UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Mumbai.
Upon arrival, we transfer to the Trident Nariman Point (3T+). This afternoon we take in some of Mumbai’s most notable sights on a coach tour. The city is a busy place, with some of the world’s grandest colonial architecture, hidden temples and unique bazaars. We visit Mumbai’s principal landmark, the Gateway of India, an arch of yellow basalt erected on the waterfront in 1924 to commemorate King George V’s visit to this colony in 1911. We see the Afghan Church, built in memory of those who fell in the First Afghan War, and drive past the neo-gothic Bombay High Court and the Old Secretariat. View the ornamental University Building with its 280ft high Raja Bhai Clock Tower, the colourful Crawford Market, the Flora Fountain in the large bustling square at the heart of the city, and the exuberant Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the world’s most extravagant train stations, combining Victorian, Hindu and Islamic tastes with domes, turrets and stained glass. We continue along Marine Drive, also known as the Queen’s Necklace, and view the memorial to Muslim saint Haji Ali. This unusual shrine stands on an island 500m out at sea and is linked by a causeway to the mainland. We also take in Malabar Hill with Kamala Nehru Park, drive past the Mahalaxmi Temple, stop at the Jain Temple and visit Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his time in Mumbai and launched the Civil Disobedience campaign. A small museum now fills this building, exhibiting photos taken of Gandhi throughout his life and letters from him to Adolf Hitler and Franklin D Roosevelt. The room he slept in remains minimal, with its floor mattress and low tables.
Mumbai - Nagpur - Kanha National Park
Early this morning we return to the airport for our flight to Nagpur. On arrival mid-morning, we drive for around five hours along fascinating roads to Kanha National Park. This 940sq km park is famous for its population of tigers and deer. We check in at Chitvan Jungle Lodge (3T+), hidden amongst the dense jungle.
Kanha National Park
We rise early this morning to travel into the jungle by jeep, accompanied by an experienced naturalist. Conservationists have worked hard over the last 60 years to research and conserve the area’s ecosystem, making it one of the finest wildlife reserves in the world. Heading into the park at sunrise allows us the opportunity to watch the jungle wake and make the most of the cool morning temperatures to patrol their territories. This is our first opportunity to find the much-loved yet sadly endangered Bengal tiger, surprisingly well camouflaged amongst the long grasses. We return to the hotel later this morning for time to relax and take lunch before our afternoon safari takes us into a different park zone for further exciting opportunities to spot the seemingly endless list of inhabitants along riverbanks, in open savannahs or ancient woods, including the powerful tiger and elegant peacock - two of India’s national symbols. We return to the hotel at sunset, with a chance to freshen up before a demonstration of Indian cooking, followed by dinner.
Kanha National Park
We have a second day dedicated to safaris through the beautiful Kanha National Park. Stringent conservation projects have ensured that the park’s fauna and flora is well maintained and continues to support 22 species of mammals in total, and some 200 species of birds including the black ibis, hawk eagle and the red-wattled lapwing, the sambar - the largest Indian deer; Indian wild dog, sloth bear and the occasional panther, so there is plenty to look for today. Tonight we take a short walk after dinner, for an amazing stargazing opportunity. On a clear night, far from the polluting lights of civilisation, a galaxy of stars cover the sky and, after a short introduction of the stars and constellations, you have the opportunity to also see planets through the telescope.
Kanha National Park - Pench National Park
After breakfast we depart for Pench National Park, approximately three hours away in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills. This Southern Indian tropical forest is criss-crossed by a number of streams and nallahs (ravines), most of which are seasonal. The Pench River and undulating topography supports a vast variety of vegetation, from lush valleys to dry deciduous forest and open grassland. On arrival we check in to our resort, Tuli Tiger Corridor (3T+), with a great view of the jungle.
Pench National Park
Today is devoted to two safaris in Pench National Park, taking to our jeeps at sunrise and again early this afternoon, pausing to rest and eat lunch. An assortment of deer - Pench chital, sambar and nilgai (blue bull) - are commonly seen grazing on the open banks of the Pench River and reservoir. Sloth bear prefer the hilly, rocky outcrops, while flying squirrels enjoy leaping between trees, crocodiles wallow in the network of lakes and jackals and packs of up to 15 wild dog can be seen searching for food all over the reserve. Your experienced driver and guide will keep their eyes peeled for the elusive leopard - numbers are good here - and tigers on the prowl. Four endangered species of vulture are protected in this sanctuary; but peafowl, Red junglefowl, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo and lesser whistling teal are more common.
Pench National Park - Tadoba Andhari Reserve
After breakfast we head to our third national park - the largest in Maharashtra at 1,727sq km, yet little visited by tourists. Tadoba Andhari Reserve includes Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary, established to support the tiger reserve. We stay at the eco-friendly Svasara Jungle Lodge (3T+), Jharana Jungle Lodge (3T+) or Bamboo Forest Lodge (4T), and you are free to spend the rest of your day relaxing.
Tadoba Andhari Reserve
Game drives in Tadoba Andhari Reserve fill your morning and afternoon. Your safaris may take you to the vast Tadoba Lake, a perennial water source which offers a good habitat for mugger - or Indian - crocodiles to thrive. These threatened ‘water monsters’ grow up to five metres and enjoy the shallow waters and swamp land. Besides the powerful Bengal tiger, which is frequently sighted here (it is estimated 114 adults roam the park and 24 cubs were born here last year alone), you can also spot Indian leopard, sloth bear, blue bull, hyena, barking deer, flying squirrel, pangolin, monitor lizard and rusty-spotted cat, if you’re lucky, plus the Indian python, Indian cobra and wolf spiders.
Tadoba Andhari Reserve
Another early start as we embark on morning and afternoon jungle jeep safaris through Tadoba Andhari Reserve, offering final opportunities to spot your favourite native wildlife.
Tadoba Andhari Reserve - Mumbai
After a gentle start, we transfer to Nagpur Airport for a flight back to Mumbai. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, the Renaissance Mumbai (4T), where we stay overnight. Spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Day 12 Mumbai - UK
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.