Sundarbans

The mystical mangroves of Sundarbans is arguably one of the most fascinating wilderness to witness the Tiger.

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Sundarbans Wildlife Tour Packages

Wildlife group tours, photography tours or customised itineraries.
Kabini Skipper Speaker

As the boat meanders through the intricate waterways of the mystic mangrove forests, everyone scrutinises the surrounding creeks and islands for any trace of the fierce, majestic and coveted big cat – even pugmarks. Suddenly, a chital alarm call is heard and the Skipper and the guide quickly exchange a curt look. Every pumping heart feels the adrenaline rush, every mind wonders if the moment they have all waited for has finally arrived on the Sundarbans wildlife tour. The boat pivots and drifts towards the direction of the call.

The engine is turned off. After a pregnant pause, the elusive Royal Bengal tiger emerges out of the creek and parades on the shoreline. Then, like an olympic diver, it enters the water hardly making a splash. It swims across the channel and comes onto the other coast. It strolls for a while. Then, it glances at the boat one final prolonged time and disappears into the mangroves again. The patronus charm of the Sundarbans National Park is seen no more and the mystic mangroves are engulfed in silence once again!

An alluring UNESCO World Heritage Site, located about 120 km from Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal, the Sundarbans are a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the mighty rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna. 1330 square km in area, this prime kingdom of the Royal Bengal Tiger holds the status of being the largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world.

The Sundarbans are not just the world’s largest mangrove swamp forests, but an enthralling biosphere hosting a plethora of stunning wildlife, including land and aquatic mammals, birds, and reptiles. Over here, the tiger is not just an enigmatic ghost, but a living symbol and incarnation of power, grace and supremacy that everyone on a Sundarbans tiger safari wishes to see.

These ancient mystical forests, cradled by the rhythm of the tides, embraced by long eerie silences, and populated by Sundari trees, from where their name ‘Sundarbans’ derives, are truly irreplaceable wild havens supporting an equally invaluable ecosystem!

Quick Information

Best time to Visit:
Sep-May

Recommended min. duration:
3 nights/4 days

Attractions:
Tigers, Leopard Cats, Jungle Cats,
Fishing Cats, Dolphins,
8 species of Kingfishers
Giant Saltwater Crocodiles

Activities:
Wildlife Boat Safari
Tiger Photography

Nearest Airports:
Kolkata

From our Blog
Here are our Big Cat Photography tips for safaris and the tricks of the trade, to help to make better, more striking, and memorable images of Tigers and Leopards Read More >>

Our Sundarbans Tours

Upcoming Departures

Swamp Tiger Trail – 7N/8D

Wildlife Photo Safari Tour

Cost: Starting INR 74,500/- + GST

Skipper: Harsha Narasimhamurty

View Itinerary

Register Now

Swamp Tiger Trail – 7N/8D

Wildlife Photo Safari Tour

Cost: Starting INR 74,500/- + GST

Skipper: Harsha Narasimhamurty

View Itinerary

Register Now

Reviews by Tour Participants

We cater to 3 different kinds of Sundarbans travellers. Which one are you?

There are three different ways to explore Sundarbans. Depending on the kind of traveller you are, we welcome you to choose your preferred Sundarbans wildlife tour package.

Sundarbans Photography Group Tours

Our team of ace photographers will guide you on exciting Sundarbans Photography Tours to ensure you come back with not only great travel memories but also some stunning photographs.

Upcoming Departures

Sundarbans Wildlife Group Tours

Exploring the world with like-minded nature-lovers is surely an exciting human experience. Our fixed departure Sundarbans Wildlife Tour Packages are a safe and fun way to travel for individuals or families alike.

Upcoming Departures

Sundarbans Customised Vacations

For families and individuals who want a tailor-made holiday to suit their personal needs, we invite you to explore our vast array of packages.

Get in touch with us to customise your departure!

Why let us arrange your trip?

At Toehold, we are passionate about travel and photography just as you are, which lets us understand your needs and travails perfectly. And we use our insight and experience to plan your vacation to perfection, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself and make memories for a lifetime. Here are just some reasons you should leave your next holiday to us:

Precise Customisation

It’s your holiday, so you tell us how you want it, and we’ll customise it to your exact expectations, down to every possible detail, just short of what fragrance of air-freshener you’d prefer in your cab.

Expert Advice

Not clear about what you want or how to make the most of your vacation? Pick our brains and make an informed decision about how you’d like to spend your precious holiday, and then just prepare for a rollicking time.

