Tag Archives: wildlife

Satpura National Park: Luxury Safari to the Heart of India

On the 40th anniversary of Ibex Expeditions, Mandip and Anita Soin, owners and Directors, take you on an enthralling personally led deluxe journey through this forest declared as a National park in 1981. Have you considered walking in a forest in the footsteps of erstwhile explorer, Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers who traversed this forest in 1862? The Satpura Tiger reserve covers 528 km from Gujarat in the East through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and is an extensive forest area with unique flora and fauna and is the only tiger park in India that allows for a controlled walking safari and mobile camping access accompanied by forest guards.

We first experience a walking expedition through the forest spending two days in a mobile camp. Later we experience the deluxe Reni Pani safari lodge and engage in canoe and jeep rides, all the while enjoying the local hospitality and community interactions. We then travel to the beautiful Ahilya fort (Relaix and Chateau) in the countryside town of Maheshwar living like a royal and explore the countryside with its seamless confluence of textiles, culture, serenity, and architecture. Boat rides on the Narmada river, island picnics and drinks by the poolside sum up the high life as you retreat into a bygone era of simplicity and grace.

Since 2012, Ibex Expeditions has supported the Give Back to Nature programme of WWF India and for each participant of this journey, we will donate US $ 40 per person.

Itinerary

Arrival Delhi

On arrival into IGI Delhi airport at hours, you will be met by our Office Assistant, holding a name placard followed by transfer to your hotel. Since your arrival is late at night, check-in to your hotel and rest.

Hotel: Imperial 

Delhi

After breakfast, proceed on a guided tour of Delhi at 0930 hours which includes the city’s world heritage sites. Drive through New Delhi roads & sights such as India Gate, The Presidential Palace and Parliament house to get a feel for the grand new city that Sir Lutyens built in the early 1900s.

Meals: Breakfast

Delhi – Bhopal by plane

Early morning transfer to airport to board the scheduled flight to Bhopal. Flight – Jet Airways 893: 0540 – 0700 hours Reporting time – 0400 hours On arrival at Bhopal airport, transfer to your retreat on the outskirts of the town. Post lunch at 1400 hours, your private city guide will report to the hotel for a guided excursion to Sanchi stupa (45 km one way). Today, the remarkably preserved Great Stupa is the centerpiece of Sanchi’s World Heritage-listed Buddhist monuments. Return to the retreat in the evening for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Meals: Breakfast on the plane, lunch and dinner

Hotel: Jehan Numa Retreat

Ibex Expeditions Introduces 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Journeys

On it’s 40th anniversary Ibex Expeditions invites you to its  Limited Edition Anniversary Journeys

In 1979, in a small room in the Manor hotel, New Delhi, four friends manifested their dream of a pioneering adventure travel company by establishing Ibex Expeditions. Mountaineer, Explorer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Mandip Singh Soin was one of them.

Four decades later, this has been a journey of innovation, enterprise, accolades, creativity and today, the company is owned and managed by Mandip and his wife Anita, an artist and poet who brings her own creativity to designing journeys with unusual themes.

Guests are welcomed into a world of heightened wonder, style, adventure, luxury that only a truly epic journey can evoke.

On this milestone of our 40th anniversary, we invite you to book a special small group journey led and hosted by the owner family in a series of holidays in India and Sri Lanka with travel experiences exclusive to our guests, privileged access to extraordinary places and inspirational people and meaningful connections along the way.

Ladakh – The stairway to heaven – September 2019

Following a theme of a Responsible Eco adventure walking in the footsteps of the snow leopard, this photo adventure  journey in Ladakh is led by writer, photographer and Ibex Director, Himraj Soin. You will discuss Buddhist traditions and visit local communities, learn about renewable energy projects with conservationists, visit organizations promoting sustainable development and walk along hillsides dotted with chortens and monasteries with exquisite Himalayan vistas.

Madhya Pradesh – Walking safari – Satpura under Canvas – November 2019 

Mandip and Anita lead a special journey to the heart of India recreating the old explorer world of a walking safari in the footsteps of Captain James Forsyth, an explorer who served in the Indian Army in the late 19th century in the forests of Satpura in the state of Madhya Pradesh. We will stay in deluxe camps (glamping) and old-world charming lodges and immerse ourselves in art, beauty, forests, wildlife and recipes from the Nawab family kitchens. Satpura Under Canvas is a unique mobile camping and gentle walking experience through the Satpura Tiger Reserve. We also visit Bhopal, Mandu, Maheshwar where you will enjoy a royal retreat and the luxury Relaix & Chateau Ahilya Fort, the private palace of the erstwhile Holkar dynasty.

