Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Manas & Kaziranga - the two jewels of North East India

On the recently concluded Trans Himalayan Expedition, we had some amazing wildlife experiences. Right from lifer birds, mammals, reptiles to some of the most elusive creatures or our jungles, we had an unforgettable experience. But out of all the wilderness that we explore, Manas and Kaziranga in the North Eastern States of Assam turned out to be very rewarding.
Both the parks are well known for their One horned rhinoceros, elephants and water buffalo sightings and we were not let down. In Manas we had scores of elephant encounters. Our guides and travellers had some real good encounters. Manas has some very well placed viewing platforms around salt licks offering close view of the big mammals like elephants, rhinos and gaur.
The area around Manas river is quite open and offers exquisite landscape views. We also saw herds of water buffaloes grazing on the banks of the river. Capped langur was another new mammal fro our guests.
Manas is also famous for extremely rare mammals like the clouded leopard, black panther, golden cat etc. Although our Lady Luck was not good enough to see one of them, we did come across another rare creature called the yellow throated Martin. It was a brief sighting and before we could get over our excitement and pick our cameras, it jumped across the road and disappeared in the thickets.

Kaziranga is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is indeed rightly so. In total we saw 132 one horned rhinoceros. They were just about everywhere. We got some incredible behaviour and pictures.
Icing on the cake in Kaziranga was the second tiger sighting of the trip. On our first morning in Kaziranga we got a tip off about a tiger sitting near a water body. We rushed to the spot, but by the time we reached there, a big water buffalo had chased the tiger inside the bushes and we missed it by literally 2 seconds. It was unbelievable. But determined to take another chance, in the afternoon we returned back to the same zone. The plan was to head straight to the morning location. We were rushing to the spot. But what luck! The tiger had moved in the afternoon and was heading back to the same spot. It walked for about 5 minutes in front of our jeep.
On day 2 morning, a pack of smooth coated otters kept us busy. It was extremely entertaining to see them hunt as a pack.
Below are some of the glimpses of the amazing sightings that we had:

A female elephant blocking our path

A huge tusker leading the herd across the river

One afternoon from a watch tower in Manas

One afternoon from a watch tower in Manas

An impressive tusker from Manas

Capped langur from Manas 

Kalij Pheasant from Manas

One of the best moments with the giants of Kaziranga

Great Indian Hornbill's massive wingspan

The very elusive Kaziranga Tiger

Hog deer - most common animal in Kaziranga

Asiatic water buffalo from Eastern zone of Kaziranga

Small pack of smooth coated otters in Kaziranga

If you want to be a part of our next Trans Himalayan Expedition, just drop us an email at: info@overlandingindia.com

For more information on the trip click here

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Trans Himalayan Expedition - Trip recce


The 82 Days Trans Himalayan Expedition, our most awaited trip is just a couple of months away and we have concluded our recce trip. Its a very long trip and goes through some of the most beautiful but also difficult terrain. We have introduced this trip earlier as well.      With our recce trip concluded, we can now offer you glimpses of whats coming up ahead. What's more exciting? We have processed a new video from the trip as well. Have a look at them below, have fun and just in case if you are interested in JOINING THE TRIP, we have also posted our new trip poster with an incredible offer!

Accommodation options in Chitvan

Mall street in Manali

Rohtang pass

Fuel stations are not easy to find

Suraj Taal

Chandra Taal

Baralacha pass

Shepherds in the Morey plains of Ladakh 

Tanglangla pass - The 2nd highest in the world

Shey monastery in Leh

The video is available at: Watch video here 

For more information on the trip click here

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Big Cats of India 

- "The only overland trip with Tigers, Lions, leopards and tons of other wildlife in one trip" 

When you think about wildlife safaris, probably the first picture that your mind paints is that of Africa and its charismatic big cats. Well its very exciting but what's more exciting is when you can see world's three big cats in one overland safari trip. And where? India!
Yes! India is the only country in the world to have Tigers, lions and leopards all in its wilderness. In fact India had cheetahs as well but they were unfortunately hunted to extinction in the mid 20th century. 
Overland Expeditions India runs a trip called 'Big Cats of India' in the months of December, February and April every year. Below you can read about our recently concluded trip from February. 

