RFI: Recs for India, Late November?

Hi all, hoping to pick the Forum’s collective brain about an India trip in mid- to late-November. This will be my and my wife’s first trip to India. We’ll have 15 days on the ground, and I’d like to devote approximately half of that to wildlife, with roughly equal focus on mammals and birds. Right now, the plan is to begin in Delhi and front-load our cultural sightseeing, moving south to Agra and then west to Keoladeo, Jaipur, and Udaipur. We’re not sure where we’ll go from there and are seeking advice from those who’ve been.

We’re both neophyte mammalwatchers (so far!), so just about anything would be new for both of us, and my wife is a less serious birder than I am. Given that, I think it makes the most sense to pick a single location/area with abundant large mammals where we can dig in over the course of a week or so. Of the sites I’m familiar with, I am especially compelled by the rhinos of Kaziranga, but it isn’t the most logical jump geographically. We are also considering continuing west into Gujarat (Gir/Rann of Kutch/Blackbuck, perhaps diverging to search for bustards) or Corbett (which seems like it will have some Himalayan bird specialties, plus a good mix of large mammals and some interesting reptiles like Gharial). Hoping this group might have suggestions based on season and amount of time (~six days, including a travel day on one or both ends, depending on site), including for locations we haven’t yet considered. TIA for any information or opinions you can offer!

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  • Therabu

    Hi Mattystoufer,
    If you’re able to move your holidays to end of December or January, it looks like we would be like-minded.

  • Therabu

    Hi Mattystoufer,
    If you’re able to move your holidays to end of December or January, it looks like we would be like-minded. Do not hesitate to contact me if that’s the case at antoine.rabussier@gmail.com

    • mattystouffer

      Hi Therabu,
      Thanks for your note, and apologies that I missed your earlier post from a month or two ago – looks like we are indeed planning very similar trips! Unfortunately, my wife and I are not flexible on the timing of our trip, but certainly hope your enjoy your adventure. Will pass along any good intel (or better yet just post a trip report here) when we return in December.

  • Karina and Andrey

    Hi! Please note that some national parks may be closed during this season. For example, Kaziranga is closed from late October to mid-May.

  • craig9563

    I’ve been to India and, in my view, two weeks would be consumed with Delhi, Agra, Keoladeo, Jaipur and Udaipur – (and traveling between each of those places will basically take a day). We went to all those spots in 2019 – plus Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Nagpur (for Tadob NP a, tigers etc). But we had 5 weeks.

    • mattystouffer

      Thanks for your reply, @craig9563. I appreciate that we’re trying to fit in quite a lot and that our trip may feel a bit rushed (not typically how we travel), but we unfortunately only have the time we have and do not anticipate we’ll make it to India again in the near future.

      Either on the basis of the wildlife or cultural interest, any standouts of the towns you visited in Rajasthan? We are trying to determine how we divide our (limited) time, and all seem to have their own quirks and points of interest. Certainly wish we had a few more weeks to explore!

  • villarule

    According to the dates showing online Kaziranga is open from the start of November so it should be open when you’re there. I appreciate it’s a bit of a journey but you can get a flight from Delhi to Guwahati airport and then travel by car there, pretty much any Indian travel agency would be able to arrange it or you could book it yourself. It’s definitely worth the journey, I’ve been to a lot of places to see wildlife and Kaziranga is one of my favourites. (The only negative in my view is that they still offer Elephant rides there). In think it’s a must visit if you’re in India. In terms of accommodation I stayed at Diphlu River Lodge which is great but I got a good deal and didn’t pay full price as it is a bit pricey.

    • mattystouffer

      @villarule, thanks for your recommendations. My wife and I are looking at Diphlu River Lodge – seems great! Really appreciate your suggestions.

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