BSS Subcontinental Safari

This is a trip like no other in India or Nepal! Take in four national parks and maybe… just maybe catch a glimpse of that ever-elusive Bengal tiger. Ride atop an elephant and wander amid one horned rhino, wash and swim with elephants, paddle amongst crocodiles. This trip is a must do for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, bird watchers and those who enjoy a bit of style and comfort whilst getting amongst the parks and wildlife.

Itinerary

Our scheduled drive times include lunch, photo and toilet stops, but please remember that this is genuine adventure travel, so these should be used as a guide only.  You will need to remain open-minded and flexible in order to get the most out of your trip.

Day 01: Namaste and welcome to India. You will be personally greeted by our friendly staff at the Indira Ghandi International Airport and transferred to the five stars Claridges Hotel which is only a few minutes walk from Connaught Place.

Delhi is the capital of India and arguably the second largest city in the country; it is also the industrial hub of North India. The city is spacious and open with beautiful government buildings and embassies (many were designed by Lutyen). Old Delhi has a long and varied history as can be seen by the monuments, mosques and forts. It is a major travel gateway and is one of the busiest entry points for overseas travellers. Overnight Delhi.

Day 02: Delhi City tour. Visit the Bahia Lotus Temple, Delhi’s Mughal era Red Fort, Jama Masjid, the country's largest mosque, Raj Ghat where Mahatma Ghandi was cremated, Humayun's Tomb which inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal, Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House), India Gate and the 72.5m tall Qutb Minar constructed in 1199AD by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Delhi's first Muslim ruler. Overnight Delhi.

Day 03: Today you will be introduced to Snowy, BOA’s very comfortable all-terrain Mercedes Benz coach style overland vehicle, we’ll drive from Delhi to Corbett Tiger Reserve. In Delhi, unless one leaves before the roosters rise, it’s almost impossible to beat the morning traffic rush which transcends into an all day traffic jam and then the inevitable evening chaos. Once we manage to pick our way through Delhi’s network of roads we’ll drive on the NH 24 for a few hours before turning off the main road at Moradabad and continuing north on smaller roads through rural farming communities to Corbett Tiger Reserve. Drive time five to seven hours. Overnight Corbett National Park.

Day 04: Corbett National Park was named after the renowned hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett in 1936 and was India’s first national park. The park covers more than 1,300 square km and 10 per cent of the area consists of grasslands. There are around 50 species of mammals, 7 species of fish and 25 reptile species. Tiger sightings are more than infrequent, however there are a large number of other wildlife species such as wild elephants, monkeys, deer, crocodiles, leopards and jackals, to name a few. There are also 580 bird species including the yellow-throated Long Tailed Broadbill, Brown Dipper, Scarlet Minivets and the Wallcreeper. There are a variety of activities available here such as an elephant ride, jungle safari drive and educational walks including the observation towers in Dhikala. Overnight Corbett National Park.

Day 05: Today is another drive day; we continue to head east through the rural Indian plains until we reach the untouristy western border at Banbasa. Before reaching the border we drive over the Banbasa Barrage and Dam. The Mahakali River (Sarda River) is Nepal's western boundary with India. Border formalities are completed on the eastern side of the dam for both countries, Banbasa for India and Gadda Chauki for Nepal. The most noticeable part of crossing from India to Nepal is the distinct drop of traffic on the roads, in general, it's a more peaceful and serene atmosphere… though don’t be fooled, Nepali cities can be every bit as chaotic as their Indian counterparts! Suklaphanta National Park is only a short drive from the border, please don’t forget to put your watches fifteen minutes forward! Tonight we stay at a temporary but very well appointed safari style tented camp, dining in style under the stars and being entertained with a cultural Tharu stick dance performance. Drive time six to eight hours. Overnight Suklaphanta National Park.

Day 06: Suklaphanta National Park (in the local Tharu dialect, sukla means white and phant means grass) covers an area of just over three hundred square kilometres and evolved from a hunting ground for Nepal’s ruling class to a gazetted wildlife reserve in 1973. The grasslands here are one of the last remaining habitats for endangered animals such as the hispid hare, pygmy hog and swamp deer. Other wildlife in the park includes spotted deer, nilgai (antelope), wild dogs, jackals, wild elephants and tigers. There are over 350 species of birds, 14 species of fish and 24 species of mammals in Suklaphanta. We will go for a morning jeep drive and jungle walk in the park and after lunch drive to Bardia National Park. We stay at an exclusive lodge on the edge of the park and receive five stars service and very nice accommodation with all of the produce for the dining room either grown at the resort or purchased from the local village. Drive time four to five hours. Overnight Bardia National Park.

