Summary : Discover the captivating treasures of India and the serene beauty of the Maldives. India's ever changing feast for the senses will take your breath away on an experience of amazing monuments and diverse landscapes and wildlife. Join national park safari adventures by elephant and 4x4 Jeep, in search of tigers, sloth bears, leopards, bison and a multitude of birdlife that inhabit the Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks. Then stay onboard the Ark Royal Dive Yacht and Spa, a boutique style, state-of-the-art diving and snorkeling platform. The Ark Royal provides the ideal home base from which to enjoy the Maldives, one of the most pristine marine environments in the world.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Photography, Snorkeling
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart respective cities for Delhi, India. Lose a day crossing the date line if traveling from the United States.
Arrive at the international airport in Delhi, clear customs and immigration, and be met by your representative. Transfer to the hotel and take some time to freshen up before joining your expedition leaders for a welcome dinner and cocktails. Delhi was the capital of kingdoms and empires. Today, it's a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi offers the perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land.
Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel (D)
Depart Delhi on early morning flight to Jabalpur. Upon arrival at Jabalpur, drive to Bandhavgarh National Park and stop for a visit at the western group of temples of Khajuraho. Khajuraho is famous for its beautiful temple architecture and erotic carvings on its exterior walls.
Set amongst the Vindhya Hills in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park consists of 168 square miles of sal and a mixed forest of bamboo, grassland, and a complex of deciduous forests. There are at least 150 species of birds in the park, along with other mammals such as tigers, sloth bear, langur monkeys, wild boar, mongoose, 3 kinds of deer – chital, sambar and barking, to name a few. After the day's travels, be welcomed at the Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge where you'll stay for the next four nights.
Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge. (B, L, D)
The day starts with an early morning wake-up call with a knock on your room door. Tea, coffee, fruits and cookies await you at the main dining area. Wake up to misty mornings and sounds of birds calling, which will make an exciting start to the day. As soon as dawn breaks, leave for your Morning Jungle Safari, accompanied by a resident naturalist and forest park guides in 4x4 Jeeps. The early morning is the best time for tracking tigers and other wildlife. "Sher Darshan" or a "Tiger Show" offers you the chance to see a Royal Bengal tiger up close from elephant back, if you are lucky!
The afternoon safari starts at approximately 2:30-3 p.m. and goes until just before dusk. As darkness falls, the peace and tranquility of the night is temporarily broken by various animal calls – an alarm-call of the deer or the howling of jackals, or an occasional roar of the tiger. In the evening, relax and unwind under a spectacular galaxy of stars. Gather with your naturalist with drinks and hot snacks to discuss the highlights of the day before retiring for the night.
Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge (B, L, D)
Drive to Kanha after breakfast. Check in to the Kanha Jungle Lodge upon arrival at Kanha. Set on The Chhota Nagpur Plateau in Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park provides breathtaking vistas of grassy plains and strands of mixed sal and teak forests. This 366-square-mile preserve was set to save two endangered species – tiger and the barasingha. Also, you will have an opportunity to see swamp deer, black buck, cheetal, Indian bison, barking deer, sambhar, leopard and tiger.
Overnight at Kanha Jungle Lodge (B, L, D)
Over the next couple of days, venture out in the morning and afternoon into the park or village by 4x4 Jeep with a local Naturalist in the hope of seeing some of the fascinating and incredible creatures that inhabit the park along with the daily life in the villages. Also, enjoy an elephant ride in hopes of seeing a tiger.
Overnight at Kanha Jungle Lodge (B, L, D)
Enjoy an early morning breakfast before check out. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Bangalore. Upon arrival at Bangalore airport, you will remain in transit for an onward connecting flight to Male, via Colombo. Bangalore Airport is one of the most modern airports in India with world class services inside the terminal. Overnight at Hulhule Airport Hotel (B, L, D)
Depart for the Ark Royal after breakfast around mid-morning. Take time to get comfortable and acquainted with your new home before lunch and afternoon activities. Join your expeditions leaders, the Captain and crew for a welcome aboard dinner and drinks, as you set sail for a week adventure aboard the luxury Ark Royal Dive Yacht and Spa.
The expedition throughout the week will focus on exploring the most spectacular dive sites in the Maldives. Underwater it is thriving with rainbow-colored coral reefs, overgrown wrecks and an amazing mix of marine life, including the renowned abundance of large aquatic animals such as whale sharks, manta rays and reef sharks. The nooks and crannies of the coral reefs are also full of tiny wonders such as gobies, blennies and nudibranchs, helping to make each dive an adventure full of surprises waiting to be discovered. After working up an appetite, enjoy the Maldivian food in the air-conditioned salon or take your meals outside to enjoy the amazing view.
Overnight at Ark Royal Yacht and Spa (B, L, D)
Enjoy an early morning buffet breakfast before a transfer to airport and hotels.
Join a 6-day pre-trip extension to the Taj Mahal, Redstone City, Keoladeo National Park, Jaipurís Amber Fort and Maharajaís City Palace (Accommodation option 1: $4,290 per person, $840 single supplement; Accommodation option 2: $4,760 per person, $1,170 single supplement). Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
All accommodations in twin/double share rooms as outlined in the itinerary; exclusive yacht charter (Ark Royal); all group meals; exclusive air-conditioned coach; jeep safaris in national parks; elephant rides in national parks (depending on tiger sightings and authorities); Delhi city tour; Male city tour; welcome and farewell cocktail receptions and banquet dinners; soft drinks, drinking water, tea and coffee during lunch/dinner at all hotels; bottled water in rooms and on tour; all group transfers and baggage handling; all tours, cultural performances and excursions as outlined in the itinerary; exclusive services of English-speaking professional guides and naturalists; photographic workshops; all gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, dive crew, resort and wait staff; government, service and room taxes; all permits, entrance and marine park fees; complimentary slideshow DVD; donations; dive tanks (air) and dive weights.
All international and domestic airfares; any airport arrival and departure taxes; passport and visa fees; immunization costs; individual airport transfers, meals and baggage handling outside the group travel itinerary; travel insurance (*required); excess baggage charges; personal items, such as laundry, any alcoholic beverages or bar charges (unless specified above), email, telephone, fax calls; tips for non-group service; rental of scuba diving or snorkeling equipment and/or other equipment where needed; nitrox air fills; optional pre-trip extension (contact ExpeditionTrips for details).
*Mandatory Travel Insurance:
An active travel insurance policy is required. It is a pre-requisite that arrangements are made for comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical, accident (including SCUBA diving for divers) and medical evacuation.