Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Trans Himalayan Expedition - Trip recce





Glimpses...

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 
http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=27&tour=45%20DAYS%20SOUTH%20INDIA%20EXPLORER

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

Tamia 



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.... 

      



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Our trustee & beloved partner!

The overland vehicle is an overlander's pride and so is ours. We got her in 2012 and since then she has stood with us as a reliable machine. We would like to introduce you to the Overland Expeditions India's expedition vehicle.
She is a Tata van fully customised as per our needs. Before picking her, we went through a lot of other brands and their offerings and finally decided to go with Tata. The main reason being sturdiness, no nonsense nature of the vehicle and Tata's vast on road support.




After the modifications she comes fully equipped with the following:
  1. 8 comfortable high back seats
  2. Twin tower air-conditioners
  3. 100 litres deep freezer
  4. 100 litres water tank
  5. Microwave oven
  6. Full range of cooking equipment
  7. 8, 3 men dome tents
  8. A large awning
  9. Hosepipes, ropes, shovels
  10. Roof rack for luggage
  11. Music system with USB support
  12. LCD screen
  13. Camera/phone charging port
  14. GPS
  15. Bean bags for photographers
  16. Hidden safe
  17. Fire safety equipment

It's a medium sized vehicle comfortably seating 8 people and is just the right size to easily maneuver through the tight Indian roads and traffic. 
We have taken her to pretty much all the parts of the Subcontinent and she has proved herself. Be it the 48 degrees heat of the Thar desert or the 4000 m frozen desert of Himalayas, she has conquered it all. 
Today she is an invaluable part of our team. She has given us and our travelers numerous memories and experiences never to be forgotten! To know more about her visit: http://overlandingindia.com/our_vehicle.php   




Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Machli and her Kingdom - Ranthambore National Park

The news must have reached you! Or if it has not, Machli the legendary tigress from Ranthambore is no more. She passed away a few days ago at the age of 19.
A lot of us believe that she was something more than just a tiger. In fact a few even believed her to possess supernatural powers. Well we are not sure about that, but there is absolutely no doubt in the fact that she was more than an average tiger...
Machli walking straight towards us


A beast with a unique persona of her own! A true legend whom we will never forget. For survival, she succumbed to nothing. At one stage we all felt she is just invincible. She became really famous when she was recorded killing a huge mugger crocodile. But unfortunately just like any other great warrior, over the time we saw her demise.
She once ruled probably the most prized real estate in the tiger's world, the lake territory of Ranthambore. A territory full of prey, water, cool shades and utmost protection from the poachers.
No tiger ever dared to challenge Machli's rule. It was only when one of her daughters named Sundari grew bolder and decided to chase Machli away.
Machli behaving wiser than ever gave away her prime territory to her daughter without a fight. She moved to the edge of the park where she lived the rest of her life. Even in this area she was a star.
We shall all remain obliged to Machli for letting us inside a tiger's world. She unfolded a lot of mysteries for us.
Even with the visiting jeeps she was extremely relaxed giving everyone ample photo opportunities. She was relaxed to an extent that, I remember an instance when Machli was walking towards us on the dirt track. Another jeep was following her from behind. The careless driver in the jeep touched Machli's tail with his jeep's bonnet. She just looked back once thinking "silly humans'' and kept walking towards us.
Machli's daughter Sundari, after she chased away her mother

Machli during her lifetime was a movie star, a queen, a skilled hunter, a very successful mother, won atleast a million hearts and had also won a lifetime achievement award by BBC.
Machli is no more, but her tribe still thrives in the beautiful Ranthambore National Park. It is one of the best places to see wild tigers. The undulating terrain, sparse forest, beautiful water bodies and a great understanding of tigers behaviour makes it the ideal place to experience a tiger sighting.
Even leopards and sloth bears are in good numbers here.

