Rainforest Ramble - Rainforest Photography Expedition
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Anaimalai Tiger Reserve
7 to 10 September 2017
Bookings Closed: Please note that bookings for this Tour have been closed. Please get in touch with us if you have questions.


  • An unmatched photography-travel experience planned and executed to perfection
  • A chance to explore a verdant rainforest
  • Quite possibly excellent images of the endemic and endangered lion-tailed macaque
  • A fascinating time encountering the other attractions of the Anaimalais
  • Virtually unlimited opportunity to make creative images of varied subjects
  • Extensive photography and natural-history learning from Toehold's renowned Skippers

This is a Toehold Special Tour

In the thick of a tea-grower's paradise, patches of rich forest lie untouched by human avarice. In these oases thrives a great abundance of nature, where endemic wildlife finds sanctuary.

There, in the Anaimalai mountain range, the small plantation town of Valparai offers a big invitation for a ramble. This Tour is a response to it.

How is it?

At 3500 feet above sea level, Valparai lies nestled as a very embodiment of pleasantness. Sporting a salubrious climate all round the year and surrounded by invaluable rainforest, it provides the perfect gateway into an amazing world open to exploration.

Bordering Valparai is the Anaimalai Tiger Reserve and its lush rainforest that is abundantly rich in a variety of flora and fauna, and is home to a very healthy population of that most remarkable creature - the lion-tailed macaque.

Also amazingly rich in amphibian, reptile and avian life, this biodiversity hotspot is ideal turf for the keen naturalist and a perfect playground for the photographic artist.

What you will see and photograph:

Amid its myriad attractions, the chief guest of this show undoubtedly is the unique, striking and endangered lion-tailed macaque, to find and photograph which, the lush hills of Anaimalai are quite simply the best place on Earth.

Its tail is, in fact, not the only similarity to the mighty lion, with its salt-and-pepper mane and the dignity with which it carries itself holding up nicely to the test of the validity of the comparison. Where the match ends, however, is, while a lion is quite outspoken in asserting its real-estate rights every morning, this flagship monkey, as its scientific name, Macaca silenus, suggests, rarely makes a vocal call in the forests where it peaceably dwells.

An excellent climber, the lion-tailed macaque spends a majority of its day in the elevated transport system, commuting over the high canopy of the Western Ghats, helping itself along the way to a large variety of fruits to make the journey gastronomically satisfying. Numbering less than 3500 individuals, its ilk is a fascinating subject for photographers and naturalists alike, and although the prime attraction of the Tour, it is not the only one.

While the chances of feasting over the sight of a flying squirrel are surprisingly high, Malabar giant squirrels, sometimes found helping themselves to some jackfruit, are almost a fixture. Favourable fortune may yield views of the brown palm civet, and the list of cold-blooded animals, which includes the beautiful Anaimalai gliding frog and the large-scaled pit viper, makes you warm in anticipation.

Meanwhile the Anaimalais are also a fabulous destination to photograph the great Indian hornbill, which has found a stronghold here. Other air traffic includes the white-bellied treepie and the Indian scimitar babbler, which are common, and occasionally, a Malabar trogon. Malabar whistling thrushes are "everywhere", and often deliver free morning-wakeup-calls by the room window. Also in attendance to mesmerize you are the Wynaad laughingthrush, rufous babbler and the sublime grey-headed bulbul, while gaur and the highly-endangered Nilgiri tahr found here only near a few patches on the road leading up to Valparai are year-round attractions.

The Anaimalais are indeed a destination for myriad creatures big and small.

Please note: Although the focus of this Tour is on photography, non-photographers are most welcome.



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

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Please note: The Tour commences at Coimbatore at approximately 7 a.m. on 7 September 2017 and ends at Coimbatore on 10 September. Transfer between Coimbatore and Anaimalai is included in the Tour cost but travel between your hometown and Coimbatore is not included. Please talk to us for assistance.

  •   DAY 1   7 September 2017, Thursday: Arrival and Lion-tailed Macaque Trail

    After assembling at Coimbatore, we depart for Anaimalai, located around 100 kilometres away. The drive up to there is extremely beautiful and enjoyable. As we climb up the hills, the view gets more stunning by the minute, and there are several opportunities en route to pause and capture some amazing vistas. Chances of photographing the endangered Nilgiri tahr, too, are very high.

    Following an invigorating ride, we arrive at our camp, a quaint British bungalow situated in the middle of a tea estate and close to fantastic shola forest. After we settle in and lunch, we gather for a mutual introduction and a brief discussion about the afternoon's plan.

    Soon we find ourselves driving towards a nearby private forest patch for a rendezvous with lion-tailed macaques. We keep our eyes peeled and hope that the macaques reveal themselves without much difficulty. This area is also known for its amazing birdlife too and gives us a good chance to spot the great Indian hornbill.

