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The Ibex Expeditions Arctic expedition May 2023


Experience an unforgettable Svalbard adventure with the small and comfortable expedition ship. In June, the midnight sun reigns supreme, the bird colonies are teeming with life and the peaks of the dramatic mountain ranges are beautifully snow-covered. The ice still keeps the islands in its grip and we can admire the ever-changing ice formations. Spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner. 

We stay one night at a hotel in Longyearbyen and then spend seven nights on board our expedition ship exploring the unique Arctic wilderness of Svalbard. We cruise along glistening glaciers, go ashore to enjoy the magnificent nature and keep a lookout for unique

wildlife such as walruses, seals and polar bears.


  • A true Arctic adventure
  • 1 night in Longyearbyen
  • 7 nights on the small expedition ship
  • Magical midnight sun
  • 5 * wildlife and nature experiences
  • 5 experienced guides
  • The trip is 100% climate compensated. 

Mandip Singh Soin FRGS – Leader

Over the last 45 years, Mandip Singh Soin has climbed, trekked, skied, skydived and indulged in diverse adventures across 7 continents.Ibex Expeditions, India, was born in 1979, a pioneering and bespoke adventure, safari and luxury travel company, recipient of national and international awards. Ibex promotes journeys in India and exotic destinations around the globe.

Life’s adventures drew Mandip closer to saving the environment for future generations and his attention turned to making a difference and became the Founder President of the Responsible Tourism Society of India. Mandip is the recipient of several awards and is often called a ‘modest badass’!

Mandip finished a Masters in History at St Stephens College, Delhi University, loves puns and Beethoven and can flip an omlette to perfection. 

Anita – Co-Leader

Anita is an artist, poet and a writer and a Director and co-owner at Ibex Expeditions for 30 years. She has hiked and biked, trekked and rafted and travelled to all seven continents and continues to explore her creativity, designing journeys that become works of art themselves. She studied at University and is an alumnus of the Welham Girls School.  

Be inspired by our digital polar lectures!

Few trips can compare with a magnificent adventure to the realm of the polar bear, Svalbard, or the world’s most remote continent, Antarctica. Our Expedition leader, Adam Rheborg has recorded short lectures on what it’s like to travel to these spectacular places on earth. 

Adam has been guiding adventurous tourists amongst polar bears and walruses in Svalbard since over 20 years. He works full time as expedition leader, dive master, television reporter, journalist and lecturer with the whole planet as his workplace.


The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship and in 2018 she underwent a renovation of the passenger areas. The ship takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. 

The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV.

In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. 

The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on board.


Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2-8 Expedition cruising

We start our great adventure in Svalbard by exploring Longyearbyen. In the afternoon we embark the expedition ship and sail out through Isfjorden – the Arctic expedition has started! We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our ambition is to make landings or cruises every day with our Zodiacs.

Here are some examples of places we may visit.

Prins Karls Forland

This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbour seals.

Virgohamna, Danskøya

Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.

Fantastic fjords

Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey we will explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “The fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and here we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. 

Many common eiders and pink footed geese nest in the area and if lucky we could see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favorite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole.

North Spitsbergen

North of Spitsbergen we might meet the edge of the pack ice. Not many ships venture here and we can marvel at the silence and grandeur of this icy landscape. Chances of meeting polar bears increase as we sail along the ice floes. 

Southwest Spitsbergen

The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks, often reaching above the clouds. On a clear day we can see the summit of the highest mountain Hornsundtind, measuring 1431 meters. Hornsund is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and bearded seals are often seen resting on the fjord ice.

Day 9 Longyearbyen

Early morning we disembark our expedition ship and begin our journey back home.

Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition.

Climate compensated group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen and return is available. (Limited availability).


The ship exceeds all SOLAS-requirements (Safety of Life at Sea) and is equipped with the latest communication- and navigation equipment


The ship has a total lifeboat and raft capacity of 160 passengers. It consists of two lifeboats with space for 45 passengers in each and 2 life rafts with space for 35 passengers in each. 

The boats and rafts are equipped with drinking water, survival equipment and survival food rations and sea-sickness pills.The diesel-powered boats are also equipped with navigational equipment, medication, and communication equipment.

For emergencies, the ship has an overcapacity of life vests and the highest grade of Immersion Suits.The ship is equipped with automatic smoke detectors, a sprinkler system and fire safety doors. Fire alarms and fire extinguishers are placed around the ship.


For passenger use, the ship can offer an onboard e-mail account charged by a setup fee and a data transmission rate. This e-mail account can be accessed from the passenger’s laptop via a wireless network from almost anywhere on the ship.The passengers can also buy phone cards for the satellite phone available in the lobby on deck 4.

The tap water is drinkable and of high quality. All freshwater is produced on board from seawater. The system is oversized, and the purified and desalinated water is stored in buffer tanks in case the purification system should fail. All sewage is taken care of onboard the ship.

The three-stage cleaning system is based on the latest technology and before the sewage is released into the sea it’s completely decontaminated. The remaining waste products are emptied and taken care of by special vehicles or ships when the ship is in port.

All rubbish created onboard is sorted and whatever is recyclable is handed over for recycling while in port after each expedition. For the laundry, they use organic detergent, and, in the shower, there are organic protera body wash, shampoo/conditioner and body lotion

Curiosities about Longyearbyen

  • There are no street names in Longyearbyen, they only use street numbers.
  • Longyearbyen was named after the American John Munroe Longyear, who founded the Arctic Coal Company in 1906. The settlement was first named Longyear City but was later changed to Longyearbyen.
  • If visiting Ny-Ålesund, you can send a card from the northernmost post office in the world. But please note that it can take weeks before the card arrives at its recipient.
  • Common practice is to leave your shoes at the entrance, this to keep the coal dust out.
  • Longyearbyen houses are built on stilts, due to the permafrost.
  • During four months of the year, from around 25th October, the polar night occurs, and the sun never rises.
  • During four months of the year, from around 19th April, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the sun never sets.


The mean temperature in Longyearbyen in June +2ºC. In other parts of the archipelago the temperatures are a few degrees below the mean temperature in Longyearbyen. Due to the wind factor the temperatures sometimes seem to be much lower.

We recommend you dress in layers, it allows you to easily adjust to variations in temperature. Wear three layers or more. To get rid of perspiration, insulate you from the cold and protect you against the wind. The layering method also allows you to easily adjust your clothing when the weather and temperatures change. Make sure to bring an extra layer if you are travelling early or late season, as the temperature can be a bit lower.

When going ashore by Zodiacs, make sure to wear waterproof jacket/trousers and tall rubber boots. Below you will find some instructions on how to dress in polar climate, followed by an equipment checklist.


The layer closest to your skin must get rid of perspiration from your body to keep you dry and warm. Recommended materials are wool or synthetic materials. Cotton should never be worn close to the body.


This layer provides insulation and retains body heat without restricting movement. Suitable materials for this layer are fleece or wool. It is better to wear several thin layers than one thick layer. On cold days you may need extra insulation. This way you control your body temperature.


