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India Tiger and ‘Big Five’ Wildlife · PDF file India Tiger and ‘Big Five’ Wildlife Safari with MSU Alumna Jessica Pociask Sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association ... · Photography

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  • India Tiger and ‘Big Five’ Wildlife Safari

    with MSU Alumna Jessica Pociask

    Sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association

    October 19 - November 3, 2015

    $8,088 PER PERSON ( U SD, double occupancy ) , $9,889 per person ( USD, single occupancy )

    Program Includes: · All accommodations · All meals · Activities mentioned in the program · All land transportation · Airport and local transfers · Entrance and local guiding fees · International tour leader · Tips, government taxes and levies · In-country flights · Bottled water in transport vehicles · Photography education and assistance

    For more information and to sign up for the tour, call (231) 620-9268 or visit

    Less than 3000 tigers remain in the wild, and many

    environmental groups have declared that in as little as

    20 years, tigers will be considered an extinct species. If

    you have ever dreamed of seeing a tiger in the wild, now

    is the time. Tigers are synonymous with India, and the

    Indian government is desperately trying to protect these

    majestic animals from extinction. Their "Project Tiger"

    national parks provide a safe home for the largest and

    most stable tiger populations in the world, and the well-

    trained elephants provide a classic and exciting way for

    the visitor to track and observe them in their natural ele-

    ment. Additionally, this tour provides the chance to see

    and photograph not only tigers, but also lions, leopards,

    rhinos, buffalo, elephants, and nearly 1,000 bird species.

    And as always, if this was not enough, we offer a final

    experience as the crown to your Big Five safari with a

    tour to the ethereal Taj Mahal. Join MSU alumna, host

    and wildlife biologist Jessica Pociask, for an unforgetta-

    ble tour of India’s most precious creatures with excellent

    accommodations, delicious food and educational semi-

    nars. Don't miss this expedition, as the parks may close

    as they did in 2012, in an attempt to preserve the

    remaining tiger populations!

  • Detailed itinerary: Oct 19 New Delhi/Kaziranga National Park Arrival at Delhi’s international airport. The India wildlife safari begins in Delhi, the capital of the country. Our airport representative will meet you upon arrival (after clearing pass- port and customs formalities). We will check in for our flight to Guwahati and then proceed for a quick Welcome Orientation, before we depart. After our arrival in Guwahati we have another five hours of driving to our accommodations, a lovely wildlife lodge on the edge of Kaziranga National Park. We quickly check in and gather for a fantastic traditional Welcome Dinner. Soon after dinner we will call it a night, in order to rejuvenate in preparation for the upcoming days of wildlife exploration. Accommodations: 4 star wildlife lodge Oct 20 Kaziranga National Park At Kaziranga, since this national park is mainly dominated by beautiful tall grass, we hope to see one of the ‘Indian Big Five’ the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros. With nearly 80% of the world's population resident, the park has been recognized as a World Heritage site. In addition to wonder- ful rhino viewing, the park is also home to large herds of elephants (sometimes up to 200 individuals) and buffalo. Tigers can also be found, however they are rarely seen in the long grass. The park also shelters other species such as Sloth Bear, Leopard, Swamp Hog and Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, Pygmy Hog, Jungle Cat, Hog Badger and the Capped Langur Monkey. The open country makes wildlife viewing at Kaziranga fairly easy with most major species seen daily. Kaziranga is also a birder's paradise with large numbers of resident species boosted considerably by visiting winter mi- grants. Regularly seen species include Oriental Honey Buz- zard, Black-Shouldered Kite and Himalayan Griffon. Game viewing here is conducted both by jeep and on elephant- back safaris, which we will alter and arrange according to the actual movement of wildlife. The schedules are set by the rangers and (as usual when dealing with nature), according to the weather conditions. Otherwise our days will be the usual safari days - we will always break our activities with a lunch followed by siesta, and will finish with a great dinner. At Kaziranga, our dinner will be enlightened by traditional Bihu dances. Accommodations: 4 star wildlife lodge Oct 21 Kaziranga National Park This morning, we hope to enjoy an elephant ride for about one hour, prior to breakfast. Once back at the lodge, we will complete the experience with a great breakfast, before we take off for the Western Range of the Park. It takes just a short time by jeep to reach the entrance of this range. The route traverses the southwest portion of the park, where the grass is shorter, providing an optimum habitat for rhinos and water buffalo. Representative perennial ox-bow lakes surrounded by marshy Hemarthria compressa stands can be seen, among many other habitat types. This southern circle is roughly 20 km long, allowing us to stop at every interest-