Himali Soin will be leading the journey in Sri Lanka

 

Sri Lanka – The Isle of Paradise – November 2019

Arthur C Clarke, British science fiction writer, futurist and inventor is our inspiration and we capture his spirit in a journey across Sri Lanka led by artist, poet and Ibex Director, Himali Singh Soin. We will stay at Colombo Swimming Club where Clarke spent his days, visit Anuradhapura Sci Fi monuments, Una Watuna, a coastal town where Clarke lived, and star gaze in a remote location, all the while reading Rendezvous with Rama.

Rajasthan – The Land of many Colors – March 2020

Himraj Soin will be leading journeys in Ladakh and Rajasthan

We welcome Spring and the festival of color, Holi with a journey of color and vibrance across the landscape of Rajasthan through boutique heritage hosted stays from the cities of pink, blue and gold to the Thar desert visiting ancient step wells and communities on village safaris and staying in Relaix & Chateau heritage homes with Mewar heritage architecture. Led once again by Himraj, National Geographic trip leader.

Costa Rica – a private journey for the Ibex Explorers Fellowship members
Led by Mandip and Anita, we will traverse the ideal destination of Costa Rica, a country that stands apart from its neighbors as a rich bio diverse country with farm to table restaurants and sustainable tourism. The journey will have rain forest hikes and high-altitude trails, rushing white-water rapids and kayaking into canals.

Mandip and Anita will be leading journeys in Madhya Pradesh and Costa Rica

It is rare that Mandip and Anita themselves lead an Ibex Expeditions journey. Their young adult children are both trip leaders with National Geographic and come with their own expertise of photography, writing and poetry.

The journeys will be first-come-first-serve.

Hurry along, the adventures await!

Email us for dates and detailed itineraries at: ibex@ibexexpeditions.com

Treading on the Explorer’s Trail in Satpura National Park

Ibex Expeditions  recently organised The Panchmarhi Trail in Satpura National Park with partners Reni Pani Lodge for the delegates of ATTA’s Adventure Connect. The journey, led by Mandip Singh Soin and a senior naturalist captured the explore spirit, was full of wonderful sightings of birds, squirrels, a leopard and pugmarks!

The five day journey  began at Panchmarhi, also known as Satpura ki Rani, a hill station and part of the national park. The travellers, treading the footsteps of Captain James Forsyth, the original explorer of Satpura National Park  (he belonged to Bengal Lancers and entered the park looking for Indian freedom fighter Tantya Tope) and reached Dhelia camp. The Reni Pani lodge is magnificent. Private tents along the river located just outside the buffer zone of the national park. Beautiful views all around. And the best part? No plastic along the trail!

On our first day in the park, while on a jeep safari, we spotted a leopard, barely 10m from us! Just sauntering along. What tremendous grace the cat has.

The next day was a 16km walk further in. We spotted the exquisite Indian Giant Squirrel, who flew from branch to branch. They build their nests on top of the branches with leaves. They neatly place one leaf after another and make their cosy home. It was quite a sight for us.

The twelve of us had three forest guards walking alongside throughout our journey. We spotted a number of birds—wagtails, grey herons, black bellied terns; even heard an owl hoot!

On our way we kept seeing pugmarks. The guards told us they were three-days old. On the second day of our trail we saw pugmarks that were two days old. Things were heating up! Finally, on the third day, just about a 100m after our lunch stop, we saw a massive drag mark, going all the way from the river to the sand over a rock. The guard told us that the tiger must have had a major kill – a sambhar or a deer and dragged the prey along. It was an incredible sight.

We continued to Manakhachar, our second camp, and walked around the fields and meadows before driving back to Reni Pani Lodge.

We travelled and explored using various means of transport — jeep safari, rowing in local canoes for bird spotting, cycling around the fields, and of course our very own two feet.

It was a wonderful experience overall. We plan to organise similar wildlife-centric journeys in the future. Perhaps combine a journey to Satpura and Bandhavgarh. 🙂

To know more about our special, customised journeys, get in touch with us at ibex@ibexexpeditions.com