The main function of this layer is to offer protection against the wind and water, but also to let out excess body heat. Therefore, it is good to use breathable materials such as Gore-Tex or similar.


Your head is like the body’s funnel and we always recommend bringing a warm hat! Preferable materials are synthetic fibre or wool, if possible windproof.


These parts of your body are particularly sensitive. It is important to keep hands and feet dry and warm. The same layering method applies here. Use inner gloves made of synthetic fibre, silk or wool and cover with a wind/waterproof mitten. Mittens are much warmer than gloves. Please remember to bring an extra pair of mittens. You should wear inner socks of synthetic fibre and cover with layers of wool or synthetic socks. A pair of solid knee-high rubber boots is the secret weapon when going ashore with the Zodiacs. It is also wise to bring wool insoles.



Always pay attention to your expedition leader and guides. Do not hesitate to ask them if you have questions regarding the landing procedures. Passengers must be aware of certain regulations involving the Zodiacs in order to ensure safety in our operations. A briefing will also be given by our guides.

The boat driver oversees the boat and its operations. His/her instructions must always be followed.

There will be wet landings (you will need to wade ashore). We advise passengers to wear rubber boots and appropriate waterproof clothing as protection from sea spray or rain when in the rubber boats. Use a water proof bag (or bring along a small plastic bag) to protect items such as cameras and binoculars.

Always wear the life jackets provided when in the rubber boat. This is for your safety, and is required at all times regardless of weather and sea conditions.

Accept the helping hands of crew members and drivers when stepping into or out of the rubber boat at the ship’s gangway. Keep both hands free for this operation, and use the “Sailor’s grip” (i.e. grip each other by the wrist).

Minimize the number of items you bring into the rubber boat. Backpacks are ideal for loose items such as cameras, binoculars, medication etc. It allows you to have both hands free.

If you have a loose item, it should be handed to the driver/crew member before embarking/disembarking the rubber boat.


When ashore, always stay with your group and your guides. Due to polar bears and for your safety, never wander off on your own.

Watch your step and keep to established paths when possible. In cold and dry habitats the recovery of plants is very slow.

Be extremely careful among breeding colonies of seabirds and ground nesting birds.

Approach wildlife slowly when taking photographs and retreat from the subject just as carefully.

Never disturb wildlife for the sake of a photograph.

Be careful not to startle or chase any bird from its nest. Your attention to a nesting or molting bird should never be prolonged when a predator is in the vicinity. Foxes, gulls and skuas are always luring to raid exposed nests.

Monitor your surroundings and be sensitive to any disruption you may be causing. If an animal shows signs of distress or avoidance, move away.

Look but never touch. These are wild animals going about their daily business. We wish to observe natural behavior in its natural state.

Never feed wild animals.

In order not to introduce new species into Svalbard please wash your boots at home and make sure that no seeds are included in the packaging or clothing (pockets, Velcro, etc.).

Return all litter to the ship for proper disposal. This includes litter of all types, such as plastic bags and paper tissues.

It is not allowed to collect natural souvenirs such as shells, rocks, feathers, bones or fossils.

Keep noise level to a minimum.

Never smoke ashore.


Good binoculars are highly recommended and will add quality to your travel experience.

All binoculars are listed by power and brightness, e.g. 8×32 or 10×50. The first number indicates magnification and the second the diameter of the front lens. At least 8 x-powers is recommended, 8×32 or 10×42 binoculars are good choices.

“Wide-field” binoculars allow you to see a wider area making it easier to spot wildlife.

Compact models, in the 8×25 range, can fit in a pocket and are very lightweight, but sacrifice brightness and field of vision.

Rubber coated models are generally more shock resistant and some of these are also waterproof.


For many of us, photography is a natural part of travel. Therefore, we have summarized the most basic recommendations regarding photography.


Whatever type of camera you use, make sure it is working properly before you leave home. If you have a new camera or have a camera that has not been used for a while, it is a good idea to take some pictures before travelling to ensure that it works properly. Also remember to bring your camera manual.


Bad batteries account for the largest percentage of camera problems on expeditions, especially in cold climates. For this reason, please bring extra camera batteries with you, even if the one in your camera is new.

Memory cards

Rule of thumb is to bring more memory cards than you believe you will need.

Tripods and Beanbags

Tripods, which are often used to steady cameras with large telephoto lenses, are not useful on ships, as they tend to transmit the ship’s vibrations. If you are bringing a lens larger than 300 mm, you might consider bringing a beanbag to support your camera. Unlike tripods, beanbags tend to absorb the ship’s vibrations.


Particles or water can easily stick on the camera lens, which can reduce the image quality. For this reason, we recommend you to bring a microfiber cloth designed for optics.


Cameras are in general sensitive to water, moisture and shock. A bag/backpack for protection is recommended.

Into the Wild with Anita & Mandip Bori & Satpura Parks

Tucked amidst the lush and rustic locale of Dhapada village, Bori Safari Lodge is a charming resort in Madhya Pradesh in 7 ½ acres farmland. Bori is the new emerging tiger landscape in Madhya Pradesh and is home to tigers, sloth bears, leopards, wild dogs, giant squirrels and a variety of other Central Indian species of birds and animals

You will enjoy village tours, learn about the local’s way of life and go on anthropological excursions at Dhapada. 

Located along the River Tawa, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary is one of India’s oldest wildlife sanctuaries with large mammals like Sambar, gaur, Nilgai, chital and predators like tiger, leopard and wild dogs. 

The highlights of this trip include: 

  • An experience to enjoy a personally led tour by Mandip and Anita. 
  • Exploring the Bori Wild life sanctuary through jeep safaris, biking and village community visits.    
  • Exploring Satpura National Park in a canoe and jeep & a Walking Safari inside the National Park.
  • Tracking wildlife including tiger, leopard, wild boar, bear, fox, porcupine, the Indian giant squirrel, a variety of antelope, and much more.
  • Staying at the  Jehan Numa Retreat of Bhopal for 2 nights
  • Staying at the newly opened Bori Safari Lodge for 23 nights.
  • Staying at the aesthetic Reni Pani Lodge for 32 nights.
  • Culinary demonstration of Royal Bhopal recipes of the family at the Retreat and at Satpura.
  • A visit to the tribal museum in Bhopal.
  • A visit to Bhimbhetka caves. 
  • A Give Back component of Rs 750 per head matched by Ibex Expeditions towards the Give Back to Nature programme of the World-Wide Fund for Nature, (WWF) India.


23 November -Arrival Bhopal

Depart from Delhi via Indigo flight 6E 5018 departing at 1255 hours and arriving at Bhopal at 1420 hours. Met on arrival and transferred to the Jehan Numa Retreat. Located on the outskirts of Bhopal, 9 kms away, the Jehan Numa Retreat is a quiet getaway, in 12.5 acres sharing a boundary with Van Vihar Urban National Park. We will leave for the Tribal Museum and a drive around Bhopal by 1630 hours. Your meals are included from dinner tonight as your flights may arrive at different timings. Tonight’s dinner will be at 1930 hours. 

