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Assam, located in North East India is blessed with tropical jungles, grasslands and huge forest cover resulting in it being a haven for rare and endangered bird and wildlife. It is a top biodiversity hotspot. In this tour you will visit the famous UNESCO heritage sites of Kaziranga and Manas National Park, where you will get to encounter not only its famous resident- the endangered One Horned Rhino but the lucky few also get to see tigers and other bird and wildlife. You will also visit Gibbon Wildlife sanctuary, which is famous for the Hoolock Gibbons- the only ape found in India. You will stay in award winning characterful jungle lodges and heritage properties with activities ranging from jeep, elephant and boat rides, visits to nearby tribal villages to nature treks.
Guwahati – Manas National Park – Shillong – Cherrapunjee – Kaziranaga National Park – Jorhat Tea Gardens – Gibbon National Park
Map not to scale and only for reference
Arrive at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi airport in Guwahati where our representative will meet you, before driving you to Manas Wildlife National Park (148 km., 4 hrs.). A UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, Manas is also a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. Resting on the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, it extends upto the foothills of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Here stay at a jungle lodge.Day 2
Early next morning, go for an elephant safari. After breakfast, go for a village walk to a nearby Bodo village, indigenous tribe of Assam, who have a rich culture of textile, handloom, dance and music and witness their way of life. In the afternoon go for a 4-hour long jeep safari that takes you through the deep of the jungle and drives you upto the Bhutan borderDay 3
After breakfast, start your journey towards Shillong (240 km., 6 hrs), the capital city of Meghalaya. On the way visit Lake Umiam, a beautiful tourist spot. Rest of the day relax in the hotel.Day 4
In the morning after breakfast visit the Don Bosco museum, which showcases the entire of North East under one roof. Then visit Elephant falls and Shillong peak and get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. After lunch visit a local Khasi marketplace and then go see a game of ‘Tir’ or archery gambling involving archers to shoot over a thousand colourful arrows to get the lucky number and learn about the mythical story behind this game. Evening in the hotel.Day 6
Drive to Cherrapunjee (60 km., 1.5 hrs), the erstwhile rainiest place in the world. On the way, experience the beautiful rolling hills, the flora and the waterfalls, most importantly the Nohkalikai or Seven Sisters Falls, a seven segmented waterfall which falls from a height of over a 1000 ft. Also visit Dawki lake near Indo- Bangladesh border. Overnight in CherrapunjeeDay 7
In the morning, after breakfast, hike through meandering paths and thick tropical woods and little villages on the way down to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge. The War Khasis, the local tribe of the place discovered an indigenous form of making bridges by intertwining the roots of rubber tree and use trunks of betel nut tree as root guidance systems. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.Day 8
Leave for Kaziranga National Park (270 km., 6.5 hrs), home of the world renowned one-horned rhino. Check-in at a jungle lodge and the rest of the day at leisure.
The Park is divided into three regions- Western, Eastern and Central. The western range has maximum short grass areas, wetland, patches of tall grassland and woodland and is the optimum habitat for Rhino and Water buffaloes. The Eastern Range is situated towards the eastern part of the park, less frequented and the area is excellent for birding. It includes nesting of the globally threatened Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Spot-billed Pelicans, Migrant waterfowl, the drive through this range is very scenic and swamp forest elephants can be seen, as well Water Buffalo and Swamp Deer. The Central region is characterised again by short grass and it gives an ideal introduction to the park and its ecology as the route passes through the entire spectrum of habitat types prevalent in the Kaziranga area. Sightings include elephants and other big animals especially the swamp buffalo and rhino.Day 9
Early in the morning go for an elephant safari in the Western range, which is a good opportunity to see the animals from close. In the afternoon go for a jeep safari in the Eastern range, which takes you deeper into the jungleDay 10
Go for an elephant safari in the Central range and after breakfast visit an ethnic village of the Mising tribe. In the afternoon go for a boat safari which takes place along the Eastern range.Day 11
In the morning drive to Jorhat (113 km., 2 hrs.), a major centre for tea research with many tea plantations. Here stay at a heritage tea garden estate bungalow reminiscing the colonial way of life at a Heritage North East property. In the afternoon, visit Tocklai Tea Research Centre, oldest and largest tea research centre in the world and visit Naamghar, where the lamp continues to be lit for over 500 years and has never been extinguished. Overnight at Thengal Manor property of Heritage North EastDay 12
Early in the morning go for a visit to Hoollongapar Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Gibbong Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to Hoolock Gibbons, the only ape to be found in India. These apes live in families and at the break of dawn they come out foraging and jumping from one tree to the other in groups. It is also interesting to note how the local villagers have been looking after and protecting these families of the Hoolock Gibbons. In the afternoon, go for a visit around the tea gardens, witness the tea plucking and tea manufacturing process. Overnight in Thengal Manor.Day 13
After breakfast drive to Guwahati (328 km., 6 hrs). and visit Deepor Beel, a freshwater lake in a former channel of Brahmaputra river. Besides being a birding hotspot, it has a large no. of Aqua and land fauna. Overnight at a hotel in Guwahati.Day 14
After breakfast, you will visit Kamakhya temple, located atop Nilachal Hills on the Western part of Guwahati. The temple is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Peethas and an important pilgrimage destination for general Hindu and especially for Tantric worshippers. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from there.Day 15
You will be dropped at Guwahati airport for your onward journey home.
The accommodation in this tour includes award winning jungle lodges, heritage properties and hotels.
Food is Indian food, local cuisine, Continental and Chinese. If you have any dietary requirements, please mail us at the time of the booking and we will take care wherever possible.Climate
In the Assam plains, the days are going to be warm and evenings cooler, and you can expect a few showers in April. Carry jackets and fleece.Passport and Visa Requirements
A passport (with at least six months remaining validity) and a current Indian visa are required for this trip. Please note that you are required to have a passport with a machine-readable bar code. You will need to apply for your Indian visa in advance from the relevant issuing authority in your home country. British Passport holders can apply for an e-Tourist Visa, a single entry visa valid for 30 days. Please visit the website https://www.hcilondon.in/pages.php?id=28Travel Insurance
It is recommended that you take out appropriate insurance to cover personal accident, medical costs, repatriation, loss of baggage and holiday cancellation.Vaccinations
Please visit your GP for guidance for vaccinations while travelling to India. Please also visit this website for more details http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspxCurrency