Of Raptors and Cranes – Wildlife Photography Tour of Bikaner and Khichan

January 25-28, 2018 - A wildlife photography tour to the land of raptors and cranes


  • Imagine being surrounded by thousands of mighty eagles and endangered vultures. Laggar and Saker Falcons swooping down on their unsuspecting prey. Desert Foxes running about, looking for their next meal. Hundreds of the super-rare Yellow-eyed Pigeons taking off in a mighty flock. Now, if we told you that all this action happens around Bikaner – the city of forts and palaces!

    A couple of hours away is the world-famous village of Khichan where thousands of Demoiselle Cranes return each year to accept the love and hospitality of the villagers. And to spend winters away from their frozen home-grounds.

    This Republic-day weekend, join Darter Photography on a journey to Bikaner to witness huge flocks of birds like never before. Spend an action-packed 4-days photographing a wide variety of birds and mammals.

    Jump to ◆ ItineraryHighlightsIs this tour for you?Tour PricePhotography MentorGetting to BikanerPrevious Trip ReportsSign Up

  • Tour Dates

    January 25-28, 2018


    Tour Price – ₹36,650/-

    Max group size: 6 only

Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Bikaner for lunch. The photography mentor will then give a brief introduction to the area and an overview of photography. It’s now time for our first safari. Be prepared to be awed by one of Asia’s largest congregations of vultures and eagles, as thousands of these magnificent raptors can be seen at a dumpyard. We might also see the rare Yellow-eyed Pigeon here. After a wonderful sunset, we return to the rest house. Around dinner, your photography mentor will conduct a detailed session on Photography around Bikaner. He’ll also review photographs that you’ve clicked in the evening session and give you inputs. We then retire for the day.

Day 2: We start the day early (around sunrise) to  get the best of morning activity and good light for photography. Today, we’ll explore different habitats around Bikaner to see and photograph the rich biodiversity here. Each area is a very different experience and harbours very interesting wildlife.
In the evening, your photography mentor will review your photographs.

Day 3: Today, we start well before sunrise and drive out towards Khichan. A couple of hours of drive later, we arrive at Khichan to the trumpeting of thousands of Demoiselle Cranes arriving for breakfast. The spectacle is truly mindblowing, and your camera won’t stop clicking! We’ll spend the morning here, before heading back towards Bikaner for more bird photography till sunset.

Day 4: We’ll head out for one last safari this morning. We’ll spend time trying to photograph species that we’ve missed over the past 3 days or exploring an area that we wouldn’t have visited earlier. After breakfast, we start our journey back home with memories of amazing experiences and our memory cards full of great images.

Please note that the itinerary above is subject to fair weather and other factors. Darter Photography reserves the right to make  changes to the above itinerary at any point of time. Also, please note that photographing the wildlife mentioned above and pictured in the slideshow is indicative and dependent on various external factors, including weather and their presence in the park at that time.

Tour Highlights

    • Witness and photograph thousands of raptors congregating near Bikaner
    • Photograph one of the largest congregations of Demoiselle Cranes in India
    • See different kinds of conservation ethos in action
    • On-field assistance during the safaris from a photography as well as a naturalist’s perspective
    • Insights into wildlife photography, natural history and conservation
    • Photography review sessions everyday to give you feedback on your photographs

Is this tour for you?

This wildlife photography tour is designed for photographers of all levels of expertise – amateur and serious – who would like to photograph the wildlife at Bikaner and Khichan. As in all our tours, the group size would be limited so that the Darter Photography Expert can interact closely with every participant.

Wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers who are not photographers, but are keen to see and experience the wildlife at Bikaner and Khichan, are also welcome to join this group. This trip, covering various habitats, 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 visit and capture the various habitats of Tal Chapar, assisting them further when necessary
    • allow wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers to explore the biodiversity of Tal Chapar.

Tour Price

The price of the Wildlife Photography Tour of Bikaner and Khichan is Rs.36,650 per person (inclusive of all taxes). The tour starts and ends in Bikaner.