Unmatched Experience

With partnerships with the best people in the field and a stellar logistical network, we ensure no holds are barred in helping you enjoy an enriching and memorable experience.

Flawless Orchestration

Once the plan is set, you can count on us to make your experience a flawless pleasure. A star may implode or a planet may go out of orbit, but you can rest assured your tour will motor on without a glitch.

Sundarbans National Park

An intricate network of tidal streams and channels connecting mangrove forests – the primeval home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

The Sundarbans National Park is home to over 450 wildlife species, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians! This world dances to the beat and tunes of the tides and on a Sundarbans safari, animal sightings depend on these cyclical changes.

During the low tides, many of the river banks are exposed, resulting in a lot of crustaceans, mudskippers and insects coming out which attract their predators such as the shore birds, the rhesus macaques, the crocodiles etc.

The low tide period also boosts the chances of spotting a tiger march or swim between islands or creeks. The tigers move during the high tides as well, but it is much harder to spot them as they are moving internally and not by the shoreline.

Sundarbans Wildlife Tour Packages
A female Tiger crossing a creek in the Sundarbans

What you can expect in a Sundarbans wildlife tour package?

The Royal Bengal Tiger, 8 species of kingfishers and other wildlife.

The most coveted animal on a Sundarbans safari is undoubtedly the majestic big cat and the apex predator – the Royal Bengal Tiger. Spotting this enigmatic cat parading the shore of these coastal forests or swimming across its intricate network of channels is a wondrous, awe-inspiring experience!

But, the mystic mangroves are also home to some other iconic species such as the Gangetic river dolphin, the snubfin dolphin and the estuarine crocodile. While scanning the region for a tiger, you may also chance upon other elusive small cat species such as the fishing cat, the jungle cat and the leopard cat.

Some other prized sightings at the Sundarbans are green sea turtles, monitor lizards and king cobras. And last, but not the least, Sundarbans is a birder’s paradise too, hosting almost 250 bird species, including lesser adjutant storks, spoonbills, darters, seagulls, lesser whistling teals, partridges, wimbrails, curlews, ruddy shelducks, mangrove whistlers, buffy fish-owls, brown-fish owls, spotted owlets and more!

And to top this incredible gamut, the main avian highlights of the Sundarbans are the eight kingfishers varieties!

Black Capped Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher, Sundarbans
A Spotted Deer in the mangroves

The common kingfisher, also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or the river kingfisher is a sparrow-sized bird, characterised by its blue upper-parts, orange underparts and a long bill. The stork-billed kingfisher is larger than a common kingfisher and is a tree kingfisher. It has a long, bright-red bill, green back, blue wings and red legs. The ruddy kingfisher has a rust-coloured body and a red beak. It is a winter immigrant in the Sundarbans.

 The pied kingfisher is a species of water kingfisher and is easily identified thanks to its black and white plumage and crest. The white-throated kingfisher, also known as the white-breasted kingfisher is arguably the most common kingfisher species, featuring a brown head, blue wings and white chest.

The collared kingfisher or mangrove kingfisher, like the name suggests, has a white collar, a black bill and blue plumage with a greenish tinge. In India, the brown-winged kingfisher has mainly been recorded in coastal regions such as the Sundarbans and the Bhitarkanika National Parks. It has a golden-brown head, dark brown body and a long, bright-red beak. The black-capped kingfisher has a black head contrasted with a white throat, purple-blue wings and is mainly found in coastal regions.

Perhaps, the most intriguing part about the Sundarbans is man’s dynamic relationship with these mangrove forests. The native fishermen community’s livelihood depends on these mangroves. They risk their lives everyday when they go out to fish, and while we wait for a tiger to emerge out of a creek, we sometimes see these fishermen fishing on the opposite side!

The other intriguing part about the Sundarbans is that tigers here perhaps perceive human beings as prey. Hence, our interaction with the tigers of Sundarbans is very different from that of the denizens of central Indian parks.

Sighting a tiger prowling Kanha’s open meadows or cooling off in Ranthambore’s Rajbagh lake, or tiger cubs gambolling in the tall grasses of Telia in Tadoba, is already an exhilarating affair. But a tryst with a Sundarbans tiger, the moments when it looks into your frame or locks eyes with you or just effortlessly paddles its way through the water, experiencing its flair is truly awesome because there is the sense of our lives at stake!