Jehan Numa Retreat has a special dining experience Under the Jamun Tree with dishes from the erstwhile Bhopal family. Camouflaged by simplicity in a tree lined estate, the Retreat is of subtle elegance borrowing ideas of tribal and rural art on mud coloured walls with Indian dyes and stone. The focus is on organic and the tranquil silence only has bird song. 

Meals: Dinner included. 

This afternoon, we will visit the Tribal Museum portraying the rich heritage of Bhopal and telling stories of their lives through models and art installations. The gallery has life sized models and stories of worship and sacrifice are portrayed through impressive art installations. 

24 November Bhopal – Bori Wildlife Sanctuary

We will have breakfast at 0800 hours and depart at 0900 hours and arrive at Bhimbhetka caves, a world heritage site by 1030, leaving by 1130 and arrive at Bori by 1300 hours in time for lunch. (This alteration has been necessitated due to one crucial bridge being repaired. The journey will be extended by an hour and a half on the 29th from Satpura to Bhopal.)

This afternoon is relaxed until 1600 hours when we leave for a night patrol (safari) in the Jhalai buffer zone by jeep and return by 2000 hours in time for dinner. Lying in a forest of teak and sal in craggy cliffs 46 kms south of Bhopal are more than 700 rock shelters. Around 500 of them contain some of the world’s oldest prehistoric paintings. Thanks to their natural red and white pigments, the colours are remarkably well preserved and, in certain caves, paintings of different eras adorn the same rock surface.

A gamut of figures and scenes dance across the rocks: gaurs (Indian bison), rhinoceroses, bears and tigers share space with scenes of hunting, initiation ceremonies, childbirth, communal dancing, drinking, religious rites and burials.The Bori Wildlife sanctuary is one of the emerging tiger landscapes in Madhya Pradesh and is home to tigers, sloth bears, leopards, wild dogs, giant squirrels and a variety of other Central Indian species of birds and animals.

Meals: Breakfast at Jehan Numa Retreat. Lunch and dinner at Bori Safari Lodge.

25 November -Bori Wildlife Sanctuary

Morning wake up is 0430 hours and departure by 0530 hours by jeep to reach the gate and do the safari and return by 12-1215 hours. This will be in the Churna area and we will carry packed breakfast. We will travel from the buffer into the core area and search for tiger, leopard, general wildlife and birdlife. 

We return to relax and have lunch and after that, do a birding and wilderness walk by 1530 hours with a trained Naturalist in a reserve forest close to Bori Safari Lodge The walk will be approximately 1 ½ hours.

This is a largely untrodden safari lodge adjacent to a sanctuary where sightings are for serious wildlife enthusiasts. Being adjacent to the wildlife sanctuary, the property has a keen eye on conservation and preserving the natural heritage of the area by not building too much on it. The staff is from the surrounding villages and food is sourced from villages in the area. The Sanctuary is one of the most exciting wildlife habitats and guests have a unique opportunity to see all major carnivores.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner at Bori Safari Lodge.

26 November Bori Wildlife Sanctuary – Satpura National Park

We will leave at 0700 hours and we carry packed breakfast and go into the core area towards Churna again and complete at the rest house by 1130 hours.

Relax and have lunch between 1230 – 1400 hours and at 1430 hours, we go towards the core area of the Satpura tiger reserve and after the jeep safari at the park, we exit the park by 1730 hours and check into the Reni Pani lodge and dinner by 1930 – 2000 hours. 

Meals: Breakfast packed, Lunch packed at the Churna forest house and dinner at Reni Pani Lodge.

27 November – Satpura National park

In the morning by 0700 hours, we go for a motorboat/canoe safari and return to the lodge by 0930 hours. The motorboat is for 1-1 ½ hours. After lunch, at 1415 hours, we depart for an afternoon game drive returning by 1845 hours to the lodge. On the game drive we search for leopard, sloth bear, classic central Indian wildlife and birds.

Satpura National Park covers 1500 sq. km of a unique Central Plateau Highland ecosystem, with rugged terrain, valleys, rivulets, waterfalls and narrow gorges. The park is rich in biodiversity and is the abode of numerous species of flora and fauna. The area’s stunning topography coupled with the abundance of wildlife it contains caters to a variety of interests and a combination of ways to explore them.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. 

28 November – Satpura National Park

Today, we will do one jeep safari departing by 0530 hours, looking for Tigers, Sloth bears, and birdlife. In the after we go for a walking safari in the core area of the reserve.

The state forest department guides along with the naturalists deliver a truly exhilarating experience filled with insightful knowledge on the flora and fauna that is indigenous to the Satpura Tiger Reserve.

Satpura is the only national park in India to permit walking safaris. Walking deep into the jungle of the biosphere will allow you to truly experience the park’s beautiful scenery, flora and fauna. The feeling of being in the jungle with no separation between wildlife and oneself is truly exhilarating and is an experience any wildlife enthusiast would cherish. Birdwatchers and butterfly enthusiasts enjoy viewing the ample bird and butterfly life.

Your expert guide will introduce you to the local plant and bird life along the way. Although this is not the best way of spotting wildlife, simply due to the fact that you cover less ground, this is a fantastic opportunity to get close to nature and appreciate the small things the park has to offer.

Today we will arrange a special cooking demonstration along with our dinner at 1930 hours.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. 

29 November – Satpura National Park – Bhopal 

This morning return to the park by 0530 hours for another game drive and resume the romance with wilderness & its many denizens. Return to the lodge by 1200 hours. For those departing to catch the Bhopal flight, they would need to leave immediately with a packed lunch and could return to the lodge from the park in an earlier jeep by 1000 hours. 

For the rest, we will depart by 1300 hours for Bhopal to reach Bhopal by 1900 hours (because of the recent detour due to a bridge repair closure).

Meals: Breakfast at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. Packed lunch. Dinner at Jehan Numa Retreat.

30 November – Bhopal departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for onward flights by noon. The suggested flight to Delhi is via Indigo 6E 5058 departing at 1450 hours and arriving at 1610 hours.

Meals: Breakfast at Jehan Numa Retreat.

India’s Wild Heart

On this exciting new adventure, Anita & Mandip Soin invites you to celebrate the outdoors and the freedom to explore it with a deep sense of gratitude and respect for the wilderness we must protect.This is a celebration of the Indian tiger population that has risen to 2967 tigers as of 2018.We enjoy not just the wilderness and natural heritage of India but explore the fascinating built heritage of this region.

This journey supports the World Wide Fund for Nature ‘Give back to Nature’ programme.

A soft and mystical land, peppered with ancient temples and forts, where the forests are teeming with wildlife and are punctuated by ionic cities like Khajuraho with its ancient erotic temples.Here you will find many stunning historical monuments, a plethora of national parks and a rural lifestyle that will take you back to the Kipling India of our childhood.Jungle Book brought to life our first interaction with Mowgli, Shere Khan, Bagheera, Baloo and other lifelike characters running free in the jungles. On this journey, we relive the delight by visiting their abode. 

