Wildlife & Cultural Trip to South India (Itinerary)
Arrival at Cochin Airport( Day 1)
Stay at Cochin near backwater which is an international tourist destination in India.( Hotel Brunten Boatyard) Kochi was a fishing village in the Kingdome of Cochi in the pre-colonial Kerala. The territory that would be later known as Fort Kochi was granted to the Portuguese in 1503 by the Rajah of cochin after the forces of Portuguese helped him fighting the forces of King of Kozhikode. The Rajah also gave them permission to build Fort Immanuel near the waterfront to protect their commercial interests. The first part of the name Fort Kochi comes from this fort, which the Dutch later destroyed. The Portuguese built their settlement behind the fort, including a wooden church, which was rebuilt in 1516 as a permanent structure, today known as theSt Francis Church. Fort Kochi remained in Portuguese possession for 160 years. In 1683 the Dutch captured the territory from the Portuguese, destroyed many Portuguese institutions, particularly Catholic including convents. The Dutch held Fort Kochi in their possession for 112 years until 1795, when the British took control by defeating the Dutch. Foreign control of Fort Kochi ended in 1947 with the independence
House boat (Day 2&3)
Drive to Thattekaad. Birding in Thattekad for the endemic specials. Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems – riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest, enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. One should sight the White-bellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, , White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Malabar Parakeet and Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spot-bellied Eagle Owl., Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle.
Periyar Tiger Reserve( Day 4)
We will explore Periyar Tiger Reserve on foot with morning and afternoon walk/hikes and a trip on boat.
Mammals that we might see include the elusive Mouse Deer, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, and Bonnet Macaque. After a morning excursion on foot we will return to our hotel for a period of relaxation before lunch. Later on today we’ll get a different perspective of the lake from the comfort of a boat. This floating ‘hide’ provides good chances of observing mammals on the shoreline, such as Gaur, Asiatic Elephant, Sambar, Wild Boar and perhaps Smooth-coated Otter in the water. Birdlife might include Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Tawny, Black and Crested Serpent Eagles, River Tern and a variety of other wetland species. The boat ride will last about two hours and we will then return to our hotel where we will spend time relaxing in the late afternoon. There will be an option to go on a night trek during our stay in Periyar between 7 and 10pm. The night
Our journey starts at Munnar, the hill country – the highest areas along the Western Ghats. Among its rolling grasslands and steep cliffs live the endemic and endangered Nilgiri Tahrs. Concerted efforts by the conservationists have brought this magnificent animal back from the brink of extinction. At present there are more than 700 Tahrs in the area. We will visit the Eravikulam National Park area in search of this mild natured animal. We will also visit the Manavan shola – to look for the endemic birds like the Nilgiri Wood pigeon and the Broad-tailed grassbird. Further exploration towards Chinnar will also enable us to sight the Malabar Giant squirrel and the endangered Star Tortoise.
Valparai ( Day 7)
This is the only place to see the most endangered primate in the world Lion-tailed Macaque
We will start early in the morning travelling in toy train which was commissioned during 1895. (Passing through evergreen forest) looking for best valleys we will reach Ooty by after noon. Ooty – a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills – is where we will look for the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers.
Masinagudi.( Day 9,10&11)
Our destination will be the scrub and deciduous forests at Masinagudi. The sanctuary lies on the northern and north-western side of the Nilgiri(Blue Mountains),about 80 km north-west of Coimbatore in the extreme north-western corner of Tamil Nadu. Nature has been lavish in providing this sanctuary with thickly wooded hills, plateaus, deep valleys, waterfalls, rivers, marshes and streams. A variety of habitats ranging from Tropical Evergreen forest, Moist mixed deciduous, Moist Teak forest, Dry teak forest, Secondary grass lands, Shrubs and Swamps exists here. The bird diversity in these habitats is unbelievably rich and is a welcoming place for bird watchers from far and wide. This park harbours over 200 species of birds from 48 families and is one of the richest bird areas. The wildlife includes Elephants, Gaur, Banner, Macaque, Common Langur, Tigers, Leopards, Chital, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose.
Kabini ( Day 12,13&14)
Every day take you on a wildlife Safari in Vehicle & Boat safari into the Nagarhole National Park, showing & sharing their experiences and information about the jungle and all the animals that live there
06.30 AM – 09.15 AM (Every day)
Cruise through the serene backwaters of the River Kabini on a motor boat viewing sleepy crocodiles and chirpy birds, intent on their morning catch. View a variety of wildlife, especially the elephants, coming to the river for bath or a drink. ?Alternatively, you can go on a jeep safari to sight the animals, which means you can have the boat ride the evening before.
Kozhikode (Day 15)
Stay in Hotel West way
Day 16 Towards Cochin Airport