Wildlife of North East India

India

Wildlife

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

14 days £3,235 pp This is the price per person for a private tour (based on 2 people travelling) excluding international flights. Contact us for pricing for other group sizes including individuals.
Intro, Dates & Prices

Intro

Off the tourist trail, North East India is home to some of the most endangered wildlife in the world. Arriving into Assam, drive to Manas National Park on the fringes of the Bhutan border, which plays host to over 450 species of bird as well as secretive big cats including tigers, clouded leopards and panthers. In Nameri explore the jungle on foot and raft down the Bhorelli river, a great place to spot hornbills. Move on to Assam's UNESCO-endorsed Kaziranga National Park home to the world's largest population of one-horned rhinos where an elephant-back safari at dawn is an unforgettable experience. Afterwards fly to Kolkata and head to the Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forests in the world, known for its fearsome Royal Bengal Tigers, reptiles and astonishing array of birdlife.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Elephant safari and game drives in Manas
  • Walking safari & boat ride in Nameri National Park
  • Elephant-back safari, one-horned rhino & other wildlife in Kaziranga
  • Cruise the world’s largest mangrove forest

Places Visited

Guwahati - Manas National Park - Nameri National Park - Kaziranga National Park - Kolkata - Jorhat - Sunderbans

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights
Accommodation
Most meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks

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Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Guwahati - Manas

Arrive into Guwahati and then drive to Manas National Park. Evening free. Overnight in Manas.

Meal plan: Dinner

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Day 2 : Manas

Morning and afternoon game drives in the national park. Evening free. Overnight in Manas.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Manas National Park feels like it is primeval jungle and is less-developed compared to other parks in India. It is considered one of the world’s most biologically diverse parks with an area of approximately 950 sq km making it one of the largest parks in India. Given its remote location very few visitors come to Manas. The park is divided by the Manas River on the other side of which is Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. There are thousands of plant and animal species, many of which are globally endangered. These include golden langurs, Royal Bengal tigers, clouded leopards, black panthers, Asian elephants, Himalayan black bears, Gangetic dolphins and pangolins. The park is also considered one of the best in India for its hundreds of bird species. 

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Day 3 : Manas National Park

Morning and afternoon game drives in Manas National Park. Evening free. Overnight in Manas.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 4 : Manas - Guwahati

Early morning elephant safari in park. Drive to Guwahati. Afternoon boat ride on Brahmaputra. Overnight in Guwahati.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Guwahati is popularly known as ‘the city of eastern light’, and situated on the banks of the Brahmaputa River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau. Many Hindu temples are found in the area, including the Kamakyha Temple, where animal sacrifices are still a daily occurrence. Nearby is the quaint Umananda Temple situated on an island.

On Peacock Island, the temple of Umananda was built in 1694 by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of His Majesty Swargadeo Gadadhar Singh one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Tai Ahom dynasty. The Shiva temple is set at the top of a flight of steps. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans.

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Day 5 : Guwahati - Nameri

After breakfast drive to Nameri National Park. Lunch and afternoon rural walk. Overnight in Nameri.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Reached by river, Nameri National Park is a beautiful forest area inhabited by langur monkeys, elephants, barking deer, rare birdlife and more.

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Day 6 : Nameri National Park

Morning walking safari in Nameri National Park. Afternoon boat ride on the river looking out for the wide array of birdlife. Evening free. Overnight in Nameri.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 7 : Nameri - Kaziranga

After breakfast set off for Kaziranga National Park. Afternoon game drive in Kaziranga. Evening free. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Kaziranga National Park is home to two-thirds of the world's population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros at just under 2000. A few centuries ago, the Indian one-horned rhino ranged across the north Indian plains in the wetlands of the rivers Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra. Today it is found only in pockets of Assam and in Nepal. Kaziranga also boasts a range of other wildlife and harbours about 15 species of India's threatened mammals including the most dense population of Royal Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, sloth bears, Gangetic dolphins and an extraordinary bird population. Kaziranga National Park is located partly in Golaghat District and partly in the Nagaon District of Assam and covers an area of 430km2. It lies in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra and annual flooding and burning has maintained the grasslands predominant in the west. It became an official national park in 1974, but was established as a reserved forest in 1908, a game sanctuary in 1916, a wildlife sanctuary in 1950, and as a World Heritage site in 1985.

