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Our tours

 

Scheduled departure tours & group size

A selection of our tours are run each year as scheduled departure tours.  Since we believe small groups are essential to a productive and enjoyable bird tour experience we operate our scheduled departure tours with a maximum of 8 participants, accompanied by one of our professional bird tour leaders.  The operation of any scheduled departure tour at the stated tour price is subject to a minimum group size of 6, however we often operate tours for 4 or 5 participants, providing each participant agrees to pay an additional small group surcharge to cover the additional costs, usually around 10% of the tour price.   

  

Custom tours & custom extensions

Any of our itineraries can be run as custom tours for an individual, couple, or group of family or friends.  Our tours can be taken as they are, or adapted to suit your needs, perhaps adding extra days or additional sites, or incorporating general sightseeing or other activities.  We are also adept at creating personalised itineraries or tour extensions from scratch, planning tours in consultation with our clients, many of whom are repeat travellers. 

Custom tours are inherently flexible, making this an ideal option for those who have specific targets, have commitments that prevent travel on a scheduled departure tour, or simply prefer to travel alone.  Furthermore, the tour pace can be adjusted so that whatever your age, ability and aspirations we will create a memorable itinerary that is productive, enjoyable, and suited to you. 

Our custom tours may be escorted by one of our professional bird tour leaders, or alternatively may make use of local guides or individual lodge naturalists to accompany all wildlife activities - this is a key consideration while planning your tour, considering your own knowledge, previous travel experience, group size and budget.

The cost of a custom tour is often comparable to the cost of our fixed departure tours, and you may be surprised at how inexpensive personalised travel can be, particularly if you can put together a small group of friends or family.

 

Single travellers

It is often more economical for a single traveller to join a scheduled departure tour.  A single room will be provided upon request at an additional fee.  For participants travelling alone but willing to share a room we will try to arrange a roommate if possible - if a roommate is not available the single supplement will be charged.  Our single supplements are charged at cost price. 

 

A typical day with India Nature

Early starts to exploit the most productive hours of the day are a necessity, as are long days in the field in places and although we sometimes take packed breakfast and/or lunch into the field we do take a break, often back at our hotel, where our daily schedule allows, especially in warmer climates.  We are usually back at our hotel by dusk, and may spend some time in search of nocturnal species before or after dinner.  Dinners are taken as a group, where our leader will take the species log for the day, review what has been seen and the places we have visited, and discuss plans for the following day. 

We aim to keep travel to a minimum to enable a greater proportion of the tour to be devoted to birds an wildlife.  We explore on foot wherever possible, particularly on birding tours where our walks will assume a relaxed pace, often with vehicle support.  In places the potential danger of large mammals necessitates the use of open jeep or canter (open lorry-bus) and at times, in particular where our focus is on mammals, there may be very little walking involved at all.

  

Tour grading

Almost all of our tours can be considered easy to moderate in terms of intensity, walking requirements, and accommodation comfort.  Age is immaterial on most tours providing you are in good health, can walk reasonable distances at a normal walking pace, and take sensible precautions befitting a visit to rural India.  A small number of tours take place in remote areas, and as a result of specifics such as basic accommodation, extreme climate, bad roads, rough terrain or altitude, are inherently more demanding.  The tour grading and any specific health considerations are mentioned on individual tour pages.  If you are concerned that the pace of a tour may be too tiring feel free to discuss this with us; you may also like to consider a custom tour, slowing the tour pace and allowing more free time to make the tour easier.   

 

Tour focus & featured species

The majority of our tours focus exclusively on birds (although we inevitably encounter other forms of wildlife), but in addition we also offer a selection of 'birds and ...' tours with a combined emphasis on bird and butterflies of mammals.  Our tour leaders take a keen interest in all forms of nature on any tour, however our tours are split into these categories to allow you to choose your tour according to your main interest(s).  Short visits to sites of significant historical or cultural interest are included where this can be done conveniently without detouring from a tour itinerary.      

Our tours place particular emphasis on quality of birding and wildlife watching.  Regional endemics and specialities are the key targets of each tour, with the field expertise of our leaders, together with our carefully planned itineraries, allowing us to consistently show our guests a high proportion of these key species.  Our overall aim is for a comfortable balance between an impressive trip list and good views of all species by all tour participants.  There is good to excellent scope for bird and/or wildlife photography on all of our tours. 

 

Our guides and lodge naturalists

Our tours are accompanied by a professional bird tour leader with exceptional field skills and the organisational ability to ensure the smooth execution of the tour.  Our guides are knowledgeable, experienced,  enthusiastic and friendly, and above all committed to ensuring that each and every member of the group enjoys the tour and sees everything they are hoping for.

Depending on the itinerary, we may offer those choosing a custom tour the option of travelling without an accompanying guide, instead making use of individual lodge naturalists at each site to accompany all wildlife activities.  Where this is an option we have chosen accommodation with the additional criteria of a good resident naturalist who we have found to be knowledgeable in all forms of wildlife, including birds, and who we are able to secure for the exclusive accompaniment of our clients.

 

Accommodation, food & transport

Our tours typically stay in a range of comfortable hotels, wildlife and birding lodges and tented camps.  We also make use of more basic government-run forest rest houses where they allow us access to prime habitats.  All accommodations are chosen for their service, comfort, character and location, where possible privately and/or locally owned, and are often a highlight of the tour.  Specific accommodation information is given on individual tour pages, but feel free to ask if you have further questions.

Breakfasts and dinners are typically served as a buffet at our hotel, while lunches may be picnics in the field, back at our hotel or at a local restaurant.  Special dietary needs can be accommodated given prior intimation.

Road travel is in modern and comfortable cars, jeeps, or minibuses, equipped with 4WD and/or air-conditioning where appropriate, and with drivers who are familiar with the roads and our destinations.  Given our small group size there is usually only one tour vehicle, however for larger groups we may use two or more vehicles which keep in contact by radio.  Some tours include journeys by rail or by air to cover longer distances.

 

Price inclusions

Our tour prices typically include en-suite accommodation, ground transportation, domestic flights where included in the tour itinerary, all or most meals, bottled drinking water, all birding activities, game drives as per the itinerary in jeep(s)/canter for our exclusive, accompaniment by an English-speaking professional birding tour (or lodge naturalists on some custom tours), sanctuary and monument entrance fees, the cost of any regional permits, comprehensive pre-departure information and species checklist.  All of our prices include currently applicable taxes. 

Tour prices do not include international airfare, airport taxes, passport and visa fees, personal travel insurance, drinks other than bottled drinking water, snacks, sanctuary and monument camera fees, laundry, telephone bills, or other expenses of a personal nature, tips, and charges incurred while making the payment (bank transfer/cheque processing fees).

 

Pre-departure information

Comprehensive pre-departure information and a blank species checklist are provided to all tour participants by email in advance of their tour.  Our pre-departure information provides a detailed description of areas the tour will visit and the species we expect, along with complete information on important points such as visas, health, insurance, climate, accommodation, luggage, clothing, books and maps, and for custom tours any necessary travel documentation, such as hotel vouchers and domestic flight tickets.

 

Trip reports

A selection of trip reports can be accessed through our Trip reports page, with some past client comments on our Client testimonials page.  Our Tour gallery presents our tours in the form of albums, with a brief tour summary or full tour report and checklist illustrated with a selection of photographs.  If you need any further information you are welcome to contact us.