About Ibex Expeditions & Taj Safaris

Ibex Expeditions, celebrates over 40 years of excellence in bespoke adventure, safari and luxury travel in India since 1979. Recognised for their deep environmental policies, Ibex has been conferred four international and two National awards.Led by Explorer, Mandip Singh Soin, and the only Indian to receive the Citation of Merit by the Explorers Club, USA for his diverse adventures. Both Mandip and his wife Anita have explored seven continents and believe firmly in protecting our wilderness and curating journeys for those that choose to tread lightly. Mandip is the Founder of Ibex Expeditions and the Founder President of the Responsible Tourism Society of India. He also serves on the Board of the Adventure Travel Conservation fund.

Taj Safaris lodges from the family of the Taj Hotels group redefines luxury and environmentally friendly comfort amid nature furnished with greenery! Taj Safari lodges offers an enthralling experience and the philosophy is to maintain sustainability to the highest level with a low footprint in harmony with the local community’s needs. They offer the best experiences through their highly trained Naturalists.

This journey designed by Ibex Expeditions & Taj Safaris takes us through the Panna National Park with the Pashan Garh lodge set in 200 acres of private wilderness; onto the Mahua Kothi lodge set in a 45 acre private forest in the Bandhavgarh National Park in the Vindhya hills and finally, to Banjaar Tola set in a 90 acre Sal forest on the banks of the river in Kanha.The heart of India’s wild is home to the Bengal tiger, leopard, wild boar, antelope, and more.When you travel with us on this journey, you support the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s Give back to Nature program to ensure other species of wildlife are protected to eternity.


  • An experience to enjoy a personally led journey with explorers Mandip & Anita Soin.
  • Exploring three of Central India’s premier wildlife forests.
  • Tracking wildlife including tiger, leopard, wild boar, and a variety of antelope, birds and more.
  • Stay at the charming Pashangarh lodge, Mahua Kothi lodge, and Banjaar Tola lodge.
  • Visiting the Kalinjar fort.
  • A ‘give back’ component towards the Give Back to Nature program of the World-Wide Fund for Nature India.
  • A night safari at Pashangarh, Panna.
  • Jungle safaris at all parks in private jeeps.
  • A nature walk and village visit at Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh.
  • A cooking class at Banjaar Tola, Kanha.
  • A visit to a tribal village and to the Kanha Museum of Life and Art in Kanha.


07 March Arrive Jabalpur by flight from Delhi – Panna National Park

We take an early morning departure, explorer style to reach Jabalpur by 0800 hours and continue to Panna National Park by road, 220 Kms away and check into the Pashan Garh lodge. 4-5 hours Today in the late afternoon, we will take a short bird watching walk within Pashangarh and later tonight, we will do a night safari in the buffer area of the park.

Pashan Garh is a unique lodge nestled in the untamed wilderness in a 200-acre forest. Here we have a unique opportunity of enjoying a night safari. The habitat restoration initiative that the Taj Safaris team has undertaken has resulted in a green cover.Panna is situated in the Vindhya Hill range and spreads over the Panna and Chhatarpur districts in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh. Panna National Park is the most important protected area in the north- central highlands of India, as it links the eastern and western populations of wild animals through the Vindhya ranges.Situated just 40 km from the world-famous temples at Khajuraho, Panna National Park is located along the banks of the Ken River. The Park, with its deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and thick teak forests, is predominantly a plateau, with sprawling flatlands punctuated by hills, deep valleys, and gorges. The terrain is largely rocky and uneven.There are mixed dry deciduous forests with short grasses and open woods. Lower altitudes are characterized by taller grasses and closed woodlands. Common bamboo also occurs on hilly slopes and gorges.

Home to the majestic tiger, guests may also see leopard, wolf, hyena, jackal and sloth bear. The reserve is also well known for sightings of Nilgai, Sambar, chital, wild boar, and Indian crocodile.

│Pashan Garh Lodge│Lunch and dinner

│Lunch and dinner

08 March -Panna National Park

Early morning, we will have a wake-up tea, after which we depart for a jungle safari accompanied by a resident naturalist, with a break for a picnic breakfast.After a morning of sightings, we return to the lodge.Reminiscent of meeting Fred, Barney and the Flintstones family, you stay in stylish stone cottages huddled atop a hill, facing a waterhole and forest, and await eagerly to see an antelope wandering in the wild and perhaps, seeing the big cat. Inspired from the local dry-packed stone houses of the region, the uneven stones add to its charm.

The crocodile is omnipresent greeting you and the interiors are a contemporary mix of chocolate linens, block-printed black silks, celadon cotton and cotton lace chandeliers.After lunch, we head into the forest again for another park ride in private jeeps.This evening we will enjoy a talk by Mandip titled ‘Tales of an Explorer’, an anecdotal, humorous account of four decades of living on the edge in the outdoors.

09 March – Panna National Park

After breakfast, we will proceed on an excursion to the Kalinjar fort which is      60 Kms away.

│Pashan Garh Lodge│Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Many decisive battles were fought for the possession of this strategically located fort in ancient, medieval and modern times. The fort is also symbolic of cultural and religious glory. The famous temple here is the Neelkantha, the tallest Kala Bhairava image and a number of sculptures.After lunch, we will drive to Khajuraho town for a guided tour of the temples.The temples at Khajuraho were built under later Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity. Of the original 85 temples, the 25 surviving are among the finest in India. They are built mostly of fine sandstone from Panna in shades ranging from pink through buff to pale yellow although granite was used.There is a belief that the erotic temple sculptures illustrate Kama Sutra, the sensuality outside the temple contrasting with the serenity within. The name Khajuraho is derived from Khajura-date palm, which grows freely in the area and perhaps because there were two golden khajura trees on a carved gate here.

We return to the lodge by late evening.

│Pashan Garh Lodge│Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

09 March -Panna National Park – Bandhavgarh National Park (200 km, 4-5 hours)

  This morning, we head for our next destination of Bandhavgarh. We reach for a late lunch.Late afternoon we will proceed for a guided nature walk. The nature trails offered in the buffer zone of the park is a wonderful time to get acquainted by the smaller creatures, be they butterflies, beetles, and a multitude of wildflowers.

│ Mahua Kothi Lodge│Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

This compact park with a core area of 105 sq. km and a buffer zone of 437 sq. km is in the Vindhya hills. It is famous as the place in which the white tiger originated and before becoming a National Park in 1968, it was the game preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa.The management has embarked on a conservation program and protection from disease, fire, grazing, and poaching have all been factors in the recovery of the wildlife area. It is set in rugged hills and marshes that used to be perennial and now support a vast grassland savanna. There are also interesting cave shrines that are scattered around the park.

 10 March -Bandhavgarh National Park

Early morning, we will head to the park for a game drive accompanied by expert Naturalists. We will look for not just the tiger but all species of fauna and flora. We will also stop for a picnic breakfast.

After lunch, we head out into the forest for another safari and return by evening to the lodge.

