India, Sri Lanka & the MaldivesNovember 27, 2015 - December 14, 2015
Optional Pre-Voyage Extension: Wild India
Sunday, November 22 – Sunday, November 29
Board your independent flight to India.
Arrive in the very early morning and transfer to our hotel. After brunch, join a late-morning tour of both Old and New Delhi. Your tour of the capital begins at the Jama Masjid and the Red Fort in Old Delhi. A rickshaw ride through the colorful shops of bustling Chandni Chowk, offers an exciting look at locals shopping for everything from wedding jewels to spices, and silk brocades to sweets. After lunch at a local restaurant, explore the highlights of New Delhi. Drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President’s Residence, and Humayun’s Tomb. Dinner and overnight at The Trident.
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Jabalpur. Upon arrival, set out on a scenic drive, passing landscapes of forest, hills, and picturesque villages where you can witness women conducting their daily business clad in brightly colored saris. Arrive this afternoon at the remote and seldom-visited Bandhavgarh National Park. Formerly a maharajah’s private hunting preserve, the area was designated a national park in 1968 and is now famous for its healthy and stable tiger population. Check in to Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge, your base for four nights. After lunch, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy your cottage and the lovely surroundings.
Three full days are devoted to exploring this scenically diverse park set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh. Travel in 4x4 vehicles over forested ridges, through thick bamboo and undergrowth, or across shallow rivers. In the lowlands of the park, the grassland and bamboo groves provide habitat not just for tigers, but also leopards, Indian bison, wild boars, and a wealth of deer species—the main prey of the tiger. These include muntjac, or barking deer; sambar, India’s largest deer; and chital, or axis deer, the tiger’s favorite prey. In the trees overhead watch for rhesus macaques and hanuman langurs. Birding in the area is phenomenal. In the lodge’s gardens, the flowers and fruit trees attract such species as green bee-eaters, white-bellied drongos, blossom-headed parakeets, impressive Malabar hornbills, and paradise flycatchers. There will also be an opportunity to visit a small village to witness daily life in rural India.
Depart early this morning to Jabalpur and board your flight to Mumbai. Join the main group for an afternoon city tour. Embark the Island Sky this evening.
- Price: $6,460 single occupancy, $4,480 double occupancy