highlight the disadvantages of self-focusing cameras, which never quite make it before the impressive birds soar off.

Mantra Wild adventures Wildlife safari and birding tours

Buzzard Eagle

India is a bird watchers paradise. There were birds everywhere we travelled. They never ceased to impress us with how colourful or interesting they were and we enthusiastically took their photos whenever we were able.

Written by Keith Davey. Photos taken by Keith and Pat Davey.

Who are Keith & Pat Davey?

Mantra Big 5 Keith and Pat Davey

Keith & Pat Davey

I have always been a keen nature photographer. When only 8 years old I taped a magnifying glass to my Kodak box brownie to photograph insects and flowers.

In 1964 I was the naturalist for the Leyland Brothers “Down the Darling” river expedition. This was followed two years later when the Leyland Brothers crossed Australia from Steep Point in Western Australia right through the middle of Australia on the “West-East Crossing Expedition”. I have authored five books on Australian wildlife, “Australian Lizards”, “Australian Marsupials”, two books on Australian Desert Life and a “Photographic Guide to the Seashore Life of Australia” which is used as a text in marine courses throughout Australia. I was also Head of the Instructional Media Unit at the University of Newcastle for more than twenty years.

 Pat was the first female cine-camera operator in a television station newsroom in Australia at NBN3 Newcastle in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Pat is also a keen photographer.

Keith and Pat Davey travelled on our Mantra Big 5 Safari Adventure Private Tour . For more information on this tour, contact us  so that we can get you started on your own customised India adventure!

The Cultural Side of an Indian Wildlife Safari Tour By Keith Davey August 8, 2016

Our lovely client Keith Davey, so kindly wrote three trip reports of their Mantra Big 5 Tour. This report is on the cultural aspects of their India Tour. Their final post will capture India’s bird diversity in the coming weeks. 

 

Although the Mantra Big 5 Adventure concentrated on visiting some iconic Indian National Parks, there was also a cultural part where we visited places that had a fascinating history, full of beautiful historical buildings and edifices. This started on the morning after we arrived at New Delhi.

 

On the first day we went on a tour of New Delhi, led by Aditya. We visited Qutub Minar, built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199.

 

Qutab Minar Mantra Big 5

Qutab Minar, Delhi

Here is the famous Iron Pillar, noted for its rust-resistant composition.

Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild

 

 

Mantra Big 5

We then visited the Mogul Emperor Humayun’s Tomb. It was commissioned by his son Akbar in 1569-70.

 

Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild

Humayun’s Tomb on Mantra Big 5

Indian Wildlife Safari with Mantra Wild

 

 

Due to the rapidly approaching India Republic Day, we were unable to stop near the War Memorial Arch, because all roads to it were blocked off by a huge military presence and Delhi police.

 

But we were able to drive past the President’s palace, Parliament House and Government buildings.

 

Mantra Big 5

 

A reverential moment was visiting Raj Ghat, the cremation site and tombs of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

Indian Wildlife Safari Delhi Tour

 

If you go to Delhi, be certain to book onto the Old Delhi Walk and Food Tour. Mr. Ramit Mitra was our guide. Unlike more slender Indians, you could see he was a connoisseur of Indian food. (You can read about this tour review in the Sydney Morning Herald!).

Indian Wildlife Safari Mantra Wild

 

We were soon walking down narrow, dark alleys, into places that Pat and I would have never be game to go without a guide. We didn’t have large dishes, just many small tastings of some very interesting Indian and Muslim foods. One proud chef pointed to his chicken dish and said, “I’ve used 52 spices in this dish”. It was powerful stuff.

 

Mantra Wild Old Delhi Food and Heritage Walking Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mantra Wild Heritage and Food Walking Tour Old Delhi

 

Pat purchased a bunch of bananas, but a mischievous macaque came up behind her and stole them, with lots of local laughter. Pat wasn’t convinced that the monkey and the banana-seller didn’t have a partnership going, as she purchased a second bunch for our dinner.

