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I flew into New Delhi from Nairobi via Dubai on the 12th of January. New Delhi is steeped in history and interspersed with Mughal and British architecture. The airport was different from what I saw more than 30 years ago.

I had previously visited India and spent 4.5 months in 1985 and 1986.

I was then transferred to my first hotel, The Claridges, where I spent 2 nights. On the 4th day, we drove to Chambal which was 270km away from New Delhi. Once at Chambal we checked in to Chambal Safari Lodge and went out for an afternoon drive then took a boat down the Chambal River for 3-4 hours till sunset. We only had a night at this lodge.



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The following morning we went for another boat ride at sunrise before our afternoon drive to Agra which was 70km from Chambal and spent a night at the Taj Hotel and Convention Centre.

The next morning we drove to Bharatpur which was 60km from Agra, checked in to Laxmi Vilas Palace followed by an evening birding trip at Keoladeo National Park. On day 7 we had an early morning drive in the park then headed for Ramathra. We spent 2 nights at Ramathra Fort. While driving around the surrounding forest we came across striped hyenas. We also got to visit Ramathra village.








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We then drove to Ranthambhore, also 60km from Ramathra via Bhori Pahadi, a very scenic route. We had morning, afternoon, and evening drives in the Tiger Reserve. We stayed at Sujan Sher Bagh for 2 nights. I enjoyed staying here.

On day 12, we woke up early for another game drive. Later, we drove to Jaipur, which was 140km from Ranthambhore and stayed overnight at Samode Haveli.

Our flight from Jaipur to  Udaipur was pleasant.From the airport we had to be driven to Jawai where we stayed 2 nights at Sujan Jawai Camp.We had evening drives into the adjoining hills and dry forest.




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A striped hyena - I have never seen one - well done.

That is a lovely Tiger photo.

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Tom Kellie

~ @optig: Well done!


The sightings are enjoyable to see in your trip report.


Thank you for letting us share in the highlights of your terrific trip!


      Tom .

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A trip to India is not complete without visiting the Taj Lake Place where we spent a night and a boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur. The Taj Palace is nothing less than a magical place to stay. It is without a doubt one of the finest hotels in the world.

After breakfast, we headed out for a drive to Ahmedabad which was approximately 255km from Udaipur. We got to the House of MG, checked in and it was time for our tour of the Calico Museum of Textile and an evening tour of Law Garden Embroidery Market.




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After an early breakfast, we drove to Little Ran of Kutch. We stopped at Ashock Nagar to see how "Mata ni Pachedi" is made, a sacred textile of Gujarat. We arrive at LRK, check in at Ran Riders then go for an evening drive. We spent three nights at Rann Riders.

The next day we visited Patan and Modhera. Patan charms with its quaint temples, intricately carved wooden residences and Rani Ki Vav step well. It was also the birthplace of Patola silk sarees.

On day 20 we visited Nawa Talav and drove to Griv where we stayed at The Postcard Gir for 2 nights. We had morning and afternoon drives at Gir National Park. We later departed by surface to Velavadar, and checked in to Blackbuck Lodge where we spent two nights.

We then left Velavadar and went back to Ahmedabad for our flights back home.







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Wow @optig you've had fantastic sightings - striped hyena, tigers and Gir lions! excellent shots from you. did you see the blackbucks? any photos? and is that Sangeeta or Latika peeking into what looks like a school bus? Thanks for sharing. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do tell us about the school bus!  You certainly get around!  Chambal Safari Lodge would let you spend some time at this fascinating location.  I've only done a day trip to Chambal River.  Tell us about your Ranthambhore experience.  Did you share a vehicle with other people you did not know?  Were you in your own group of friends?  I see the tiger in the rocks.  Nice setting for it!

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On this trip, I was accompanied by Andy and Paula Holman, Sangeeta, and Latika Nath. Latika is the first female tiger zoologist in the world, as well as being a phenomenal photographer. Our guide was Vikram. We always had our own two jeeps. There were so many Indian tourists in large trucks that were like school buses. 


I certainly enjoyed India. However, I do have to say that Indian safari isn't in the same league as African safari. Some of the parks like Rambathore are so overcrowded and others are simply very small like Veladavar. The wilderness vibe that one gets in African parks simply isn't there.

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  • 1 month later...

Your journey sounds absolutely fascinating! It's amazing how much New Delhi has evolved over the years, isn't it? Your stay at The Claridges and the adventure at Chambal Safari Lodge must have been unforgettable. Reminds me of a trip I took where we stumbled upon a hidden gem of a lodge thanks to a travel article on https://tripsavannah.com/savannah-pet-friendly-accommodations . Even though it's not exactly the same, finding unique accommodations can really enhance a trip.

Edited by Sweetex
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