Experience the bounteous wildlife and extraordinary beauty of Madhya Pradesh in two delightful national parks. This is the India of Rudyard Kipling: you’ll venture from remote Satpura to a small lodge in Kanha, the park that inspired The Jungle Book. Though the long journeys on this trip are not for the fainthearted, this is an incredible holiday for the true wildlife connoisseur.
You land in Delhi and your first two nights will be within the new part of the city. Arriving in India, dizzying and disorderly Delhi is an assault on the senses. However, the contrast between this frenetic city and your upcoming time in Madhya Pradesh is fascinating – and, by setting you up in a calm base at Claridges Hotel, we have made sure it will never feel “too much”. Your time in Delhi includes an illuminating tour of the Qutub complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a walking tour around captivating New Delhi.
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT // 2 NIGHTS AT CLARIDGES DELHI
This morning you fly into Bhopal Airport and it’s a four-hour drive to your first jungle location, Reni Pani, a beautiful lodge in the lesser-visited Satpura National Park. The naturalists here are the best in the business and can help you track animals and birds in a variety of ways, from jeeps to boat tours to guided walks. Look out for the sloth bear, gaur, endemic butterflies, and Malabar Giant Squirrel, plus, if you're lucky, the elusive tiger and leopard.
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT // 5 NIGHTS AT RENI PANI LODGE
As part of this holiday, we have included both an afternoon jeep safari and an early morning canoe safari along the Denwa river (both, of course, guided by an expert tracker). Exploring two habitats at different times of the day gives you the best chance of seeing a wide range of creatures, from crocodiles on the river to leopards in the undergrowth. On your final day, you can take your pick from a brilliant range of further safari options.
Take a trip to the Pachmarhi plateau, the highest part of the Satpura Hills, which reaches an altitude of about 4000 feet (1219m). This is an area steeped in legend and strewn with ancient ruins, that is now the home of mammals, reptiles and a richly diverse group of butterflies. An excellent excursion for historians and naturalists alike.
With a strong focus on conservation, Reni Pani blends harmoniously into the surrounding forest, yet still has a pool and luxury cabins. ETG travellers will love the authentic, back-to-nature feel while still being able to access creature comforts - the ideal way to ease into a jungle retreat. Plus, having all the different safari options makes for a varied and exciting experience.
It’s a seven-hour drive to reach your next location - a charming lodge just outside Kanha National Park - but for the intrepid naturalist, the experience is well worth the journey. In Kanha, you have a good chance of spotting tigers or leopards, and the vast meadow-like terrain means you can lose other jeeps quickly as you track. Away from the wildlife, the insight you gain into rural village life in India is brilliant.
5 NIGHTS AT FLAME OF THE FOREST
We have organised four safari experiences for you at Kanha, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. As there are four zones in Kanha National Park, no two drives are the same, and you'll discover different landscapes and the varied wild inhabitants of the park.
We have included an afternoon’s visit to a small nearby Kutwahi village for a revealing insight into rural Indian life. See locals go about their daily life as they draw water, tend to their fields, come home from school or sell bidis. At the property, you can enjoy yoga and a photography lesson with the on-site naturalist. Don’t hesitate to take a little whiskey in your morning porridge, too - it’s a speciality here!
Flame of the Forest focusses on a holistically peaceful and refreshing experience. With just four cottages, it is intimate and personalised: though it might not have luxury facilities, the service, atmosphere and cuisine are second to none. You’ll enjoy the real sense of community here, which is reflected in the fact that FOTF is involved in inspiring social initiatives such as ending period poverty and supporting female education in the nearby villages.
National parks are open from October to June, and each month has its merit in terms of climate and sightings. In our opinion, March and April have the best weather in India for wildlife, as there is water scarcity and vegetation is drier, so animals come to limited waterholes which improves chances of sightings - be prepared for the heat though! Try to avoid mid-December and January if you don't like cold mornings and evenings.
To further enhance your holiday, you will receive your fifth night at Reni Pani on a complimentary basis and your fifth night at Flame of the Forest at half price.
Revitalise is a culmination of 16 years’ work, research and client feedback. Our travel team take annual trips to each of our destinations, testing the experiences and inspecting the hotels (someone’s got to do it, right?). We are passionate travellers in our own lives, and we have all visited Asia with our friends, family or backpacks. Basically, we’ve done the legwork: we know travel. And that’s why these trips are nothing short of magical.
We understand that while you may be itching to travel again, committing to a trip right now feels daunting. That’s why we have introduced our COVID-19 promise. We promise that if you book a holiday with us, but for any reason cannot travel due to COVID-19, we will refund you the bulk of your money, up to the day of your departure. We hope that this will give our travellers a little peace of mind and help you enjoy the magic of travel anticipation once again.
An ETG experience cannot begin unless our travellers feel secure in every respect. Financially secure: we are fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. Fully supported: our friendly team is on hand to help 24/7 before, during and after your trip. Free from hassle: we will ensure your trip runs like clockwork. Plus, all our experiences are tried and tested by our discerning team, so you can rest assured every excursion you book with us is both worthwhile and ethically sound.
With ETG, the experience starts the moment you pick up the phone. We are committed to seamless service at every stage of your journey. Before you depart, your dedicated travel consultant will provide all the information and insider tips you need to get you prepared (and excited!). Your in-country experiences will be distinctive, tailored to you, and always reveal the fabric of the destination. And you will come home with memories to share - not just photos to show.