│ Mahua Kothi Lodge│Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

11 March -Bandhavgarh National Park

After breakfast, we will visit a local village and interact with the locals and see their untouched way of life. These villages are on the periphery of the park where farming is practiced in age-old methods with simple tools and ingenuity. Tribes like Baiga, Gond and Kol amongst others, live in homes plastered with cow dung.We then return to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon game drive in search of leopards, tigers and more.Tonight, we will sit beneath the Mahua tree and have dinner. The tall tree stands at the edge of the grassland and here we enjoy a special dinner adorned by lanterns. This dinner is a unique dining experience with barbecue cuisine.

│ Mahua Kothi Lodge│Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

12 March -Bandhavgarh National Park – Kanha National Park (250 Kms, 5 hrs.)

After an early breakfast, we will drive to Kanha National park with a packed lunch.The afternoon is free and later we can enjoy an optional cooking class by the chef who will unveil simple tips on Indian cooking.

 Banjaar Tola lodge│ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 13 March -Kanha National Park

At dawn, we will leave in special jeeps of Banjaar Tola with our Naturalists through dense jungles and grasslands laden with mist and a deep orange orb for the sun in the sky.

Kanha is rich in biodiversity and has an excellent population of tigers and leopards. The Barasingha (Hard ground swamp deer) are the mascots of Kanha and herds can be seen in grasslands as well as in ponds feeding on aquatic plants.

After lunch, we will visit a nearby tribal village, interacting with the locals and learning about their ancient culture. Gond and Baiga are the two prominent tribes found here. These were a hunter-gatherer, forest-dwelling communities that practiced a harmonious coexistence with nature. Remnants of that lifestyle can still be glimpsed here, although the younger generations are fast adapting to modern ways.

│ Banjaar Tola lodge│ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

14 March -Kanha National Park

   This morning we head into forest to view wildlife of the area and return to the lodge for lunch.After lunch, we will visit the Kanha Museum of life and art. The museum showcases Gond and Baiga tribal traditional paintings that draw inspiration from forests and wildlife. At 1430 hours, we will return to the park for another drive looking for gaur and jackals.This evening we have a farewell bush dinner with lanterns and a rustic wooden cart. Some local delicacies like the Baiga chicken will be served. The Baiga dancers in traditional dress move lithely as the compelling drumbeats reverberate.

│ Banjaar Tola lodge   │ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Crossing Border – The rivers on the Siang & Brahmaputra


11th – 20th November 2022 | 9 nights/10 days

The Brahmaputra is the third largest river in the world and the largest in India. It originates from the northern side of the Himalayas, in Burang County of Tibet and flows through the ranges before breaking through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam finally entering Bangladesh.

Through its journey it has different names – Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, Jamuna in Bangladesh, and the Brahmaputra in Assam.

The Tsangpo flows into Arunachal Pradesh as the Siang on which we will raft. 



  • Hosted by Anita & Mandip Singh Soin.
  • Stay at an eco-lodge in a tropical forest in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Day rafting on the River Siang with Grade 4 rapids.
  • A 5-night river cruise downstream on the Brahmaputra from Jorhat to Silghat near Tezpur.
  • Explorer-style deluxe boat – the Charaidew II, varied cuisine and knowledgeable local guides with evening presentations, including a moonlit sandbank barbecue dinner.
  • A chance to view the Himalayan peaks of 22,000 feet high of Arunachal Pradesh. (Weather permitting)
  • Visit Majuli Island, one of the largest islands in the world and see the potters and the traditional mask-making process by the local community.
  • Visit a monastery with an eclectic museum and a Sattriya performance by the ‘dancing monks’ at Kamalabari monastery, Auniati.
  • Stay at the boutique Wild Mahseer Lodge, visit Mishing tribe and tree planting to make this journey Carbon Neutral.
  • Jeep safari in Kaziranga National Park – a world heritage site.
  • Wildlife viewing through float rafts on the Jia Bhoroli River.
  • Visit a biodiverse haven of the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark.
  • Walk-in Nameri Sanctuary for Birdwatching & visit the Hoollongapar Gibbon WLS for Hoolock Gibbons sightings, India’s only ape.
  • Contribute to the Give Back to Nature programme of the WWF India


11 Nov        Delhi – Dibrugarh – 3-hour drive to Pasighat

Friday         On arrival at 1140 hours, we will drive to Pasighat and check into the Aborcountry River camp located on the banks of the mighty River Siang. Traditional tribal dancers of the Ayeng tribe, will welcome us.


The suggested flight is via Vistara departing at 0750 hours from Delhi and arriving at 1140 at Dibrugarh via Bagdogra.


(All arrivals from other parts of the country should be at the same time, no later than 1200 hrs. Arriving a day earlier is recommended should flight timings not match.)


Pasighat is the headquarters of East Siang district in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at the Eastern foothills of the Himalaya at 155 metres above mean sea level, Pasighat is Arunachal’s oldest town.

The Aborcountry River camp is an eco-lodge and is located on the banks of the Siang River in the middle of a tropical forest.

Dinner at the Lodge-Camp.

Temperatures: High 25 and low 10 Celsius

12 Nov        Aborcountry River camp – Rafting 4-5 hours – AR Camp

Saturday      Drive 2 hours north along the Siang River to Rottung and put in for a half day rafting section of almost four hours or more. Encounter big class 4 rapids along the way. We will stop enroute on the banks for a packed lunch. The Put-out is at Aborcountry beach, welcomed with snacks and tea. Return to camp.

An exciting journey down one of the World’s greatest rivers. The river, after flowing gently eastwards through Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo, cuts into the Greater Himalayas and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Namche Barwa before it enters Arunachal Pradesh as the Siang.


Temperatures: High 25 and low 10 Celsius


13 Nov        Aborcountry River camp – Neamati Ghat – Charaidew II

Sunday       After breakfast, we drive to Neamati Ghat at Jorhat, a journey of 5 hours to board your vessel. Time permitting, if we arrive by noon, we can also visit a local village at Neamati. Lunch on arrival on the boat.


After a relaxed evening enjoy a welcome dinner onboard.

The Charaidew is one of the longest boats on the river.


The cabins have balconies and views of the passing river. We will do excursions to see historical, cultural, and natural wonders.

Temperatures: High 28 and low 14 Celsius


14 Nov          Charaidew II

Monday      Early morning, we will disembark and drive to Hoollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary at Mariani. We will walk through the forest with a local forest guard in search of Hoolock Gibbons, India’s only species of ape as well as a wealth of birdlife. Enjoy a simple breakfast surrounded by nature just outside the sanctuary.

Once back at the vessel, we will cruise to visit a riverside village – Salmara of Majuli Island.

The village is famous for preserving a unique way of pottery making. Villagers here still practice the old beaten clay process of making earthen pots.

After a relaxed evening enjoy a traditional instrumental performance onboard followed by dinner.

Temperatures: High 28 and low 14 Celsius

15 Nov          Charaidew II

Tuesday       Whilst we enjoy our breakfast this morning, we will cruise down to Kamalabari Ghat at Majuli, one of the world’s largest river islands.