- By Anand Sinha (Tour leader)

A tigress named Noor starting a hunt in a ravine


If seeing a wild tiger in its beautiful habitat is your dream, have a look at some of these tours that we offer with Ranthambore National Park in the itinerary:

1. 20 days Delhi to Jabalpur

2. 22 days Big Cats of India

3. 61 days Necklace of India

If you want a shorter trip or have any other travel plans why don't you share it with us at: info@overlandingindia.com

For lots of other exciting trips and more on overland travel log on to: www.overlandingindia.com  

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Big Cats of India - The only trip with Tigers, Leopards & Lions in one itinerary!


With the new season approaching fast, there is a lot of excitement here. We are getting to know new travelers, new trips are being booked and travelers who have booked with us already are sharing their preparations for the trip. Overall this is turning out to be quite an exciting monsoon for us. 

Yesterday we got some new bookings and our 10th Feb, 2017 date of 22 days Big Cats of India trip is now a guaranteed departure. Let us tell you some exciting stuff that await us on this trip. 
We start from the Central Indian city of Jabalpur. Its quite a well located town as it is surrounded by National parks from all sides. 

Our first spot will be Pench National Park. This is home to us. Although nature can surprise you any moment, we do know the park very well purely because we spend so much time here. It is certainly one of the best tiger habitats in India. In the past our travelers have been the luckiest at Pench. Not just tigers, it is also good for leopards and wild dogs. 



We then move to arguably the most beautiful area in Central India, Kanha National Park. It is definitely very beautiful and packed with wildlife. Tigers are abundant so is its prey. Kanha is home to the Hard Ground Barasingha deer. It is actually endemic to this park. Kanha is extremely good for birding as well. The forest is semi-evergreen and we will have a lot of fun here. 

                                                              A typical Kanha Scene


Finishing up in Kanha we will be heading towards Bandhavgarh National Park. This place has one of the highest tiger densities in India. Our campsite there is a special one. It is right on the edge of the National Park. It is regularly frequented by sloth bears (specially in the Mahua season). Our campsite is fenced so nothing to worry. 


Our campsite in Bandhavgarh


After exploring 3 big National Parks in a row, we will head towards the historic temple town of Khajuraho. Due to the theme of the trip (We are focused on the big cats :) we are only staying here for one night. But we will be making the most of the day we are there. There is an amazing sound and light show that the temples have to offer and we will make sure that we do not miss it. 

Some of our travelers admiring beautiful Khajuraho carvings


Shifting our focus back on wildlife, our next destination is Ranthambore National Park. It is one of the most unique wilderness that you would have ever seen. It was once the royal hunting ground of the the maharajas. Nature has now taken it back. This is the place where the tigers rule the ruins. Although the 1000 year old Ranthambore fort still stands strong and guards the park from one side. Ranthambore is a special place to see offcourse the tiger, and also sloth bear, leopard and hyenas. 

                                             Striped hyena in the outskirts of Ranthambore
                                            

India is densely populated in most of the areas, but does it never surprise you with the amazing wildlife it still supports? It is not just because of the Government's efforts but also the people of this country are very tolerant, and not just tolerant but some people have written amazing conservation stories at their own level. One such example is our next destination, 'Bera'. This is not a very popular name. In-fact it is not even a protected area. Lately it has become the ultimate leopard destination amongst the wildlife enthusiasts. The leopards here have been singlehandedly protected by the Royalties of the area. Be ready for some of the best leopard shots here. 


When you're in Bera, look for leopards on these rocks


The last mark on our map for this trip is the Asiatic lion's abode, Gir National Park. It is home to the only population of Asiatic lions in the world. This makes Gir a truly special place. There are more than 450 lions in Gir and the area around it. It is also home to some really big leopards. The last time we visited Gir, we saw a huge male leopard right in the middle of a village at night. 

Male Lion on the prowl in Gir


This is a lot of information that we have shared with you :) We must not disclose the rest of the secrets of this amazing trip. To truly experience it, you have to be a part of it. 

10th Feb, 2017 is the next guaranteed departure date for this trip. There are still a few seats left. If India and its amazing wildlife is in your #BUCKET LIST then this is the perfect trip for you. 



#Overland trips in India #wildlife of India #Bigcats of India #Tiger safari India #Want to see Asiatic lions #Jungle safaris India #Kanha National Park safaris #Wildlife Photography India