Corbett, India

Wild Riches of the Lower Himalaya

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.

Dates:

19 to 24 March 2018

Skipper:

Phillip Ross

Why go on a Toehold Tour?

Planned to maximise

photo opportunities

Led by ace

photographers

Over 100 years'

collective experience

Hands-on assistance

on and off the field

Image reviews

and presentations

Photography gear

on rent

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

How is it?

India's first National Park, Corbett is a breathtaking wild refuge harbouring a sensational variety of free life.

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What you will see and photograph

Tigers as individuals; not just as animals.

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About your Skipper

Phillip Ross

Phillip Ross is without doubt the 'little master' of wildlife photography. Still young and already boasting an astounding portfolio, Phillip exudes the same precocity and talent as the big cats he is famously known to share a special relationship with.

I had a great time on the Toehold tour. They took care of all the logistics so all I had to do was enjoy myself! The evening sessions were great fun and I got to interact with a lot of like-minded people. I'm already planning for my next trip with Toehold! - Ritwick Sharma, Mumbai
I went on a tour with Toehold to a destination I was so familiar with but ended up learning a lot more things than I already knew. Great bunch of young pros. - Gopal Basu, Kolkatta
My young boys learnt so much about photography and wildlife that the dining table is full of stories and technical jargons of photography. - Suchitra K, Kolkatta
Toehold injects a lot of interest in youngsters about photography and natural history. Wish them all the best! - Pradeep Kenchappa, Bengaluru

Please note:

This tour will begin on the morning of 19 March 2018 at Ramnagar and end at Ramnagar in the evening on 24 March. We suggest an overnight train or a shared taxi between Delhi and Ramnagar on the nights of 18 March and 24 March.

DAY 1   March 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 session with our expert Skipper.

DAY 2   20 March, 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   21 March, 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 will help you get your photos reviewed and incorporate improvements into your photography and digital post-production processing techniques.

DAYS 4 and 5    22 and 23 March, 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 session facilitated by the Skipper.

DAY 6    24 March, 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.

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.

On or before 30 December 2017 (Schedule 1 and 2)

Individuals
INR 56,400 *
Couples ††
INR 1,10,800 *
Toehold Patrons
INR 54,900 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
  • 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
  • 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
  • At least INR 15,000 for provisional reservation

  • 100% latest by 4 December 2017 for confirmation of participation on the Tour
  • 30% on or before 18 January 2018
  • 100% on or after 19 January 2018

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.
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