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ABA India Safari - Taj, Tigers & Birding

parakeetsmWhen: February 8-18 2016
Bharatpur & Ranthambhore
How Much: $3,850 (double occupancy; no single rooms remaining)
Registration: CLOSED
Hosts: Jeff Gordon and Liz Deluna Gordon, Adam Riley, George Armistead, Cuan Rush, Forrest Rowland and more.
Arriving/Departing: New Delhi
Fabulous pre/post safari extension trip options available (see below)

The American Birding Association, in partnership with Rockjumper Birding Tours, welcomes you to the India – Taj, Tigers & Birding Safari. Home to over a billion people in arguably the world’s richest cultural landscape, India is a country with no equal.

The magnificent Taj Mahal by Adam Riley

The magnificent Taj Mahal by Adam Riley

This great nation boasts a staggering geographical diversity ranging from deserts and forests to tropical, palm-lined shores and snow-capped peaks. India is of course also famous for its rich avifauna and iconic mammalian megafauna, foremost of which is the regal Bengal Tiger. Starting and ending in the capital New Delhi, our safari explores two of the most famous birding and wildlife national parks in the northern parts of this amazing country; the royal wildfowl sanctuary of Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur and the fabled Ranthambhore National Park, the tiger reserve widely considered to be one of the best places to see this most magnificent of the world’s big cats.


White-throated Kingfisher by Adam Riley


Bengal Tiger in Ranthambhore National Park by Adam Riley







We will also ensure that we have time to marvel at the incredible Taj Mahal and other breathtaking historic buildings in and around Agra. We invite you to join us in this unforgettable celebration of India’s incredible birds, iconic mammals, dramatic scenery, rich history and kaleidoscope of cultures!

SAFARI OVERVIEW & Accommodations (CLICK HERE to download more info)
The ABA India Safari begins and ends in New Delhi.  One leg of the trip that takes our group to the incredible wetlands of Bharatpur, and the other that takes us to majestic Ranthambhore National Park. Field excursions are in small groups of a dozen or fewer, while evenings feature larger social gatherings. Several day trip options include opportunities to see historical and cultural attractions, and an exciting array of extensions are also available.

Crested Serpent Eagle is regularly encountered at Keoladeo by Adam Riley

Crested Serpent Eagle is regularly encountered at Keoladeo by Adam Riley

Arrival/Departure: On arrival in India’s bustling capital city of New Delhi, you will be transferred to the luxurious Radisson Blue Plaza within a few minutes drive of the new and efficient Indira Gandhi International Airport. This hotel has been selected for its convenience to the airport, excellent service and high quality meals and rooms. Please note however that it does not offer much in the way of birding opportunities on the grounds due to its location in a built-up area. For those wishing to enjoy birding in and around New Delhi we highly recommend Sultanpur National Park and Tughluqabad, which are offered as optional pre- and post-safari excursions.

Bharatpur (Keoladeo National Park)
The Bagh is termed a “heritage hotel” due to the fact that it’s tastefully designed within a 12-acre garden that was once the Maharaja of Bharatpur’s orchard. These extensive grounds offer superb birding and whilst we are being served lunch we may even see our first wild Indian Peafowl; perhaps the most spectacular bird in the world! Other species found on the more than 2 miles of terraced walkways around this comfortable lodge include Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Spotted Owlet, Asian Koel, Greater Coucal, Indian Gray Hornbill, the remarkable Eurasian Hoopoe, Coppersmith and Brown-headed barbets, Black-rumped Flameback, Red-vented Bulbul, the shy Orange-headed Thrush, Oriental Magpie Robin and gangs of noisy Jungle Babblers.
During our 3 full days in Bharatpur, we have a choice of the following excursions, and any one excursion may be repeated if desired:
– Keoladeo National Park
– Bund Baretha
– Agra (Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri)