People who operate Sundarbans wildlife tours are extremely wary and vigilant about the tiger. No one is allowed to get down anywhere and the boat, when anchored, is not by the edge of the creek since there is always the imminent threat of a tiger lurking nearby.

Our Skippers and guides have years of experience in the Sundarbans. They have learned to trust their gut and know where to spend time looking for the tigers where there are a few males who wander around and a few females with cubs!

The chief focus on the Sundarbans phototour would be on the tiger, and while the majority of our time is spent searching for one, we will get to see other animals such as leopard cats, fishing cats, jungle cats, Irrawaddy dolphins and so on.

Please note: A large part of this Sundarbans wildlife tour goes in long hours of searching and waiting. For people expecting hourly action and spotting numerous tiger individuals, such as in the case of a central Indian forest expedition, we don’t recommend this tour.

This tour is for advanced nature lovers who are willing to be patient to witness something quite rare – a tiger in the Sundarbans. Most tourists consider themselves lucky even if they spot one tiger in the entire week! If you are one such person who is hungrier than the tides, then this Sundarbans photo tour is for you!

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

We ensure maximum care and protection while traveling in the post-COVID scenario. We certainly think you have to be extra-careful and follow rules and regulations. Please consult your general physician or doctor before you make this decision.
That’s quite easy. It depends on what your interest is. If you are a photography enthuisast and would like our skipper’s guidance and tutelage, then Photo Tour. Else hop on to a group tour where photography isn’t the focus of the trip. Finally, we can tailor-make a vacation for you if you need to travel on your own date and style.

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 focused.

Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your vacation.
You may certainly take your young child, but we don’t recommend taking infants and very small children on safari. Please talk to us for more information.
Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too for anyone who requires assistance.

Of course! Please talk to our capable Camera Rent team or mention what gear you’d like to hire while registering for the tour. Guess what? We offer you a 10% off on camera rent while on the tour.

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 recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.

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Swamp Tiger Trail - Sundarbans Wildlife Photo Tour

OCT 30 - NOV 6, 2022

Sundarbans Photo Tour

Skipper: Harsha Narasimhamurthy

JAN 11-18,2023

Sundarbans Photo Tour

Skipper: Harsha Narasimhamurthy

Tour Itinerary

Please note: This Group Tour will begin and end in Kolkata, on the morning of day 1 and ends at Kolkata on the evening of day 8

We recommend participants to arrive in Kolkata the previous night (Day 0). Our transfers to Sundarbans from Kolkata from around the Airport area begins at 7:00AM. We stop for breakfast and shopping on the way and arrive at Gadkhali by 11:00AM approximately, from where we board our boat to kick start the cruise to reach our lodge deeper in to the ecosystem.

Following your arrival and a scrumptious lunch on the boat, 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.

The agenda for the day is to arrive by lunch and go on our first afternoon boating, enter the jungle and have a short afternoon in the Sundarbans and rest before our busy week begins.

Our day starts before sunrise as we head to our boats and resume our exploration of the mystic mangrove forests. Tigers are at their most active during the early hours of dawn and late hours of dusk, so we seek to utilise the first hour of the day to the most and optimise our tiger sighting chances.

The entire day will be spent to watch and photograph not only tigers, but all the wild inhabitants of this priceless ecosystem. Your Skipper will constantly 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 days to come.

Your Skipper will also constantly monitor the situation and strategize with the guide to maximize tiger sighting opportunities all the same.

For the next 5 days, we follow the same schedule with variations in strategy and approach if and when required. Your Skipper will always be thinking a step ahead and will collaborate with the guides to take strategic decisions both proactively and driven by need, in an effort to maximise sightings.

We venture into the intricate waterways of the Sundarbans for a couple of final hours to take our last chances of wildlife sightings. Upon our return, having completed a thrilling expedition, we sail to Gadkhali – the jetty where we disembark and from which we drive back to Kolkata and depart for our abodes with myriad pictures and memories.

We expect to be dropped back to Kolkata by 4:00PM. You can book a flight post 6:00PM to your destination.

Please note: Your Skipper may, at his discretion, amend the itinerary for the better, depending on prevailing circumstances. 

Cost & Terms

Regular Price

INR 74,500
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

Couples

INR 1,47,000
  • Per Couple on Twin Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

INR 72,500
  • Per Person on Twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

All figures per person.

Cancellation Fees

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Anybody with an interest in wildlife and over the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) is welcome to participate.

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.

Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t experienced themselves, our Group Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of an experienced naturalist. The common ingredients in all our Group Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are nature lovers, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.

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 were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings – especially of leopards – are guaranteed.

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 – especially of big cats – are guaranteed.

For Leopards and other mammals, a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 100 to 400mm works very well. Sometimes, when leopards and other wildlife are far, and for birds, a longer lens can come in more than handy. 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. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is recommended. And since we may do some nocturnal photography, an image-stabilized lens and a camera body that performs well at high sensitivities are boons.

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 20% discount on all equipment hired on our Toehold Outdoors Group Tours!

The Great Migration: Kenya Wildlife Group Tour

AUG 20-26 2022

Skipper: Harsha Narasimhamurthy

Tour Itinerary

Please note: The Tour commences at Nairobi on 20 August 2022, at around 06:30 a.m., and ends after breakfast on 26 August. On day 1 you may either take a flight that reaches Nairobi in time for the start the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in Nairobi (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee.

Talek River Area, Masai Mara

Checking out from our Nairobi hotel after an early breakfast, we pick up the participants arriving this morning (if any) and make our way to the heart of the Migration action, the legendary Masai Mara, which we reach by afternoon.

After lunch close to the entrance of the Mara, we start our first game drive en route to our first destination around the lodge area.

The transitory herds may be seen very close to the lodge and sometimes a little further away but there is no chance of missing them. Feeling our way around, we will understand the current state of the Migration.

After the drive, we check in to exclusive and cosy tents at the first camp of the Tour, the lodge. Once fresh, we exchange notes about our initial observations and experiences, and hear insights from the Skipper about his strategy for the rest of the Tour ahead before dining and retreating to our rooms to tuck in for the night.

The lodge is a lovely property located stunningly, right near the Talek River, which is one of the two rivers (the other being the Mara River itself) which the migratory herds cross. Ergo, this property has been deliberately and carefully chosen to give us quick and easy access to all the action.

We spend the whole day looking for crossings as well as predator and other action, while the Skipper takes a call on returning to the lodge for lunch based on the prevailing situation.

In the evening the Skipper will bring you a photography session to help brush up on your basics and make sure you’re equipped to do justice to the opportunities coming up, before you enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire for the night.

Mara Triangle, Masai Mara

Having explored the Talek River side, it’s now time to proceed to the celebrated Mara Triangle area and look for action around the Mara River, so after a morning drive around the Talek, we cross over to the Triangle and check in to the delightful lodge.

After lunch we enjoy an introductory ride in the area before returning to the lodge for another interactive session, we call ChitraTantra, before supper and sleep.

We enjoy the next three days in the very heart of the Migration around Serena and the Mara River, leveraging the Skipper’s rich experience to get to the right places and make memorable, meaningful images to capture the scale and wonder of the dramas unfolding before us.

Every morning we start at 06:30 a.m. after an early breakfast and hope to catch action in the quintessentially spectacular savannah light and after the post-lunch afternoon safari, return after sunset to unwind.

In the evenings, the Skipper will continue to bring the fabulously entertaining and educative interactive sessions, including a third kind of session we call CharchaaLoka, where valuable photography advice including shooting techniques, camera settings and post-processing tips; fascinating natural history insights; image critique; post-processing tips, and some riveting and funny anecdotes will be imparted!

After having spent a hopefully eventful time photographing the Migration in the Mara, we check out after breakfast and return to Nairobi by lunch, whence we take the departing flights for our abodes, where a wealth of images will be processed and many captivating stories told to our families.

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Cost & Terms

Individuals

USD 3390
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

Couples

USD 6780
  • Per Couple on Twin Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

USD3290
  • Per Person on Twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

Cancellation Fees

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport, valid yellow fever vaccination card and proof of polio vaccination, there are no other requirements. However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.

Yes; vaccination against polio and yellow fever is mandatory in many countries including India. Please talk to us for advice on how to get one.

Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, and polio vaccination is valid for a year. Please check your vaccination cards to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tour and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. Also, the exhaustive itinerary should offer ample opportunities for a productive time. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we stop just short of claiming that sightings are guaranteed.
A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds. 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 any equipment you hire for the Tour. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.

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.

Best of Kenya: Wildlife Group Tour

22-29 MAY 2023

7N/8D Group Tour

Tour Itinerary

Nairobi

Since participants of this Tour travel from various destinations in India and abroad, the Tour commences at Nairobi at around 06:30 a.m. You may take a flight that reaches Nairobi before that time the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in Nairobi (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee.