The trip begins in the Central Indian city of Jabalpur. It is such a convenient place to start an overland trip from. With daily flights and trains from Delhi and Mumbai, getting there for our travelers is never a problem. For the crew as well, there are bazaars and supermarket to shop from, workshops to get the vehicle checked etc. 

1. Jabalpur - Pench

A pit stop on the way to Pench

Our lovely campsite with a shady Banyan tree

Our cook group in action

Even though Pench is not the most popular park in India, it has been on top of our guests' list. It never ceases to excite. It has one of the highest herbivore density in India and also supports a large number of predators. Even if you are not seeing the big cats, there is always something else present around you, may be a jackal looking to ambush a deer fawn, gaur bulls sizing each other or just a troop of monkeys swinging down the areal roots of the banyans. Pench is particularly good for leopard sightings as it has the best rocky and undulating habitat. 

Gleaming leopard on a rock in Pench

Pench is also home to the whistling hunters or the Asiatic wild dogs. Due to the high prey density, this habitat can support good numbers of dogs. They also have the wide open grasslands where they like to hunt the spotted deer. 

A wild dog surveying the grasslands of Pench

All packed up to move to the next destination

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The 45 Days south India adventure begins with a festive mood...

Our 45 days south India explorer is one amazing trip that we are very proud of 

The sheer variety of experiences that it offers is very unique and our travellers love it. Well it was October and it was time to start another season of overland adventures.
After anxious and long days of preparation the day of departure was finally there. This trip starts from the central Indian city of Bhopal and gradually moves towards southern India covering numerous wildlife, cultural and historical destinations.
                              Tourism map of Madhya pradesh

With our expedition vehicle fully equipped and topped with gas we started our journey from our base near pench national park towards Bhopal. 
Filling diesel 

Tamia ghat(valley)

We consider it to be one of the most beautiful drives in India. Just 40kms away and we were driving through the stunning Satpura valley landscape. The tarmac is very well maintained and is always a pleasure to drive on. The first breath taking view is when you hit the Tamia valley. Its a massive gorge in the middle of dense forest. The sheer size and the view around will blow your mind away. We stopped for a few pictures.

Vultures nesting point


Another important thing about this drive is that it goes through the very rich Pench – Satpura corridor. It is home to a variety of animal life. Every now and then we hear about tiger,
Tyger tyger burning bright!!

leopard and bear encounters on this road. This time we saw some bluebulls, spotted deer, wild boar, mongoose, langur monkey and rhesus macaque. Off-course birdlife was plentiful as usual. The ledges on the gorges here form an important vulture nesting spots. Many endangered vulture species have found refuge here. Continuing our drive we reach a spot where the highway gets really narrow and a sign greets you saying, ‘’drive slow, area of Satpura tiger reserve”. From here on there are continuous signboards reminding you of the presence of wildlife around.

1st gate of satpura tiger reserve close to Pachmadi(hills station) range 

The road sign says Bhopal – 50 km and the forest slowly gives way to small villages and towns. It was the start of the festive season in India and that day India was celebrating two big festivals together, Dussehera for Hindus and Muharram for Muslims. For both the festivals a big part is the precession on road. We encountered numerous groups all performing on the road taking the dussehera procession to the local rivers for idol immersion. Beautifully decorated idols, pumping music and the dancing men and women. For Muslims the processions are a bit quieter but equally colourful and festive.
Taking durga idol to the river

locals are taking durga idol to the river, dancing and enjoying

locals full of mood

Muharram procession 

muharram procession

people are dancing and enjoying festival 

street is full of dance and music

20 km away from Bhopal and the nightmare began. First you drive through the industrial belt which is extremely polluting and there are hundreds of trucks making the traffic slow. It was almost dark when we entered Bhopal. Another part of dussehera festival for Hindus is the burning of huge effigies of the demon Ravana. 
The crowd had starting gathering near the celebration grounds further clogging the roads. 

Dussehra ground and people came to celebrate it

Effigies of the demon Ravana.

Well negotiating all the hurdles and enjoying Bhopal’s festive mood, we finally reached our hotel. Knackered after the beautiful but long drive, we retired to our rooms. The next day was an exciting one as we had to receive our travellers from the airport and Mr. Modi (Prime minister of India) was also on his way to the city. Can you guess the fun and challenges the next day posed for us? More in the next post....