SPICE HILLS AND BACKWATERS
Wildlife Tour to Kerala. See Southern India's National Parks and Backwaters wiuth Greentours - Birds, Mammals and Butterflies
The beautiful South Indian State of Kerala has long been famous for its sumptuous spices, but now Kerala is being sought for something different - its superb scenery, friendly people and distinctive wildlife. From the sublime lakes and rivers of Kerala's backwaters to the monsoon forest cloaking the Nilgiri Hills, Kerala is a picture of tropical luxuriance.
Athirappilly lies on the banks of the Chalakkudy River which descends through the fabulous Sholayar Forest Reserve. Indian Elephants wander across the quiet roads of the higher forests. Avian wonders such as Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Black Baza, Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Indian Pitta inhabit the undisturbed forests where abundant butterflies include the shimmering green Paris Peacock. Greater Racket-tailed Drongos and lovely Black-naped Monarchs are a frequent sight and here we’ll find the gorgeous Malabar Trogon. On the very top of the Nilgiri Hills, in the scenic marvel that is Eravikulam, are rare Nilgiri Tahr, endemic Laughingthrushes, and wonderful flowers adorning waterfall garlanded cliffs.
The Project Tiger Reserve at Periyar is perhaps the jewel among Southern India's National Parks. There is an amazing wealth of wildlife in this extraordinary place - herds of Indian Elephants, the magnificent Gaur, rare Nilgiri Langurs, Flying Lizards, Flying Frogs and even Giant Flying Squirrels. Rare and beautiful birds include a variety of Woodpeckers, Barbets and Sunbirds as well as Red-winged Cuckoo, Great Pied Hornbill and White-bellied Treepie. Butterflies are spectacular too, with many Swallowtails, huge Birdwings, implausibly frail-looking Tree-Nymphs, and the gorgeous Blue Oakleaf.
There is a choice of extensions. One can enjoy three days of relaxation on comfortable converted 'rice boats' meandering through Kerala's idyllic Backwaters, a truly superb way of seeing thousands of birds and enjoying rural 'colour' like the fantastic cantilevered fishing nets and the impressive herds of domestic ducks and their 'duckherds'! Or one can fly north to the borders of Karnataka where the beautiful forests of Nagarhole National Park. Tiger and Asiatic Wild dog sightings are frequent but it is the frequency of Leopard sightings that mark this park out as special amongst its Indian peers. We’ll also visit the high levels sholas and tea plantations of Ooty with a full range of high altitude Western Ghats birds and butterflies present.
Mammals, Butterflies and Birds. Landscapes and Rural Scenes.
Very easy. We will be ambling no more than three or four miles each day, often much less, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
Included in the Price
All flights. Transport, accommodation and all meals in Kerala. Services of your leaders. All national park entrance fees and scheduled boat trips. Please note: Drinks, tips and items of a personal nature such as travel insurance, are not included.
Minimum is 4 and the maximum is 9.
Imagine lying in your bed looking out through huge windows at an impressive waterfall surrounded by tropical monsoon forest. The Rainforest Resort at Athirappilly gives you just such an experience along with sumptuous meals taken on a wide verandah with similar views. The rooms are beautiful with fine bathrooms and each rooms balcony/patio is so designed that you can enjoy all that view without any other room or indeed oath looking back into your room! The grounds are full of birds and butterflies! An exquisite place. Next will be a two night stay at the wonderful Tall Trees Resort high in the Nilgiri Hills at Munnar. In fifty-three acres of tree-filled grounds this former cardamom plantation has finely furnished cottages, each with a balcony. In Periyar we stay in the clean and comfortable Elephant Court, beautifully situated inside the park and only 200m from the lake. On the Riceboat Extension we have two nights aboard the converted rice boats which will see us ensconced in private cabins which are small and simple but clean and with en suite facilities. In Ooty we are at the Savoy and in Nagarhole we stay at very good quality Kabini River Lodge. On the main tour and on the Riceboat Extension we have a night in the excellent Spice Fort in Cochin prior to departure. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities and either AC or ceiling fans.
UK Flights are from London Heatherow, Ediniburgh*, Manchester* and other regional airports* via Dubai to Trivandrum.
It is well into the dry season and days are generally sunny and warm/hot at lower levels with maximum temperatures around 30°C, while in the hills at Periyar, and especially Munnar, it is cooler, especially at night, and the weather a little more variable. Generally quite humid.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.
Mammal, butterfly and bird checklists are available.