 

Mantra Big 5 Old Delhi Walking Tour Mantra Wild

 

Mantra Wild Indian Safaris Cultural tours

 

I  must mention the quality of the accommodation that was included in our Mantra Big 5 Adventure. Luxurious on every scale, far in excess of what we would have expected. Both Pat and I found that having up to five waiters around us was a bit unnerving at times. We’re not that used to restaurants, but are more of the fast-food lot. Being Aussie’s, we wanted to help out by taking our soiled dishes and cutlery to the serving benches. We soon realised that this was not what the serving staff wanted us to do, so we soon refrained.

The Alsisar Haveli, a Heritage Hotel in Jaipur was magnificent. It was like being transported back through time to the era of the Raj.

 

Alsisar Haveli Mantra Big 5

Alsisar Haveli

 

Mantra Big 5 Jaipur Mantra Wild Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild

 

 

The dining halls were all grand and sumptuous. We had not expected to stay at such lovely accommodation.

 

The Corbett River-Creek Resort and Spa was located in an extremely scenic area, surrounded by steep mountains and alongside a spectacular river.

 

Corbett Rivercreek Mantra Big 5

Mantra Wild Mantra Big 5 Corbett

 

 

At Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan, we visited both the Presidential Palace and the Astronomical Observatory. Jaipur is known as the Pink City, a colour associated with hospitality. All the city walls were painted pink in preparation  for a visit by Britain’s Prince Alfred in 1853.

 

Jaipur city tour Mantra Big 5

 

 

The Astronomical Observatory is the home of the world’s tallest and most accurate sundial. It casts a shadow that is accurate to within two seconds.

Mantra Big 5 Indian Safaris Jaipur city tour

 

We also visited the Chand Baori Stepwell, built by King Chandra of the Nikumbah Dynasty in the 8-9th Century for his bride and himself to escape from the summer heat. The steeply stepped construction led down to a permanent source of water where he and his wife could always get fresh water for drinking and bathing.

 

Mantra Big 5 Jaipur City Tour Mantra Wild Adventures

 

The sculptures reminded me of those at Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Sadly, the ones here had been defaced.

Mantra Wild Adventures Jaipur City tour Step Well

 

A highlight occurred at Corbett, the little village surrounded by Jim Corbett National Park, the first national park declared in India. We had two to three hours to spare, so Girdhari Lal, our driver, guide and good friend suggested that Pat and I might like to visit a Hindu temple. Pat had mentioned a few times that we would like to see a temple if our busy schedule would permit.

Corbett Mantra Big 5 Temple visit

 

The Garjia Devi temple is built on a huge rock siting on the river Kosi. Devotees reach the temple after climbing several flights of stairs. The temple attracts thousands of devotees from across the globe. We also visited the smaller temple alongside.

 

Mantra Big 5 Corbett Temple Visit

Mantra Wild Adventures Temple Visit Corbett

Newly-wed couples coming to Corbett must seek the blessings of the deity Garjia Devi. While talking with two newly wed couples, we were blessed by a local holy man and he tied some sacred string on our wrists. It was a sacred, moving and never to be forgotten experience.

Mantra Big 5 Temple Visit

 

Throughout India we were approached by many locals with the statement, “Ha, Australians, how’s the cricket going?” Our trip coincided with a set of cricket matches between India and the Aussies. Pat and I don’t normally follow cricket, but we soon learned that if in town, we needed to watch the evening news and be ready to answer any question about cricket. As we drove past every small town, on a bare patch of earth nearby, many young boys were playing their national game. It seemed to Pat and I that there are five religions in India, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhism, Sikhism and Cricket.

Mantra Big 5 Indian Safari Mantra Wild

Breakfast at dawn, Chitvan Jungle Lodge, Kanha National Park

 

When we went out on the jeep safaris into the national parks, on many days we were the only foreigners there. Quite a few times at park resting places, locals would come up to us and request that they take a photo of us and their friends and relations. It was always obvious that the Indian people went out of their way to ensure that we were having a great time.