    We return to the bungalow for a cup of tea, review photographs and spend some time discussing the day and plan the next.
  •   DAY 2   8 September, Friday: All-day Birding

    Awakening to the sweet song of 'the whistling schoolboy' — the Malabar whistling thrush — we embark on what is almost certain to be a highly productive morning. For the Anaimalais are one of the best places in the Western Ghats for birding and the area has over 250 species of avian wonders, most of which are endemic to the region.

    Thus, we pursue beauties such as the white-bellied treepie, Kerala laughingthrush, Malabar trogon, rufous babbler and grey-headed bulbul as we drive through the Vazhachal forest reserve to spend the entire day tracking and photographing these winged beauties, taking a break in between for lunch.

    In the evening an interactive session of ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    , replete with a fabulous amount of learning, will follow before we enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire to bed.
  •   DAY 3   9 September, Saturday: Landscape Photography and Great Hornbill Excursion

    After an early rise, we watch the morning-light fill the valley of an area that's a great place for landscape photography, offering picturesque views of the surrounding hills and valleys. From here, we drive to a small forest patch known for hornbills flying over the canopy of rainforest, before returning to the bungalow.

    After lunch, we depart for a patch of evergreen shola forest known for its rich diversity of frogs. We spend the rest of the day here, jettisoning ourselves to the macro world and making a wealth of images.

    If time and energy levels permit, we go on a night walk close to camp, hoping to come across some rare nocturnal inhabitants of the rainforest like porcupines, brown palm civets and Indian flying squirrels.

    Back at the bungalow, we enjoy another interactive session, Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    , where the Skipper will review photographs, exchange thoughts and help you celebrate the day.
  •   DAY 4   10 September, Sunday: Final Lion-tailed-Macaque-Trail and Return

    We wake early and return to the lion-tailed macaque haven for another rendezvous with the mascots of the rainforest. We spend most of the morning with these magnificent animals before returning to the bungalow.

    Then it's time to bid adieu to the beautiful Anaimalais. After breakfast we return by the 40-hairpin-bend route to Coimbatore and depart for various destinations, thus marking an end to our Anaimalai Rainforest Photography Expedition.

INR 34,400
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
INR 66,800
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 32,900
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours.

  • Transport from Coimbatore to Valparai and back
  • Shared accommodation in a rest house in Valparai
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
  • All entry fees
  • All planned activities and services of a Photography Skipper
  • All applicable taxes
  • All airfare and transport expenses between your home and Coimbatore
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water and soft drinks
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Camera fees if any (participants will be advised of the estimated fees in advance)
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list

Payment Terms
  • 50% advance on confirmation of participation for the Tour
  • 100% payment on or before 6 August 2017
Cancellation Fees
  • 10% on or before 9 August 2017
  • 50% between 10 and 16 August 2017
  • 100% on or after 17 August 2017

  • Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for 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 can participate in this Tour?

    This Tour is open to everyone above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or 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 this Tour, we recommend that you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you aren't, please consider signing up for a Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
  • What are the requisites?

    Apart from nurturing an interest in forests, wildlife or photography, participants should be fit enough to walk moderate distances in sometimes slippery and wet habitat for up to four hours at a stretch. If you are unsure of your fitness level or suffer from known illnesses, kindly consult your physician before signing up for the Tour.
  • What physical challenges can be expected on this Tour?

    Apart from encountering rain and consequent wet and slightly slippery terrain, the presence of leeches can be bothersome. Although leech bites are entirely harmless, they can be a pestilence, since nobody likes to be bitten! As a remedy, Toehold will provide you with special socks that offer effective protection from leech bites.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    A rainforest like the Anaimalai Tiger Reserve poses challenges in lighting, so it is a boon to have a camera body that performs well at high ISOs and a lens that has a large aperture (f/2.8 or f/4) and/or image stabilization. For both lion-tailed macaques and birds, a focal length of at least 400mm is ideal. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife and a macro lens to photograph flowers and small fauna are recommended. However, 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 hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer.
  • 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, and wildlife encounters are subject to prevailing weather and other vagaries, we do not claim that sightings are guaranteed.
  • 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.
© - All Text, Photographs, Videos and Narrations are properties of Toehold Travel & Photography Private Limited.


Anaimalai Tiger Reserve


  • Date: 7 to 10 September 2017

  • Tour Cost
    INR 34,400 + 5% GST
    Per person

    INR 68,800 66,800 + 5% GST
    Per couple

    Toehold Patrons:
    INR 32,900 + 5% GST
    Per person

  • Skipper: Sachin Rai


We accept all major credit and debit cards.


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