Kabini, India

The Leopard's Lair

Spotted, 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.

Dates:

18 to 20 May 2018 FULL

1 to 3 June 2018

Skippers:

Phillip Ross (May)

Harsha Narasimhamurthy (Jun)

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

  • 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.

How is it?

Mixed deciduous forest snaking through Nilgiri Biosphere, home to abundant wildlife.

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What you will see and photograph?

In the dominance of green environs, tigers, leopards, elephants, wild dogs, otters, crocodiles, monitor lizards and numerous birds.

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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.

Harsha Narasimhamuthy

His reverence for creatures of the forests marked the beginning of young Harsha Narasimhamurthy’s journeys to National Parks in South India, followed by his devotion to document his experiences as photographs.

We had a lovely time during the trip. Thank you for all the efforts in making it memorable and fruitful! We look forward to being on another photo tour with you soon! - Ashwin Kumar N, Mumbai
Thank you so so much for everything; you guys are the best skippers ever! I had an absolutely amazing time on the trip; everything was so well organised and taken care of. Can't wait to go for the next one! - Neelu Pilania, Singapore
Every impression I had of the north-east was superceeded by visuals seen on this tour. Thanks to Toehold to have helped me bring back these visuals. - Krisha Murali, Bengaluru
Being my first wildlife tour, I was not only enjoying the game but also the immense confidence build that Toehold influenced when it comes to photography. - Supriya Pathak, Mumbai
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.
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 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 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, 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 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.

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.
Individuals
INR 26,700 *
Couples ††
INR 52,000 *
Toehold Patrons
INR 25,700 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

  • 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
  • 100% advance for confirmation of participation for the Tour
  • 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.
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