It is named after a goddess and a river flowing through it. Haven to over 65 keystone species, its landscapes are empyrean, as in which a hermit would love to attain his salvation. It is beautiful and alluring, and generous and rewarding.
And so if your best sighting of a tiger so far has been a dim blur lasting a few seconds, it is time to visit this Tiger Temple and be blessed.
- An authentic wildlife experience over five days and eight safaris in a prime tiger reserve
- Possibly excellent photo opportunities of tigers and other attractions of Tadoba
- Beautiful landscape images of Tadoba’s environs
- Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field
- A wealth of natural history learning with Toehold’s Skipper
- A fun and highly interactive environment without barriers
Large lakes lie amidst lush meadows, rustic charming paths snake sensuously through aesthetic bamboo thickets, and a serpentine river flows with silken grace through deep valleys below cliffs and caves in Maharashtra’s oldest and largest National Park, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.
Spread over 625km2 in the Chandrapur district over plains in the southern part to hills ranging from 200 metres to over 300 metres up north, the habitat is rich and varied, as befits the emperor who graces this precious land.
Predominantly comprising tropical dry deciduous forest, Tadoba is teak country, with the crocodile bark tree, tendu and mahua prominent amongst the other botanical species. From January to March, the flame of the forest tree explodes into a riot of colour, painting the tiger-downtown red. The park is rich in wetland, too, and the Tadoba and Kolsa lakes and the Andhari River support reptiles and marsh vegetation. The scene is a balm to sore eyes and a song to a parched heart, so if you love the joy of life, you will love Tadoba.
With an ochre form, flaming eyes, and a mystique that is a slap in the face of finiteness, the royal Bengal tiger dominates the brochure of Tadoba and nets people of all ages in its inescapable charm hook, line and sinker once you’ve jumped into its whirlpool of compelling allure.
The tiger here haunts the alleyways of Telia, the cul-de-sacs of Kolsa and the precincts of Pandherpauni, and often, it doesn’t shy away from helping itself to some air-time with adoring audiences.
And so, whether it’s a tender cub that has just met the light of the day, its sinuous single mother, a handsome adolescent or a massive male who has seen many a ruthless summer, Tadoba is just the place where you can nurture your striped dreams.
But the tiger is just the icing on a cake that has a melange of flavours.
Lower down in the food chain is a rich variety of mammals including the chowsingha or four-horned antelope, gaur and nilgai. Sloth bear and the tiger’s predatory foes, the leopard and the Indian wild dog or dhole, sometimes put in a surprise-appearance, while the small carnivores include the small Indian civet and the jungle cat.
In the insect department, there is the signature spider and giant and red wood spiders, while crab, wolf and lynx spiders are on the map too.
The highlight of the reptilian family is the marsh or mugger crocodile, which finds sanctuary in the waters of the Tadoba lake, while the Indian terrapin and star tortoise give it cordial company. Avian life, as in most of India, is bountiful, with nearly 200 species recorded.
It is a full house indeed.
Please note: The Tour commences at Nagpur on the morning of day one and ends at Nagpur on the afternoon of day five. Group transfers between Nagpur and Tadoba on both ways in shared cabs will be arranged at extra actual cost.
8 January 2020, Wednesday
Following your arrival and a scrumptious luncheon, a round of mutual introduction will ensue, after which your Skipper will brief the group on the natural history features and tourist rules of the park and set the tone for the Tour.
Then it’s time for the much-awaited first safari, during which we acquaint ourselves with the topographical features of Tadoba. A dash of beginner’s luck can yield the coveted sight of a tiger early on the trip, kicking the event off to a rollicking start, but even if feline fortune doesn’t shine through yet, the beauty all around is bound to enthrall us with plenty of time remaining on the Tour to see and photograph the principal object of our pursuit.
After our maiden foray into the forest, we return to camp, where the Tour’s first interactive ChaayaaChitra session will ensue. These unique Toehold sessions, which are highly fruitful and great fun, are reported by earlier participants to be as enjoyable as the safaris themselves and are likely to entertain as much as educate you.
Having spent a noteworthy day replete with exploration, photography and frolic, we enjoy a scrumptious supper before hitting the sack for the night with dreams of what lies ahead.
