West-central India wildlife holiday

Description of West-central India wildlife holiday

Nestled in West-central India, the lure of the Tiger at Tadoba and the fascinating undulating landscape at Pench is what drew us here many years ago in the pursuit of our love of photographing the stunning diversity of wildlife and game in what has come to be among the list of Indiaís best managed wildlife reserves on the sub-continent.

The etymology of Tadoba comes from the amalgamation of the tribal God Taru and the Andhari river that serves as the reserveís water vein, filling itís fresh water lakes during the brutal summer months.

Situated in the western state of Maharashtra, Tadobaís wildlife fringes the local Gond tribal settlements around the region of Chandrapur. Traditional farmers and basket weavers, these tribes are reticent, simple rural folk who continue dwelling in traditional village homes and continue to live a lifestyle a bit detached from the present.

Over the years weíve cultivated a support system with these communities where we showcase to travellers what they do and how they carry on their process of living. We attempt to give back for our footprint in the region by supporting these communities by sourcing their produce and enlightening travellers about their culture and heritage.

Itís important to not just understand the rich bio-diversity of the park but also be made aware of the social conservation that inherently exists amongst these villages and their efforts in establishing a stable co-existence, especially within such close proximity, between man and wildlife in this region.

Pench on the other hand is situated in slightly hillier terrain over the border of Maharashtra and into the state of Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

Serving as an inspiration for Rudyard Kiplingís Jungle Book as home to Mowgli, itís easy to see why Sir David Attenborough described Pench as the most appropriate location for documenting the behavior of Tigers in the wild.

Spread over an area of 750 square kilometres, Penchís undulating terrain makes for a fascinating mix of plant species, rock caves and a fantastic diversity in woodland bird species.

But again, Pench is not just about the Tiger. In fact the excitement in pursuing unique species such as the four-horned Antelopes, wild dog packs, the elusive Leopards and the rather sly Indian Jackals.

With some of the best managed and regulated game drives within national Parks in India, the experience in Pench is of anticipation, intrigue and the satisfaction of being amidst nature in itís best preserved state.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Transition to Tadoba: Using Mumbai as the international gateway, weíll have you take a short hop domestic flight to the city of Nagpur from where youíll travel overland to the village of Pet and your eco lodge by the river. The rest of this day is designed to be at leisure to settle in and shake off the long travel.
Days 2,3,4Safari experiences in Zari, Agarzarri & Devada: These days will revolve around the discovery of the park through itís various gates and access points providing you with varying perspectives of the park and itís wildlife.
Day 5The Gond settlement of Pet and the wetland Birds: Beginning the day gently pedaling away to the village of Pet, on the fringes of Tadobaís wildlife reserve, weíll spend a good part of the day with these reticent tribal folk, observing their farming techniques, spending time with the women who weave baskets from forest produce and engage in conversation with them about how they supplement their sustenance with forest produce around them. Over the course of the late afternoon, youíll head out for a walk with a Naturalist to hopefully get up close with the unique wetland birds, both resident and migratory that make their way to these parts.
Day 6Transition to Pench National Park: Leaving the Gonds and tigers of Tadoba, weíll head north to the undulating mountains of Pench National Park.
Days 7,8,9Safaris into Karmajhari: These days will be spent with forays on various game drive routes through Pench to soak up the varying landscape, lakes, rivers and the abundance of wildlife and woodland bird species within.
Days 10,11Giving back locally and some leisurely strolls through the countryside: Not far from the fringes of the wildlife reserves of Pench lie the small settlements around Karmajhari. We support the local school in the region and fund the schoolís needs to ensure that no child goes without an education. We encourage our travellers to bring resources for these children as we spend a day in these villages. We can organise a visit to the local school, please note that this is not a volunteering opportunity but an accompanied short visit to see the local school that we are supporting. Gifts of class room stationery are welcome - we can advise on what is most needed if this is something you would like to do. Weíll leave another day at leisure to take leisurely strolls through the surrounding countryside and the villages that abut the reserve of Pench.
Day 12Return to Nagpur and a night in Mumbai: Heading south to Nagpur, youíll return to Mumbai to spend the night in preparation for your flight back home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
SINGLE USE PLASTIC-FREE:
We have always believed that single use plastic is inherently wasteful and serves, as the lazy-personís solution to convenience, at the expense of the environment. Within urban, developed environments single use plastics has still a strong possibility of being recycled and re-used in other applications. However across the Indian sub-continent we have several locations that are so environmentally sensitive that we need to do all that we can to protect and preserve these regions, not only from the pressures of tourism, travellers and visitors but more importantly from the added burden of waste and itís irresponsible discarding which adds to the ecological degradation of these sensitive sites. Hence weíve decided to ensure that for the experiences we offer in the National Parks across India, we will strive to eliminate the scourge of single use plastics and make these holidays refreshingly plastic-free.
PRESERVING FOOD:
We ensure that food on safari and whilst travelling to and from the reserve areas is stored and transported in Igloo Camping boxes.
BAGS:
Travellers have access to paper and cotton cloth bags, which are re-usable and are easily available across the properties we use.
IN THE ROOMS:
Absolutely no plastics are used in the rooms of all the properties we use. All toiletries are stored in recycled paper. There are wicker baskets with recycled paper bags that serve as bin bags and where tea and coffee services are provided, we provide plunger coffee and loose-leaf teas to ensure that thereís no plastic packaging or bags used whatsoever.
STRAWS:
We have eliminated all plastic straws entirely. If travellers find it absolutely necessary to use a straw, we then have recycled paper straws for one time use.
WATER BOTTLES:
We provide only glass bottles around the property and in addition provide each traveller with a refillable, re-usable stainless steel bottle, which can be filled up with drinking water, which is easily accessible and available through R.O. Water treatment points. We carry drinking water for travellers in glass bottles whilst on safaris which are stored in the camping Igloo container boxes. Alternatively we give travellers the option to provide them with the Life Straw filter water bottles if they wish this for their trip.
RUBBISH:
Anything you do to help clear up waste on tour (e.g. picking up plastics and other rubbish on beaches etc.) Any ways that accommodations etc. Deal with waste Ė e.g. alternatives to plastic bags.
EDUCATION:
We educate travellers that the holiday and the destinations they will be visiting are absolutely single-use plastic free, so this knowledge is available to them before they embark on visiting such national park forest reserves.
CHANGE MAKING:
We began working closely with accommodations that we partnered with to ensure that they ensure a completely plastic free environment within their environments. One aspect that comes to mind as an example of change we helped bring about was to eliminate all plastic bottles that were initially being carried in the Igloo camping boxes for traveller consumption. These have now been entirely replaced with glass sealed bottles with travellers having the option of additionally carrying their re-usable stainless steel flasks and/ or LifeStraw bottles as well.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

