A charming colonial-era hotel set within the historic centre of Darjeeling, the Windamere Hotel offers stunning views over the Himalayas and surrounding tea estates.
|10 Days||£6610||Feb - Mar||India||Tailor-Made|
Exclusive to Natural World Safaris, this trip takes you off the beaten track to Singalila National Park, located in a breathtaking area of the Himalayan foothills. Joining a team of researchers, you will track endangered red pandas through peaceful montane forests and assist in important conservation work.
Escape the bustling cities of India and head off the beaten track to the tranquil wilderness of the Himalayan foothills on this exclusive safari to Singalila National Park. Staying in a traditional Nepali-style homestay overlooking an alpine valley, you will join a team of researchers as you track the elusive red pandas along meandering forest trails. You will also have the opportunity to assist in their conservation by helping to set up camera traps, planting trees and taking part in a number of important conservation projects. The parks montane forests are a birding paradise and are home to over 300 bird species, as well as other wildlife such as the Himalayan black bear, Indian pangolin and clouded leopard.
Today you will be welcomed to the bustling city of Delhi, the capital of India, by your local guide who will transfer you to your hotel for the night. The rest of the day is yours to relax and prepare for your flight to Darjeeling tomorrow.
This morning you will be transferred back to the airport for your two hour flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to your hotel on the outskirts of the Darjeeling, an scenic hill town set against the impressive backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayan Peaks. Darjeeling is one of the most important hill stations in eastern India, but is perhaps best known for providing a vast amount of tea to around the world. This evening, set out to explore the local market or simply relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Overnight: Windamere Hotel (B, D)
After breakfast you will be driven approximately 2.5 hours to Manebhanjen, the entry point to Singalila National Park. You will head straight to the current camera trapping sight to check the cameras and see what animals have passed by recently; rare species including black leopards, leopard cats and Indian civets have all been recorded here. The data collected is used to educate the local forest-dwelling populations on how to coexist sustainably with the animals. Once the cameras have been reset, you will drive through the stunning landscapes of the Himalayan foothills to Habre's Nest Homestay, your home for the next six nights. Settle in to your homestay with a warm cup of tea, enjoying the breathtaking views across to Nepal over the valley.
You will spend the next five days exploring Singalila National Park and the surrounding communities with a team of researchers and expert trackers. Most of your time will be spent hiking through the national park in search of the endangered red pandas who live in these remote forests, heading out on a different forest trail each day. You will also have the opportunity to join the researchers in the setting of camera traps, hoping to capture the parks elusive predators on camera, work on a number of tree-planting, dog vaccination and other important conservation projects. The exact itinerary will depend on the conservation programmes being carried out in the area at the time of your visit, but your work will have a real positive impact on the local wildlife and communities.
Your time in the Himalayan foothills has now come to an end, as you are driven the four hours back to the airport at Bagdogra for your return flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel close to the airport.
Today is your final day in India, and you will be transferred back to the airport for your international flight home. Alternatively, this safari can be combined with an extension to visit some of the numerous cultural and wildlife sites across India.
This safari is run on a private basis and is 10 days in length. The trip can be extended to include tiger tracking in some of India's national parks, beach relaxation in the Andaman Islands or any other area you would like to explore. Please ask your Destination Specialist for details.