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Jungles of the Forsyth Trail

Madhya Pradesh - the wild heart of India
 
Walking with your own local guide in the forested hills of the region that inspired Kipling’s Jungle Book, you gain insights into the life of forest communities during your stays in guesthouses and tented camps, and have the chance to spot an array of wildlife – and possibly even a tiger.
Jungles of the Forsyth Trail. 11 nights
Jungles of the Forsyth Trail. 11 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A guided walking holiday in Madhya Pradesh

The great plains and undulating hills of Madhya Pradesh, whose winding rivers and teeming forests inspired Kipling’s Jungle Book, are among India’s most enthralling landscapes. A sense of tranquillity pervades on this absorbing walking and wildlife discovery holiday, with access and unique insights into the tiger reserves and their village communities at the heart of rural India.
From the peaceful Victorian hill-station at Pachmarhi, enjoy fine walking and warm hospitality in the teak jungles of the Satpura reserve, staying in comfortable tented accommodation and forest guesthouses. Then delve into the Pench National Park to spot jackal, wild boar, peacock and paradise flycatchers – the state bird of Madhya Pradesh. Leopards roam the reserve and, of course, you may also catch a glimpse of a noble tiger – the ultimate culmination of a breathtaking wildlife experience. It all begins in the colourful, noisy streets of Mumbai, and the overnight train into the heart of rural India...
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

We provide you with your own local guide who accompanies you as you explore. Because it's privately guided, you get to set the pace and have a say in how you spend your days, and can pause as often as you like to take photos, watch the wildlife and admire the views.
  • Arrival in Mumbai
    You arrive in Mumbai, amid all the heat, colour, noise and energy you would expect from the world’s sixth most populous city. At the airport you are met by a driver and taken to the Suba Palace Hotel to relax and freshen up before being taken to Mumbai CST railway station to catch the overnight train.

    Night 1: on the overnight train to Pipariya.
    As this is a day of travelling, we class your first day of exploration (ie the following day) as Day 1 of the itinerary.
  • Explore Pachmarhi
    After breakfast in Pipariya, it's a 90-minute drive to Pachmarhi, where you can relax and acclimatise over a leisurely lunch. In the afternoon, you may wish to explore the colourful bazaars of this verdant hill-station, the highest point in Madhya Pradesh and formerly a Victorian summer retreat. You stay two nights in a comfortable guesthouse.
  • Explore temples near Pachmarhi
    In the morning you meet your guide to discuss the forthcoming days, after which he will take you to visit the five rock-cut Buddhist temples known as the Pandav Caves. These five caves were hewn out of the rock by Buddhist monks, and probably date from the 9th-10th centuries AD. The façades of each are adorned with columns, pilasters and simple carvings. They are named after five brothers of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, and give their name to the town – ‘Panchmarhi’ means ‘five caves’. Another excursion will take you to the atmospheric Jata Shankar cave temple – a natural cave in a deep ravine which serves as a Hindu shrine to the God Shiva. (Pay locally for all excursions.)
    Pandav Caves near Pachmarhi
  • Walk to Dehlia: approx 5hrs
    Leaving Pachmarhi, you set out along the Forsyth Trail, named after an Indian Army officer, Captain James Forsyth, who explored the region in the 1860s and helped establish conservation of the forest. Offering wonderful views, the trail initially winds its way down through the teak, sal (a hardwood tree native to the Indian subcontinent) and bamboo forest of the core zone of the Satpura Tiger Reserve along good forest paths with some steep descents. After approximately five hours, you reach Dehlia, an attractive forest check-point, where you will find a comfortable campsite, hosted by the local communities, set up on the banks of the Dhudhar River.
    Walk to Delhia
  • Free day in Dehlia
    Today, you can enter the forest with your guide, who will point out the local flora and fauna which includes myriad species of birds and many mammals including deer, monkeys and even big cats; or you can simply enjoy time round the camp and by the river.
  • Walk to Chopna: approx 3hrs
    Leaving Dehlia, you follow flat sandy tracks and paths along the fringes of the Satpura National Park, with further opportunities to spot more of the abundant wildlife along the way. The forests here are home to over 240 species of birds, including the fabulous paradise flycatcher – the state bird of Madhya Pradesh. Arriving at the pretty forest village of Chopna after 3 hours, you stay in tented camp, again managed by the local community.
  • Free day in Chopna
    On your day in Chopna, you have plenty of time to get to know the people, witnessing their traditional farming practices, learning the secret of the mahua flower, and relaxing in the afternoon sunshine; or to walk in the forest, the core zone of the Satpura National Park biosphere reserve.
  • Travel to Sakata
    From Chopna, you are driven (5.5hrs) to the South Shivni Forest in the heart of 'Kipling country' – a migratory corridor between the Pench and Kanha tiger reserves – and a guesthouse in the village of Sakata, home to members of the Gond tribe.
  • Free day in Sakata
    With a day here, you can immerse yourself in local village life, getting to know your hosts. Cattle are seen as a status symbol and there are many cows and water buffalo in the surrounding area, plus goats which are kept for milk. A huge variety of fruit and vegetables are grown here – including lemon, papaya, jack fruit, mango, banana, pomegranate, custard apple, guava, pumpkin, cabbage, tomato, onion, chilli, tamarind, coriander, pulses and rice – so you can expect delicious home-grown vegetarian food at each meal.

