11 days from £2460pp plus international flights.
This is a holiday that takes you far away from the tourist hot spots of India up to the remote north east. Walk through forested hills to 'living root bridges' created by the Khasi hill tribe over the last few centuries. Spend two days enjoying the scenery and wildlife of Kaziranga National Park. Nature and culture are twin highlights on this wonderful trip which shows you a side of India that most visitors overlook - or don't even know about!
From Delhi you fly to Guwahati in Assam, and then by road to Meghalaya, 'the abode of the clouds'. This state lies between the Assam valley and the plains of Bangladesh and is characterised by verdant hills and mountains where the air is cool and fresh. You stay beside photogenic Umiam Lake with time to relax and explore on foot, taking in the natural beauty of this state.
At Cherrapunjee, billed as the wettest place on Earth, your guide leads you along forest trails to see the amazing living root bridges, unique to this area. The roots of trees on the riverbanks are intertwined to form bridges, some up to 100 metres long, strong enough to support several people at a time. This practice has been perfected by the local Khasi people over the centuries. The bridges can last hundreds of years and are used on a daily basis by local people. You have the chance to see a number of examples including the impressive double decker.
The Khasi people are native to this region and staying at Rosie's Homestay you can ask Rosie to share her experiences of life in Meghalaya and as well as her culinary skills during a cookery class.
Crossing the state border back into Assam, you have two days to enjoy Kaziranga National Park's wildlife and scenery. The one-horned rhino is the undisputed star of the park and this is one of the few places you can expect to see them in large numbers, a real treat. Elephant, water buffalo, four species of deer and giant hornbills are all present, as are tigers (though they're hard to spot here). You could even take a boat on the Brahmaputra River to see birds and Gangetic dolphins.
The accommodation on this unusual and exciting trip varies from a luxury lakeside hotel to a rural, family-run resort, a charming homestay and a rustic yet upmarket wildlife lodge, each rather more than simply a place to stay and adding its own character to this holiday.
We appreciate that some people like to explore new places on their own whilst others feel they gain much more from the experience by having a local guide with them throughout. If you would like to add a guide/tour leader to be with you from Day 2 through to Day 8 this is quoted as a supplement in our pricing details.
Your flight arrives at Delhi, where you are met and transferred to your nearby hotel, the Radisson Blu Plaza. Relax after your journey, maybe enjoying a massage at the spa or a swim in the pool.
Today you return to the airport for the three hour flight to Guwahati. Here you will be met by your private car and driver and taken to the little-known state of Meghalaya. The name means 'Abode of the Clouds' and you're soon travelling through forested hills to your hotel, Ri Kynjai, set beside Umiam Lake. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Today has been left free for you to spend as you wish after your long day travelling. Ri Kynjai, whose name means 'Serenity by the Lake', is a perfect place to relax and admire the photogenic scenery. If you're feeling energetic, you can walk around the lake, or kayaks are available for rent nearby. Whatever you decide to do during the day, this evening you can unwind by the bonfire, chatting to other guests at Ri Kynjai. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Following breakfast you set off on your travels once more. Today's drive takes about three hours and passes through the East Khasi Hills with their pine and oak forests, ferns and orchids. There's a lot to see, from gorges to waterfalls and caves. Your destination is Cherrapunjee, where a sign 'the rainiest place on planet Earth' greets you. Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort is about 45 minutes drive out of Cherrapunjee itself in the midst of the hills, and is your home for the next three nights. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Cherrapunjee's most noteable attractions are the living root bridges, unique to this area. Over the centuries local Khasi people have learned how to use the thick roots of the ficus tree to form bridges across streams and rivers, which are strong enough for people to cross. There are many examples near your hotel and today you join a local guide to trek to one or more of these remarkable structures. Treks range in duration from one to five hours, with some taking in viewpoints and villages. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast you accompany a guide on a trek to another root bridge, possibly the amazing double decker. As well as being impressive spectacles these root bridges are practical, used on a daily basis by people living in local villages. Each bridge take a minimum of 15 years to become functional and they are thought to last around 300+ years. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning you leave Cherrapunjee and drive to Shillong, a hill station and the capital of Meghalaya. The drive takes around two hours and there should be time to visit Bara Bazar, one of the oldest markets in North East India. Walk among the stalls and admire the wide variety of fresh produce as you get a glimpse into everyday life. Later the drive continues for another two hours or so to Rosie's Homestay. Here you will receive a warm welcome from Rosie and she'll be happy to chat to you and teach you how to cook a local dish if you're interested. She's an excellent cook. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast at Rosie's, you have a lengthy drive to Kaziranga National Park. It takes around six hours with opportunities to stop along the way and stretch your legs. Journey's end is Diphlu River Lodge. As the name suggests, the lodge is beside the river, lending it an air of tranquility. Relax on the veranda as you sip a drink from the bar, take in the views and look forward to the next few days here. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
You have the next two days to explore Kaziranga. Your stay includes two open jeep drives a day led by the lodge's own naturalist guide. Kaziranga is known for its one-horned rhinos and is home to about two thirds of the world's population so there are excellent chances to spot these during your safaris. It has the highest density of tigers of any proetcted area on the planet, though these can prove elusive so a sighting should be considered an added bonus. Elephant, water buffalo, deer, gibbon, wild boar can be seen. Bird lovers are in their element in this designated Important Bird Area. Look out for the great Indian hornbill, Indian rollers, Blyth's kingfisher, bee-eater, fish eagle and parakeet, to name a few. You'll want your camera to hand! Breakfast, lunch and dinner
A second day in Kaziranga. The park has four main game-driving routes - central, eastern and western and far west. The guide aims to tailor your visits to your interests, taking in as much as the park as possible in the time you have. Each of the areas tends to be better for certain wildlife. If you fancy dropping one of the game drives a boat trip on the Brahmaputra River to search for Gangetic dolphins should be possible. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast and with bags packed, you head back to Guwahati airport, a drive of some five hours, for your flight to Delhi, where this holiday ends. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2460 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: September 2019 to April 2020 guide price per person sharing: From £2460. Supplement for guide/tour leader from day 2 to day 8 £220 per person
Airport transfers in Delhi; Private car (Toyota Innova or similar) and driver from day 2 arrival in Guwahati through to Day 11 return to Guwahati; 10 nights twin-share accommodation; all meals from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on day 11; 2 days sightseeing with a local English-speaking guide in Cherrapunjee; entry fees to Kaziranga National Park; 4 jeep safaris or 3 jeep safaris and 1 river cruise in Kaziranga all with a naturalist guide.
International and domestic flights, travel insurance, visa, entrance fees for temples. monuments and museums, camera fees, personal expenses; lunch and dinner in Delhi, drinks, tips, services of an English speaking tour guide (optional at a supplement of £220 pp).
This holiday starts and ends in Delhi. International return flights from the UK with the domestic return flights from Delhi to Guwahati cost from around £700, depending on season and availability. We usually book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday and can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability
The best place to stay if you want to see the living root bridges of Cherrapunjee.
Our top recommendation for your stay at Kaziranga National Park.
Just a five minute drive from the international airport, this hotel offers comdern comforts and convenices and a wide choice of rooms.
A luxury hotel with stunning views over Umiam Lake.
5/5 from 134 reviews
Find the best time to visit India
Time: GMT +5 hours
Flight time: Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.
Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.
Visas: Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.