INDIA'S No.1 ' TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY' COMPANY

Southern Splendour - Wildlife Photography Tour
Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves

Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves
25 to 27 October 2017
Bandipur Only: We have last few seats available for Bandipur Tour. Hurry!


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS



  • A special four-night/five-day itinerary covering two of southern India's best tiger-and-leopard habitats
  • An authentic experience with excellent possibility of cat encounters in natural habitat*
  • A fun and interactive environment that promotes inclusive learning
  • An exhilarating time photographing a myriad of wildlife in picturesque vistas
  • Earning an insight into wildlife behaviour and photography strategies
  • Gleaning highly practical tips and techniques for making memorable images
  • Fascinating snippets of the amazing natural history and biodiversity of Kabini and Bandipur
  • Extensive on- and off-field assistance from Toehold's renowned Skippers

  • *Please note that although chances of big cat encounters are high, sightings are NOT guaranteed.


This is a Toehold Special Tour

Plunge headlong into the treasure-chest of nature and emerge enriched with its verdant goodness. Gently unveil the carpet of green to uncover the many secrets lying underneath.

At Kabini and Bandipur, be enriched by the creme de la creme of southern India's natural wealth.

How is it?

The Charisma of Kabini

The leopard's most visible lair* revolves around a river that has made itself synonymous with the fabled forest of Nagarahole. Snaking its way pristinely through the Nilgiri Biosphere and dilineating Bandipur from Nagarahole, the Kabini forms a spectacular backdrop to the abundant wildlife of the region.

In its hallowed folds it harbours such riches that in the summer, its receding width draws hundreds of elephants to its banks, in the winter, it attracts a spectacular variety of avian life to throng its misty surface, and in the monsoon, its green shores explode into a bouquet of botanical splendour.

Oscillating between astonishing and humbling, Kabini compels you to re-examine the small and big paradoxes of modern life and stands as a most gleaming exhibition of our invaluable and fragile wild heritage. It is not just a subject for great photography; it is an inspiration for it.

The Bewitchment of Bandipur

One of India's first and finest Project Tiger Reserves and sanctuary to three rivers, Bandipur is a priceless tiger-and-leopard habitat, representing in part some of the best remaining haunt of the endangered Asiatic elephant, the Indian wild dog and a plethora of life in all its sublimely disparate forms and colours.

Rich in bamboo, teak, sandalwood and flame of the forest, its hallowed alleyways exude whimsical enchantment from every wild nook and cranny. And having been nourished by the monsoon, it throbs with splendid lushness even as the verdant vegetation provides a breathtaking backdrop against which to photograph wildlife. For the immense biodiversity that thrives here, this is home, but for the ardent nature lover, a paradise.

Watch what our participants had to say about their experience.

What you will see and photograph:

KABINI

Kabini is a land of plenty but not predictable, with the exciting undercurrent of the unknown and imponderable woven innately into its enigmatic fabric.

And in recent times, it has become the destination for those seeking the smallest of India's big cats, because here, the ghost of the canopy sheds its customary diffidence to emerge from the shadows.*

When seen hanging off a tree as does an enticing fruit, the Kabini leopard adds a dash of orange panache to a dominance of green environs. And on occasion, when in a more down-to-earth mood, a sight of it sitting by the track or crossing your path like a poem on legs can stick to your memory cells inseparably.

Rubbing shoulders with Nagarahole's most famous penthouse-tenant is a multitude of wildlife, including a thriving population of the endangered dhole, whose team effort at nailing even the largest of prey is a study in planning and coordinated execution. The Kabini area is also a part of the largest refuge of the threatened Asiatic elephant and is still home to magnificent tuskers that fill your frame with little effort.

The birds of the forest will complete the riveting act, with white-bellied woodpeckers, crested serpent eagles, yellow-footed green pigeons, velvet-fronted nuthatches and dozens of other species bringing up the numbers, while small mammals like the Malabar giant squirrel and the ruddy mongoose stand up and get counted too.

