Safari with Suyash to Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh is home for me and a paradise when it comes to wildlife viewing and photography. It is spread across an area of 1500+ square kilometers, in a region which is known for its thick Sal and Bamboo forests, interspersed with hills, grasslands and perineal streams. It prides itself on being the most densely populated tiger reserve in the world. This undoubtedly makes Bandhavgarh one of the best places in the world to spot and photograph wild tigers in their natural habitat. The reserve also offers a wide variety of flora and fauna including deer, sloth bear, leopard, jackal, wild dog and over 350 different species of birds.
During this tour, I will be your personal guide, naturalist and mentor. I will teach you everything I know about wildlife, tracking, understanding the forest and of-course photography if you are interested in that. It will be a really fun experience, full of thrill, adventure and learning. This tour is not for photographers alone, it is for everyone who wants to explore our wild heritage, like never before!!
Our tour will be for 4 nights and 5 days, with six safaris, one bush dinner and tribal dance experience, hands-on learning and lots of fun, laughter and adventure. And what better place to do this than in the Tiger Capital of the World – the one and only Bandhavgarh National Park.
This will be followed by a delicious dinner, good old-fashioned conversation and thrilling safari stories. Post-dinner, we will go on a short night walk to observe the glory of a thousand glistening stars, the peace and quiet of the night time and the sensational sounds of the night.
NOTE: Being a photographer or having an interest in photography is not mandatory on this tour. This tour is for YOU and you decide what you want from it. Other focuses of this tour is learning about conservation, tracking, birding, identifying different species, reading the forest, learning animal behavior and most importantly, have a good time
Day 1 - Arrival
Enjoy a fresh welcome drink and settle into your rooms by the afternoon followed by a meet and greet with me and other members of the group in the evening.
I will then brief you about the trip and also understand what you want to get out of this trip. This will be followed by a presentation on Bandhavgarh National Park where you will learn about its flora and fauna, how to track animals and understand the jungle, predict behavior and along with that, what you can expect on a #SafariWithSuyash experience
For people interested in photography: Prior to the trip you will also get access to my Online Masterclass. This will set you up for the upcoming safaris, where you will delve deeper into the core principles, tips, and tricks of photography – all the while receiving hands-on training from me. Don’t worry if you do not own a camera. You can take some incredible shots with your smart phone and I will show you exactly how. During the entire trip, I will share the best way to approach and photograph the subjects and give deeper insights on their behavioral aspects.
- By Flight: Closest airport is 3.5 hours away at Jabalpur with daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad
- By Rail: You can take a train to Umaria or Katni and then reach Bandhavgarh by road. Umaria is 45 minutes away, while Katni is about 2 hours.
- Drive: You can drive down to Bandhavgarh if you wish. The roads in Madhya Pradesh are very well maintained
- Please see the FAQ section for details on booking the pickup & drop-off
In between safaris you will have time to relax or sit with me to go over the day’s happenings, photographs and receive feedback on them. My entire focus will be on you all, so you can literally bother me with anything and everything you like.
Before the dinner, we will meet over snacks as a group to go talk about the day and also review photographs.
The last night of the tour will be designated party time where we will join the local tribals in their dance to celebrate the different seasons and also the Tiger God. This night will be full of fun, great food, dancing and, like it or not – silly and corny jokes by me – like it or not.
Every morning, we will leave for our first safari by 5:00 AM … I know it’s early, but I promise it will be worth it… it’s BIG CAT TIME!!
Breakfast will be served during the morning safari, inside the national park. We will stop at the “Center Point” where people are allowed to step out of the jeep and even enjoy hot tea, samosas and Maggi – all made by the locals in front of you.
You will return from the safari around 11:30 AM and have some time before we have to leave again for the afternoon safari around 2:30 PM.
- Six jeep safaris, subscription to Virtual Safaris, subscription to Photography masterclass
- Afternoon at leisure or one on one session with Suyash (your choice)
- Pre-dinner photography review session or watch a nature documentary (your choice)
- Tribal Dance and Celebration on the last night of the tour
- Action packed adventure stories by Suyash along with extremely silly jokes - like it or not.
- Night Safaris are also available in Bandhavgarh and can be organized at an added cost (see FAQ)
For a full list of inclusions and exclusions, along with a packing guide, payment terms, cancellation policy etc. Please refer to the FAQ section below.
Morning safari and checkout after breakfast, and onward transfers.