    You also have the chance to explore the forest, where you may see antelope, deer, flying squirrel, wild boar or jackal. Your guide will also point out any pugmarks and signs of tiger you hopefully come across.
  • Game drive & wildlife safari
    After a leisurely morning and lunch, you are transferred by road to the core zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve. However, on the way you are taken for a game drive in Rukhad forest, part of the famous Kanha-Pench tiger corridor. Though not a national park, it supports magnificent teak and bamboo forests which are home to gaur, tigers, leopards, bears and many types of deer.

    Your final base is a forest rest house close to the village of Karmajhiri on the edge of the reserve. In the evening, enjoy a wildlife safari by gypsy jeep (3hrs) into the dense, largely teak, forest, whose ground is covered by a maze of grasses, bamboo, bushes and saplings. Dazzling white kulu 'ghost trees' stand out conspicuously among the various hues of green and the wildlife is (again) abundant. Birds commonly seen here include peacock, kingfisher, bulbul, hornbill, drongo, stork and vulture; while mammals include blue bull, sambar and spotted deer, wild boar, jackal, hyena, wild dog, langur, macaque and gaur and – if you are lucky – sloth bear, leopard or even tiger!
  • Wildlife safari then travel to Nagpur
    It may be your last day, but early in the morning, you take another jeep ride, for one last chance, perhaps, to see a tiger. All too soon it's time to return to Karmajhiri for lunch, before an afternoon drive to Nagpur (2.5hrs), where you catch the overnight train back to Mumbai.
  • Transfer to airport
    You are transferred from Mumbai CST station to the airport.

     
 

Accommodation

Please bear in mind that your accommodation is much simpler than on other Inntravel holidays, and although the facilities are not what you might expect to find in Europe, this is more than made up for by the uniquely welcoming atmosphere. You stay at a small hotel with a pool, two simple yet comfortable village guesthouses, and two tented campsites which offer walk-in safari-style tents with separate facilities.
 

Extend your stay

We thoroughly recommend spending a night or two in Mumbai to further explore this lively, and often startling, city.
 

Prices

All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). Prices vary according to number of people in your party.

 
Prices (£ per person)
1 October - 21 December 2019, 15 March - 26 June 2020 & 1 October - 21 December 2020

Party of 4+
• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2019: £1195
• 15 Mar - 30 Apr 2020: £1215
• 1 May - 15 Jun 2020: £1065
• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2020: £1260

Party of 2 or 3
• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2019: £1465
• 15 Mar - 30 Apr 2020: £1535
• 1 May - 15 Jun 2020: £1380
• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2020: £1545

Party of 1

• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2019: £1945
• 15 Mar - 30 Apr 2020: £1985
• 1 May - 15 Jun 2020: £1895
• 1 Oct - 10 Dec 2020: £2045