May 2023 – Please arrive on 21 May 2023 any time. (Hotel Night Additional)
Please note: This is not a photography tour and we would have 6 People in a LandCruiser. If you wish to join our Photography Tour with only 3 People in a LandCruiser guided by our ace photographers please consider the Photo Tour.

Amboseli National Park

Our fleet of safari vehicles carrying our Skipper and the park guides will pick participants who have landed in the morning from the Nairobi Airport, and participants who have arrived a day earlier from their hotels, at around 06:30 a.m. Once everybody is on board, we undertake a four-hour drive to Amboseli National Park. A mutual introduction session and a brief by the skipper to set basic expectations for the tour will be followed by lunch.

After lunch will ensue our first safari of the tour – recipe for a memorable moment for any first-time Africa visitor and something that, even after all these visits, gets the skipper’s adrenaline pumping. Driving through the park will acquaint you with the African landscape and give you but a glimpse of the exciting time ahead.

An entire memorable day will be spent out in the picturesque expanses of Amboseli, where views of elephants with the magnificent Kilimanjaro in the backdrop have been specially designed by nature to enthrall. Apart from the pachyderms, we are likely to photograph ostriches, hyaenas, lions, cheetahs and a whole lot of attractive wildlife.

In the evening, the skipper will deliver a ChaayaaChitra session before a satiating supper and shuteye call a closure to the eventful day.

Lake Nakuru National Park

After breakfast, we depart for Nakuru. Arriving just before lunch, we embrace our home for the next two days overlooking the beautiful Lake Nakuru. Following a scrumptious lunch, we embark on the afternoon safari, seeking the chief spectacle of the flamingo congregation and over 400 other species of birds found here.

In the evening we enjoy a tribal dance and celebration before an appetizing supper, and retire for the day.

Setting off after breakfast, we spend as much time in the park as we can in order to sight the plentiful wildlife of Nakuru. The early morning drive will be followed by lunch and an evening safari.

This being an excellent location to see the elusive leopard, we take our chances to spot the spotted beauty of Nakuru. Efforts will also be made to photograph white rhinos and black rhinos.

Between the rides, we meet at the picturesque Baboon Hill overlooking the lake and its flamingo formations, and discuss various topics of nature photography and the natural history of Africa. Meanwhile, here, ultra wide-angle perspectives of baboons, a fixture atop the hill, are a distinct prospect.

For participants who want to relax and take the afternoon easy, the beautiful lodge with plenty of trees and a great restaurant is a fabulous place to rest.

A rivetting session of ChitraTantra by the skipper before dinner will be a fitting, erudite way of ending the enriching day.

Masai Mara Game Reserve

After breakfast, a pleasant drive across the dramatic Great Rift Valley brings you through the Narok Township, a major Maasai administrative centre, to Kenya’s most precious wildlife sanctuary, Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara is home to the colorful Maasai tribe, who may be seen around the borders of the park, with Morans (‘warriors’) loping across the plains, young boys herding goats, or elders grouped under a tree discussing the matters of the day.

Wildlife viewing is never dull in the Mara, and patience is often rewarded with unique sightings. By now hopefully the group will have been acquainted with the African bush, so we seek to make the most of the bounty on offer.

Staying inside the park will ensure a great experience and early access to photography hotspots, so we may catch a lion pride gearing up for a hunt or a solitary leopard retrieving its kill from the high branches of an Acacia tree merely a few hundred metres from the camp.

Every morning while at Masai Mara, we start our day with packed breakfast at 06:30 a.m. and venture into the bush. For participants who are agreeable to spending the entire day in the field, packed lunch boxes will be provided to keep us going the whole day, thereby maximizing wildlife viewing and photography opportunities.

An occasional afternoon shower may be encountered but this will in no way mean a dampener, for the animals continue to be seen and what’s more, it will open up the prospect of making evocative images of wildlife in the rain. And when the clouds have passed, the light that illuminates the scene can serve to illustrate the meaning of the word ‘ethereal’ better than any lexicon in the world.

Meeting at specific points in the savannah, we learn and discuss various topics on photography and natural history of Africa and the Mara in general. These two days are tipped to be the highlight of the Tour with plenty of wildlife on show.

In the evenings a session of CharchaaLoka or simply a question-answer interaction will afford a wealth of learning on a diverse array of photography and natural history topics.

