Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in southern India, supports a large diversity of flora and fauna. The Western ghats are a paradise for nature enthusiasts, where large tracts of forests, mountains and slopes (many still inaccessible by roads) provide sanctuary to a wide array of endemic wildlife. Every summer, the receding water of the reservoir over the Kabini River invites large herds of Asian Elephants. Bull elephants follow these herds with enormous tusks, some of which scrape the ground as the tusker walks. Watching these gentle giants relishing the grass by the edge of the river is delightful.
Moving alongside the Elephants are large herds of gaur, the largest wild cattle in the world. Also foraging over the dense vegetation and the fresh grass are big herds of Chital (spotted deer), the solitary but common sambar deer, and the barking deer. This wide diversity of prey helps sustain a thriving population of the Royal Bengal tigers, ‘Dhole’ (wild dogs), leopards, and the highlight of this tour: the black leopard. Less common species in the park include the sloth bear and the smooth coated otters by the riverside, where large marsh crocodiles are a common sight. The park offers excellent opportunities to photograph the malabar giant squirrels, which hop around the branches exploring for food. Mongooses scan the forest floor for grubs, worms, smaller reptilians, and occasionally a snake.
Nagarhole has always been THE place in India for leopard sightings and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve reports a particularly higher density of melanistic leopards. Nagarhole is undoubtedly the best place to find the black panther!
Kaustubh had a keen interest in observing and understanding the animals around him as a child, He developed a keen interest in visiting different sanctuaries and wildlife reserves. The exposure from that young age, encouraged him to pursue it further. Being passion driven, he then chose to work as a lodge Naturalist at Pench and Kanha National Parks for an in depth understanding about the wildlife and hospitality sectors, before he started leading tours for some reputed wildlife tour operators from UK, USA & Germany strengthening his organisational, communication and tour leading skillset. With an experience spanning over 18 years, keen understanding of wildlife and foreign national guest handling, he is there to ensure that his clients get the best possible experience, when they choose to travel with him!
Maximum drives to maximize chances, to track and spot the highlight of the tour- the black leopard!
Tour led by Kaustubh Mulay, a well versed English speaking naturalist, with 18 years experience, guiding wildlife photographers, in different national parks of India.
All meals and stay at Nagarhole are included in the package, more details available on tour inclusions section
Assured tour commencement for booked travellers
Summer is the best season to track and photograph black panther
Comfortable transfers between airport-nagarhole-airport in air conditioned vehicles
On arrival at the Bangalore/Bengaluru airport, you will meet the Naturalist & Tour Leader and drive to the city hotel for a relaxed afternoon. The drive from airport to the city takes about an hour. After check-in formalities, your Leader will brief you about expectations for the journey on the following morning, after which you will have the evening to recuperate from the journey to India.
After an early wake-up and sumptuous breakfast, you will hop into cars and proceed to Nagarhole National Park. The road is well maintained and passes through villages, towns and cities offering visitors a chance to observe the life of the locals. The journey is approximately five-hours and with a lot of onboard snacks and munchies, we can assure no one will go hungry. On arrival at the lodge, you will check in and receive introductions to staff that will look after you during your stay. After lunch, you will proceed for the first safari in the park.
** Our focus on safari will be to locate the black panther. We will also consider other animals as the opportunity presents at the discretion of trip participants and interest in seeing specific species. **
During these six days, we will maximize opportunities to photograph the black panther. Each day consists of two safaris. Unlike most of the leopards, the target black panther is not very shy and offers some excellent sightings when he is out patrolling, on a casual walk, or sometimes with his mate! It’s always important to remember that wildlife abides by their own rules and sometimes remain elusive. We will pursue opportunities to photograph other species of interest during this time, while focusing efforts on opportunities to photograph the black panther. With the abundance of wildlife in this reserve, there is always something of interest around. As tiger numbers in the park rise, so do some great sightings! Each evening upon returning to the lodge, there are opportunities to discuss photography and wildlife over a drink at the lodge’s bar. For beginners in wildlife photography, one can learn basic tips and tricks of the trade.
After an early morning wake up call, you will hop into the jeep for one last adventure. Following the final opportunity to photograph the diverse wildlife and try one last time for the black leopard, you will return to the lodge for a sumptuous breakfast and pack bags to get ready to return to Bangalore. On the return trip, you will stop for washrooms, coffee, and a quick bite as needed.
Upon reaching Bangalore, you will have dinner, say goodbye to each other, and head to the airport for your return flight home!
“I have used Pristine Safaris several times, my best go to company for Indian Wildlife Holidays!”
- India wildlife at its best. I have used Pristine Safaris several times over the past few years and every trip has been incredible. Kaustubh is an expert guide with many years under his belt. He has a great sense of humour and his passion of wildlife shows in his work. I like the company because they choose affordable comfortable accommodations, but put a focus on the wildlife safaris. For my trips in Ranthambore, I was very appreciative that we stayed in mid-range lodging, and then have extra budget to do full day safaris in the park. I cannot recommend Pristine Safaris enough!
“Do Not Hesitate to choose Pristine Safaris for your wildlife holiday to India.”
My Wife Rachel and I took a 7-Day Safari with Pristine Safaris in May as part of a two-week trip to India. We couldn’t have chosen a better tour operator! Kaustubh, Pristine’s Owner, is knowledgable, attentive and goes above and beyond to cater his guests in every way! Kaustubh arranged us a visit to the Taj Mahal after which he took us to the Pench National Park and Kanha National Park. Clearly Kaustubh’s knowledge as a naturalist, his experience guiding in India’s National Parks, and his foresight to chose the best guides and drivers for safari’s made our trip glowing success!
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