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Go on safari in India by land and river. Explore the national park made famous in “The Jungle Book’ and the world’s biggest – and smallest – river islands.

September 21, 2018 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

Australians can take an Indian river and overland safari and save more than $2700 per couple, thanks to a new package from Cruise Traveller and Adventure Resorts and Cruises (ARC).

The 19-night ‘Wildlife Safari by Land and River’ package combines a river cruise on the sacred Brahmaputra River – which boasts the world’s biggest river island – with inclusive stays in lodges at three of India’s top national parks, including Pench National Park – the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel, ‘The Jungle Book’. Wildlife that guests can spot on safari by jeep or boat include antelope, spotted deer, sloth bears, leopards, wild boars, porcupines, monkeys, hyenas and Royal Bengal Tigers.

The adventure will begin in Delhi on April 2, 2019, when guests will travel to the three national parks in India’s north – Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench – staying three nights in lodges at each and going on game drives each day to explore the abounding flora and fauna. At Pench National Park, guests will stay amongst the treetops like Mowgli from ‘The Jungle Book’, and spot wolves, porcupines, hyenas, antelopes, sambar, wild pig, jackals and tigers.

The package also includes a visit to Kolkata, long regarded as one of India’s cultural hubs. There, guests will stay at the majestic, 130-year-old Oberoi Grand Hotel and enjoy a city tour which includes the imposing Victoria Memorial, Mother Teresa’s house and a visit to an Indian coffee house.

Guests will then board the MV Mahabaahu, ARC’s boutique, 46-guest river ship, for a seven-night cruise on one of India’s great rivers, the Brahmaputra. Indian cuisine, cooking demonstrations, daily yoga, performances by local singers and dances and a safari where guests can spot rhino, elephants, tigers and buffaloes are among the highlights of the journey. Excursions will take guests to monasteries, plantations, ancient palaces, remote villages, and an uninhabited island – on which they will enjoy a bonfire.

The journey along the Brahmaputra River features the world’s largest river island, Majuli which, at 880 square kilometres, is occupied by local tribes. Conversely, the river also passes by the tiny island of Umananda, which at four hectares, is the world’s smallest inhabited river island and home to a handful of endangered golden langur monkeys. The Brahmaputra is the only river cruise in the world under the shadows of the 7000m-plus-high, snow-covered Himalayas. And apart from Africa’s Zambezi River, it is also the only cruise from which elephant, jeep and boat safaris are all available. Passengers can join these safaris in World-Heritage-listed Kaziranga National Park, described as the Serengeti of India because of the prolific wildlife.

In total, the package includes 13 safaris – plenty of opportunities for guests to see India’s diverse wildlife.

Including nine nights’ accommodation and meals at the national parks, accommodation in Delhi and Kolkata, a total of 13 safaris, the all-inclusive river cruise and domestic flights within India, the 19-night package is available from $9795 per person, twin-share, including a discount of $1370 per person if booked by January 30, 2019. Conditions apply and subject to availability.

To book the cruise and tour package, visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au/mahabaahu or call Cruise Traveller on 1800 507 777.

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