The Enchanted Frontiers - India and Bangladesh
18 days from £4760 per person
The neighbouring countries of India and Bangladesh have a shared history and many similar cultural traditions and this itinerary combines both with a unique journey through North East India and rural Bangladesh. Flying to Dibrugarh, visits are made to Dibru Saikhowa and Kaziranga National Parks before continuing to Meghalaya, its capital Shillong and beautiful Cherrapunjee. Crossing overland into Bangladesh, time is spent around Sylhet, Bangladesh's very own 'tea country', and in the charming textile village of Tangail before ending in Bangladesh's bustling capital Dhaka.
Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, grew from 1690 as a base for the East India Company. This huge urban area still harbours lovely colonial buildings and green, open parkland.
Hosting two-thirds of the world’s population of one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga National Park consists of elephant grass and marshlands, ideal for buffalo, deer and a variety of rare birds.
On the banks of the Surma River in Bangladesh, Sylhet is a major town surrounded by tea plantations, rain forests and river valleys.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Kolkata
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kolkata. Once in Kolkata you will be met and transferred to the Oberoi Grand Hotel where you will stay for two nights. Kolkata is the heart of Eastern India. One of the forward-thinking intellectual capitals of India, the city has long been noted for its wonderful architectural landmarks—many of which date from the period of the British Raj. Kolkata is also known as the ‘soul of India’, one of the most populous urban areas on earth and an intensely human city. (N)
Day 3 Kolkata
Today explore Kolkata with your guide. Places of interest include St John's Church which has a memorial to the city's founder Job Charnock, the Writers Building which is now the seat of government and the silver-domed General Post Office. Also visit the imposing white marble Victoria Memorial, built in 1921 and today a treasure trove of Raj relics. End the day at the excellent Indian Museum, the largest museum in the country which was established in 1814. (B)
Day 4 Kolkata to Dibrugarh – by air
This morning you will be met and transferred back to Kolkata Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Dibrugarh. On your arrival you will be met and taken to the Heritage Chang Bungalow where you will stay overnight. Later visit the Mancotta Tea Estate to learn all about tea—from its origin to how it is grown to its processing and tasting. This area of India is one of the oldest tea producing regions in the country and plenty of time will be spent enjoying the estate's 157 year old tea gardens. (B/L/D)
Day 5 Dibrugarh to Tinsukia – 120kms
After breakfast leave Dibrugarh and drive to Digboi, South Asia's first oil town and location of a World War II Allied Forces Cemetery. Leaving Digboi, visit the Ahom tribal village of Tai Phakial and the nearby fascinating Bell Temple before travelling the short distance to Tinsukia to stay overnight at the charming Wathai Heritage Bungalow which is set on the Limbuguri Tea Estate close to Dibru Saikhowa National Park. (B/L/D)
Day 6 Tinsukia – visit Dibru Saikhowa National Park
This morning it is an early start for a full day visit to Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Dibru Saikhowa is a bird watchers paradise with over 350 species calling it home, however, this pristine and little visited national park also provides the perfect habitat for tiger, leopard, sloth bear, slow loris and, along the river, Gangetic dolphin. Ranging from semi-evergreen jungle to swampy marshland, the park will be explored on foot and by small country boat. In the late afternoon return to your hotel in Tinsukia. (B/L/D)
Day 7 Tinsukia to Kaziranga National Park – 275kms
After breakfast leave Tinsukia and drive to Sivasagar where a series of Ahom monuments, tanks and temples encompass the 600 year old history of the Ahom dynasty. Later continue by road to Kaziranga National Park and stay for two nights at the ABN Diphlu River Lodge. A World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is located in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Brahmaputra River and covers a vast area. Predominately swamp with tall thickets of elephant grass, Kaziranga provides the ideal habitat for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. (B/L/D)
Day 8 Kaziranga National Park
Today enjoy early morning and evening game safaris by jeep and on elephant back. Aside from the one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga is also home to over 1,000 wild buffalo, sambar, swamp deer, elephant, python and tiger. There is also a wide variety of birdlife as well as river otters and dolphins which are regularly seen. (B/L/D)
Day 9 Kaziranga National Park to Shillong – 290kms
This morning leave Kaziranga National Park for the drive south to the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong. One of India's prettiest regions, the area around Shillong was known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ and quickly became a popular British hill station. Stay for two nights at the Royal Heritage Tripura Castle and later visit the pretty Ward Lake and colourful local bazaar. (B/L/D)
Day 10 Shillong – visit Mawlynnong
