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Newsletter 65 - sent on the 4 April 2023
Join us in India's wild Northeast!
I have just returned from leading a fantastic private tour of Nepal – organised as a surprise for a past traveller, which is why I haven't mentioned the trip previously. This is something that we are being asked to do more and more, and if you are interested in organising a private or bespoke trip for yourself, then you can see more information on this link.
Nepal is always an incredible place to travel in, and this tour encompassed many of the highlights – including the Chitwan National Park, which is home to countless Indian One-horned Rhinos. We managed to get such good sightings we even experienced a mini charge, which was somewhat exhilarating! Luckily when we encountered the infamous Dhurbe he didn't charge. Dhurbe is Nepal's 'killer elephant' with at least 25 kills to his name. This doesn't include any havoc he has wreaked over the border. Luckily he was in a more relaxed mood when we encountered him, especially as we were on foot at the time.
I mention Chitwan as it is very similar to the Kazaringa National Park in Assam, India, which we will visit on our forthcoming Impressions of Northeast India trip in November 2023. There are more details about this exciting departure below.
We are currently putting together a number of tours for 2024. Destinations look like including South India, South America and Mongolia, and will post information here as soon as they are available.
Impressions of Northeast India
In response to a requests from some of our most loyal travellers, we have put together an exploratory trip to this remote and fascinating Northeast region of India. The Northeast is an entrancing mix of jungles, tribes but also mountains and is one of the centres of Tibetan Buddhism in the country. If nothing else, this trip will give you as much variety as you could want, and spans five states of this vast country. Our adventurous trip starts in the fascinating city of Kolkata, before taking in the states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Sikkim.
This exploratory adventure starts in the thriving and bustling city of Kolkata in West Bengal, one of the few cities in this vast country where there are still hand-pulled rickshaws. Kolkata is a run-down, yet engaging place with a faded colonial splendour, and some of the busiest streets, where all life seems to happen outdoors.
We fly from here to Imphal in the state of Manipur, before embarking on an atmospheric drive to Kohima in the state of Nagaland, where we visit a number of traditional tribal villages - one of the absolute highlights of this little visited state. As well as experiencing tribal life, we will also enjoy a local meal.
From Kohima we have a full-day drive to Assam and the incredible Kazaringa National Park. In two jeep safaris we will search out the prehistoric looking Indian One-Horned rhinos. Unlike the African rhinos, the skin of the Indian rhino is so thick, that it appears to be armour plated.
After a couple of relaxing nights in the jungles of Assam, we head to Cherrapungi - reputed to be the wettest place on Earth. Certainly there are many atmospheric waterfalls here, , but this town is more famous for the living bridges, which are woven out of the living branches of ancient trees. We will enjoy a trek to visit these bridges, before exploring a couple of traditional villages.
A night train takes us back to the state of West Bengal, where we will climb to the former hill-station of Darjeeling - one of the places where the British Raj used to seek respite from the monsoons when they ruled India. Darjeeling is an atmospheric place, and we will attempt to ride the famous narrow-gauge Toy Train.
Darjeeling has a fantastic view of the Himalayan Mountains, and is also home to a number of Tibetan refugees.
Crossing to the state of Sikkim, we will visit the sprawling Rumtek Monastery, which is the seat of the Dharma Chakra Centre, before catching a flight back to Kolkata.
Please note: This is an exploratory tour. Steve has visited Kolkata many times, but hasn't been to the other regions of this trip. We have secured the services of the incomparable Chetan as our leader who has much local experience. Steve will accompany the tour supplying his unique blend of photographic tuition and encouragement.
Impressions of Northeast India departs from Kolkata on 13 November 2023 for 16 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £3095 per person if 8 people travel to £2895 per person for the full 12 people. At the moment we have 5 people either booked already, so if you want to snap up one of the remaining places, please get in touch as soon as possible. You can see more information on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and make your booking on this link.
Better Travel Photography
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Otherwise, I hope that you have a great festive season, and hope to travel with you at some point in the next year or so!
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