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

Wild Riches of the Lower Himalaya - Wildlife Photography Tour
Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
12 to 17 February 2018
Bookings Closed: Please note that bookings for this Tour have been closed. Please get in touch with us if you have questions.


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS



  • 5 nights and 6 days in one of India's finest and most celebrated national parks
  • Group size restricted to 7 to ensure an exclusive experience
  • Guidance of one of India's finest natural history photographers
  • Photographs of a rich repertoire of mammals and birds in enchanting habitat
  • Evocative pictures of spectacular sub-Himalayan landscapes
  • A wealth of learning in daily insightful sessions on photography, natural history and more



A gharial basks in the shallows as a Pallas' fish eagle dripping with majesty dries its big wings on a branch above. On the stony riverbed, a black stork forages for aquatic tidbits and a jackal, overseen by a collared falconet topping the bald canopy of a dead tree, marauds at a trot. And as you drive slowly through an idyllic path flanked by giant sal trees, a tiger with big paws, thick fur and amber eyes appears from the bush, enters your heart and walks away with it.

It is then you realize that this is not just a tour; this is a grand photographic voyage into India's cornucopian wildlife Eden that goes in the garb of Corbett Tiger Reserve.

How is it?

Since Corbett was born as India's first National Park, it has remained one of the country's finest wild refuges harbouring a sensational variety of free life in the most breathtaking of settings. Any exaggeration in describing Corbett is quite impossible, for its enchantment defeats verbal articulation.

Located nicely between the Himalayas and the terai that stretch to Nepal, the Ramganga and her tributaries crisscross the park spawning some dramatic landscapes that dazzle with celestial beauty. With rich disparity in habitat, ranging from plain to precipitous and dense forests to emancipating meadows, it supports a rich variety of precious natural treasures and adorns India's crown as a gleaming jewel.

The pathways and ravines down which Jim Corbett once tracked tigers show traits of the Himalayan mountain system. The northern part represents the Lesser Himalayan belt, with an average altitude of 1800m comprising oak, pine and rhododendron, while most of the park occurs in the Shivaliks, where sal abounds.

But perhaps the most emblematic of Corbett's habitats are the chaur - vast tracts of magnificent grassland that are the result of ancient forest clearings made for agriculture, and are now a haven to many species that are specialized to living and feeding in the grasses. Nearly synonymous with the fabled Dhikala range of Corbett, chaur are favourite haunts of the majestic elephants and other smaller herbivores, which attract tigers too.

Life flourishes in every inch of Corbett. If you like surprises, there are plenty in store, and in the early spring month of February, if splendid misty scenes straight from Utopia are your thing, you couldn't be in a better place.

What you will see and photograph:

In birding terms, Corbett resembles a very large, open treasure-chest filled with an assortment of Himalayan endemics. No fewer than 585 species of birds, 50 species of mammals and 33 species of reptiles inhabit the park, taking species diversity to dizzying levels.

A crested kingfisher sits on a smooth rock awaiting its breakfast to be fished out, as an ibisbill practises some riverside meditation. In the undergrowth a jungle cat flushes a babbler from the ground, causing a barking deer to cough out its stentorian call in alarm.

A blue whistling thrush vindicates its name, a green magpie adorns the trees and a spectacular khaleej pheasant is never too far away. And while close to the ground, a red jungle fowl sets new standards of vividness, a lesser fish eagle perched on a high branch opens up fresh perspectives on grace and majesty.

As day turns to dusk, a mottled wood owl sitting quietly by the track bores a piercing look into your soul as you pass by. In the meadows throbbing with theatrical feel, a shy hog deer melts quietly into the grass and from the edge of a ravine, a black francolin calls it a day.

Amid all this avian frenzy, mammals don't play truant. From the diminutive yellow-throated marten to the gently gigantic Asian elephant, they in fact quite zealously vie for your attention. The coveted appearance of the enigmatic Corbett tiger, traditionally skittish but commoner in the public gaze in recent times, can earn a permanent seat in your memory.

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.



    Please note: This Tour will begin on the morning of 12 February 2018 at Ramnagar and end at Ramnagar in the evening on 17 February. We suggest an overnight train or a shared taxi between Delhi and Ramnagar on the nights of 11 February and 17 February.

    •   DAY 1    12 February 2018, Monday: Ramnagar and Bijrani; Overnight in Ramnagar

      Participants arrive in Ramnagar early in the morning and after checking in, we begin the Tour with a brief introductory session and later commence bird-watching in the periphery of the park. We will target some of the specialty-birds all morning and then return to the room to indulge in a brief nap.

      In the afternoon, we'll make our way to the famous Bijrani range for a three-hour safari ride. Bijrani is a fantastic birding area with good chances of sighting tigers and elephants. The regular fixtures of the jungle should allow plenty of 'target practice' to hone your skills early and get creative. Driving through this prime tiger-habitat is a pulsating start to our photographic expedition.

