Wild Western India
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Depart USA / Mumbai, IndiaJanuary 2 — January 3
Board your independent flights to Mumbai. Transfer to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
This morning travel to Elephanta Island to see the extraordinary Hindu and Buddhist rock-cut stone sculptures in the Elephanta Caves, dating back to the 5th to 8th centuries. A tour of Mumbai this afternoon includes visits to the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum, and Kamla Nehru Park before ascending the slopes of Malabar Hill for a panoramic view and visit to the Hanging Gardens.
Mumbai / Diu / Gir National ParkJanuary 5
After a leisurely breakfast board our flight to Diu and then drive to Gir National Park. The park is best known for its incredible wildlife, including the rare Asiatic lion and leopards. Check in to the Lion's Safari Camp, our home base for three nights.
Gir National ParkJanuary 6 — January 7
While at Gir National Park, enjoy morning and afternoon safaris, punctuated by lunch at the hotel. Embark on safaris in search of Asiatic lions and leopards, as well as the four-horned antelope, Indian gazelle, spotted deer, hyena, jackal, and more.
Gir National Park / Velavadar National ParkJanuary 8
After a final, early morning safari, depart for Velavadar National Park. Arrive late in the afternoon and check in to the Blackbuck Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Velavadar National ParkJanuary 9
Spend a full day exploring this diverse park. The colorful avian cast includes larks and sandgrouse, as well as the largest known harrier roost in the world, where you have the opportunity to witness over 2,000 raptors that return here to sleep after hunting all day.
Velavadar / DasadaJanuary 10
Embark on one final safari this morning before driving to Dasada, located outside the Little Rann of Kutch. Along the way, visit the world famous Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary. The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea and is now a vast plain of salty clay. After an introductory exploration of the area, enjoy dinner at Rann Riders, Dasada, your home for two nights.
Little Rann of KutchJanuary 11
During the morning and late afternoon, set out on safaris to seek out the park’s wildlife, including khurs, white-footed desert foxes, golden jackals, and wolves, plus myriad birdlife—birds of prey, bustards, sandgrouse, and more. Return to the lodge for lunch, followed by a visit to nearby tribal villages.
Little Rann of Kutch / PalanpurJanuary 12
After breakfast, set out for Palanpur, visiting the famous 11th-century Sun Temple in Modhera en route. Arrive in Palanpur in the early evening and check in to Balaram Palace for dinner and overnight.
Palanpur / SianaJanuary 13
This morning drive to Siana and take a short camel ride into Siana Camp, your base for the next two nights. Join an afternoon jeep safari to search for birds and mammals. Enjoy a performance of folk dances at our camp this evening.
Today, enjoy both morning and early evening safaris in the desert by jeep or on foot to seek out the region’s wildlife, including desert foxes, stripped hyenas, bluebulls, and Indian gazelles. You also have the opportunity to walk through a local village.
Siana / JawaiJanuary 15
After breakfast, depart overland for Jawai. Check in to the award-winning Jawai Leopard Camp in time for an afternoon safari. Leopards are the main attraction at Jawai, with one of the largest wild populations in India.
Enjoy morning and afternoon safaris by 4x4 jeeps in search of leopards and other wildlife, such as Langur monkeys, wild boars, crocodiles, and over 100 bird species, including photogenic pink flamingos. You will also have the opportunity to visit nearby tribal villages and a local school.
Jawai / PhalodiJanuary 17
This morning drive to Phalodi, with a stop en route for lunch with an Indian family at a private home. Upon arrival, make a visit to the local wetlands, then check in to Lal Niwas Palace, for dinner and overnight.
Phalodi / JodhpurJanuary 18
Rise early this morning to visit the nearby village of Khichan to watch and photograph the famed demoiselle crane gathering. These beautiful birds are the world’s smallest crane species and as many as 9,000 birds gather here for the winter. After their early morning feeding, the cranes all settle on the sand dunes beyond the village and as they turn to face the sun, their black chest feathers contrast magnificently with the blue winter sky. Continue to Jodhpur and check in to the opulent Umaid Bhawan Palace; still in use as the personal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, several sections have been converted into a sumptuous hotel. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a rugged hill overlooking the city.
Jodhpur / MumbaiJanuary 19
After a morning walk and brunch, board our flight to Mumbai. In Mumbai transfer to day rooms at Taj Lands End and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, followed by dinner and late night or very early morning flights homeward.
Arrive in the USA and connect with homeward flights.