Rainforest Rendezvous – Photography Tour of Agumbe

June 8-10, 2018 (Friday to Sunday)


  • Join Darter Photography on a photography tour to the pristine rainforests of the Western Ghats – Agumbe. Experience the place which gets the highest rainfall in South India, explore pristine rainforests in the Western Ghats, get up-close with diverse endemic species of the region and interact with researchers studying these forests. And possibly see and photograph the king of these forests, the aptly named King Cobra.

    Walk through the rainforest, with towering trees. Photograph the myriad forms of life. Learn about rainforest ecology and the techniques of rainforest photography.

    Jump to ◆ Overview ◆ Tour HighlightsIs this tour for you?AccommodationGetting ThereTour PriceJoin This TourPhotography MentorDetailed ItineraryPrevious Trip ReportsTestimonialsSocial Responsibility

  • Wildlife photography holidays in the pristine rainforests of Western Ghats. Get up-close with the wonders of these forests and experience photography in the lap of nature.
  • Tour Dates

    June 8-10, 2018

    Tour Price


    Max Group: 08 Participants


Download the Tour Highlights from our June 2016 tour here.



The rainforests of the Western Ghats are always alive – the sound of water droplets falling from high up in the canopy to puddles on the ground, the croaks of frogs as they look for mates, and the multitude of insects buzzing form a natural orchestra that quickly becomes addictive. Little streams flow through the forest, tumbling down as beautiful waterfalls in many places. Fungi of all shapes, sizes and colors are everywhere. Snakes, in their myriad colours and sizes, eagerly wait and lookout for prey. Praying Mantises blend into their environments, perfectly camouflaging themselves.

When the sun peeps out through the clouds, the most colourful butterflies like the Blue Mormon, Southern Birdwing, Red Helen and Cruiser dance amongst the flowers. Birds symbolic of the Western Ghats, like Malabar Trogon, Yellow-browed Bulbuls, White-bellied Treepies and even Sri Lankan Frogmouths, are seen here.

This forest is also a great place to view the longest venomous snake in the world – the King Cobra. Listen to the experts on the insights they’ve gathered on this elusive giant.

Rainforest Rendezvous is a great opportunity to explore the amazing rainforests of the Western Ghats and photograph these less photographed creatures. The Darter Photography Expert on this tour would guide you on photographing not just the myriad forms of life here but also the wonderful scenes of the rainforest – from the canopy to the numerous waterfalls and streams.

Under the guidance of researchers at Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology (founded by renowned herpetologist Gowri Shankar), learn a great deal about the elusive wildlife in the depths of the Western Ghats. They would share their extensive knowledge about the rainforests and their conservation and lead us on the trail to discover the myriad forms of life. If there’s a rescue call from a nearby village, we might even accompany them on the mission to relocate the snake to its natural habitat!

Tour Highlights

  • Experience an extended weekend in the midst of wilderness
  • Rainforest walks, including night trails, to experience and capture the richness of the forests up-close
  • Learn techniques of photographing the various aspects of the rainforest through on-the-field guidance by your photography mentor
  • Identify wildlife and discover the secrets of rainforest ecology from researchers in the field
  • Sessions on photographing rainforest wildlife – technical, aesthetic and ways to approach the subjects – by the Darter Wildlife Photography Expert
  • Sessions and on-field guidance on rainforest ecology, conservation and environmental issues by researchers at KCRE
  • Daily image reviews and feedback to help you make better photographs

Is This Tour For You?

This tour is for you if:

  • You are excited to photograph every fascinating life form in the rainforest, from little frogs to beautiful butterflies to majestic snakes, AND/OR
  • You want to learn about the techniques of photographing in the rainforests from the experts, AND/OR
  • You have a keen interest in diverse forms of wildlife and wish to learn more about the rich biodiversity in the rainforests

Rainforest Rendezvous is designed for photographers of all levels of expertise – amateur and serious – who would like to photograph the beautiful rainforests and the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats. As in all our tours, the group size would be limited so that the Darter Photography Experts can interact closely with every participant. Wildlife enthusiasts who are not photographers, but are keen to see and experience Agumbe, are also welcome to join this group. This trip, showcasing the wonder that are the Western Ghats, will keep you enthralled from start to finish.

Our tour is designed in such a way that we

    • work closely with every photographer
    • help beginners understand the basic nuances of photography and get beautiful images
    • facilitate expert photographers to photograph the different facets of the rainforest, assisting them further when necessary

  • allow wildlife enthusiasts to explore the biodiversity of the Western Ghats.


We will be staying at the Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology, Agumbe. Campsite is simple and eco-friendly and is equipped with clean tents. Simple vegetarian meals will be served. Electricity may be available for some part of the day and resourceful usage of the same is encouraged.

Important Note

    • Smoking and alcohol is restricted in the premises of the campsite.
    • Bonfire and loud music is prohibited at the  campsite to avoid any disturbance to animals.
    • Avoid carrying plastics to the campsite. If it is unavoidable, please carry back plastic waste with you. Eg. Pet bottles, plastic bags etc.
    • No provision for room service is made available at the campsite.

Getting there

Agumbe is around 370 km from Bangalore, 100 km from Mangalore (nearest Airport) and 90 km from Shimoga.

From Bangalore – The easiest way to get there from Bangalore is by an overnight bus. The bus takes about 9-10 hours to get there. There are 2 options for bus travel:

  1. Take the KSRTC Non-A/C Sleeper bus (leaving Bangalore at 10:03PM ) to Agumbe (reaches around 7:00AM).
  2. Take the Airavat bus (there are a couple of options) to Shimoga. These are Volvo buses with A/C and push-back seats. Shimoga is about 90km from Agumbe. We can arrange for a cab (at additional cost that can be shared by the participants if they travel together) from Shimoga to Agumbe.

