Tigers Of India 2019
In the famous "Jungle Book" Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the undisputed status of the mighty Bengal Tiger by introducing Shere Khan as the King of the Beasts. Although the cat family includes many impressive and attractive animals, there is an aura of power and majesty about the Tiger, where observing a male Tiger patrolling his territory in an Indian Reserve is to watch an unchallenged ruler strolling through his domain. Unfortunately for the Tiger, being the top predator was no protection against the activities of man, and a combination of habitat destruction and hunting pressures have reduced the Indian population from an estimated 40,000 to less than 1500 before the conservation initiative known as "Project Tiger" sought to halt this rapid decline by the establishment of numerous Tiger reserves throughout India, with Ranthambore being one of the best place's in India to see the mighty Bengal Tiger, one of the most stunning, handsome and awe-inspiring creatures on earth.
The Ranthambhore National Park, which is a part of the much larger Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, is a Project Tiger reserve; it lies in the Sawai Madhopur district of eastern Rajasthan. It is right now the only forest reserve in Rajasthan state and in the entire Aravali hill ranges where tigers exist. The Chambal River forms a natural boundary of the Park towards the east, and on the eastern shore of Chambal lies the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is the single largest expanse of Dry-Deciduous Forest left intact in India. Such forests were found all along the North and Central Aravalis but in the last few decades they have been badly degraded and right now this Tiger Reserve is their last strong hold. In 1973 a part of this sanctuary came under Project Tiger Scheme. At that time there were 16 villages inside the sanctuary but between 1976 and 1979, 12 of these villages were shifted outside the sanctuary. In 1980, in order to give greater protection to the forests, an area of 282.03 sq. Km. Of the inner part of Sawai Madhopur sanctuary was declared as national park forming the blue print for today's Ranthambore.
Ranthambhore's unique climatic and vegetational features have given rise to forests that are dry and open with little and stunted ground cover. This makes wildlife viewing relatively easier on the safari. There are over 300 species of birds, both resident and migratory, over 40 species of mammals and over 35 species of reptiles. Besides tigers, the other wild cats found in Ranthambhore are Leopards, Caracals, Jungle cats, Rusty Spotted cats, also Samba, Spotted deer (Chital), Blue bull (Nilgai), Chinkara (Indian gazelle) and Wild boar. Other large mammals that can be seen in Ranthambhore are the Sloth bear, Indian fox, Jackal, and mongoose and Striped Hyena.
Just setting off in search of a Tiger is guaranteed to send adrenalin coursing through the veins, whilst every movement in the undergrowth raises the expectation of a sudden appearance of this animal, striped body, footprints in the dust or the warming cries of deer all serving only to heighten the almost unbearable sense of excitement as you watch and listen for the first clue that a Tiger is around you. This Photo-Tour is designed to enable you to achieve your dream of seeing a Bengal Tiger in the wild at Ranthambore, which has consistently good records of Tigers and this Photo-Tour is designed to maximise your chances of seeingTigers.Even if the Tiger proves to be a little elusive the expert guides I have worked with in the past and I will employ for this trip, you can be assured of the very best guidance in finding this beautiful animal during your safaris. We will have two safaris aday, one in the early morning and the other in late afternoon, early evening. This tour is designed specifically to give you the best chances to see and photography Bengal Tigers. During our time at Ranthambore you will have twice daily safires, morning, evening, rising at dawn and returning at dusk, with a lengthy midday siesta to relax in between.
This Photo-Tour is being run by myself, who has an acute interest in conservation and the need to ensure the long-term protection of species and habitats being such an important part of my life. By staying at and visiting the national park and wildlife regions on in this Photo-Tour, we will be actively contributing and supporting a beautiful and locally-owned lodge/hotel, employing local people, local guides and other staff who have grown up in this region. With our preference for local naturalists rather than imported guides, being the key to a successful trip. Ensuring employment opportunities to local communities, so important in developing the local areas, the perfect recipe for the survival of the Bengal Tiger. This kind of wildlife tourism supports rural communities in impoverished areas and supports them in their ability to preserve their natural and wildlife heritage for their future generations. .
Our tour starts with our arrival in the city of Delhi, where we will be picked up and driven to the railway station where we will broad the train to Sawai Modhopur. Once we arrive we will be picked up and taken to our hotel accommodation which is just on the out skirts of the National Tiger reserve park. On arrive we will be met by our hosts and unpack and realx until the following morning. This whole tour is being run by people with a great passion for wildlife and the Tiger which will make this trip unique.
