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

Desert Storm - Bird and Wildlife Photography Tour
Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
11 to 14 January 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



  • A four-day photographic fest to one of India's best birding destinations
  • A wealth of bird photography opportunities due to increased bird activity during peak winter
  • A chance to strike many a rare and endangered bird and mammal off your species wish-list
  • Extensive photography assistance on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skipper
  • Enriching interactive sessions on photography, natural history and a range of interesting topics




A wild ass stands silhouetted against a shimmering orange hemisphere, while the piercing gaze of a short-eared owl melts you to pulp. The impossible sweetness of a fox pup gives you a sugar-high, while the might of an eagle fills you with awe.

In its deserts, marshes and meadows, Gujarat blooms in a myriad hues. See it so you may widen your avenues; feel it so in a land of endless possibilities, you transcend the boundaries of your mind; and picture it so you showcase the imponderable.

How is it?

A seasonal salt marsh in the Thar Desert, the Rann - derived from the Hindi word meaning desert - lies sprawled across a massive area on the snout of the Gujarat state lining the Arabian Sea and extends to the neighbouring Sindh province of Pakistan in a glorious sweep.

Originally an overflow lake into which water poured from surrounding rivers in Rajasthan, the enormous pan formed when the lower reaches of the river dried, leaving an endless plain of amazing spectacle and a throbbing wealth of specialized wildlife.

Composed of scrub islets and short grasslands, the Rann, a part of which is even a World Heritage Site, supports a mind-boggling variety of bird life, especially prominent amongst which are the gargantuan flocks of greater and lesser flamingo that flock its open lap in the winter.

And offering excellent visibility, the light of dreams and room to approach birds on foot, the Little Rann of Kutch is a photographer's paradise and represents one of the most exciting areas in the amazing Indian subcontinent to add an impressive list of non-forest avian species to an image library.

What you will see and photograph:

The Little Rann of Kutch is a birder's paradise anytime, but in December and January it peaks as an unparalleled hotbed of avian frenzy.

While the hoopoe lark, cream-coloured courser, Indian courser, short-eared owl and the McQueen's bustard will make you hold your breath, the desert warbler, greater and lesser flamingo, Stolickza's bushchat, common crane, long-legged buzzard, common sandgrouse, greater short-toed lark and the highly threatened sociable lapwing will leave you breathless. The list of raptors is rich and may include merlin, peregrine falcon, steppe eagle, imperial eagle and several species of harriers.

Meanwhile the mammal life is far from left behind. For donkey's years, the enduring image of LRK has been an animal that may have less grace than a horse but possesses twice its kick - the Indian wild ass, also called the khur.

Classified by the IUCN as 'endangered', it has a sanctuary named after it, and is the most ubiquitous and recognizable big mammal of the Little Rann. Sporting chestnut-and-white livery and a neat black mane outlining its silhouette, it feeds between dawn and dusk. Certainly no slouch like its domestic cousin is often depicted, it can sprint at a breezy 80 kilometres an hour such as when chasing rivals out of mating contention on the plains, kicking up golden dust in its wake and sending you on a direct flight to photographic heaven.

And a dose of fortune can yield the most coveted sight of an Indian wolf, while an extra dose of it can produce an elusive encounter with a desert fox.

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

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: The Tour begins on 11 January 2018 and ends on 14 January at the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK). Group transfers from Ahmedabad to LRK and back are NOT included in the Tour cost and will be arranged in shared cabs at actual cost.

  •   DAY 1    11 January 2018, Thursday: Arrival, First Safari and Overnight in LRK

    Gathering at the Ahmedabad airport, we drive to LRK and check in by lunch. Shortly, the Tour Skipper will moderate a mutual introduction session and orient the group to what may be expected during the coming excursions.

    Later, we embark on our first safari on the great plains, seeking what beginner's luck may yield. We also spend time acquainting ourselves with the topography of the region and learn about bird behaviour to be better equipped to handle opportunities over the coming days.

    After hopefully a productive excursion, we return to the lodge and enjoy the Tour's first interactive session, we call ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    . This is a great opportunity to pick up the little nuances of photography that make a big difference, and we seek to make full use of it before treating ourselves to a scrumptious supper and retiring.

  •   DAY 2    12 January, Friday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in LRK

    Making an early start, we venture into LRK looking for all the usual targets and seek to make portraits and habitat images of birds in glorious early morning sunlight. After hopefully a productive session, we return to camp and breakfast.

    After a brief repose, we meet for another interactive session we call ChitraTantra
    ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
    , before lunching and setting out on an afternoon safari. Late afternoons are great for birding and we look for avian attractions as we snake around the tracks looking for opportunities to apply some of the concepts discussed during the session in the afternoon.

    Upon our return and tea, we meet for another session of ChitraTantra before dinner.

  •   DAY 3    13 January, Saturday: Morning and Afternoon Safaris and Overnight in LRK

    We enjoy morning and afternoon safaris in LRK, following the same schedule as on the previous day, looking to make beautiful images of several species. In the evening we enjoy yet another interactive session called Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    , which is bound to keep you riveted, before hitting the sack.

  •   DAY 4    14 January, Sunday: Checkout and Dispersal

    After one last morning ride in LRK, we breakfast, and check out after the customary group picture, with several memorable moments and gigabytes of images to cherish.



Individuals
INR 33,500
5% GST Extra
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Couples
INR 65,000
5% GST Extra
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 32,000
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 comfortable rooms unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea) for Tour duration
  • All entry fees, guide fees and safaris
Exclusions
  • Any airfare
  • Transfers to LRK and back
  • 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
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
Payment Terms
  • 50% advance on confirmation of participation for the Tour
  • 100% payment on or before 5 November 2017
Cancellation Fees
  • 10% on or before 24 November 2017
  • 25% between 25 and 31 October 2017
  • 50% between 1 and 7 November 2017
  • 75% between 8 and 14 November 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 the Tour photographically, we suggest you be familiar with at least the basics. If you aren't, we recommend you join a Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
  • How many participants will share each vehicle on safaris on this Tour?

    Our Photo Tours are designed to provide you sufficient space for comfortable photography without being excessively taxing on your pocket, so you can expect a maximum of three other people (including the participants and the Skipper) apart from the driver, in your vehicle.
  • 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 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.
  • 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. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    Considering the nature of the subjects and shooting conditions expected on this Tour, a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is considered necessary, with longer focal lengths being welcome. A beanbag is strongly recommended to shoot both from inside the vehicle as well as outside.
  • I do not have the 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 enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!




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



LOCALE

Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

QUICK INFO

  • Date : 11 to 14 January 2018

  • Tour Cost
    Indian Nationals:
    INR 33,500 + 5% GST
    Per person

    Indian Couples:
    INR 67,000 65,000 + 5% GST
    Per couple

    Toehold Patrons:
    INR 32,000 + 5% GST
    Per person

    All fares excluding flights

  • Skipper: Rahul Sachdev

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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