Nilgiris Birding and Wildlife Camp - Kids Camp
Wouldn't you like your child to discover how it is to gaze at a star-studded sky?
This winter, we invite children and young nature-lovers to experience the great outdoors like never before, on the Special Wildlife Camp at Mudmalai and Ooty. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve encompasses 5520 km2 across three different Indian states. And winter is the best time of the year for birding in the Nilgiri hills, for at this time, these gorgeous hills burst to life with a vast array of winter migratory birds that make the Nilgiris their home along with the many other beautiful resident birds and endemic species. Some of the key species that we will be looking for are the Kashmir flycatcher, black-and-orange flycatcher, Nilgiri flycatcher, Nilgiri blue robin, painted bush quail, peregrine falcon, black eagle, malabar lark and white-bellied minivet.
We will also be exploring the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, one of South India's richest tiger habitats.
What's better, our Camp Skippers will guide your child into the forests, take them through the fundamentals of wildlife photography, and equip them with a basic understanding of animal behaviour that will help them take stunning photographs. Both instructors know these forests like the backs of their hands and will lead your child to places where bird and mammal sightings are known to happen.
An avid angler, great raconteur and naturalist par excellence, Phillip uses his passion for wildlife to spread the joy of nature through his infectious ways to adults and children alike. Having explored wilderness areas throughout India as a photographer and naturalist, Phillip has won many laurels, including a Wildlife Conservation Award in 2009 for his report on saving the Bannerghatta National Park. And courtesy of his skill, imagination and technical mastery, his work has been used in various magazines, newspapers, journals and calendars for embellishment and education through his incisive lens.
Read more about Phillip here.
TESTIMONIALS BY PREVIOUS CAMP PARTICIPANTSKids who were a part of a similar Camp previously said:
This Camp was just amazing! Meeting people and making new friends, the service at our lodge, which included the food and the comfort of our tents, and the wildlife made the camp a roaring success, literally, as we saw a leopard which entered our resort caught on the camera trap and some of us saw three tigers! That was my first sighting of a wild tiger! It has been a wonderful experience with Phillip and the Toehold team off safari and on safari as well!
- Arnav Pai, Bangalore
Absolutely awesome! A very home-like and informal feeling. I made new friends and this camp sparked an interest in photography and wildlife.
- Ankit Ranjan, Bangalore
Having no big cat in my country, I was really looking forward to seeing my first tiger in the wild, and the big male we sighted on the first evening in Bandipur made my dream come true! The atmosphere was most cordial and the company was fun. I look forward to coming back next summer!
- Samantha Whiting, The United Kingdom
It was very good. We saw a tiger on a Friday, the 13th, so it wasn't bad luck for a supposedly bad day. All the activities were fun and I learned a lot from Phillip.
- Shashank Reddy, Bangalore
The view from the room was just beautiful! Also, I really enjoyed waking up to the spotted deer feeding just outside the window and the lovely Nilgiri hills.
- Sathya Ram, Mysore
The camp was great fun! We learned camera-trapping in the beautiful jungle. Phillip also taught us how to do time lapse photography and gave us a lot of knowledge on the wildlife. The tiger sighting was my favourite moment of the trip and I hope to come back and see more tigers.
- Shweta Manohar, Bangalore
- DAY 1 25 April 2017, Tuesday: Excited Arrival and Early Exploration
At the crack of dawn on a cold winter morning, we depart from the city of Bangalore and proceed to the much-awaited campsite in Mudumalai. After check-in and a scrumptious lunch, camp leader Phillip Ross will introduce the children to the Nilgiris with a brief on the wildlife found in the area, the afternoon's safari plan and also a presentation on the ideal settings for their cameras for the evening safari.
We'll then find ourselves aboard a safari vehicle, driving into the forests of Mudumalai, not knowing what will be lurking around every corner. We'll keep our eyes peeled and hope that the safari turns out to be a very successful one.
Later that evening, we'll gather around a bonfire for a presentation on composition and discuss our safari experience, animal behaviour and the plan for the next day.
We end the night with a session of entertainment followed by a delicious dinner.
- DAY 2 26 April, Wednesday: Morning Birding in Mudumalai; Afternoon Transfer to, Birding in and Overnight in Ooty
We awake to the sweet calls of the birds found within the campsite and after a hot cup of coffee or tea, Phillip and Samantha will guide the group to the beautiful bird photography hide overlooking a bird bath. Here we have an assured opportunity to sight and capture stunning photographs of many species of birds up close, such as the red spurfowl, grey junglefowl, yellow-browed bulbul, rufous treepie, white-cheeked barbet, lesser goldenback and Tickell's blue flycatcher.
After the birding session in the morning, we'll return to the resort for a piping hot breakfast and soon after leave the resort and go all the way up to the "Queen of hill stations", Ooty, for great birding and a chance to come across the winter visitors and endemics, such as the Kashmir flycatcher, black-and-orange flycatcher, Nilgiri flycatcher, black-chinned laughingthrush, square-tailed bulbul, great hornbill and many more.
We spend the next three hours birding at various hotspots around Ooty, have lunch and drive back slowly, stopping at a few more birding hotspots along the way, before returning to the campsite by dusk.
On our return at dusk, we will play a few nature-based games, learn and practise low-light photography and end the night with some entertainment and a celebratory dinner.
- DAY 3 27 April, Thursday: Morning Safari and Checkout
On the final morning, we'll return to the bird photography hide for a couple of hours and then go on a birdwatching trail in a quest for the white-bellied minivet and Malabar lark.
After breakfast and an entire morning spent birding, we'll gather for a rendezvous before checking out at 11:00 a.m. and driving back to Bangalore, where we are sure your child won't be able to wait to tell you some fascinating tales.
Inclusive of service tax
Inclusive of service tax
Inclusive of service tax
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who should attend this Camp?
Anybody between 10 and 16 years of age is welcome to join the Camp. If your child is marginally outside the specified age-group, please talk to us to find out if we can accommodate them. There are no other eligibility criteria.
How many participants can be expected to attend?
Your child can expect a maximum of 10 other kids for company. The Camp strength has been kept down to ensure smooth running of the event and quality time with the Skipper for each kid.
What sort of accommodation can my child expect?
We will be staying at Forest Hills Farm & Guesthouse in Mudumalai. Forest Hills is a beautiful resort situated right at the base of the Nilgiri hills and overlooks the jungle. All children on camp will be staying in luxury rooms. The food served is a delicious buffet spread of local, Indian and continental delicacies.
What should my child bring to this camp?
Once you register and pay for the camp, the camp instructor will send out the camp advice and general guidelines to every participant. This document will contain all the necessary information, a checklist of items to carry, etc.
What about my child's safety during the event?
Your child's safety is of paramount importance to us. The Skipper leading this Camp has been trained by Toehold on child protection; child behaviour and development; health and safety; activity programme delivery; and Toehold's code of conduct, policies and procedures. The Skipper will accompany the children on all activities and the Camp will have at least one staff member qualified in administering First Aid, at all times.
How do I book my child/children?
Simply click on the 'BOOK NOW' tab and fill out the form on the page and we'll get back to you pronto.
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