Transfers to and from Bandhavgarh to airport/train stations are not included in the package but can be arranged at an added cost. The cost for transfers to Jabalpur airport is INR 6,500 each way.
We can coordinate with you for transfers to/from the airport/railway station. We generally do carpool for guests arriving at around the same time so everyone can split the costs..
- Step 1) Say goodbye to the tigers and your new friends
- Step 2) Sad goodbye’s to Suyash 😔 – but they only mean that he would love to see you again.
- Step 3) Book another Safari with Suyash as soon as possible!!!
Kings Lodge is a luxurious eco-friendly resort nestled between Sal forested hills of Bandhavgarh National Park in a large natural forested estate of 35 acres. The lodge is environmentally sensitive, harmonious with the natural features of the site and is built in a manner which accentuates natural daylight to all facilities. Local knowledge and art have been incorporated in the development and the lodge has been constructed using local manpower. The guests benefit from its incredible location, award winning hospitality, an experienced team of naturalists, a farm to table culinary experience and the company’s commitment towards conservation and upliftment of the local community
Here’s a list of Covid-19 Precautions taken by the team.
Kings Lodge, Pugdundee Safaris
The Kings Lodge is an ecolodge nestled in a large natural forested estate of 35 acres. The Lodge enjoys unparalleled woodlands and wilderness surroundings. The Kings Lodge is in the heart of wild country and 95% of the land is forested. No trees were felled during the construction of the lodge. Guests benefit from their incredible location, outstanding hospitality, in- house naturalist team and their commitment to conservation and local communities.
- Outdoor barbeque and bush dinners
- A watch tower or machan, ideal for bird-watching
- Open air swimming pool with a sundeck
- Organic Kitchen Garden and butterfly garden
- Nature library, Nature Trails and Lookouts
- In house spa with Ayurvedic massage treatments
Epic moments from #SafariWithSuyash
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of questions that may help you in planning your trip. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me on SafariWithSuyash@gmail.com
Any future hikes in Government Taxes and Safari Fees levied by the Forest Department are not accounted for in the package but will be informed to you as and when communicated to us by the authorities.
Single Occupancy vs Twin Sharing Rooms
There are two categories of rooms:
1. Single Occupancy: Where you get the entire room to yourself
2. Twin-Sharing: Where you are paired up with another member of the group and share the room with them
The cost of the tour is per-person.
Payment Terms and Cancellation Policy
Payment Terms and Cancellation Policy:
- 50% is non-refundable once the payment is done.
- The remaining amount will be refunded if cancellation is done 45 days prior to the photo tour start dates.
- No refund if cancellation is done between 0 – 45 days of the event.
- Your spot on the tour is only guaranteed once the full payment has been made.
- Please note that the date of written communication (e-mail) of intent to cancel will be the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
- Amendment in dates within 45 days from arrival is treated as a cancellation.
- Cancellation amount is calculated as per total booking amount and not as per advance deposited.
What is included and what is excluded?
Accommodation and all meals for the duration of the tour.
Six Safaris (3-4 guests per jeep), jeep rental and forest entry fee. Private jeeps can be booked at an additional cost before booking the tour.
Naturalist, guide and camera allowance fee.
1 bush dinner and tribal dance
GST as applicable
Tips, laundry, personal snacks etc.
Transfers to and from Bandhavgarh are not included in the package but can be arranged at an added cost. The roundtrip cost for Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh is INR 6,500 one-way.
We can coordinate with you for transfers to/from the airport/railway station. We generally do carpool for guests arriving at around the same time so everyone can split the costs.
All other expenses not mentioned in “inclusions” above will have to be borne as additional expenses by the participants
Note: Any future hikes in Government Taxes and Safari Fees levied by the Forest Department are not accounted for in the package but will be informed to you as and when communicated to us by the authorities.
What are my payment options?
You can book directly through this website. For other payment options kindly mail us at SafariWithSuyash@gmail.com
Is this tour for photographers only?
NO, this tour is for everyone who is interested in exploring the beauty of our natural world, take back experiences and memories of a lifetime, make new friends who share a similar interest and most importantly connect with nature.
You can arrive without a camera, and just take back memories and experiences.
THIS TOUR IS FOR YOU!
How do I reach Bandhavgarh?
- Jabalpur is the closest airport to Bandhavgarh (approx. 3.5-hour drive)
- Umaria Railway Station is a 45-minute drive (approx.) and Katni Railway Station is 2hours away (approx.)