A family of water-loving Nilgai at Keoladeo by Adam Riley

A family of water-loving Nilgai at Keoladeo by Adam Riley

Ranthambhore National Park and surrounds
Our conveniently situated lodge is located in south-eastern Rajasthan. Ranthambhore National Park is one of India’s largest parks, protecting over 150 square miles of woodland, bamboo thickets, lakes and marshes. Dominated by the 10th century Ranthambhore Fort, this scenic reserve contains high concentrations of Spotted Deer, Sambar and Wild Boar, and it is this abundance of prey species that supports one of the healthiest populations of Tiger anywhere on Earth. Over 60 Tigers currently inhabit the park, quite a few of which are habituated to the presence of tourists. Locating these magnificent cats requires a combination of skill and patience – and, of course…a dose of luck! Traveling in safari-converted open canter trucks, we will explore the network of roads within the park watching for telltale signs such as pugmarks or scat in the road, and listening for the alarm calls of Sambar, Spotted Deer, Southern Plains Gray Langur or Indian Peafowl. With luck, these will lead us to a tiger. And there are plenty of birds to keep us occupied as we search for cats.
During our 4 full days in Ranthambhore participants have a choice of the following excursions, and any one excursion may be repeated if desired.

– Ranthambhore National Park with birding and wildlife focus
– Ranthambhore National Park with wildlife focus
– Ranthambhore National Park with photographic focus



Plum-headed Parakeets in Ranthambhore National Park by Adam Riley

Plum-headed Parakeets in Ranthambhore National Park by Adam Riley


The India ABA Safari participation fee is US$3,850 per person sharing with a single supplement fee of US$700. If you are prepared to share a triple room, participation fee is US$3,570 per person sharing (a saving of US$280 per person).


ABA India Safari inclusions are:

  • all accommodations on a sharing basis, from first to final night of the ABA India Safari (February 8th – 17th);
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from dinner on the first day (February 8th) to lunch the final day (February 18th);
  • drinking water at meals and during day activities;
  • all ground transportation from Indira Gandhi International Airport and back from first (February 8th) to final day (February 18th) of the safari;
  • all costs of specialist bird guides and local guides;
  • 7 daily excursions (3 in the Bharatphur area and 4 in the Ranthambhore area) spanning February 10th-12th and 14th-17th – please choose from the list of optional excursions in this document and please note that some excursions may be either booked out or not operate due to insufficient bookings;
  • activities as outlined in the itinerary on February 8th, 9th, 13th and 18th;
  • all reserve and park entrance fees;
  • optional evening presentations by experts on relevant subjects on some evenings of the ABA India Safari;
  • all tips related to tour services (excluding tour leaders). Any tipping by participants is entirely voluntary.


  • all flights and any airport taxes related to these flights;
  • any visa, passport and vaccination costs;
  • travel and medical insurance;
  • costs incurred before the official start of the ABA India Safari and after the official end;
  • all beverages other than water;
  • national park camera fees;
  • all personal costs including laundry, snacks, meals taken in the absence of the official activities, telephone calls and any service charges related to these costs.

The ABA India Safari cost is subject to major currency fluctuations and other significant events beyond the control of Rockjumper Birding Tours (e.g. major increases in park fees, government charges, fuel costs and hotel charges) and we reserve the right to modify the safari cost, within reason, at any time until full payment has been received. Furthermore, if total subscription for the ABA India Safari is below 57 participants, there may be an additional surcharge.

ABA membership is required for attendance. Terms and conditions for the ABA India Safari are seen by clicking here. We highly recommend that all attendees at every ABA event consider purchasing travel insurance to guard against problems caused by severe weather, injury/illness, and any other logistical issue that might prevent a registrant from participating in the event. For covering medical emergencies on your trip we recommend purchasing insurance with Global Rescue.
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Black-necked Stork flying over Keoladeo National Park by Adam Riley

Black-necked Stork flying over Keoladeo National Park by Adam Riley

 (Click on each for more info)