9 January, Thursday
After an early morning wakeup call opens the day, we reach the park gate at the earliest possible, with the view of being the first to enter when it opens. This will allow us to look for pugmarks and other fresh signs of any tiger movement to track the big cats, and also put us in a vantage position for viewing and photography, should a tiger materialize. Tigers are at their most active during the early hours of dawn and late hours of dusk, so we seek to utilize the first hour of the ride to the most.
During the safari we seek to watch and photograph not only tigers but also many other inhabitants of this precious ecosystem.
Following a brief repose, we meet for a session of ChitraTantra, where your Skipper will impart a wealth of useful photography tips, tricks and techniques. Intriguing and interactive, this discussion is bound to open your eyes to many new things you can try on the rides to come.
Lunch will be followed by the second safari. Afternoons are great for bird-watching, and while we wait for tigers to start moving, we have a great time photographing some of the winged attractions of Tadoba.
Meanwhile your Skipper will constantly monitor the situation and strategize with the guide and the driver to maximize tiger sighting opportunities all the same.
Before enjoying a scrumptious supper and retiring for the night, we are educated and entertained through a CharchaaLoka session facilitated by the Skipper.
10 and 11 January, Friday and Saturday
For the next two days, we follow the same schedule with variations in strategy and approach if and as required. Your Skipper will always be thinking a step ahead and will collaborate with the drivers and naturalists to take strategic decisions both proactively and driven by need, in an effort to achieve a rewarding time.
12 January, Sunday
We venture into the park for one final throw of the dice in the way of a morning safari. Upon our return, having completed a fruitful stint in the Tiger Temple, we depart Tadoba after breakfast for our abodes with a myriad of pictures and memories.
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable rooms
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee/tea) for Tour duration
- All entry fees, guide fees and safaris
What’s Not Included?
- All airfare and transfer expenses between your home and Tadoba
- 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 (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
- At least 50% of the Tour fee for provisional reservation
- Remainder of the Tour fee before 29 August 2019
- 50% of the Tour fee on or before 28 August 2019
- 100% of the Tour fee on or after 29 August 2019
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
While Toehold Photo Travel is one of our most popular offerings, we work as a travel agency without bringing the photography guide element in to your travel. In short you would be using our travel experts service to just plan the vacation and execute it.
- Unlike a Photo Travel experience, your Vacation is completely personalised.
- The dates, style of travel, class of hotels and lodges, destinations, everything is tailor-made to suit your custom requirement.
- A Skipper or a photography guide doesn’t travel with you to guide you unless you decide to take our customised and guided photo travel experience.
So take advantage of the immense experience and field knowledge that we bring in to your Vacation’s planning without having to pay for our time and costs. Plus, we don’t charge an additional fee for our time and travel planning services.
Who should participate in this Tour? Are there any eligibility criteria?
Anybody interested in 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 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 this Tour photographically, we suggest that you be familiar with at least the fundamentals of photography. If you are not, we strongly recommend you sign up for an Art and Science of Photography Workshop first.
What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?
For tigers 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.
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.
Why aren't onward and return journeys included in the Tour itinerary?
Since participants of our Tours travel from various parts of the country by different modes (road, rail and air) as per their individual preferences, it works best to originate Tours from the destinations. We, however, provide all the assistance you need in arranging your logistics, at actual costs.
How many people can I expect to share my vehicle with on safari?
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 and the mandatory forest department guide. All safaris will be in open 4×4 vehicles.
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 are guaranteed.
I am not into photography at all but am interested in wildlife. Can I participate?
Even though the Tour is designed especially for photography enthusiasts, the focus of the Tour is as much on the wildlife and natural history of Tadoba as on photography. Therefore, even if you are a wildlife enthusiast not into photography, we think you will enjoy the Tour all the same and should certainly participate.
How do I reach Tadoba?
You may take a morning flight to Nagpur (from where Tadoba is 3 hours by road) or a train to Chandrapur (30 minutes to Tadoba). Various flight and train options are available depending on your city of origin. Talk to us for further advice.
I do not have the requisite equipment. What should 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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer. What’s better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!
A regular travel company gives you a readily available package, but with Toehold you can be rest assured that you get your typical vacation with wildlife plugged. Also they give you the best and affordable accommodations; I think that is unique about them.
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!
I had never been on a photography trip before and so was apprehensive that I would feel out of place among photographers but I was proven totally wrong. The ‘Skippers’ made me totally comfortable and helped me with the most basic of my camera settings.
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.