Today take a day trip to the village of Mawlynnong whose inhabitants belong to the Wars, a sub-tribe of the Khasi people. The drive to reach Mawlynnong is spectacular, crossing rivers and passing waterfalls and there are far reaching views from the village over to the plains of Bangladesh. (B/L/D)
Day 11 Shillong to Cherrapunjee – 60kms
After breakfast explore Shillong and the surrounding area including the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Elephant Falls and Shillong Peak with its magnificent views. Later continue to Cherrapunjee, a truly beautiful corner of North East India and a place famous for its heavy monsoon rains which has helped to create one of the rarest bio-diverse regions in the world. On your arrival in Cherrapunjee stay overnight at the Polo Orchid Resort. (B/L/D)
Day 12 Cherrapunjee to Sylhet – 160kms
This morning leave Cherrapunjee and drive towards the Indo-Bangladesh border at Dawki stopping en-route at Mawsmai cave and the waterfalls at Nohkalikai and Nohsngithiang. Later, leaving India at Dawki, enter Bangladesh and continue by road to Sylhet and the Nazimgarh Resort where you will stay for the next two nights. Bangladesh's very own ‘tea country’, the area surrounding Sylhet is one of rolling green hills, colourful pickers, golden rice paddies and superb scenery. (B/L)
Day 13 Sylhet
After breakfast leave Sylhet and visit the beautiful hamlet of Lalakhal which is located on the Shari River. Framed by the mountains of Meghalaya, Lalakhal is a wonderful spot to enjoy the scenery and the picturesque tea gardens. On your return to Sylhet stop en-route to try the famous ‘seven layers tea’ and, when back in the town, visit Shah Jalal Mausoleum built in honour of a celebrated Sufi Muslim figure. (B/L)
Day 14 Sylhet to Tangail – 300kms
Today leave Sylhet and drive to Tangail where you will stay overnight at the UBINIG Guesthouse. This is the centre of Bangladesh's textile trade and Tangail is a charming, industrious village of pit and handlooms weaving wonderful cotton saris of the brightest colours and combinations. Later walk through the village and meet the weavers. (B/L/D)
Day 15 Tangail to Dhaka – 100kms
This morning further explore Tangail and the surrounding area. Visit the local village school and a traditional seed bank. Bicycles are also available to enjoy the village and the beautiful surrounding Bangladeshi countryside. Later drive to Dhaka and stay overnight at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Heartbeat of the nation, over the centuries Dhaka has been influenced by the Mughals and the French, the British and the Nawabs of Bengal and has an energy that is palpable. (B/L)
Day 16 Dhaka to Chittagong – by air
Chittagong to Banderban
After breakfast transfer to Dhaka Airport for your onward flight to Chittagong. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to Banderban and the Parjatan Hotel for an overnight stay. Banderban is surrounded by lush forest and the region is home to 11 indigenous tribes who still maintain their traditional lifestyles. After lunch visit the peaceful Golden Temple, built in traditional Arakanese style, before exploring a colourful tribal market. End the day atop Tiger Hill for spectacular sunset views. (B/L/D)
Day 17 Banderban to Chittagong
Chittagong to Dhaka – by air
This morning pass isolated tribal villages on the way to Chimbuk Peak where, on a clear day, it is possible to see the Bay of Bengal. Upon leaving Chimbuk, visit some of the local tribal villages. Of the 11 tribes, just over half welcome interaction while the rest choose to remain isolated. Each of these communities has a distinct way of life and unique dress. Later return to Chittagong Airport and fly to Dhaka where you will stay overnight at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. (B/L)
Day 18 Dhaka to the UK
Today transfer back to Dhaka Airport to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Emirates flight to the UK. (B)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- International flights from the UK
- Domestic flights
- Private car with English speaking driver
- Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
- Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
- Wildlife viewing with local naturalist
- Hotel accommodation and taxes
What's not included
- Cost of visas
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
Guide to Price
The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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15 days starting from £4650 per person
Virachey National Park is one the most important nature reserves not just in Cambodia but also the wider region. This intrepid itinerary combines Virachey with Phnom Penh, Kratie and Siem Reap and also includes a unique three-day trek in and around little-visited Phnom Kulen. Commencing in the...
South West China and the Pandas of Sichuan
13 days starting from £3990 per person
Combining two of China’s finest national parks with Chengdu, the home of the panda, this journey introduces and explores the unrivalled natural beauty and wildlife of Sichuan Province. Starting in Chengdu, spend four days in and around the city visiting the archaeological site of Sanxingdui,...
Esteros del Ibera and the Wildlife of Patagonia
17 days starting from £5950 per person
Argentina offers some of the best wildlife viewing and spectacular wilderness areas of the South American continent. This itinerary combines the little-visited Esteros del Ibera wetlands close to the Brazilian and Paraguayan borders with the mighty Patagonian coast. Starting in Buenos Aires, time...