The Terai Tigers
The terai or tarai is a lowland region in southern Nepal and northern India that lies south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas, and north of the Indo-Gangetic plains. This lowland belt is characterised by tall grasslands, scrub savannah, sal forests and clay rich swamps. The terai region is very fertile and is bustling with life and activity, both human and wild. The Tarai zone has some of the very beautiful protected forests of India and well as Nepal, and some of the most unique wildlife as well! The parks we are going to cover in this trip are Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve and Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The former is one of the well known parks in this park of the world, while the latter is upcoming and very promising. The trip will start from the national capital of Delhi, where you will meet your IWS Guide, who will accompany you for the rest of your trip to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience. After spending a day exploring Delhi, you will board your taxi early in the morning and start your long drive northeast, to Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve. You will reach there around lunch time, when you’ll check into your resort, freshen-up and have lunch. After that you will be heading out to your first of the many game drives to come. The following few days, you can expect to see the beautiful Corbett landscape and the magnificent wilderness it houses. From tigers, to Asian elephants, you’ll see some gorgeous wildlife and countless birds here. After your days at Jim Corbett, you will drive to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, where your second half of the safaris will be booked. The landscape would be somewhat similar to Corbett’s, since the topography is still the same, locally called terai. You have just move southwest on the terai arc. The one new specie you are going to encounter here is the great Indian one-horned rhinos, which in March of 1984, were reintroduced into Dudhwa from the Indian state of Assam. After completing some soul filling days in this virgin forest, we will drive back to Delhi, where your terai adventure will come to an end after some days of wild wandering and exploring the pristine foothills of Himalaya.
This is how your trip will go about
Arrival in Delhi
Upon your arrival in Delhi airport/ railway station, you will be met by one of our IWS tour guides. He will take you to your hotel, and en route, he will explain to you in detail the plan. He will stay with you for the entire duration of the trip and he’ll make sure you have a hassle-free and smooth experience! The rest of the day will be at leisure, and you can recover from your journey and prepare for the travels ahead!
Your IWS Guide will meet up with you early in the morning and you’ll kick off your adventure now. Delhi has 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some amazing monuments and places of historic and religious significance. You’ll be taken around by your IWS Guide and you will be trying to cover all you can. You’ll eat some of the best food in this part of the world, and you’ll sense flavours we guarantee you would never have imagined existed. After a soul-filling day exploring the city, you’ll return to your hotel room by evening, when you can relax and unwind.
Drive to Jim Corbett and the first safari
Today your highway adventure begins! You will board the taxis early in the morning and drive up to Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve. It is a long 6 hour drive and breakfast will be done at a highway restaurant, where you can enjoy some fresh and hygienic Indian cuisines. Upon reaching and checking into your rooms at Jim Corbett, you will have time to relax, unpack and unwind, in the beautiful backdrop of the stunning Himalaya, and the Kosi river flowing along it. After lunch, your first safari would begin. For the next few hours, you’ll be in the company of the terai wilderness. After the safari, you will have the rest of the evening at leisure. You can walk around the resort, or relax by the riverside.
Morning and evening safaris into the park
Day 4, 5, 6
You will be having morning and evening safaris into the reserve area. Your IWS Guide will be deciding the zones depending upon the best chances of sightings of the striped big cat. The timing and duration of the safaris vary depending upon the season and the time of sunrise and sunset, and you IWS Guide will communicate the same to you prior to your safaris. Your day would typically start from early morning safari, breakfast inside the park, get out before noon, freshen-up and relax in the day time, have lunch, head out to the evening safari, return back from safari post-sunset, then have the evening at leisure.
Transfer to Dudhwa and evening safari
Today, you will check out early in the morning at dawn, and drive south to Dudhwa. You will have breakfast enroute, You will reach Dudhwa by lunch time, and check-in your resort, lay back and relax after your long drive. After lunch, you will head out to your first safari into the beautiful Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.You’ll return from the park post-sunset, and have the evening at your leisure.
Morning and evening safaris into the park
Day 8, 9, 10
You’ll follow a similar drill as you did in Jim Corbett, early morning and evening safaris into the park. Your breakfast will be inside the park itself. Lunch and dinner will be in the resort. You will see rare and elusive wildlife and it’ll be an overload for the senses and well as camera memory cards!
Drive back to Delhi
Today will be a long drive for you back to Delhi. After a relaxed morning, you will start your drive post-breakfast. Lunch will be served enroute at one of the hygienic highway restaurants. You will find many big cities on your way back, so food and other facilities would not be an issue. By evening, you will be back in the capital. Your IWS Guide will drop you at your preferred location in Delhi and bid you farewell for your travels and adventures thereon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Doubts? Continue reading! We have answered few of the common questions in the minds of travellers. If this doesn't answer it, feel free to get in touch any time through mail or call!
What kind of a traveller does this expedition cater to?
We have designed this trip keeping in minds the needs of every kind of travel enthusiast. You need not be a hardcore wildlife buff or a super-dedicated wildlife photographer to enjoy this trip. Like all the other IWS itineraries, this one aims to get you close to the wilder and unexplored side of India, and you would enjoy it irrespective of the category of traveller you fall into!
Will be have someone who will accompany us during the trip?
Yes! We will a lot you one of our IWS Guides who will travel with you and coordinate everything during your travels, from taxis, to hotel rooms, from safari timings and zones, to interaction with the locals. He/she will have it all laid out properly for you so that you don't have to get into the hassle of logistics and enjoy your travels to the most!
What camera equipment is optimal for photography during this trip?
For the camera body, any D-SLR would be great. Ideally, something with a high burst rates of around 6fps and above (for those high speed action shots) and decent ISO performance (since we will be getting the best shots at either dawn or dusk) would be better. For bigger mammals, a lens with a reach of 400mm would be ideal. For smaller mammals and birds, 600mm would be just perfect. If you wish to exploit the stunning nightsky for some astrophotography, don't forget that fast wide-angle lens! And oh! Don't for get extra memory cards and hard drives for dumping the thousands of amazing shots you will be capturing!
I am not an expert wildlife photographer. Would I still be able to enjoy this trip?
Most certainly! The cameras we have today are smart enough to get you some great shots even in Auto mode. However if you do wish to learn about the finer nuances of the art of photography, do let us know beforehand. We have a special IWS Guide who is an expert photographer and has taken several photography workshops. He will certainly help you to kick your photography skills up a notch!
How will we be travelling between the stops?
The mode of travel between locations would depend upon the distance and the quality of roads or trains available. For road transfers, you will be taken around in AC MPVs. For rail transfers, we would prefer berths in 2nd Class (two-tier) AC express trains. Choice of airlines for even further away destinations would depend solely upon your timing and convenience.
What kind of vehicle will be taking us into the park during the safaris, and is it safe?
The safari vehicle is a standard open top 4x4 gypsy modified to suit the different type to terrains of Indian forests. Because of being open from all four sides, the gypsy does give a feeling of being exposed to the wilderness, but it is absolutely safe, and there has been no cases where the animals has tried to attack a vehicle unless it is provoked or harassed.