A microcosm of Assamese culture, Majuli represents rural idyll in Assam.

A stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism, the elegant island satras for celibate monks at the island highlight a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (Songs and musical instruments) and recitation of holy scriptures.

We will visit a monastery at Auniati with an eclectic museum, and then enjoy a Sattriya performance by the ‘dancing monks’ at Kamalabari monastery. If possible, we shall also see the traditional mask-making process at Majuli before cruising downstream for an hour or two.

During our time at Majuli, we will also come across wetlands and water bodies that are home to various migratory and resident birds during the winter months.

Tonight, we will enjoy a BBQ on a deserted sandbank of the Brahmaputra River under the open sky.

Subject to river and weather conditions.

Temperatures: High 28 and low 14 Celsius

16 Nov          Charaidew II

Wednesday Today will be a full day of sailing. We shall take time to pause and walk through the bankside village of Jamugiri.

Your accompanying guide and naturalist will brief you as you observe the simple riverine lifestyle of the locals in Assam.

In the afternoon, Kaziranga National Park will be on the port side, and you may have sightings of wild elephants, water buffalos and other mammals from the vessel. You may view the endangered Gangetic dolphin.


Temperatures: High 28 and low 14 Celsius


17 Nov          Charaidew II

Thursday     Early morning cruise down to Silghat. After a relaxed breakfast we proceed to enjoy a riverside lunch at Diphlu River Lodge. 


Post lunch, experience a jeep safari through its Western Range of Kaziranga National Park with good woodland as well as its grassland and wetlands.


Covering an area of approximately 430 sq km, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros as well as the Indian Wild water Buffalo.

It has also earned the distinction of having the highest density of Royal Bengal tigers making this park an incredibly rich biodiverse hotspot. With its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and capped langur.


Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. Bird species found are the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, and more.

Temperatures: High 28 and low 14 Celsius

18 Nov          Charaidew II – Wild Mahseer lodge

Friday                        We disembark from the boat and drive to the Wild Mahseer Lodge, an hour away.

Wild Mahseer is a unique heritage stay for visitors to experience mindful tourism while living within the biodiverse haven of the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark.

Unravel the mystique of tea and history on the tea garden tour and hear the story of how tea was introduced in India over “ChaiKiBaat” and a tea tasting session with tea experts.

Trees planting in and around the property.


Tea gardens walk 4:00 pm


Temperatures: High 28 and low 16 Celsius


19 Nov          Wild Mahseer Lodge

Saturday      Today, we will leave at 6 am for Nameri National Park, a birders’ paradise, with photographers, ornithologists who have spent days in this forest studying behavior patterns of these birds.

Temperatures: High 28 and low 16 Celsius


20 Nov          Wild Mahseer Lodge – Guwahati airport

Sunday         This morning, we will walk the Botanic Trail through the botanic ark (EHBA) with our naturalist. We will also experience tree hugging and visit the spice hub.

Check out after lunch at 12:00pm and take a scenic drive enroute Guwahati Airport. We will all ideally take the evening flight back to Delhi.


This journey is limited to 36 participants of Ibex Expeditions will have the Charaidew II as an exclusive chartered boat.

Castaway On the beautiful Andaman Islands

In 1978, 3 student friends travelled in the Bunk class on a Rs. 50 ticket from Kolkata to Port Blair. Their aim was to trek, study the local tribes, do some deep-sea fishing and climb Barren Island Volcano.

Their permit for Barren Island was never granted by the Government of India. In 2002, Mandip led an International Ecotourism & Volcano expedition, visiting 13 islands and presented a report to the Government on low impact tourism strategy as a sustainable option in these islands. A permit to Barren Island was granted and his team of anthropologists, National Geographic photographers and explorers, all ascended it.The following year, the volcano had an eruption. 

The team visited Car Nicobar and came to the conclusion that it was not ready to receive Tourism.

Given the fragility of these islands, Ibex Expeditions has curated a journey with the idea of travelling with conscious travellers. India’s most remote state, the Andaman Islands is situated more than 1000km off the east coast in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. Thickly covered by deep green tropical forest, the archipelago supports a profusion of wildlife, including some extremely rare and endemic species of birds. The beaches and the pristine reefs that ring most of the islands are unique.Filled with colorful fish and kaleidoscopic corals, the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea feature some of the world’s richest and least spoilt marine reserves.Situated on the ancient trade route between India and Myanmar, the Andaman’s were visited by the Navy of the English East India Company in 1789 and in 1872.


  • Visit Ross Island and see the earthquake ruins during World War II.
  • Visit Corbyn’s Cove Beach.
  • Visit the Cellular Jail & witness the Son et Lumiere in the jail.
  • An interaction with The Andaman Nicobar Environment Team.
  • Snorkeling at Radhanagar beach.
  • Kayaking through Mangrove creeks.
  • Visiting a Karen village, a tribe originally from Burma.
  • Trek to Saddle Peak and visit the sandbar of Smith Island.
  • Night walk with Naturalist guide through the Mahua forest. 
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
  • Cruise through Ritchie’s Archipelago & a Game Fishing experience.
  • Snorkeling at Turtle Beach Reef.
  • Trek to Elephant Beach. 
  • Bird watching.
  • Rock pooling to see octopus, clams, starfish, mudskippers, sea cucumbers at Neil’s Cove.
  • Photography leader Himraj Soin.
  • A journey led by Explorer, Mandip Singh Soin FRGS.


17-25 February 2023 – 07 Nights/ 08 Days


Activity: Visit Ross Island, Cellular Jail and Corbyn’s Cove Beach

Arrive at Port Blair by flight and transfer to hotel, then visit Ross Island. The erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, Ross Island holds atmospheric ruins of old buildings damaged by earthquakes at the time of Japanese occupation during World War II. The historical ruins include the Chief Commissioner House, Church, and Bakery all in a dilapidated condition with fig trees growing around and through them. [There is a direct flight from Delhi with a return via Chennai or Vishakhapatnam. There are also flights going via Kolkata and Chennai].

Then proceed to visit Corbyn’s Cove Beach (the only beach in Port Blair).

Later, visit the Cellular Jail to attend the Son-et-Lumiere, Kala Pani’s famous Sound and Light show that depicts the horrors of incarceration at the Cellular Jail while it was administered as a penal colony under British Rule.

Optional activity: Jet Ski /Parasailing at Corbyn’s Cove


Activity: Island Ecology Sessions with ANET

Visit ANET Field Research Station & Transfer to Havelock

Depart early morning for Wandoor (45 minutes’ drive) for an interactive session with the field staff. ANET is a Research & Education field station and hosts researchers from MCBT, NCBS, NCF, IISC and Dakshin all through the year. The Andaman Nicobar Environment Team is a multi-disciplinary research hub, environmental conservation and education centre in the Andaman Islands. You will be exposed to live at an active research station and will participate in a walk through the forest & mangroves surrounding the base, which will expose you to and give you an understanding of island ecology. After brunch at ANET, return to Haddo jetty to board your ferry to Havelock. 