From Mangalore/Udupi – Mangalore is the closest airport and Udupi is the closest railhead from Agumbe. There are regular buses from Mangalore and Udupi to Agumbe. We can also arrange for a cab to transfer you to Agumbe.


Contact us for help with booking transportation to Agumbe. In case you plan to drive to Agumbe, we could also provide assistance with car-pooling.

Tour Price

The price of the tour is Rs.15,900/- per person.

The tour price includes

  • Accommodation at Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology, Agumbe in camping tents on twin-sharing basis
  • All meals (simple vegetarian food) during the stay (starting with breakfast on Day 1 and ending with dinner on Day 3)
  • Escorted trips and sessions by a herpetologist from Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology
  • Sessions on wildlife photography, rainforest ecology, on-field assistance and image reviews

The tour price does not include

  • Transport to Agumbe and back
  • Additional food and beverages
  • Laundry, telephone and internet access
  • Tips and anything else that is not part of the includes list above

Bus tickets from Bangalore to Agumbe and back can be organized by us with prior notification. The cost of the bus ticket can be paid along with the registration fee or directly to the Darter Photography Expert at the time of the tour.

Join This Tour

Email us at register@darter.in or call us at  +91-97400 83260 (Shreeram) / +91-98800 06460 (Arun) if you have any questions about the tour.

Alternatively, fill in the form at the end of this page and we’ll get back to you with the details.

Your Photography Mentor

Shreeram M V

 Shreeram is a professional wildlife photographer and passionate naturalist. He has photographed wildlife across multiple habitats across India, including rainforests, high-altitude deserts, grasslands, coasts, islands and deciduous forests. His approach to wildlife photography is to bring back photographs that tell stories – about the place and its habitats, the diversity of flora and fauna and human interactions with the wilderness. He was part of the team that won the Trailblazers Award in 2014 from Yes Bank-Saevus for their story on the Lion-tailed Macaques of Valparai.

Shreeram has visited Agumbe many times and has conducted over 15 wildlife photography tours to this wonderful destination for the past 5 years. His understanding of the wildlife around the place and his guidance on photographing the rainforest and its denizens have been well appreciated by the 100+ participants who’ve participated in our Rainforest Rendezvous tour to Agumbe since 2011.

See his photographs at Visual Quotient

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 –  Arrive at Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology camp-site. The camp-site is located in an areca nut plantation, surrounded by the rainforest and numerous streams. After breakfast, we’ll have an orientation session followed by a walk into the rainforest to observe and photograph the different facets of the rainforest. We’ll then have a session on Rainforest Photography – the various subjects, techniques, light conditions and macro photography. After lunch, we head out on another walk into the rainforest around the camp. Around dinner, we’ll review the photographs that have been clicked during the day. At night, we walk into the rainforests around the camp-site to find and photograph interesting nocturnal animals like Frogs, Snakes, Moths and, if we are lucky, a Leopard or a Civet too!

Day 2After an early breakfast, we start off by exploring the biodiversity here by heading out on a long walk through dense forest under thick canopy. We’ll then have a session about Rainforests and their Ecology and conservation value. After lunch, we’ll either head out on another walk through the rainforest or walk up a hill next to the campsite to get some good views of the rainforest canopy (dependent on clear weather). At night, we do another walk into the rainforest to find and photograph nocturnal animals.

Day 3After breakfast, we head out for a walk into the rainforest. We’ll photograph the beauty of the rainforest, along with the rich biodiversity that it holds. Around lunch, we discuss the various aspects of the tour so far and have a comprehensive review of the photographs taken. After lunch, we head out on our last rainforest trail for the tour. After an early dinner, we catch the bus back to Bangalore, with our cameras carrying back memories for a lifetime.

In addition to all these activities, the Darter Photography Expert would conduct photography review sessions everyday to give you feedback on your photographs. Also, in the event of a snake rescue call, the above program may be modified so that we can accompany the herpetologists on the rescue mission (this is dependent on the type of rescue and permissions from forest department).

Previous Trip Reports

Darter Tour Highlights (June 2016)




Suchi Govindarajan (April 2013)

Agumbe on my mind

Vineet Panchbhaiyye (April 2013)

Skittering Frog and Other Learnings

Santhosh Krishnamoorthy (June, July, September 2012)

Agumbe Calling

Macro Magic from Agumbe – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Galleries – June tour | July tour | September tour

Saandip Nandagudi (June 2011)

Part 1 – Meet and Rescue the King

Part 2 – Fungi

Part 3 – Amphibians

Part 4 – Reptiles & Insects

Image Gallery


Participants of previous tours to Agumbe say:

A very big thanks to Darter, Its was wonderful Photographic journey, you were very patient, co-operation, and well organized team, good reviews, and training section, and theoretical sections were wonderful. Good work… Keep it UP!!!!!

A. ParthibanChennai

Shreeram has been a great source of inspiration for me on this trip. His mentoring on macro photography & waterfall photography has certainly helped me a lot.

Prashant JoshiPune

…its really a wonderful experience for me to spend time with people who are experts in different aspects of photography.


It was a memorable tour with Darter, well organised & i am sure will look forward to join other tours.

Saandip Nandagudi

Social Responsibility

Enabling Research: This tour is being conducted in association with Gowri Shankar’s Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology. Part of the tour cost would go into funding researchers in their quest to unravel the secrets of the rainforest.

Registration Details

If you have any questions about the tour or the registration, please email us at photography@darter.in or call us at  +91-97400 83260 (Shreeram) / +91-98800 06460 (Arun). Alternatively, please fill in the following form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone (required)


Your Message