West-central India wildlife holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Responsible Wildlife safaris
In both the reserves of Tadoba and Pench, we as operators have control over the vehicles we can operate within the park. Hence we have ensured that we only operate small, compact, petrol only 4x4 jeeps that are completely silent, lightweight and hence can coast through the forest tracks on no engine power but pure momentum, most of the time whilst on the safari trails.

We ensure that there are not more than four people per vehicle and as there are only limited numbers of trips possible into the park, our footprint as a result is very small.

The tribal Guards we employ and work with are expert trackers, watchers and generally have highly attuned senses of smell and sound. As a result they can spot and track animals without causing a sort of mad dash through the park in pursuit of game and itís spotting. This ensures that our safaris donít intrude on animal movement and in the absence of this stress, we end up with animal encounters that end up being truly memorable as they donít fear our presence or find us intrusive.


Sustainable accommodation and tree houses
The accommodations we use are designed to have a very low footprint possible. From cottages with roofs made by tribal communities using sustainable and renewable elephant grasses.

While on the other hand, the tree houses we use are all made from locally sourced renewable timbers from the local villages.


Rainwater harvesting
At the properties we use, the lay of the land is designed so that rainwater returns to the river and lake that is adjacent with all the natural flora retained with an additional 350 species of fruiting and flowering trees planted to ensure sustained diversity and species pollination.


Single use Plastic-free living
Weíve completely done away with single-use plastics on this holiday. All water is reverse osmosis purified and is continuously available throughout the properties, whilst on safari and whilst visiting the countryside. All other forms of single use plastics are also banned from all the properties and in the safari parks.

Community

A hundred percent local employment
We ensure that we employ only locals from the surrounding villages on the grounds of the properties. All grounds keepers are local women from the surrounding villages who then get a sustained source of income and stable jobs as a result.
All the staff who assist travellers, be it at the reception, the restaurant or the rooms all come from the neighbouring villages.

Tribal forest guides and Naturalists
We employ only Tribal forest guards and Naturalist guides from the neighbouring tribal villages that reside just adjacent to the forest reserves of both Tadoba and Pench.

Village tours and local school support
With our support of the local villages through hands on culinary sessions at village homes possible in the local village and additionally our active support of the local school, we stand committed to the welfare of the villages we support, both with our active assistance and also financial support to help supplement their agricultural incomes.

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