If you’ve always dreamed of seeing a tiger in the wild or you’ve been inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s wild tales of the jungle, choose this ultimate wildlife itinerary.
Suggested route & duration
14 nights Mumbai to Delhi
• Mumbai: 2 nights
• Pench: 2 nights
• Kanha: 3 nights
• Bandhavgarh: 2 nights
• Khajuraho: 1 night
• Agra: 2 nights
• Delhi: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this itinerary
• Visit three different national parks to increase the chances of spotting a Bengal tiger
• These lesser-visited parks give you a more intimate experience compared to Ramthanbore
• Spot other species such as leopards and sloth bears
• Spend a night in Khajuraho and explore the UNESCO-listed temple complex
• Head to Agra and see the iconic Taj Mahal – a visit and city tour is included
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Mumbai Arrive in the coastal city of Mumbai and spend a couple of days exploring India’s biggest city and cultural capital. Stay 2 nights at Trident Mumbai.
Day 3: Pench Fly from Mumbai to Nagpur and travel onwards by road. Begin your search for Shere Khan in Pench National Park, one of the two parks considered to be the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories. Keep your eyes trained on the streams, rivers and dense teak forests of the park for a possible glimpse of a Bengal tiger. Stay 2 nights at Pench Tree Lodge.
Day 5: Kanha This expansive wildlife wonderland is the other park believed to have inspired Kipling. The landscapes are better suited to seeing central India’s wild inhabitants, including the Indian leopard, thanks to its grassy meadows and less-dense sal forests. Stay 3 nights at Chitvan Jungle Camp.
Day 8: Bandhavgarh It’s likely that your Bandhavgarh game drives will be the best chance for a tiger spotting thanks to the high concentration of big cats and the relatively small size of the park. Stay 2 nights at Bandhav Vilas.
Day 10: Khajuraho The focus shifts away from nature and on to culture as you spend a night in Khajuraho, the site of a famous group of monuments and temples. A visit to the complex is included. Stay 1 night at Lalit Temple View.
Day 11: Agra Travel by train to Agra, home to the world’s most famous mausoleum and ode to love, the Taj Mahal. Join an English-speaking guide for a visit to the Taj and a city tour. Stay 2 nights at Trident Agra.
Day 13: Delhi The last leg takes you to India’s frenetic capital, Delhi. Spend a full day exploring the sights and sounds of New and Old Delhi with a private driver and guide. Stay 2 nights at Maidens Hotel.
Mumbai by dawn
Add on an exploration of Mumbai as it wakes, visiting the city’s vibrant and bustling markets.
The tiger is the king of the jungle here; your guides on are experts in tracking these creatures.
Khajuraho’s complex of Jain and Hindu temples are architectural masterpieces.
Agra’s Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is the most famous icon of India. We’ve included a guided tour of the Taj’s grounds.
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
We’ve recommended some unique lodges so you can make the most of the jungle surroundings during downtime between game drives. We particularly love Pench Tree Lodge with its six tree houses. Make your safari extra special, by upgrading to the Taj lodges in Bandhavgarh and Kanha.
We’ve included at least two game drives in each national park as well as guided sightseeing excursions in the cities but it’s easy to add on more experiences and make your holiday even more special. Talk to us about adding one of our immersive excursions like exploring Mumbai by Dawn.
To make the most of each park and to avoid rushing from place to place, we’ve suggested taking two weeks to complete this itinerary. If you have more time let us know and we’ll tell you how you can extend your trip. Perhaps add an extra day in Bandhavgarh or stay a little longer in Mumbai.
While this is already quite a busy itinerary, there are other places that you can easily add. If you want to stop at one of Central India’s lesser-visited national parks like Tadoba or Saptura, just let us know. You could also add a couple of nights in Jaipur to complete the Golden Triangle.
Good to know
When to go
• Your best chance to spot wildlife is in April and May when the vegetation in the parks has dried up and water sources are scarce following a long period of very little rain
• For cooler temperatures, visit between January and March; expect more people in the parks with you and cold morning and evenings
• National parks close during the monsoon (July to September/mid-October) and on Wednesday afternoons