- We can coordinate with you for transfers to/from the airport/railway station. We generally do carpool for guests arriving at around the same time. Please note that all such transfers will be at an additional cost. Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh one way is INR 6,500 per vehicle.
- You can also drive to Bandhavgarh if you wish. The roads in Madhya Pradesh are excellent
Ideal Flight Timings
We recommend that you book any flight which arrives in Jabalpur before 12:00 pm on the day that the tour begins and any flight that leaves after 5:00 pm on the day that the tour ends.
Central India has a variable climate and weather conditions across the year.
The park are open from October 1st to June 30th
October to Mid-November: Mild weather but mornings can be cold and afternoons can get warm some times
Mid November to February: Are peak winter months with temperatures going as low as 4 decrees celsius on some days, but usually remain between 10 and 20 degrees celsius with incredibly pleasent afternoons where temperatures can go up-to 25 degrees. Guests should layer up during these times of the year and shed the layers as it gets warmer.
Mid February to Late March: Cool mornings and nights, but warm afternoons.
April – June: The weather is mild in the early mornings and late nights but afternoons can get very hot. They remain dry in April and May but when June rolls around, the weather gets humid and mid June onwards there are chances of rain.
What to pack?
Practical colors to wear to the park are khaki, beige and white in all seasons. Please avoid bright and flashy clothing and strong perfumes/deodorant. It is advisable not to wear sandals or shorts during nature walks
Here are some of our packing suggestions:
- Light cotton trousers & cotton shorts
- Light cotton shirts (long & short sleeved)
- Cotton socks & comfortable walking shoes
- Shower proof rain jacket/ windbreaker
- Hats, sunglasses & scarves
- Insect Repellents
For winters, pack extra:
- Heavy woolen clothing
- Woolen hats
- Scarves and gloves
If you are simply coming to enjoy the beauty of the national park and learn more about wildlife from Suyash, then you don’t need to bring any equipment with you.
If you are coming on this trip to learn photography then you are strongly recommended to bring your own camera. We suggest brining a combination lenses, such as a zoom lens as well as a wide-angle lens. Super telephoto lenses are also excellent. If you would like to rent any equipment, please contact Suyash in advance.
Smartphones are also very handy these days and Suyash can train you on the best way to use them.
You can also rent equipment from Suyash, please email him on SafariWithSuyash@gmail.com to reserve your equipment
Access t0 internet
All lodges have basic internet connection. The offices in the lodges have an extra computer which can be used free of cost for emailing. Internet may not be reliable at all times as breakdowns take time to fix as we are remotely located.
If you are allergic to any food items, kindly inform at the time of check-in. A delectable spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is served at all the lodges. Breakfast is the combination of variety and choices from the varied cuisine and is usually served in the park, during the safari itself.
Please ensure that you are carrying a Government issued photo ID with you at all times during your travel.
For foreign nationals, a valid passport and visa is required for travel to India and entry into the National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is located in a very remote region of India with the nearest hospital being 4 hours away in Jabalpur.
Please carry your personal medications.
Expecting mothers, patients with heart conditions and any other health ailment that require constant medical attentions are advised not to travel.
My team and I are taking the utmost precautions to ensure the safety of our guests and also ourselves.
- All luggage and incoming items are sanitized.
- Everybody at the lodge including the guests and staff have to get a mandatory temperature check daily
- 100% of the staff lives inside the lodge itself and os required to wear a mask throughout and kitchen staff is required to also wear a face shield
- All incoming food products are quarantined for 6 hours before being washed thoroughly
- For safaris: the vehicles are sanitized before and after every safari. We will keep a maximum of 4 people in the 6 seater open safari vehicle.
- All utensils are UV sanitized
- All rooms and bathrooms are sanitized with a disinfectant spray
- All rooms are naturally socially distanced
Can I extend my stay? Or add private safaris with Suyash
YES, you can contact me directly on SafariWithSuyash@gmail.com and we can plan it out.
Parks across Madhya Pradesh now offer night safaris in the buffer zones. This is a fantastic way to explore the beauty of the night sky and also see some of the shy and nocturnal creatures such as sloth bear, civet cat, jungle cat, bengal fox, nightjar and if you are lucky then the leopard and tiger too. We have had many instances where guests on #SafariWithSuyash have seen big cats along with the rare civet cats and bengal fox.
Night safaris are subject to availability and cannot be booked ahead of time. They will be arranged at an additional cost during the tour itself, and the cost is split between the participants.
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