India - Madhya Pradesh

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The Forsyth Trail & Satpura Hills

* Walking and wildlife discovery * Forest villages and hillstation  * Jeep safari in tiger reserve

Forsyth Trail

Discover the heart of India and the magnificent forests which inspired Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Follow the footsteps of pioneer James Forsyth and explore the tranquil hill station of Pachmarhi. Get to know the forest communities, enjoy jungle walks and take a thrilling jeep safari into Pench Tiger Reserve. This unforgettable holiday leads you through the very heart of rural India.

 

* Unique forest-community insights

Chopna village

Enjoy unique insights to the Satpura and Pench tiger reserves and forest village communities through our pioneering partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. In Satpura the Gond people, the forest dwellers, provide a unique and privileged insight into forest life.

 

 

* Thrilling walking in varied landscapes

Forsyth Trail

Relish the excellent highland, sub-tropical climate, ideal for walking, rightly described by travel writers as a walking and trekking paradise. Walk far from the crowds along the Forsyth trail in the Satpura Tiger Reserve re-established along the original route taken by Captain Forsyth in 1857 when exploring the region with the Bengal Lancers.

 

 

* Comfortable guesthouses & safari tents

Crossing river on the Forsyth Trail

Camp comfortably in beautiful locations and stay in Forest lodges with special permission from the Forestry Department, hosted and managed by the forest Gond communities. The campsites are a real highlight of the trips. Throughout, enjoy home-prepared food.

 

 

 

* Relax in hil-top haven of Pachmarhi

Pachmarhi hotel

Explore the tranquil hill-station of Pachmarhi, set at 1,305m, the highest point in Madhya Pradesh. Relax in a pleasant hotel, discover ancient caves and enjoy fine views down the forested valley below.

 

 

 

* Tigers & other incredible wildlife

langur monkeys in Satpura

Satpura is the only tiger reserve in India which permits guided walking, with its rich diversity of flora and fauna and inspiring mountain landscapes. This whole region has some of India's richest wildlife. We include a jeep safari in Pench Tiger Reserve where there is a good chance of seeing a tiger and much more besides.

 

 

Chopna village

Outward Journey

Day 1 Welcome at Mumbai airport, transfer to guesthouse for freshen up before an overnight train journey takes you into the heart of India to Pipariya, in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Satpura National Park: Pachmarhi

Pandav Caves Pachmarhi

Day 2 After arrival and breakfast in Pipariya, an hour and a half's drive takes you to Pachmarhi where you arrive at the hotel in time for lunch.  Meet your guide to discuss the days ahead.

Day 3 Full day in Pachmarhi - choose to explore the market, visit the Pandav caves and marvel at the Jata Shankar cave temple.

 

The Forsyth Trail

walking in Madhya Pradesh

Day 4 From Pachmarhi, follow the trail taken by Captain Forsyth through the teak and sal forest at the core zone of Satpura tiger reserve (approximately 5 hrs). Reach an attractive forest check-point at Dehlia on the fringe of Satpura core zone, with wonderful views along the Dhudhar river. Overnight safari tents, hosted by the nearby communities.

Day 5 A second night at Dehlia give you time to enjoy forest walks and relax by the river.

Chopna village tents

Day 6 After breakfast, walk from Dehlia to the village of Chopna across the buffer zone of the Satpura tiger reserve (approximately 2-3hrs), with your guide introducing you to the local flora and fauna. Accommodation is in twin-bedded walk-in safari tents.

Day 7 Full day and night in Chopna. Relax and explore the village and surrounding area, get to know the local communities.

Onwards to Seoni: visit Sakata village

Sakata guesthouse

Day 8 A road transfer from Chopna (5.5hrs) takes you into the Seoni district; the setting of Kipling's Jungle Book stories. Stay in the forest village of Sakata, in the migratory corridor between Pench and Kanha tiger reserves. Accommodation is in an old hunting lodge now managed by the communities, in partnership with the Forest Department, as a comfortable guesthouse.

Day 9 Full day and night in Sakata. Get to know the community and enjoy local forest walks, with good wildlife opportunities.

deer in Pench

Into Pench Tiger Reserve

Day 10 After lunch, transfer by road to Karmajhiri village on the edge of Pench Tiger Reserve core zone, via Rukhad forest for a game drive. Evening wildlife safari by gypsy jeep (3hrs) in Pench core zone. You may spot bluebull, sambar and spotted deer, jackal, wild dog, hyena, langur, gaur, wild boar and abundant birdlife; and, if you are lucky, sloth bear, leopard or the mighty tiger. Spend a night in park accomodation on the edge of the core zone.

Homeward Journey

Day 11 Early morning jeep safari in Pench, return to Karmajhiri for lunch. Road transfer from Karmajhiri to Nagpur (2 ½ hours). Dinner in Nagpur before overnight train to Mumbai.

Day 12 Arrive Mumbai, transfer to airport for homeward journey.

 

Flights

We ask our guests to make their own arrangements for international travel to India. For Village Ways holidays in Madhya Pradesh we recommend Mumbai as the gateway.

For travel information in India, click here.

Transfers included

If you travelling internationally, we look after you from the moment of your arrival at Mumbai airport, where you will be met by one of our drivers. Your holiday includes transfers and overnight rail journeys, accommodation in the village resthouses and tents, with all meals provided and your own guide during your stay with the communities.

Tailor-made holidays

 Each trip is tailor-made for the individual requirements of our guests, so please contact us so we can create the holiday that is ideal for you. The suggested itinerary can be extended if you wish to spend more time exploring the villages and tiger reserves, or shortened if your time in India is limited.

Travel options and extra nights

Choose to upgrade to 1st class on the trains, add extra nights with the communities or an extra day with a safari in Pench tiger reserve. Add a night in Mumbai at the start or end of your trip to give you time to explore this fascinating city. Our knowledgeable staff will be delighted to help fashion the holiday to suit you, so please contact us for details and costs.