I just recently booked a short tour with this company and it was amazing! We went to Wayand and stayed at the Jungel Resort. David was so kind and had a lot of knowledge about wayanad. It was lovely to get some historic background while driving through it. We stopped at a coffee day (coffee place) and just had […]
Wayanad Jungle Explorer (6 days, 5 nights)
Wayanad is a bio-diverse region spread across 2,132 square kilometers on the lofty Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilization. And the very first prehistoric engravings in Kerala discovered in the foothills of Edakkal and around Ambukuthimala bear testimony to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age. Strikingly scenic, it is known for its sub-tropical savannahs, picturesque hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. A holistic confluence of wilderness, history and culture, Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the magnificent Deccan plateau.
In terms of wildlife, Wayanad offers excellent opportunities due to the number of wildlife parks in the area. Wayanad gives ready access to some of South India’s biggest parks, such as Nagarahole and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. We have a number of Wildlife themed tours, the Hills and Jungle Explorer is the shortest of our wildlife packages. We take you straight to the action in the Wayanad hills of the Western Ghats to give you the quickest route to unfettered wildlife. You will experience the Indian Jungle at its best and meet the residents of this majestic place. Wayanad is packed with wildlife and due to its altitude generally it has a pleasant climate, without the humidity of the coastal plains. You stand an excellent chance of having close encounters with wild elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, bison and many more exotic species – such as the Malabar Giant squirrel.
Day 1: Calicut -> Wayanad Let’s get started as soon as possible. It is a 3+hr drive to Jungle Retreat near Manathavady www.jungleretreatwayanad.com/. We’ll ascend up the Ghat Road with dramatic views of the coastal plain below. Pokkod Lake makes a great stop at the top of the ascent. Surrounded by jungle this lake is a great place to stretch the legs and have a snack. It also has a gift shop for the odd souvenir. Elephant rides are offered by Pradeep the mahout whose lifetime of experiences make for great anecdotes should you persuade him to join you for tea. We’ll take lunch nearby then head on to Jungle Retreat. The Retreat is a 10-acre farm surrounded by lush jungle on all sides and towering Brahmagiri peaks beyond, it borders with Tholpetty Sanctuary to the East and Nagarahole National Park to the North, two of South India’s largest Wildlife parks. It is close to Thirunelly Temple, one of the oldest and most sacred in South India. You may want to visit or you may prefer to take some binoculars up to the watchtower and look for elephants, deer and the very occasional tiger coming down to the waterhole it overlooks. After dark get ready for a night safari in a jeep. The guides know these roads and forest tracks well and the favourite paths taken by bison, leopards, tigers and elephants. You can almost be guaranteed elephants; as to the rest – its the luck of the draw!
Day 2: Jungle Retreat After breakfast get your hiking boots on for the Pakshipathalam (or ‘Bat-Cave’) trek. This is an all-day deep jungle trek (8+8km) to the remote bird & bat caves set in the top of the mountains. Trek through untouched forest with a local guide. Return in time for dinner and spend the evening gazing out over the watering-hole.
Day 3: Jungle Retreat Go for an early morning safari inside Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, then spend a lazy morning recovering from your trek yesterday! After lunch we recommend a short ride to Nagerhole National Park. One of their tea-time safaris (bus or jeep, depending on availability) led by the park rangers will give you a really good chance of seeing big cats. If you still have energy and enthusiasm on your return to Jungle Retreat you might want to blag your way onto another night safari, or rather turn in to a deafening serenade of frogs and cicadas that seem to own the night. In fact the only thing that will silence them is a tiger’s roar, when that sounds the whole Jungle stops and waits in respect to its king.
Day 4: Jungle Retreat -> Vasudevan’s Place (1+hr) After breakfast go for a jungle awareness trek (3km around the farm) with one of the guides. Don’t expect to see much more than a hanuman languar (named after the Hindu Monkey-god) rattling the bamboo or a peacock (national bird of India) or a serpent eagle circling above the water hole at this time of day; but look for the pug-marks of the tiger, see the devastation a herd of elephants can mete out on anything that gets in their way and follow the tracks and marks of the many animals that share this jungle with you. Feel the hairs on the back of your neck prick up as you realize that you are not alone!
Around 11am we’ll leave Jungle Retreat and drive to Vasudevan’s place. Vasudevan is a weaver and an artist who lives near Calicut but owns this picturesque retreat in a secluded Wayanad valley filled with tea. You will enjoy the serenity and privacy it affords. After lunch befriend Max the gentle giant of a guard dog and pick some lemon-grass to make tea with, then later you can go for a walk down to the river for a swim.
Day 5: Vasudevan’s Place Wake up to the sound of the tea-pickers outside your window, they are a part of a local tribal family that lives nearby and are happier and better paid than the average! You can see the picking and drying process up close, even have a go yourself! Then later in the day you have two options to choose from:
a) Visit a local tea factory that is run as a cooperative by the Catholic Church. To follow the process from bush to plant is an education you’ll remember as you drink your morning cuppa in years to come.
b)Visit Kuruva island, uninhabited and located in the middle of one of the tributaries of the east-flowing river Kabani. It is rich in flora and fauna with rare species of birds, herbs and orchids. Accessible by boat and great for a nature-walk.
Whichever you choose a swim and a cup of lemon-grass tea while dinner is cooking can finish it off.
Day 6: Vasudevan’s Place -> Calicut All good things must come to an end, and this is homeward-bound. We’ll descend to the coastal plains by a different route, stopping off at Kappad beach for a late lunch and a stroll along the palm-fringed strand. This is where Vasco Da Gama ‘discovered’ India, considering its beauty it is hardly surprising he came back! It is 45 mins to Calicut from here. Depending on your onward plans, spend the night at Common Grounds Guest House with Joy and Thankamma. It would be our pleasure to host you ourselves for the night before we say goodbye
We think our base packages are great and will give you a real unforgettable experience of India, the wildlife and its people. However we like to offer a choice of extras that you can choice for that extra experience or extra comfort. These are not included in the standard price, so the additional prices are stated below. The additional prices are per-person based on two sharing. Our extra options are generally either extra luxury accommodation or extra activities. For our Hills and Jungle wildlife package the extra options are:
- Upgrade to Jungle Lodge Resort – Kabini River Lodge
Instead of 3 nights at Jungle Retreat Wayanad, you can upgrade to 1 night at Jungle Retreat and 2 nights at Kabini River Lodge which is part of the Jungle Lodge Resorts. Jungle Lodge Resorts is a government run resort accommodation.
Kabini River Lodge has a colonial style architecture equipped to accommodate 60 persons at a time. Fourteen spacious, colonial style double rooms with modern amenities, ten twin-bedded cottages in sylvan surroundings and six tented cottages with attached modern bath ensure that your stay here is in comfort. (But there is no A/c, or T.V. in any of the accommodation). All these is in a well maintained 54-acre campus, surrounded on three sides by the bend of the River Kabini, giving it a paradise like look. Check out the website.
- Tea Factory Visit
Come and see a working tea factory. Discover how your tea gets from the field to your tea cup! This is a wonderful opportunity to view the tea making process in action, to ask question and speak to some of the workers. You will never look at your cup of tea in the same way again!
Contact Us for Prices
Our prices are per person and based on two sharing. They include all accommodation and transport. Some meals will also be included.
£300.00 pp for 6 days & 5 nights
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