Extra night in Tented Camp - £60pp all dates

Spend time with the Anwals
• From Oct 2019: £98pp in a twin, £190pp in a single
• From Oct 2020: £108pp in a twin, £210pp in a single

 
 
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  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Mumbai

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Mumbai. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Mumbai (via Dubai) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Edinburgh - Mumbai (via Heathrow) British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Mumbai (via Doha) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Gatwick - Mumbai (via Dubai) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Mumbai British Airways 
    Heathrow - Mumbai (via Abu Dhabi) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Heathrow - Mumbai (via Doha) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Heathrow - Mumbai (via Dubai) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Heathrow - Mumbai (via Muscat) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Mumbai (via Dubai) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Mumbai (via Abu Dhabi) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Manchester - Mumbai (via Dubai) Various carriers (contact us) 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Mumbai. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 11 nights
  • 9 dinners
    9 lunches/picnics
    9 breakfasts
  • own local guide
  • all transfers
  • rail Mumbai to Pipariya & Nagpur to Mumbai
  • 2 wildlife safaris
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • In some ways, walking with your own guide is no different to walking independently – it is you who sets the pace and decides when to pause. Of course, you don’t have to worry about route-finding, leaving you free to focus on the views and the fascinating insights into the local flora and fauna, customs and language offered by your guide as you walk. The guide is there to ensure you get the most from your holiday and arrive back safely at your base, and they act as your friendly interpreter throughout your stay. If you would prefer more or less walking, then don’t be afraid to let them know.
  • After a quick chat with your guide about the day’s route, you set off along an inviting trail carrying only a few essentials for the day. A prompt start means you have plenty of time to pause to take in the views and admire the wildlife that your guide points out to you. When you’re ready for some refreshments, your guide finds the perfect spot to sit down, and you might swap notes about life there and back home, or what lies ahead on the second part of the walk. Suitably rested, you continue on your way, perhaps passing farm workers tending the crops or transporting produce.
  • We provide you with very detailed, up-to-date documentation before you go away so that you will know what to do and where to go throughout your holiday. As well as giving you insights as to what to expect in terms of customs, climate, cuisine and conditions, we also offer advice on visas, currency and language.
  • All British citizens require a tourist visa to enter India.
    An E-visa system operates for tourists requiring a visa for stays of up to 60 days. You must apply for the E-visa no earlier than 120 days prior to arriving, but also a minimum of 4 days prior to your arrival in India. The visa will be valid for 60 days from your date of arrival. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from your date of arrival in India and have two blank pages. You can apply for the visa here:
    https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
    If you are travelling to India for more than 60 days then visa applications are submitted and processed by post; we advise that you allow up to 3 weeks to obtain your visa by this method. You can find full details and obtain an on-line Visa Application Form by visiting http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk. If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non-British passport, you should check passport and visa requirements at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html.
  • The NHS website www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives a general outline of the immunisations you are likely to need, though you should seek advice from your doctor or practice nurse in good time before your holiday for more tailored information. There are no reciprocal health agreements between the UK and India. It is therefore all the more important that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in the case of illness or an accident. You will need to take sensible health precautions while travelling in India, and we will send you full details with your holiday documentation.
  • Winter (November to February) is mild in Madhya Pradesh, making it the best season to travel, especially since the forests are green and lush after the monsoon season (June to October). Daytime temperatures of 25°C are possible in early November, but in December they dip to 10°C, rising again in February so that by March, the start of summer, they are in the low twenties.
  • English is widely spoken in Delhi and Mumbai, but much less so in the rural villages where the local dialects are most prevalent. Most villagers will be delighted to try to communicate with you, while your guide will act as interpreter and even instruct you in the rudiments of the local dialect of Hindi spoken in Madhya Pradesh, Kumaoni (Himalayan foothills), Marwari (Rajasthan), Malayalam (Kerala) or Kannada (Karnataka)!
  • India is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT all year round, and is therefore four-and-a-half hours ahead of BST.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 8/18/2019 1:56:43 PM