Barefoot at Havelock Drawn from the Earth

Barefoot at Havelock is an environment conscious resort; a space that we hope is truly one of a kind. In keeping with our ethos – drawn from the earth – we believe in giving back to our environment and community as well. We strive to create and share the true Andaman experience with in our resort and on our excursions. The Andaman of your imagination, of white sand beach and lush green rain forest is the reality of our location and we have worked hard to ensure our landscape matches your dreamscape.

The Trees

The land we are built on was once a banana plantation flanked on either side by thick tropical rain forest s. We began our journey by planting many hundreds of endemic saplings that have now grown in to a canopy of tall fairy-tale trees, seamlessly merging in to the forest around us.

The Cottages

Drawing from vernacular architecture, the cottages and villas are built using natural, renewable material – cane, thatch and wood. The wood is sourced from plantations that have a certified replanting program. As they are built raised on stilts, the cottages and villas do not interfere with the runoff after rains.

The Birds

The ornithologists have spotted over 50 species and subspecies of birds within the resort, including most of the 22 species endemic to the Andaman Islands. We have chosen not to add pathway lighting so as to not disturb our resident endemic owls. Instead, we give you flashlights, to enjoy your experience in the midst of the jungle.

The Island Life

Very few staff is from mainland India and most are Andaman settlers, including the Andaman Karen.

Waste Management

Kitchen waste water flows through grease traps and sewage is directed in to septic tanks before being taken through our Sewage Treatment Plants.  A natural purification process then takes over, ensuring the ground water is not polluted and the water table is undisturbed. We have limited our use of non-bio-degradable waste and are moving towards complete elimination, while also choosing responsible means of disposal.

Barefoot at Havelock is the first eco-retreat on Radhanagar Beach set in the lush green forests of this island. Their social responsibilities and initiatives are in place.  Once at Havelock, enjoy the evening at the Radhanagar Beach (Rated by TIME Magazine as the Best Beach in Asia), and soak in the atmosphere of the resort, which is set behind the beach nestled in the regenerated rainforest, and bordered on three sides by primary rainforest.  


Activity: Snorkel at a near-shore reef and Kayak in the Mangroves

Snorkeling:The guides will take you through calm blue shallow waters to a good spot for beginner snorkelers. It’s easy to slip on your gear, get your head down in the water, be mesmerized at first sight by the underwater life and then just continue snorkeling. 

KayakingHavelock has an extensive network of mangrove creeks, and experienced paddlers (including a National Games Champion who has represented India in the Asian Games) will teach you the basics and take you on a guided excursion through the mangroves.  Return in the evening to your resort. 

HOTEL: Barefoot at Havelock


Activity: Visit a Karen Village

The vehicles will be with you early morning to take you to Havelock jetty. Your ferry will depart Havelock in the morning (time varies depending upon the Government ferry schedule prevalent at the time) for your transfer to Rangat by Government ferry. The journey to Rangat, on a direct sailing, will take 2 ¼ hours; and if via Strait Island and Long Island, it will take 4hrs.At Rangat jetty, you will be met by our vehicle, which will transfer you to Webi village (2 hours, 80kms), at Koh Hee homestay, for a traditional home-cooked Karen lunch.Webi, in the Burmese-Karen language, means “Hidden Village” and this is the first and oldest settlement in all of Middle and North Andaman. Your host, Saw John, has served more than 20 years at ANET, retiring as the base leader, and is a font of local knowledge.Visit the Andaman Karen Center where your hosts will give you an introduction to the Karen tribe and demonstrate the making of basic handicrafts.

Proceed thereafter to Kalipur (Diglipur) ~2 hrs.  

HOTEL: Turtle Resort Guest House, Kalipur (Diglipur)


Activity: Trek to Saddle Peak / Visit the sandbar off Smith Island

Depart at 5 am from Turtle Resort and drive to the entrance of the Saddle Peak National Park to climb Saddle Peak, 732m, the highest point in Andaman. The trail goes through the Saddle Peak National Park and is 8kms in each direction, a comfortable 5-7hr trek in total. The trail starts along the coast and then begins its uphill ascent through the tropical rainforest. The views show the jungle and sea, and the outlying islands of the archipelago.On your return, take a speedboat from Aerial Bay to visit the sandbar off Smith Island, where you can swim and snorkel.

HOTEL: Turtle Resort Guest House


Activity: Night Walk at Radhanagar 

After breakfast, take a packed lunch and depart from Turtle Nest, to catch your return ferry from Rangat (timings depend upon the Government ferry schedule in force on the day).The journey to Havelock, on direct sailing, will take 2 ¼ hours; but if via Strait Island and Long Island, it will take 4hrs (Sailings only on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday).Once at Havelock, return to Radhanagar Beach to relax and unwind.

In the evening, join the resort naturalist for a walk in the vicinity of the resort at Radhanagar, heading through the Mahua forest and also along the seashore, looking at nocturnal creatures going about their nightly routines.Stargazing is often rewarding as, on a cloudless night, the views of the night sky are simply ethereal. Return to the resort for dinner and turn in to bed early to get rid of the fatigue from your hectic travel and trek over the past few days

HOTEL: Barefoot at Havelock


Activity: Paddle boarding & Archipelago Cruise/Game Fishing

After breakfast, proceed to Govindanagar Beach at Barefoot Scuba to commence your next activity. 

Stand Up Paddling (Paddle boarding)The waters here are calm and shallow, making it perfect to learn Stand Up Paddling (SUP), or Paddle boarding. It is harder than it looks, but the instructors will endeavor to have you standing on your board by the end of the session, making self-propelled progress on the surface of the water even as you are able to spot fish/coral through the crystal clear waters, from your vantage point on the board.

Cruise through Ritchie’s Archipelago and further afield for Game FishingThe fishing gear will be loaded along with snacks and you will head out in the afternoon for a cruise through the islands of Ritchie’s Archipelago. 

The uninhabited islands north of Havelock, namely Wilson, Nicholson, Peel, John Lawrence, Henry Lawrence, Outram and Inglis together create a labyrinth of green forest amidst the cerulean sea. Up to 2 people can fish from each boat at a time, but for those just along for the ride, the journey is the destination itself.

HOTEL: Barefoot at Havelock


Activity: Snorkeling at Aquarium and Turtle Beach Reef

After breakfast at Barefoot at Havelock, return to Barefoot Scuba to commence your next activity, snorkeling.

SnorkelingFrom Barefoot Scuba, board the boats that will take you to some of the best offshore snorkeling sites in the vicinity of Havelock Island. The reef off Turtle Beach is in good condition and a good alternative to the commercialized Elephant beach reef also in the vicinity. The waters here are usually calm and with little wave action, so beginner snorkelers, who have already had one experience at a near-shore reef should be comfortable hopping off the boat and into the ocean for their first offshore snorkeling experience.