    ing natural phenomenon we encounter, yet make it back to the lodge just on time for lunch and siesta. A short time later, we take off again, at this time towards the Kaziranga Range. This drive covers the central region of the park and it is an ideal introduction to the park and its ecology as the route passes through the entire spectrum of habitat types prevalent in the area. There is a possibility of sighting ele- phants as well as other herbivores. It is also a favorite place of swamp deer, which is otherwise difficult to spot in this national park. Bird life is especially abundant in this central range, making our afternoon drive specifically rich in species observation. Once we have taken all the sunset images we need, we will return to the lodge for yet another delicious local dinner and off to bed. Accommodations: 4 star wildlife lodge Oct 22 Kaziranga National Park/Kanha National Park Today we will cross the entire Indian subcontinent, from east to west. Due to the lack of logically scheduled domestic flights, and the huge distances we have to cover today, we will have to depart in the wee hours of the morning. Just before arriving at Guwahati airport, we will have our packed breakfast. Once at the airport, we will quickly check in and depart for Nagpur as early as 7:50 am. Upon landing in Nag- pur, we will have just enough time for a sandwich lunch. From Nagpur, it is another 5 hours drive to our destination of the day – the world famous Kanha National Park. The drive to the park is on a paved road and we will arrive for a late lunch. After check in at our lodge, we will jump on our game drive vehicles and take off into the “jungles” of this fascinating national park (please note that this afternoon game drive depends on the unpredictable driving conditions between Nagpur and Kanha). Once this short yet exciting introductory drive is over with the setting sun, we return to our accommodations and retire early after a satisfying tradi- tional Indian dinner. Accommodations: High-end tented safari camp Oct 23 Kanha National Park We have two full days entirely dedicated to the exploration of the National Park. We will finish our breakfast by the time the first light breaks and drive out into this fascinating wilderness, cameras and binoculars in hand, hoping to cap- ture great moments of the daily lives of the many inhabi- tants. Kanha is also referred to as “Kipling country”, since the nearby forests were the setting for the "Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling. It is an outstanding national park of Cen- tral India, noted for its tigers and the last remaining popula- tion of the hard-ground race of the swamp deer. Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck, but Kanha National Park is so rich in wildlife that the odds are tilted in our favor. There are a healthy number of tigers found here. There are herds of spotted deer to be seen, and with a little luck, we can also spot the timorous barking deer. There is also a very strong possibility that we will see the rare hard-ground Ba- rasingha, the Swamp Deer. Once we have had our fill of the amazing scenes and the excitement with wildlife, we return to the lodge for a great lunch and a short siesta. Mid-

  • afternoon we will be in our jeeps again to spot and silently study more wildlife. As darkness approaches, we return to the lodge once again and have a lovely dinner. Accommodations: High-end tented safari camp Oct 24 Kanha National Park Our day is just like the one before – after breakfast, we set off on a morning game drive and after lunch and a short siesta, and we will spend the entire afternoon in the bush. Tonight at dinner we will say goodbye to the fascinating Kanha National Park. Accommodations: High-end tented safari camp Oct 25 Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park Our goal on this fascinating voyage to India is to maximize time spent in national parks. In order to achieve this goal, we set off early in the morning today, to yet another park, which has the highest tiger sightings probabilities in the world. Bandhavgarh National Park is a six hour drive from Kanha, and we will arrive for a early afternoon lunch. We will check in at our lodge and set off for an afternoon game drive to start experiencing our fourth and last national park on our voyage. Once we are back at the lodge and refreshed, we will gather in the dining room and summarize during dinner, what we have seen so far and w