 

Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild India Safari

 

Mantra Big 5 Mantra Wild India Safari

Keith with a group of travellers

 

When Pat and I signed up to do this tour with Mantra Wild Expeditions we had no idea what a personalised tour was. We had been away about ten times before to overseas countries with different tour groups in parties of up to 15-20. But this trip was designed just for the two of us. We need not have worried. At every airport and at hotel reception at the start of every day someone was there to meet us. The evening before, the driver would tell us what time someone was going to pick us up the next morning. We never missed a beat on our journey. While travelling our driver would always be pointing out things of interest with great pride.

 

Every luxurious room we stayed had a refrigerated bottle of water waiting for us as we arrived. In every car we travelled, with the exception of the jeeps, the driver had a bottle of fresh water for each of us ready for our journey. Pat and I did find the true Indian food to be very spicy, but we coped. Some bigger restaurants in our accommodation did tone down the spices for their European guests.

 

Mantra big 5 Kaziranga Indian Safair

Infinity Lodge, Kaziranga National Park Assam.

Mantra Big 5 Chitvan Jungle Lodge Indian Safaris with Mantra Wild

Chitvan Jungle Lodge accommodation, Kanha National Park.

 

In each car we travelled, including the twelve jeep safaris, Pat and I were the only passengers in the vehicle. This made our wildlife photography much easier since we didn’t have to elbow others out of our viewpoint.

 

Every person we met on our journey went out of their way to ensure that we had the most amazing experiences. The absolute highlight is that neither Pat nor I became ill from the water nor the food, so we never had to miss out on going to see wonderful things each and every day of our Mantra Wild Big 5 Adventure

 

Who are  Keith & Pat Davey?

Mantra Big 5 Keith and Pat Davey

Keith & Pat Davey

 I have always been a keen nature photographer. When only 8 years old I taped a magnifying glass to my Kodak box brownie to photograph insects and flowers.

In 1964 I was the naturalist for the Leyland Brothers “Down the Darling” river expedition. This was followed two years later when the Leyland Brothers crossed Australia from Steep Point in Western Australia right through the middle of Australia on the “West-East Crossing Expedition”. I have authored five books on Australian wildlife, “Australian Lizards”, “Australian Marsupials”, two books on Australian Desert Life and a “Photographic Guide to the Seashore Life of Australia” which is used as a text in marine courses throughout Australia. I was also Head of the Instructional Media Unit at the University of Newcastle for more than twenty years.

 Pat was the first female cine-camera operator in a television station newsroom in Australia at NBN3 Newcastle in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Pat is also a keen photographer.

Keith and Pat Davey travelled on our Mantra Big 5 Safari Adventure Private Tour . For more information on this tour, contact us  so that we can get you started on your own customised India adventure!

Why Travel to India For Wildlife Safaris? July 15, 2016

India Wildlife Safaris – Don’t compare it to African Safaris…

We recently presented a webinar with The Travel Industry Network on the topic of Wildlife Safaris in India.

When most people think of travelling to India, the Taj Mahal or Rajasthan may come to mind.

However, India is home to extraordinary wildlife and wilderness areas, seven of these regions have been declared UNESCO Heritage sites given their intrinsic value and unique biodiversity.

Most of these places are accessible for that India Wildlife Safari experience.

 

TOP 10 MUST SEE NATIONAL PARKS IN INDIA

 

In this short webinar, you will learn about:

 India’s biodiverse hotspots,

What is the difference between an African and Indian Safari experience?

India’s Big 6 animal (Africa is only home to the Big 5)

Why it’s never been easier to travel to India

Our amazing “Wild Heart of India Safari Experience”

AND Why you should book with a company like ours. 

So, grab yourself a cuppa, and enjoy this short webinar on Wild India 🙂

Wild Heart of India Webinar

Did you know about India’s amazing wildlife? If you were to go on an India Wildlife Safari, what would you love to see and experience? Tell us in the comments below.