BANDIPUR

It is said that the sight of a tiger in southern India is among the greatest rewards of the natural world, and Bandipur offers the best chance of earning it, and our past Tours have vouchsafed the verisimilitude of this belief. Leopards too are present on the tourist map.* But even if feline fortune doesn't shine through, there is never a paucity of things to see and photograph in this park of plenty.

While a stripe-necked mongoose digs termite mounds for titbits, a Bengal monitor lizard roosting in a tree can make you raise your brows higher than ever. A big bull gaur spanning the breadth of the track will introduce you to the wilder side of cattle and once every so often, a pack of marauding wild dogs, causing a barking deer to bark out in alarm, may cross your path as they seek to outrun the next lunch on legs.

Birds are aplenty and the sight of a grey jungle fowl, a changeable hawk eagle, a shikra or an Indian roller is almost always around the corner.

So, it's just as well that you have a camera in hand, for, where the verbal faculty may find it nearly impossible to describe the spectacle, the Toehold team will venture to ensure that the medium of visual expression may just succeed in portraying it in some slight part.

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.

expand to read more »

TESTIMONIALS BY OUR PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTS

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

expand to read more »

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

    Please note: This Tour begins at Bandipur at around 12:00 noon on 25 October and ends at Kabini at around 11:00 a.m. on 29 October. Travel from or via Bangalore and back, and from Kabini to Bandipur will be by car pooling in either participants' private cars or hired cabs at extra actual cost. Toehold will coordinate the arrangements but please talk to us for additional help or special needs.

    BANDIPUR


  •   DAY 1   25 October 2017, Wednesday: Arrival, Afternoon Safari and Overnight in Bandipur

    After a four-hour drive from Bangalore, participants reach Bandipur by noon, and proceed to our first safari post-lunch. Acquainting ourselves with the geography of the park, we enjoy the highlights on offer. Early fortune may produce the coveted sight of a cat and even otherwise, the bounteous floral and faunal riches of Bandipur should offer plenty of 'target practice' to prepare for more opportunities ahead.

    Upon our return at dusk, tea will be served, and an hour later, we meet for an interactive session. Following a fruitful day of exploration, learning and fun, we dine and hit the sack looking forward to more.

  •   DAY 2   26 October, Thursday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Bandipur

    Cleaving through the woods, we savour the opportunity of making atmospheric images of any wildlife we may encounter. Early mornings are a wonderful time to look for big cats, for it is then that they are on the move and late mornings are great for birding.

    Returning from the ride at 9:30 a.m., we enjoy a rejuvenating breakfast forthwith and then retreat to our cottages for an hour of repose. We meet again as scheduled by the Skippers for an interactive session before lunch.

    After lunch and an extended discussion, a cup of hot tea will warm us up for the afternoon safari, during which we will pursue sightings and photographic opportunities of elephants, gaur, birds and the other beautiful denizens of the jungle, and as always, the possibility of a feline encounter lurks behind the curtain of fortune. A combination of timing and appropriateness of location can yield a memorable experience that is likely to never abandon you.

    The last of our highly insightful and enjoyable interactive sessions ensues in the evening before we put our heads to our pillows.

  •   DAY 3   27 October, Friday: Morning Safari; check out and drive to Kabini

    Starting early, we embark on the last safari in Bandipur, keeping our fingers crossed for whatever luck awaits us in the final throw of the dice. Your Skipper's knowledge of the Bandipur jungle is next only to the locals', which allows him to team up with the driver in chalking out the strategy, watching the signs and listening for alarm calls to track predators to make the climax memorable.

  • KABINI FULL


  •   DAY 3   27 October, Friday: Transfer to Kabini and Check in; Evening Safari and Overnight in Kabini

    Checking in to our rooms at Kabini River Lodge, we lunch immediately and rest awhile before embarking on the evening safari.

    Navigating through the network of roads in the forests of Kabini, we enjoy an inaugural taste of the wild, keeping our eyes peeled for action on the ground, the air and the canopy.