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Day 8 : Kaziranga National Park

Morning and afternoon game drives in the Central Sector. Evening free. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 9 : Kaziranga National Park

Early morning elephant safari. Rest of morning free. Afternoon game drive in Western Sector. Evening free. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 10 : Kaziranga National Park

Morning game drive and picnic breakfast in Eastern Sector. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 11 : Kaziranga - Jorhat - Kolkata

After breakfast leave for Jorhat to catch flight to Kolkata. On arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of day free. Overnight in Kolkata.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Jorhat is the second largest city in Assam and is situated by the Brahmaputra river. Jorhat is renowned for its tea and for being the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom, meaning it is now home to many historical monuments of Assamese culture. Tea is part of the agriculture-based industries and occupies an important place in Assam culture, especially as plants have always grown naturally in the Upper Brahmaputra valley. The entire Jorhat district is surrounded by tea plantations and has tea factories. There are about 135 tea gardens in the surrounding areas. 

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Day 12 : Kolkata - Sunderbans

After breakfast drive to jetty to catch boat into the Sunderbans delta. Check into lodge. Afternoon boat ride. Evening free. Overnight in Sunderbans. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sunderbans is a National Park, a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. It is home to one of the world's largest areas of halophytic mangroves and is also a hotspot for Royal Bengal tigers, boasting one of the highest Bengal tiger populations in India. Situated in Bangledesh, two-thirds of the park fall into the district of West Bengal. The name 'Sunderbans' literally means 'beautiful forest', and the reserve is very scenic, intersected by a series of waterways, tidal islands and mudflats, and boasting a diverse range of endemic plant species. There is also a significant Watch Tower which offers panoramic views of the area.

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Day 13 : Sunderbans

Full day cruising the waterways and creeks of the Sunderbans mangroves. Late afternoon village walk. Return to the lodge. Evening free. Overnight in the Sunderbans.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 14 : Sunderbans - Kolkata

Early breakfast then set off on the boat back to the jetty. Transfer by car/minibus to Kolkata. Afternoon free . Drop off at airport to catch flight. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Extensions

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, there's no better place to relax than one of India's paradisiacal beaches

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Kolkata & Darjeeling Snapshot (7 days)

Ideal extension to Bhutan

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Wildlife of Madagascar, India & Borneo (29 days)

Spot lemurs, tigers & orangutans

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Wildlife of India & Borneo (21 days)

Get under the skin of Asia's two best wildlife spots.

Journey through the Indian Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

UNESCO Sites of South India (17 days)

Discover South India's ancient archaeological wonders

Textiles & Artisans of Gujarat & Rajasthan (16 days)

Nomadic tribes, traditional textiles, crafts & Mewar Festival

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Tribes of Rural India (14 days)

Visit remote tribal villages of Orissa & Chhattisgarh

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Heart of India (14 days)

Lucknow, Varanasi & the wonders of Madhya Pradesh

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Glimpse of India (12 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Kerala

Treasures of Gujarat (12 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

The animal experience at Tadoba, Pench and Satpura was just wonderful, especially for tiger, jackal and sloth bear interaction.

Mervyn Cooke , Tailormade Wildlife, India

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

This was my first experience of using Travel the Unknown having enjoyed small group adventure holidays for many years. I was attracted to the company because it seeks out the more unusual and lesser known areas of a country and I was not disappointed by my visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There is a clear contrast between the people and the scenery of these two regions and we saw very few western tourists particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. The tour was well organised with plenty to see and do.

Keith Lewis , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

I`m sure I could not have found a better operator for the type of complicated Indian tour I wanted to undertake on a limited budget. India is an intimidating country to visit, and I suspect that some operators look down on the first time visitor, or disparage their requirements. Travel the Unknown, by contrast, helped me all the way, and their local guides were superb.

Andrew Martin , Tailormade North East India

A fantastic trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Very well organised exactly to our requirements. Superb local guide. Would recommend this trip. Hazel and James.

Hazel Frost , Tailormade North East India

This trip was very well put together and ticked all the boxes that we had requested. The accommodation throughout the tour was of a high standard and our experiences in the national parks was wonderful spotting many different animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, lions, jungle cat plus countless number of birds. Thank you Rahul for tailoring this trip to our requirements.

Nigel & Margaret Turner , Tailormade India Wildlife & Birding tour

We went on the Spirit of South India Tour and had a great time on our honeymoon. There was a good variety of places visited and the hotels, drivers and guides were all very good. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Rachel , Spirit of South India, India

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India
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