Maasai Village Optional Tour

While at Masai Mara, based on the group’s inclination, the Skipper will plan a visit to a local Maasai Village for a few hours in the day to learn and understand the Maasai culture, their way of life and their interesting community living. This optional Tour costs an additional USD 30 per person.

Balloon Safari Optional Tour

A ride in a hot-air balloon over the endless expanses of the savannah is an ultimate safari experience. We leave the lodge before dawn, when the sky is clear, the air brisk and the conditions perfect. As the sun rises over the Mara plains, our balloon lifts off – a bright splash of colour rising gracefully into the infinite blue. A stunning panorama unfolds below us and the balloon basket becomes our lookout post for a bird’s-eye view of the Mara’s magnificence. We float silently just a few hundred feet above large herds of wild animals. Upon landing, we celebrate the flight with a glass of champagne, after which the retrieval safari cruisers take us back to our driver. This optional ride costs an additional USD 450 per person.

After a scrumptious breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights.

The Tour ends but your love affair with African wildlife has just begun.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION AT MASAI MARA

Participants who feel the need to stretch their Tour are welcome to stay back on the following nights, to experience two more full days at the Mara at their own pace. The schedule for the two days will remain the same while we venture to deeper areas of the Mara on the full-day game drives, maximizing our chances of bringing back stunning photographs. This extension will be charged additionally. Please express your interest in the extension while booking the Tour to know more.

With the extension having come to an end, following an early breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights.

Cost & Terms

Individuals

USD 2390
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

All figures per person.

Payments may be made in equal monthly installments so long as the above schedule is adhered to. Please talk to us for more details.

Cancellation Fees

All figures per person.

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport and yellow-fever and polio vaccination cards, there are no other requirements.
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 recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
Yes; the vaccination is mandatory in many countries including India. Once you sign up we’ll be happy to advise you on how to get one.
You’ll need a Kenyan visa, which is applied for and issued online. More information will be shared, and assistance provided, when you sign up.
Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, but polio vaccination is valid for only a year. Please check your vaccination card to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
Our Photography Tour is designed to offer participants an excellent balance between photography convenience and economy. We’ll be using four-wheel-driven safari vehicles which have large windows and a thatched roof that opens up to give a 360-degree panoramic view for convenient wildlife-viewing and photography. Each vehicle will be shared by only three participants, or three participants and the Skipper, to ensure everybody has ample space to move around and shoot comfortably.
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. Also, the exhaustive itinerary should offer ample opportunities for a productive time. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we stop just short of claiming that sightings are guaranteed.
A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds. 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 any equipment you hire for the Tour. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.
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.

Verdant Haven - Kabini Photo Tour Schedules

SEP 11-14, 2022
OPEN

Wildlife Photography Bootcamp

Skipper: Trikansh Sharma

Tour Itinerary (3N/4D)

The Tour commences and ends at Kabini (Karapura). Travel from or via Bengaluru 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. 

After a 4.5-hour-drive from Bengaluru, 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 03:30 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 06:30 p.m. and relax over tea, following which a ChaayaaChitra session will ensue, in which we discuss photography techniques. Later, we enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire for the night.
An early morning wake-up call and tea will set the tone for the morning safari at 06:30 a.m. 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 09:30 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.
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.

Cost & Terms

Individuals

INR 60,000
  • Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

Couples

INR 1,19,000
  • Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

INR 59,000
  • Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

Cancellation Fees

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

NO Refunds.
Due to the pandemic the travel industry is at an all time low-cashflow situation. So we wouldn’t be able to do refunds but only issue Credit Notes for any cancellation from your side or due to COVID related lockdowns and closures.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

We ensure maximum care and protection while traveling in the post-COVID scenario. We certainly think you have to be extra-careful and follow rules and regulations. Please consult your general physician or doctor before you make this decision.

That’s quite easy. It depends on what your interest is. If you are a photography enthusiast and would like our skipper’s guidance and tutelage, then Photo Tour. Else hope on to a group tour where photography isn’t the focus of the trip. Finally, we can tailor-make a vacation for you if you need to travel on your own date and style.

You may certainly take your young child, but we don’t recommend taking infants and very small children on safari. Please talk to us for more information.
Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too for anyone who requires assistance.
Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your vacation.
Ofcourse, yes. Please talk to our capable Camera Rent team or mention what gear you’d like to hire while registering for the tour. Guess what? We offer you a 10% off on camera rent while on the tour.

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 focused.

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 recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.