You will then take the boat to the Aquarium which is renowned for larger aquatic life with a more constant and steady wave action. As the Aquarium is off a promontory on the Southwest corner of the Island, this is a little ‘push’ towards the shore as the tide ebbs and flows stronger here. The snorkeling here is a little more challenging but remains safe and is extremely rewarding.

Return to the resort in the afternoon to spend the remainder of your day at Radhanagar   

HOTEL: Barefoot at Havelock


Activity: Rock pooling + cycling / Bird watching

Trek to Elephant Beach & Bird watching: 

Spend the day cycling and then walking between the forests/ mangroves/ coast/farms around the southeastern side of Havelock, past Kalapathar beach. The excursion departs from Barefoot Scuba Resort at Govindanagar Beach and entails cycling 8km to Kalapathar Beach with your guide. Kalapathar is a scenic beach, access to which is through a wonderful coastal road. Common sightings include flocks of green imperial pigeons, Asian glossy starlings, black-naped orioles and various parakeets. Other sightings include the white-headed starling, Asian fairy bluebird, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Woodpecker.  Spend time at Kalapathar beach before cycling back to your departure point.

Rock pooling: The naturalist will take you for a walk in the intertidal zone during low tide, and point out creatures living in rock pools in the day e.g. octopus, clams, starfish, mudskippers, sea cucumbers and many other denizens of the shallows. The rock pools are within easy walking distance of the resort, between Radhanagar Beach and Neil’s Cove.

HOTEL: Barefoot at Havelock


Activity: Trek to Elephant Beach and Bird watching + Scuba Dive at Nemo Reef (Optional)

Trek to Elephant Beach & Bird watching: 

The trek to Elephant Beach (1 hr. each way) commences from a drop off point 3 km from the resort, and winds through fields, forest and mangroves before reaching a beach. The bird watching trail is rewarding for forest and littoral species. Elephant Beach has a local operators association conducting watersports such as Jet Ski, glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling and you may choose to stay and partake in these. 

Scuba: At Barefoot Scuba, kit out for your first ever dive experience at Nemo Reef). Your instructors will guide you through the theory and familiarize you with all equipment and then take you to Nemo Reef for your first ever scuba dive. Please ensure that the medical form is completed and shared with us prior to arrival to ensure that there are no contraindications in your medical history that would exclude you from diving. 

In the afternoon, take the ferry back to Port Blair, and check in to the hotel.

Optional Activity: Jet Ski /Snorkeling/Watersports at Elephant Beach & Scuba

HOTEL: Fortune Resort Bay Island


Transfer for your onward flight after breakfast.



AS THE RIVER FLOWS …A cruise down the Brahmaputra

A voyage through Assam on the tempestuous Brahmaputra River is an indelible experience. Once it reaches Assam, it becomes the Brahmaputra or son of Brahma.

We pass by historic temples and get glimpses of life in the remotest parts. 

The boats are small in size, comfortable and filled with character. The décor is fresh and stylish, featuring handlooms, bamboo paneling, and locally made cane and rattan furniture. With only 12 cabins, it is ideal for a small group of friends.

Cycles on board and tuk-tuks allow for independent exploration.

Trip Leaders

Himali Singh Soin is a writer and David Soin Tappeser is a musician. 

Together, they travel the world with the belief that everything, a rock, a cloud and a river, is alive. 

This sensibility frames this journey, meaning we will chat, read, listen in silence, record what we see in any way that we like, and experience a way of being that feels more fluid, like a boat. 


19 – 26 December 2021
07 Nights/ 08 Days

19 December Delhi – Guwahati – Kaziranga

This morning you will fly to Guwahati and drive to Diphlu River Lodge for the next 2 nights. After a leisurely lunch, we will go on a jeep safari in the western range of the park. We will walk in the nearby rubber plantation accompanied by our in-house guide and visit a Karbi village.Covering an area of approximately 430 sq. kms, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has also earned the distinction of having the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers (one every five sq. km.) making this park an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot. 

With its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and capped langurs.

​Besides wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. A few of the bird species found here are the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, White-tailed Eagle, and Himalayan Griffon.

Kaziranga National Park also frequently draws comparisons to the Serengeti in Africa due to the park’s abundance of wildlife and birds.

Lunch, Dinner at lodge.

20 December –Kaziranga

After breakfast, go for a morning Jeep Safari in the Bura Pahar Range of the park. Return to the Lodge for lunch and later go for an afternoon Jeep Safari in the Central Range.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

21 December – 
Kaziranga – Ship

Today, after an early breakfast check out from the lodge and drive to the Eastern range of the park for a morning jeep safari before embarking on your cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra.

After the safari, drive a short distance to Dhansiri Mukh where your country boat will be waiting for you to take you to ABN Sukapha, your home for the next 05 nights. Once onboard, enjoy your lunch while sailing downstream until we moor for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. 


22 December – Nameri National Park – Silghat


This morning, we cruise downstream with Kaziranga National Park on the left bank to Viswanath, which is known for a revered Ahom period Shiva temple. Take a walk ashore before continuing the voyage down to Tezpur.

After lunch, we will visit the 6th century Da Parbatia temple ruins with its beautifully carved portal. Later, explore the town by cycle rickshaw, stopping at Cole Park with its medieval stone carvings saved from sites all over the region. Wander through the local market. Our ship will be waiting at the town’s waterfront for us to reboard.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


23 December – Ship – Tezpur – Ship

After an early breakfast, drive for two hours to the Nameri National Park at the foot of the blue hills of Arunachal Pradesh, the old North East Frontier Agency.The day is spent mostly cruising downstream with jungle-covered hills rising on either side. Here, we take a float trip of around 2 hours down the Jia – Bhoreli River through the park. There is excellent bird-watching here including the great Hornbill and a chance of sighting wild elephants.

After lunch, take a village walk before returning to the ship and cruse downstream.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

24 December –Ship – Jotiabari – Ship

We shall still have some time to pause and visit a riverside village, with its lush green fields of vegetables and corn. Your accompanying guide and accompanying naturalist will brief you as you observe the ways of life in Assam. Continue downstream and moor for the night near Ganesh Pahar.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

25 December – Ship – Kamakhya temple – Ship

Merry Christmas

This morning, we shall reach Guwahati after breakfast. Disembark at Uzanbazar Ghat, State Museum and later up Nilachal Hill to the Kamakhya temple with its tantric rites and animal sacrifices. The vessel will cruise down and wait for you at Pandu port.As you have your lunch on board, we will start cruising downstream under the Saraighat Bridge to the little town of Sualkuchi, loud with the clatter of looms, and visit its silk-weaving workshops on foot. We shall see the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon and spinning to dyeing and hand-weaving into exquisite Mekhela Chadars (a two-piece sari, the traditional attire of Assamese women).

Christmas dinner on a sand bank with fairy lights. 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


26 December – Disembark – Guwahati

We will cruise up to Pandu Port for disembarkation and transfer to Guwahati airport for your onward journey.

This itinerary, including the cruise and approximate driving durations, is subject to river and weather conditions.