The Leopard's Lair
Kabini, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve Kabini, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve

Kabini, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve
15 to 17 December 2017
Please note: The forest department has introduced additional lens fees of Rs. 500 plus 18% GST on lenses of focal length 200mm and above. This will be payable extra in cash during the Tour.


  • An authentic wildlife experience with an excellent possibility of leopard encounters and images*
  • An exhilarating time photographing elephants and myriad other wildlife in Kabini's picturesque vistas
  • Pictures of other mammal and avian attractions of Nagarahole
  • Evocative landscape photographs of the Kabini and its fascinating environs
  • Extensive photography and post-processing guidance and natural history learning both on and off the field

*Although chances of leopard encounters are high, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do NOT guarantee sightings.

SThis is a Toehold Popular Tourpotted, skilled and secretive, the leopard is the Houdini of the natural world. And at most times, merely an invisible ghost in the bush.

With the beauty of a mermaid and the magnetic power of a quagmire, it weaves an inescapable web of allure, but with utmost commitment to reclusion, also escapes the prying eye.

So if the leopard has remained only in your imagination and your record of sighting one is spotlessly blank, it's time to stop dreaming and earn your spots.*

How is it?

The jungles of Nagarahole are a year-round attraction to the green-eyed. Composed of mixed deciduous forest, its environs are endowed with mystery, beauty and mesmeric charm, which seep into your veins thick and fast.

Here, the leopard's most visible lair revolves around a river that has made itself synonymous with Nagarahole. Snaking its way pristinely through the Nilgiri Biosphere, 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 green shores, and in the monsoon it explodes into a bouquet of botanical splendour.

Watch what our participants had to say about their experience.

Oscillating between astonishing and humbling, Kabini compels you to reexamine 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.

And Toehold's accomplished Skippers will keep you geared and tuned to convert prospects to results.

What you will see and photograph:

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

But 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. There is consensus that spots seldom come in a more desirable form than on an indolent leopard in its high-rise quarters regarding the affairs below with contempt.

And on occasion, when in a more 'down-to-earth' mood, the sight of it sitting by the track or crossing your path like a poem on legs can stick to your memory cells inseparably.

Read the report of a previous Tour to know what to expect.

Rubbing shoulders with Nagarahole's most famous penthouse-tenant is a multitude of wildlife, including a thriving population of the endangered Asiatic wild dog or 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 ease.

On a boat ride, huge mugger crocodiles can be often seen making warmth while the sun shines, magnificent ospreys - fishing raptors that look quite splendid - perch on open tree stumps as beacons for the yearning photographer, river otters put in an appearance on occasion on their fishing expeditions, ashy wood-swallows, grey herons and large egrets pose enticingly in picturesque light; and droves of gaur, spotted deer and wild boar inhabit the shores, while a stroke of serendipity can even yield the coveted sight of a tiger.

The birds of the forest will complete the riveting act, with white-bellied woodpeckers, changeable hawk- and crested serpent-eagles, nuthatches, rollers, kingfishers and dozens of other species bringing up the numbers, while other animals, like the stripe-necked mongoose and the Bengal monitor lizard, stand up and get counted too.

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.



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

Please note: The Tour commences and ends at Kabini (Karapura). Travel from or via Bangalore and back will be by sharing participants' private cars or shared cabs at extra actual cost. Assistance in the way of coordination and arrangements will be provided but please talk to us for additional help or special needs.

We have the following schedules for this Tour:

17 to 19 November 2017 FULL
15 to 17 December 2017

The itinerary common to the above schedules is as follows:

  •   DAY 1   Friday:   Check-in and First Safari; Overnight at Kabini River Lodge

    After a 4.5-hour-drive from Bangalore, participants reach Kabini by noon. Following a leisurely lunch and a round of introduction to understand one another better, we mull on what's in store for the next two days and embark on our first safari by 4 p.m.

    Navigating through the excellent network of roads in the Nagarahole jungle, 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 2   Saturday:  Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in Kabini

    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 ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    session the previous night.

    Upon our return from the excursion at 9:00 a.m., a hot breakfast will await us, and after satiating our hunger we retreat to our rooms to refresh and rest awhile, meeting again at noon for ChitraTantra
    ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
    , another informative session full of interaction and fun.

    After lunch, perhaps a brief nap and tea, we reenter the forest with more hope for cat luck, let our hair down and make a lot of images of the sights we encounter.

    Having spent a cumulative five hours in the wild for the day, we walk into camp a happy bunch and relate our tales over tea, following which a session of Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    will unfold.

    We tuck in for the night after enjoying an appetizing dinner.

  •   DAY 3   Sunday:  Morning Safari, Check-out and Dispersal

    Hoping for a fitting climax to a great Tour, we embark on the last safari at the usual hour in the morning. And since cat activity is at its peak during the early hours of the day, there is every possibility of the Tour ending on a high note.

    After the safari and breakfast we gather for a final rendezvous before checking out at 11:00 a.m. and setting off for our respective abodes where our families wait to hear our tales.
Indian Individuals
INR 26,700
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
INR 52,000
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 25,700
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 contact us for a quote.

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable, non-air-conditioned tents
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
  • All safaris and entry fees
  • All airfare and transfer expenses between your home and Kabini
  • 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 & lens fees
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
  • All applicable taxes

Payment Terms
  • 100% advance for confirmation of participation for the Tour
Cancellation Fees
  • 10% outside 30 days before the Tour
  • 25% between 29 and 22 days before the Tour
  • 50% between 21 and 15 days before the Tour
  • 75% between 14 and 8 days before the Tour
  • 100% within 7 days before the Tour

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?

    Anybody with an interest in wildlife, photography or both, and is over the age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian) is welcome to join the Tour.
  • 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, to make the most of the Tour, we recommend that you be familiar with the basics of photography. If you're not, kindly consider joining a Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
  • How sure are you about photographing wildlife on this Tour?

    Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours, the local expertise we leverage and the experience of our Skippers, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. The Kabini part of Nagarahole is home to a healthy population of Asiatic elephant and of all the Indian parks, this area offers the best opportunity to photograph a leopard as well. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, sightings - especially of big cats - are NOT guaranteed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    Nagarahole offers equal opportunity for bird and mammal photography. For mammals, especially elephants, a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 70 to 200mm/300mm or 100 to 400mm works very well. Telephoto lenses of greater focal lengths also can be used to good effect for leopards perched in the canopy. For bird photography, a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is usually essential. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is recommended. And since the light conditions in the forest 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. What's more, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Tours! 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 experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of an accomplished 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.


Kabini, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve


  • Date:
    17 to 19 November 2017 FULL
    15 to 17 December 2017

  • Tour Cost:
    Indian Individuals
    INR 26,700 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Indian Couples:
    INR 53,400 52,000 + 5% GST
    Per couple

    Toehold Patrons:
    INR 25,700 + 5% GST
    Per person

    All fares excluding transport to and back from Kabini.

  • Skipper:
    Harsha Narasimhamurthy


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!


We accept all major credit and debit cards.



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