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Giants of the Floodplains - Wildlife Photography Tour
Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam

Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam
21 to 28 January 2018

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS



  • Seven nights and eight days in Kaziranga, Nameri and Gibbon
  • All road transfers included in the Tour cost
  • Guidance of India's finest natural history photographers
  • Likely excellent images of the great one-horned rhinoceros in picturesque environs
  • Opportunities for pictures of other attractions of Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri
  • Extensive photography guidance through interactive sessions and on-field assistance
  • A wealth of post-processing and natural history learning



This is a Toehold Special Tour

What do you call a sanctuary that has the world's largest population of the great one-horned rhino, the planet's highest density of tiger, is India's biggest conservation success and a UNSECO World Heritage Site?

You may call it an idyll. Some call it a marvel of the Northeast. The world knows it as Kaziranga National Park.

And stepping into its core, this guided Tour will unravel the many facets of the wondrous site, and around its sinuous swamps and surreal mist-shrouded vistas, introduce you to a world of endless opportunities.

How is it?

KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

Kaziranga's 470km2 lush green flood plains, which seem to be designed for maximum spectacle value, and fed by the mighty Brahmaputra, are composed of tall, dense grasslands interspersed with cane brakes, open woodlands, interconnecting streams and numerous lakes or 'beels' - which is a long way of saying that it's a truly mesmeric setting.

And virtually everything about Kaziranga is large, as giants dominate the landscape. From the grasses to the birds, and from the reptiles to the mammals, the underlying credo of this wildlife expo is that chic is the opposite of size-zero. And their rarity and exclusivity add excitement to the experience.

Blog
Read the report of a previous Tour to know what to expect.

GIBBON SANCTUARY

'An isolated evergreen forest' is a concise identifier of Hoollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary but the beauty and the magic it stands for cannot be reduced to words, for it is an invaluable piece of natural heritage sheltering India's only ape, the Western Hoolock Gibbon, besides a wealth of other exotic species.

The sanctuary is a 21km2 treasure of alluvial semi-evergreen vegetation composed of the eponymous Hollong trees, and evergreen shrubs and herbs. And weaving on you an inescapable web of charm, it will remain evergreen in your heart.

NAMERI TIGER RESERVE

Situated on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra near the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border, this exotic natural treasure supports an astounding diversity of flora and fauna, and is home to some of the subcontinent's rarest species like the White-Winged Wood duck, which we will pursue with our base set in the delightfully located Nameri Eco Camp.

With the Jia Bhoroli River passing pristinely through narrow strips of grasslands, Nameri is composed of semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests are rich in creepers and bamboo. Although famous for its prospering Elephant population, Nameri is really in fact a subliminal destination for the birder. With over 300 species in residence, its paradisiacal paths are certain to set your heart aflutter at every step.

Blog
Read the report of a previous Tour to know what to expect.

What you will see and photograph:

Two decades ago, Kaziranga faced the ignominious threat of losing its most celebrated tenant, the great one-horned rhinoceros. Today, it is the best place in the world to see and photograph this primordial pachyderm. And although the rhino is virtually synonymous with the place, it is merely the tip of an iceberg that goes incredibly deep.

Among other mammals, the rare and endangered Asiatic water buffalo - a species of wild buffalo even larger than its African counterpart - forms a unique attraction. Enormous mud-stained tuskers and mid-sized elephant herds drifting slowly across the great outdoors are a regular fixture. In a smaller segment, the comely hog deer and the endemic swamp deer (or the 'soft ground barasingha') offer beautiful attractions on hooves. Occasionally, those bestowed with special fortune may enjoy the exceptional sight of a tiger adorning the great outdoors.

Kaziranga's avian life is famously splendid. Identified by Birdlife International as an "Important Bird Area", a rich variety of migratory birds, waders, raptors and scavengers are found here, including the black-necked stork, red-breasted parakeet, Asian barred owlet, dusky eagle-owl, dalmatian pelican, grey-headed fish eagle, Jerdon's babbler, swamp francolin, great hornbill, pied harrier and cinerous vulture.

Reptiles are represented by two of the largest snakes in the world, the reticulated python and Indian rock python, and the longest venomous snake in the world, the king cobra. The Assam roofed turtle is a fairly common sight that lends itself beautifully to creative imaging.