Day 07 and 08: Bardia National Park (together with neighbouring Banke National Park) comprises of over 1,500 square kilometres and is much more forested than Suklaphanta. There are over 100 species of fish, 50 species of mammals, 20 of reptiles and amphibians and 400 species of birds. Mammals include the rhinoceros, wild elephant, Bengal tiger, swamp deer and Gangetic dolphin. We spend three nights and two full days at Bardia and activities include a Tharu village walk, a jungle walk and/or game drive, an elephant jungle safari and rafting on the Karnali River taking along our own picnic lunch! On night two, the local Tharu community will put on a cultural show for us.

Day 09: From Bardia we drive to Lumbini, spending most of our time on the plains of the Terai, but occasionally breaking the routine by driving through undulating hills, some becoming steep in parts as we follow the foothills of the Himalaya. Lumbini is the historical birthplace of Buddha and one of the most important religious sites in the world. Buddha was born under a sal tree in Lumbini in May 563BC. Drive time six to eight hours. Overnight Lumbini.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you, like the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think. All that arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you, as your shadow unshaken.

In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible. We are what we think. ‘Lord Buddha’

Day 10: The morning is spent exploring Lumbini. There are a number of monasteries around the site and the centre is the Maya Devi Temple which is the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Buddha. A sacred garden contains the pillar of Ashoka and the remains of many stupas and monasteries. Surrounding the sacred gardens is a huge park which was designed in 1978 by Kenzo Tange, a well-known Japanese architect. In this area there are lakes and Buddhist Monasteries, stupas, temples, gompas and pagodas which have been constructed by Buddhists from around the world. The Lumbini Museum is at the back of the compound and is devoted to the life of Buddha and the Buddhist religion, with photos and artefacts from around the world. The World Peace Pagoda is set in the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary.

After lunch we continue east to another exclusive location on the edge of Chitwan National Park, Tharu Lodge where we stay is rated as one of the best in the area. We spend two nights at Tharu Lodge being well and truly looked after by our hosts. Drive time five to seven hours. Overnight Tharu Lodge.

Day 11: Royal Chitwan National Park was established in 1973, it covers and area of 0ver 900 square kilometres and is home to at least 43 species of mammals, 540 plus species of birds, 113 species of fish and 19 species of reptiles. Can you imagine riding another elephant, this time through the grasslands of Chitwan as it rumbles its suspicions that a tiger is on the prowl in the first light of day? Wash and swim with an elephant, a delightful, surreal and unforgettable delight. Blend into the surrounding bush and jungle on a jungle walk. Leave Chitwan with unforgettable images in your mind and camera, not only from Chitwan, but also Bardia, Suklaphanta and Corbett, that you will share with your friends and family for years to come. Overnight Tharu Lodge.

Day 12: The drive back to Kathmandu is beautiful with breathtaking views of huge hills and valleys as well as snow capped mountains and raging rivers. There is so much to behold on this amazing drive and the sights are with us all the way to the top of the basin that surrounds Kathmandu. Once we reach the rim of the basin Kathmandu is spread out below us and if we manage to have a good run with the traffic we will have you at Dwarika’s within the hour. However Kathmandu has a habit of becoming grid locked with traffic and there are times when it may take considerably longer. Dinner at Dwarikas Hotel is a sumptuous affair with a huge range to select from the buffet or menu and a well stocked wine bar. Drive time, six to eight hours. Overnight Kathmandu.

Day 13: Members of the group who would like to participate in an optional Mount Everest scenic mountain flight will kick off the day with an early start! You will be picked up around 05:45hrs and whisked off to the airport. Flying close to the mountains you are rewarded with awe-inspiring views of 14 mountains over 6,000m, culminating in Everest which gleams in the rising sun. Much has been written about Everest but to witness it from a sightseeing flight is absolutely amazing; it remains an enigma - the highest spot on Earth!

After the mountain flight return for a delicious Dwarikas breakfast before taking in the sites of Kathmandu with a city tour, which includes visits to Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Pashpathinath, Durbar Square (Kathmandu) and Bodhnath. We have a final group meal at the Kaiser Café Restaurant in the beautiful Garden of Dreams in the centre of Kathmandu. Overnight Dwarikas Hotel, Kathmandu.

Day 14: Farewell and end of trip. After four national parks and numerous game drives, jungle walks, elephant rides and river rides, will you have spotted and observed any of the ever elusive tigers? This is something that cannot be guaranteed but, taking into consideration where we have been and the activities you have been involved with, there will be a good chance you will be able to tick the right box when answering this continually asked question!

We thank you for choosing to travel with us… Best Of Asia Overland, the specialists in ‘Adventure in Comfort’, welcome you anytime. We personally bid you farewell and arrange transport to get you safely to the airport.

Crew: One permanent western leader/driver plus local guides.

To find out what is included on our trips, please go to the 'TRAVEL THE BOA WAY' tab and click on 'what is provided'.
  

 

 


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