      We'll return to the lodge after the ride and end the day with an interactive ChaayaaChitra
      ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
      session with our expert Skipper.

    •   DAY 2    13 February, Tuesday: Transfer to and Overnight in Gairal

      Leaving in the morning, we enter the Dhanghari gate and drive up to our next destination - Gairal. From this point on, we will be inside the Corbett Tiger Reserve for the rest of the Tour. Gairal Rest House is in a picturesque location on the banks of the Ramganga river and the beautiful forest road leading to it offers plenty of wildlife sightings en route.

      Reaching Gairal by afternoon, we lunch and rest awhile before leaving for the evening safari ride. Here we will target the tiny Chestnut-headed Tesia and the Grey-bellied Tesia. Gairal is also a good place to sight the endangered Gharial Crocodile. And not to forget, a glimpse of the king of the jungle is always a possibility.

    •   DAY 3    14 February, Wednesday: Afternoon Safari and Overnight in Dhikala

      The Dhikala Forest Rest House is one of the oldest in Corbett, and the range is highly sought after due to its excellent wildlife sightings. Driving towards Dhikala through dense forests, we look for birds like the red-billed leothrix, yellow-bellied fantail flycatcher and the dollar bird. We will also swing by the famous Crocodile Pool where crocodiles and gharials are seen from a vantage point, and keep our senses peeled for tuskers, tigers and the rare tawny fishing owl.

      We reach our destination by afternoon and check in. Not after long, we will embark on our evening safari and drive through the famous Dhikala chaur, which offers a tremendous opportunity to photograph elephants and hog deer in a highly photogenic ambience.

      In the evening, a session of ChitraTantra
      ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
      will help you get your photos reviewed and incorporate improvements into your photography and digital post-production processing techniques.

    •   DAYS 4 and 5    15 and 16 February, Thursday and Friday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Dhikala

      We will spend the morning and evening safaris roaming the Dhikala chaur, winding through Sambar Road, Khinnanauli and other popular landmarks, scouring for jackals, owls, vultures, collared falconets, lesser and Pallas' fishing eagles and otters. Being a biodiversity hotspot, Dhikala seldom disappoints a discerning visitor as there is never a dearth of objects of amazement in this action-packed zone.

      Before enjoying a scrumptious supper and retiring for the night, we are educated and entertained through a Charchaaloka
      Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
      session facilitated by the Skipper.

    •   DAY 6    17 February, Saturday: Last Safari, Checkout and Dispersal

      We drive around Dhikala in the morning and depart post-lunch to drive up to Dhanghari, all the while admiring the lovely landscape and amazing wilderness. We reach Ramnagar whence participants disperse by their preferred mode of transport.

      Please note: Your Skipper may, at his discretion, amend the itinerary for the better, depending on prevailing circumstances. This will not affect your travel schedules, Tour duration or cost.


Individuals
INR 56,400
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Couples
INR 1,10,800
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 54,900
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 a resort (outside the park) and forest rest houses (inside the park)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
  • Transfers between Ramnagar, Gairal and Dhikala as per Tour itinerary
  • All entry fees, guide fees and safaris
  • All applicable taxes
Exclusions
  • Any airfare and travel between your home and Ramnagar
  • 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)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
Payment Terms
  • At least INR 15,000 for provisional reservation

  • 100% latest by 30 November 2017 for confirmation of participation on the Tour
Cancellation Fees
  • 30% on or before 14 December 2017
  • 100% on or after 15 December 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 interested in birds, wildlife and/or photography and is above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) can participate in this Tour. There are no 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 to make the most of this Tour photographically, we recommend that you be conversant with at least the basics of photography. If you're not, we strongly recommend you join a Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
  • Why aren't onward and return journeys included in the Tour itinerary?

    Since participants of our Photo Tours converge from various parts of the country - and sometimes even abroad - it works best to originate Tours from the destination itself. However, we provide all requisite assistance with onward and return logistics at extra actual cost to ensure your transit is smooth.
  • By what mode will photography be done on this Tour?

    Photography will be done from an open four-wheel-drive safari vehicle.
  • How sure are you about photographing birds 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.
  • 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 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 elephants 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 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!

    *Equipment rental is subject to availability and feasibility of delivery if you're not travelling from Bangalore or Pune.


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



LOCALE

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

QUICK INFO

  • Date:
    12 to 17 February 2018

  • Tour Cost:
    Indian Individuals
    INR 56,400 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Indian Couples
    INR 1,12,800 1,10,800
    + 5% GST
    Per couple

    Toehold Patrons
    INR 54,900 + 5% GST
    Per person

  • Skipper: Sachin Rai

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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