The adjoining Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a bonus destination on this Tour, is a fabulous place to observe some of India's endemic primates. A small park that offers big opportunities, it boasts of seven species of primate including the hoolock gibbon, pig-tailed and stump-tailed macaques, capped langur and slow loris, while three species of civet and four species of squirrel, including the Malayan giant, will keep your eyes riveted to the canopy. Amidst all this, the botanically inclined will be floored by its floral diversity. Truly, a 'simian adventure' never sounded so enticing!

At Nameri, prepare to attain salvation from birds that seem expressly designed to swoop down in exquisite fashion and slyly fly away with your heart in tow. Walking the mesmerising paths as they caress our senses, we are most likely to be rewarded with sights of the long-tailed broadbill, scarlet and long-tailed minivet, black-crested bulbul and streaked spiderhunter, while a singular glimpse of a wreathed hornbill or the rare and coveted white-winged wood duck sailing in sheer tranquility can purge all your fatigue in an instant. Besides, a refreshing sail down the river can reveal magnificent exotics such as the ibisbill, merganser, Pallas' fish eagle and plumbeous redstart. Withal, consider that mammals can include the yellow-throated marten and the Assamese macaque, and you may never have a dull moment at enchanting Nameri.


PHOTOGRAPHY SKIPPER





WHY GO ON A TOEHOLD PHOTO TOUR?

At Toehold, we are passionate about photography just as you are, which lets us understand your travails and needs perfectly. And we use this insight to specially design our Photography Tours so they give you a toehold to excel at the art and set you up for success.

The Toehold team at your disposal will keep you tuned and geared, so you come in empty-handed but go out with bagful of images and tales of an experience that is better lived than heard.

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TESTIMONIALS BY OUR PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTS

Photography enthusiasts who were a part of a similar Tour previously said:

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Please click on any thumbnail and use the left and right arrow keys to navigate between photos in the gallery.



    NAMERI

  •  Day 1    21 January 2018, Sunday: Arrival and Overnight in Nameri

    We assemble at Guwahati by noon and the group will leave for Nameri. After a drive of around five hours, we settle down in our lovely camp, which is at at the edge of the forest and many species of birds, including the Oriental Hobby and the brown hawk owl, are seen nearby. Reptile lovers will be delighted by the enchanting sight of the endemic tokay gecko, a very big Gecko that resides in the banyan trees nearby.

    In the evening over dinner, we get introduced to one another and then hear the course of action for the next few days from the Skipper, before we retire for the day.

  •  Day 2    22 January, Monday: All-day Birding and Overnight in Nameri

    In the morning we take the kilometre-long walk to the river and cross by boat to the midst of the pristine forest, where we venture on a longer walk enjoying the habitat and pursuing bird sightings and photo opportunities.

    We return for lunch, and after the meal, go back to the river making our way through shrubs to see small pratincoles and ibisbills as hornbills fly overhead.

  • KAZIRANGA AND GIBBON

  •  Day 3    23 January, Tuesday: Morning in Nameri; Transfer to and Overnight in Kaziranga

    After enjoying a final birding session or an optional raft ride in the river photographing the waterfront birds found here, we check out of our camp at Nameri and are transferred to Kaziranga, where we reach in the evening.

    Shortly after, we discuss the course of action before enjoying a scrumptious supper and retiring.

  •  Day 4    24 January, Wednesday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Kaziranga

    We enter the forest early in the morning and reach the gates of one of the zones of this beautiful park, aiming to get some evocative pictures of rhinos in the mist. As the mist lifts, the beauty of the magical swampy grasslands will become evident. After a fascinating ride, we return to the resort and breakfast, after which we discuss our first morning safari.

    In the late afternoon we leave for the second safari, hoping to make images of the other magnificent wildlife seen here. A stimulating ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    session will ensue before dinner, with a view of helping us make the most of the forthcoming safaris.

  •  Day 5    25 January, Thursday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Kaziranga

    We follow the same schedule as on day 2 and explore some other forested areas of the park too, choosing our zones according to the group's preference between mammal and bird photography. In the evening, another highly insightful session we call ChitraTantra
    ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
    will help you have your images reviewed and incorporate necessary improvements into your photography and processing.

  •  Day 6    26 January, Friday: Half-day Visit to Gibbon and Overnight in Kaziranga

    We visit the beautiful Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and spend half a day watching and photographing primates. A combination of patience and luck should yield opportunities to watch hoolock gibbons at length.