    After hopefully an eventful ride, we return to camp at 6:30 p.m. and relax over tea, following which a ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    session will ensue. Later, we enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire for the night.

  •   DAY 4   28 October, Saturday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Kabini

    Journeying in the woods, we savour the opportunity of making evocative images of any wildlife we may see. Early mornings are a great time to look for big cats as they are on the move and late mornings are good for birding.

    Returning from the ride at 9:30 a.m., we enjoy a rejuvenating breakfast forthwith and then retreat to our cottages for an hour of repose. We meet again as scheduled by the Skippers for an interactive session before lunch.

    After lunch and an extended discussion, a cup of hot tea will warm us up for the afternoon safari, during which we will pursue sightings and photographic opportunities of beautiful denizens of the jungle, and as always, the possibility of a feline encounter lurks behind the curtain of fortune. A combination of timing and appropriateness of location can yield a memorable experience that is likely to never abandon you.

    The last of our highly insightful and enjoyable interactive sessions ensues in the evening before we put our heads to our pillows.

  •   DAY 5   29 October, Sunday: Final Safari and Dispersal

    An early morning wake-up call and tea will set the tone for the morning safari at 6:30. Cutting through the freshness of the morning, we pursue materialization of wildlife and very possibly try some of the tips and techniques discussed in the ChaayaChitra session the previous night.

    Starting early, we embark on the last safari of the Tour, keeping our fingers crossed for whatever luck awaits us in the final throw of the dice. Following hopefully a productive ride, we return to the base satiated and after breakfast and the customary group picture shoot, we return to our abodes carrying many a picture in our hard disks and a wealth of memories in our hearts from the long and fruitful Tour.
Individuals
INR 48,900
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Couples
INR 96,300
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 47,900
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
Foreign Nationals: Please write to us for a quote.

Inclusions
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable safari tents or rooms at Kabini and rooms at Bandipur
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
  • All safaris and entry fees
Exclusions
  • All airfare and transfer expenses, including transfer from Bandipur to Kabini on 27 October
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Any optional accommodation opted for beyond the Tour schedule
  • 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 expressly listed under inclusions
  • All applicable taxes


Payment Terms
  • 100% advance on confirmation of participation for the Tour
Cancellation Fees
  • 100% on or after 8 October 2017

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the 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 nature, wildlife and/or photography and is above the age of 18, unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, is welcome to join the Tour. Although the Tour is optimized for photographers, non-photographers are most welcome all the same.
  • 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 photographically, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of digital photography. If you're not, we suggest you join a Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
  • 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 southern Indian parks, Kabini and Bandipur offer the best opportunity to photograph a variety of wildlife. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings - especially of big cats - are guaranteed.
  • 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.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    Kabini and Bandipur offer equal opportunity for bird and mammal photography. For bird photography, a lens with a focal length of around 400mm is essential. For mammals a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 70 to 300mm or 100 to 400mm works very well, although lenses of longer focal length can be used to good effect, especially on 'full-frame' bodies. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is recommended. And since the light conditions in southern-Indian jungles can often be challenging, an image-stabilized lens and a camera body that performs well at high sensitivities are boons. 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 always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer.
  • 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 even experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of one or more professional photographers. 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 focused.




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

LOCALE

Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves

QUICK INFO

  • Date:
    25 to 27 October 2017
    (Bandipur Only)

  • Tour Cost:

    Indian Individuals:
    INR 48,900 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Toehold Patrons:
    INR 47,900 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Indian Couples:
    INR 97,800/- 96,300 + 5% GST
    Per couple



    Kabini Only:
    INR 26,700 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Bandipur Only:
    INR 23,200 + 5% GST
    Per person

    All fares excluding flights and transport to, back from and between the destinations.

  • Skipper: Phillip Ross
    Harsha Narasimhamurthy

PAYMENT OPTIONS

We accept all major credit and debit cards.

UPCOMING EVENTS

ART AND SCIENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DIGITAL POST PROCESSING
PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
view more »