Arrive from the airport, unpack and relax with some food and drink, and then get ready for our first safari first thing in the morning.
These days are then spent photographing the birds and wildlife within the national park, with the Tiger being top on our list. We will stay until sunset and get those beautiful photographs of the Tigers and surrounding wildlife in some stunning light, its then back to our hotel and prepare for our evening meal in a lovely relaxed setting within our Lodge/Hotel. After which we can go through any tips or advice, review the day's images and share best practices, so that as a group you can get the very best out of your trip to Ranthambore, India. We will also go through tips and advice on wildlife photography covering both practical and theoretical examples that you can apply yourselves in your own time while you are here and back home,camera settings, apertures etc.
An early start on these days at 05.00am where you are woken with a welcoming cup of coffee from the staff, then make your way to the lobby/reception area where we are picked up in our private jeeps at around 05.30am, by your expert guide and driver, then driven to the park as you watch the sun coming up in this beautiful place. The morning safaris last until around 09.45am then it's back to the lodge where after you have placed your equipment away and freshened up your breakfast will be served. You are then free to visit the local shops, sunbathe or sleep until the afternoon.
Evening safari starts at around 03.00pm which then finish at around 06.00pm with the setting sun making for a magical ending to each wonderful day. This will be the routine of your 7 days in Ranthambore, designed to get you the very, very best Tiger encounters, enabling you to witness this animal in its own habitat and capturing these special moments with your camera, making for a fanatic trip.
In the evening our evening meal is served around 09.00pm, where we sit outside in the lovely and comfortable dining area of our accommodation as we are served beautiful food, mostly fine Indian cuisine, but they cater for all pallets and tastes..
After breakfast we will say goodbye to Ranthambore on the midday train arriving in Delhi airport at around 7pm in the evening.and head back to Delhi airport and your onward joumeys home..
You will need to provide your own photographic equipment; lenses ranging from a wide-angle right up to a 500mm will be perfect, ideally with two camera bodies, however, this is not essential. A good tip is to have one camera with a wide-angle and the other camera with your bigger lens, this worked so well for me the last time I was there, capturing the habitat alongside the Tiger. A tripod/Monopod and a beanbag are a must, which you can fill up at of lodge with rice, failing that there is a shop on site selling them. Also protection for your camera equipment from the dust and sand is very important, I use a shower cap on the end of my long lens, and a lenscoat cover for the rest of the lens which works perfect.
India's weather is very warm and dry at this time of year, so lose fitting, light coloured clothing is ideal, walking trousers where you can turn them into shorts are perfect, a hat is a must have and a good mosquito spray too along with a high sun factor cream. A good all round level of fitness is ideal, but you will not be walking around these places as you are driven in private jeeps so this won't present you with any difficulty health wise. Three months before departure you will need to visit your GP for a few injections, but once you have booked this tour I will sort out all your needs for this amazing trip.
The cost of your incredible 8 Day wilderness adventure to Ranthambhore, India, will be £2995.00 Per Person on a shared basis/Twin Bed. Single Supplement is £300
This does not include flights as we will be booking a group flight however nearer to the time; the cost will be approximately £500-£600 return from London to Delhi. The hotel has a pool and is wonderfully placed overlooking the landscape of this area.
Cost Includes: Accommodation, Breakfast, Dinner, Evening Meal, All Transport to and from Delhi Airport, All licenses to enter Ranthambore National Park, private Jeep with only 2 person per jeep. 12 safaris accompanied with the best guide. Air-Conditioned Hotel Rooms all en-suite. Pool, Lovely hotel overlooking the hiils of the national park.
Cost Excludes: International flight from the UK to Delhi, visa, Alcohol/soft drinks, Water, Sundry Items and tips.
Please note-The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions and costs.
The deposit will be £1000 per person with the remainder to be paid 60 days before departure.
In order to cover yourself for an unfortunate change of personal circumstance or an unforeseen medical condition we strongly suggest that you take out sufficient travel insurance to cover this eventuality.
This Photo-Tour is for 4 people maximum
Craig Jones Wildlife Photography supports Tiger Conversation. -Visit 21st Century Tiger Page
First Week - Sunday 7th April 2019 - Sunday 14th April 2019
Second Week -Monday 15th April - Monday 22nd April 2019