- An authentic four-night/five-day wildlife experience in a celebrated central Indian forest
- An excursion planned and executed to perfection
- Possibly excellent photo opportunities of tigers and other attractions of Bandhavgarh
- Beautiful landscape photographs of scenic environs
- Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field
- A wealth of natural history and post-processing learning with Toehold's Skippers
- A fun and highly interactive environment without barriers
How is it?
A seamless marriage of history and natural history.
What you will see and photograph
Tigers as individuals; not just as animals.
About your Skipper
An uncompromising reverence for nature and an unfailing eye for unique perspectives underline Sachin's journey as an ace naturalist and eminent wildlife photographer with over a decade's experience in excellence.
For schedule 1, the Tour starts at Bandhavgarh after 12 noon on 2 May 2018 and ends at Bandhavgarh after the evening safari on 6 May.
For schedule 2, the Tour starts at Bandhavgarh after 12 noon on 9 May 2018 and ends at Bandhavgarh after the evening safari on 13 May.
Transfer from and back to the nearest airport (Jabalpur) or railway station (Umaria or Katni) will be at an additional, actual cost. Toehold will provide assistance in cab-pooling but please talk to us for further help and specific needs.
The itinerary common to both schedules will be as follows:
Schedule 1: 2 to 6 May 2018
Schedule 2: 9 to 13 May 2018
Participants fly to Jabalpur from either Delhi or Mumbai and are transported to Bandhavgarh, in about five hours. After checking in, we are met by the Skipper and get to know one another. Following a scrumptious dinner and a round of mutual introduction, our Skipper will brief the group on the natural history features and tourist rules of the park and set the tone for the Tour before we retire for the night with exciting dreams of what lies ahead.
Come early morning and it's time for the much-awaited first safari, during which we acquaint ourselves with the topographical features of the park. A dash of beginner's luck can yield the coveted sight of a tiger early on the trip, kicking the event off to a rollicking start, but even if feline fortune doesn't shine through, the beauty of the forest is bound to enthrall us with plenty of time remaining on the Tour to see and photograph the principal object of our pursuit.
Following our maiden foray, we return to camp, where the Tour's first interactive ChaayaaChitra session will ensue. These unique Toehold sessions, which are highly fruitful and great fun, are reported by earlier participants to be as enjoyable as the safaris themselves and are likely to entertain as much as educate you.
In the afternoon we venture into the park for another safari, looking for more opportunities.
Having spent a noteworthy day replete with exploration, photography and frolic, we enjoy a scrumptious supper before hitting the sack for the night.
For the next two days, we follow the same schedule in pursuit of tiger photography opportunities.
After a morning wakeup-call at 4:15 opens the day, we reach the park gate at the earliest possible and be one of the first to enter when it opens. This will allow us to look for pugmarks and other fresh signs of any tiger movement to track the big cats, and also put us in a vantage position for viewing and photography, should a tiger materialize. Tigers are at their most active during the early hours of dawn and late hours of dusk, so we seek to utilize the first hour of the ride to the most.
The morning safari lasts for a full four hours, giving us a splendid chance not only to find tigers but also see and photograph many other inhabitants of this Central Indian Eden. We exit the park and return to our comfortable resort for a refreshing shower and a rejuvenating breakfast.
After a brief repose, we meet for a session of ChitraTantra, where your Skipper will critique your pictures upon request, sharing valuable tips for improvement. Intriguing and interactive, this discussion is bound to open your eyes to many new things you can try on the rides to come.
Lunch will be followed by the second safari at 3:30 p.m. Afternoons are great for bird-watching, and while we wait for tigers to start moving or visit the numerous waterholes to counter the summer heat, we have a great time photographing some of the winged attractions of Bandhavgarh. Meanwhile your Skipper will constantly monitor the situation and strategize with the guide and the driver to maximize tiger sighting opportunities.
Should a tiger encounter materialize, your Skipper will do everything in his strength to put you in the best possible position for viewing and photography.
After enjoying morning and evening safaris in Bandhavgarh, we check out of our lodge and are transferred to Jabalpur or Katni, whence we return home with fascinating tales to tell our families and friends!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who should participate in this Tour? Are there any eligibility criteria? Anybody over the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) and interested in nature and wildlife - specifically tigers - and/or photography will enjoy this Tour thoroughly. There are no other eligibility criteria.
- 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 for you to make the most of the Tour, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you're not, we suggest you join a Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
- 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.
- Why aren't onward and return journeys included on this Tour? Since participants of our Tours travel from various parts of the country by different modes (road, rail and air) as per their individual preferences, it works best to originate Tours from the destinations. We, however, provide all the assistance you need in arranging your logistics.
- 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.
- 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. Of all the Indian parks, Bandhavgarh offers the best opportunity to observe and photograph the Bengal tiger. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings - especially of big cats - are guaranteed.
- What equipment do you suggest on this Tour? For tigers 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 do 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 can enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!
* 5% GST Extra
† Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
†† Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
- 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)
- All entry fees, guide fees and safaris
- Any airfare
- Transfers from the nearest airport or railway station and back
- Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours or extra meals 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)
- Tips and gratuities
- All applicable taxes
- Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
Terms and Conditions
- 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.
- Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
- 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.
- 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.