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The Wild West
Day 1: London to India
Depart for Mumbai flying with Emirates.
Day 2: Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai. Met on arrival at the visitor's lounge and transferred to
your hotel for overnight stay. After freshening up in the hotel we will leave
for a semi-wild bird-watching trip to Sanjay Gandhi national Park located
18 kms away from Mumbai. We will ezxpect to see Grey Hornbills, Grey Jungle-fowl,
Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Emerald Dove, Spotted Owlett, Purplr heron,
Black-shouldered and Brahminy Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Pheasant-tailed and
Bronze-winged Jacana, Blue-winged Leafbird, Orange Headed Thrush, brown headed
and White Cheeked Barbets.
Evening will be at leisure. Overnight you will be at the hotel.
DAY 3: Mumbai - o - Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Morning we will leave the colorful city of Mumbai behind to move to Rajkot.
We will take the flight IC 169 at 1000 from Mumbai to reach Rajkot at 1130.
From Rajkot we will move to the Little Rann of Katch 100 kms west of Ahmedabad.
On arrival we will check-in to the Desert Coursers for 02 nights, the resort at Zainabad. It was started in 1984 by the descendants of Nawab Zainkhan and is run and managed by them even today. It is located next to a lake and the accommodation here which is in the form of cottages, is very ethnic and comfortable. The environment friendly cottages locally known as Koobas are equipped with all modern amenities and have attached bathrooms with hot and cold showers and electricity. Hygiene and safety are never compromised. Buffet style endemic cuisine is served here.
Here we will see large numbers of Demoiselle and Common Cranes, Sarus Crane, Great White, Dalmatian and Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Comd, Spot-billed and marbled Teal, Long-billed Plover, Greater and Lesser Spotted eagle, Bonelli's and Booted Eagle, Cream-coloured and Indian Courser. With extreme luck one might see the McQueen's Bustard a very shy and rare visitor. Occasionally the Lesser Florican is seen here. The Rann is also a great place for larks. Other birds include Rain, Jungle Bush, Rock Bush Quails, Smal Yellow-legged and Barred Buttonquails, Pied Cuckoo, Sirkeer Malkoha, Blu Cheeked Bee-eater, European Roller, Eagle and Short-toed Owls, Grey, Sykes, Indian and Savanna Nightjars.
The Little Rann is also one of the last places for the Khur or Asiatic Wild Ass. The other amammals include Nilgai, Chinkara, Jackal, Desert Cat, Common Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Mongoose and Desret Gerbil.
Evening will be free to relax and discuss the day's sightings.
Day 4: Little Rann of Kutch
We will proceed with our exploration of the Little Rann on with a mix of
jeep drives and walks wherever possible. Our focus today is to catch a glimpse
of the Khur. Afternooon we will try to see the shy and rare Houbara Bustard.
Evening will be free to relax and enjoy the ambience of the semi-arid camp area.
DAY 5: Little Rann - Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
This morning we will proceed for our long journey to Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.
On arrival we will check-in to the Gir Lodge for 02 nights.
Located at the edge of Gir Forest, the Gir Lodge is 65 kilometres from Junagadh railway station and 60 kilometres from Keshod airport. The Lodge has 29 rooms including 2 suites, each with a telephone, television and attached private facilities. The lodge also has a fitness centre and a multi-cuisine restaurant.
Day 6: Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Early morning we will go far a jeep safari to the Kankai and the Kamleshwar
reservoirs in the Chodavdi reservoir of the park.
Later in the afternoon we will look for the avian fauna of Gir. We expect to see the Short-toed Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Indian Pea-fowl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Painted Sandgrouse.
Day 7: Gir Wildlife Sanctuary - Rajkot
After a morning jeep safari to the Gir we will proceed to Rajkot by road. Enroute we will stop near Gondal at Veri Lake to look at some flamingos, pelicans, Common and Demoiselles Cranes. We will proceed to Rajkot and on arrival will check-in to Hotel Kavery.
HOTEL KAVERY - RAJKOT
Standard grade modern hotel
A Government approved 3-star property Kavery Hotel is located 3 kms from the airport, 3 kms from the railway station and 3 kms from the downtown area. The hotel has 33 air-conditioned rooms and one multi cuisine restaurant.
Day 8: Rajkot - AhmedabadMorning we will proceed for a directly to the wander
out with your natuaralist guide or on your own if you prefer so for a full
day bird-watching to Keoladeo National Park. Keoladeo is rich with birds and
you can certainly expect to see the Siberian Crane, which depart later in
February. Oriental Darters, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets Purple and
Grey Heron can be seen easily. Same holds for the Painted Storks. Black capped
Hight herons are at plenty at their roost in the other side of Ghana Canal.
More than 20 species of ducks flock Bharatpur in winter. Birds of prey include
Marsh Harrier , Pallas's Fish Eagle, Eastern Steppe Eagle and Greater and
Lesser Spotted Eagle. You will also have excellent chances to see the passerines
like the Black Hooded Oriole, Greenish Warbler, White Browed Fantail, Grey-Headed
Canary Flycatcher as well as Indian and Grey Nightjars. Much of the southern
part of the national park is a mosaic of savannah grassland with scrub. In
these dry areas you can find Chestnut tailed Sandgrouse, Red Collared Dove,
Rufous Tailed Lark, Rufous-tailed Shrike, Baya. The lake at Koladahar in the
southern extreme of the park dries up a bit earlier and if it be so it can
support the rare Indian Courser.
Bharatpur is also a good place to see some lesser fauna like the Fishing Cat and the Small Indian Civet and the Toddy Cat. Also one can see the Striped Hyaena and with a bit of effort the Indian Python.
Evening will be at leisure. Overnight you will be at resort.
DAY 4 07 Feb
Morning you will be getting a second chance to catch up with the birds of Bharatpur for a short while prior to breakfast. After that you will have to say goodbye to Bharatpur and move on to Bund Baretha 1.5 hrs from Bharatpur. The prime attraction of this place is Indian Skimmer. You will also get a chance to see the Great Crested Greebe, Comb Duckand Osprey. The small pools offer a good chance to see the Brown Crake and occasionally the Ruddy Breasted Crake. Other birds that you will see in Bund Baretha are Eurasian Spoonbill, Booted eagle, Eurasian Giffron, Eurasian Thick-Knee, Pintail Snipe, Whiskered and River Terns.