    In the evening we return to Kaziranga and after an informal discussion about the finds of the day or a session reviewing pictures, call it a productive day.

  •  Day 7    27 January, Saturday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Kaziranga

    We venture into the National Park for two more safaris to try our luck with large mammals and rare birds. By now, we will have spent ample time both in the field and off it learning a lot about both photography and animal behaviour, which should help us make the most of the opportunities that come our way. In the evening we enjoy a Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    session from the Skipper.

  •  Day 8    28 January, Sunday: Checkout and Dispersal

    After an early breakfast we check out of our lodge in Kaziranga and are driven back to Guwahati. Having enjoyed an eventful trip filled with learning, adventure, fun and memorable experiences, we part and return home, bustling with stories to tell and pictures to share.



Individuals
INR 58,500
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Couples
INR 1,15,000
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 57,000
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours

Inclusions
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable rooms unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea) for Tour duration
  • Road transfers between Guwahati, Nameri, Gibbon and Kaziranga
  • All excursions and entry fees
Exclusions
  • All airfare and travel expenses between your home and Guwahati
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Camera fees if any (participants will be advised of the estimated fees in advance)
  • Anything that is not included in the Inclusions list
  • All applicable taxes
Payment Terms
  • At least INR 10,000 for provisional reservation
  • At least 50% of the Tour fee by 15 November 2017
  • Remainder (100%) of the Tour fee by 15 December 2017 for final confirmation of place on the Tour
Cancellation Fees
  • 10% on or before 3 December 2017
  • 25% between 4 and 10 December 2017
  • 50% between 11 and 17 December 2017
  • 75% between 18 and 24 December 2017
  • 100% on or after 25 December 2017

Please note: The date of written (email) communication is the date considered for the calculation of cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  4. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the "Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should participate in this Tour? Are there any eligibility criteria?

    Anybody with an interest in wildlife, photography or birding will thoroughly enjoy this Tour. And although this Tour is optimized for photographers, non-photographers are most welcome too. There are no eligibility criteria except that you must be over 18 unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
  • I am a newbie in nature photography. Am I eligible?

    Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we suggest you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you are not, please consider signing up for a Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours?

    Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Photo Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    For rhinos and other mammals, a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 70 to 200mm/300mm or 100 to 400mm works very well. If opting for a fixed ('prime') lens, the 300mm focal length on a cropped sensor body with a 1.4x extender ('teleconverter') is the best compromise, although lenses of longer focal length can be used to good effect as well, especially on 'full-frame' bodies. For birds, a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is essential. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is recommended. And since the light conditions in Indian jungles can often be challenging, an image-stabilized lens and a camera body that performs well at high sensitivities are boons.
  • I do not have the requisite equipment. What should I do?

    If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What's better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired for our Photo Tours!
  • By what mode will we explore the forests on this Tour?

    We will do our photography from an open safari vehicle in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, but on foot and by raft in Nameri Tiger Reserve, and on foot in Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary. Due to this, we require that you have a requisite level of fitness.
  • How many people can I expect to share my vehicle with on safari?

    Our Photo Tours are designed to provide you sufficient space for comfortable photography without being excessively taxing on your pocket, so you can expect a maximum of three other people (including the participants and the Skipper), apart from the driver and the mandatory forest department guide, on each safari.
  • How sure are you about photographing wildlife on this Tour?

    Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.


© - All Text, Photographs, Videos and Narrations are properties of Toehold Travel & Photography Private Limited.




LOCALE

Kaziranga, Gibbon and Nameri, Assam

QUICK INFO

  • Date:
    21 to 28 January 2018

  • Tour Cost:
    Indian Individuals
    INR 58,500 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Indian Couples
    INR 1,17,000 1,15,000
    + 5% GST
    Per couple

    Toehold Patrons
    INR 57,000 + 5% GST
    Per person

  • Skipper: Sachin Rai

INCONVENIENT DATES?

If you are unable to make it on these dates, get in touch with us to help you plan an exclusive custom tour to Kaziranga.

DISCOUNTS ON RENTALS

Did you know? Photography enthusiasts joining this Tour and every other Toehold Photography Tour are eligible for a nett discount of 10% on all equipment rentals. Talk to us to avail of this offer!

PAYMENT OPTIONS

We accept all major credit and debit cards.

UPCOMING EVENTS

ART AND SCIENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DIGITAL POST PROCESSING
PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
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