The price includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis at a basic but comfortable Guest House in Bikaner
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days
  • Safaris into habitats surrounding Bikaner and Khichan, starting with the post-lunch safari on Day 1 and ending with morning safari on Day 4
  • All entry fees
  • Photography sessions, on-field assistance and image reviews

The cost does not include

  • Transport from your location to Bikaner and back. We’ll facilitate cab-pooling from Jaipur.
  • Additional safaris apart from those mentioned above
  • Additional beverages, snacks and mineral water ordered at the guest house
  • Medical and Insurance costs
  • Tips and other expenses not mentioned in the includes list above

Cancellation Policy for the Wildlife Photography Tour of Bikaner and Khichan is:
– 20% of full tour fee is charged as cancellation fee for cancellation on or before December 24, 2018
– 50% of full tour fee is charged as cancellation fee for cancellation between December 25 and November 05, 2018
– 75% of full tour fee is is charged as cancellation fee for cancellation between January 06 and January 15, 2018
– No refunds for cancellation on or after January 16, 2018 or for no-show

Please note that the above is subject to favorable weather and other conditions. In case of any obstacles, we will do our best to make alternate plans. The cost of the tour or any part of it will not be refunded in the event of unfavourable conditions during the tour days.

Photography Mentor – Shreeram M V

Shreeram M V is a professional photographer, photography mentor and naturalist. What started off as a fascination for birds in a lake behind his house turned into a journey to different parts of India. For this IIM Bangalore graduate, the passion for travel and wildlife enabled him to charter his own course outside the corporate world.

He has explored and photographed places as diverse as the rainforests of the Western Ghats, the salt marshes of Kutch, the grasslands of Tal Chapar, the deciduous forests of South and Central India, the high-altitude plateau of Ladakh, the coasts of peninsular India, the forests of North-east India and the islands of Andaman. His approach to wildlife photography has evolved into telling stories about the place and its habitats, biodiversity and human interactions with nature.

He is a well-published and awarded photographer. His articles and photographs have been published in diverse print and digital magazines such as National Geographic Traveller, Sanctuary Asia, Saevus, Lonely Planet India, Terrascape and JLR Explore. He was part of the team that won the Yes Bank – Saevus Trailblazers Award in 2014 for their story on Lion-tailed Macaques of Valparai. As a naturalist, he has been associated with Jungle Lodges and Resorts and Karnataka Eco-tourism Development Board in training and certifying naturalists from across the state.

See some of his work at Visual Quotient

Getting To Bikaner

Airports

  • Bikaner – Air India has a daily flight from Delhi to Bikaner and back. Please note that the flight lands at 14:45 from Delhi – you might miss the evening safari if you take this flight on Jan 25.
  • Jaipur (350 kms – 5.5 hours by Road)

By Train from Delhi
Onward

  • Jan 24 – Train no. 12457 – Delhi S Rohilla (DEE) to Bikaner (BKN) – Departure 23:35 Arrival 07:20

Return

  • Jan 28 –Train no. 12458 – Bikaner (BKN) to Delhi S Rohilla (DEE) – Departure 22:30 Arrival 06:10

By Train from Jaipur
Onward

  • Jan 24 – Train no. 12307 – Jaipur (JP) to Bikaner (BKN) – Departure 00:45 Arrival 08:45
  • Jan 24 – Train no. 22981 – Jaipur (JP) to Bikaner (BKN) – Departure 21:45 Arrival 04:30

Return

  • Jan 28 –Train no. 22632 – Bikaner (BKN) to Jaipur (JP) – Departure 14:50 Arrival 21:30
  • Jan 28 –Train no. 14709 – Bikaner (BKN) to Jaipur (JP) – Departure 17:05 Arrival 23:20
  • Jan 28 –Train no. 22308 – Bikaner (BKN) to Jaipur (JP) – Departure 18:45 Arrival 01:50
  • Jan 28 –Train no. 22982 – Bikaner (BKN) to Jaipur (JP) – Departure 23:05 Arrival 05:30
  • Please book your train tickets asap as these routes can be in high demand, especially for the return trains on Sunday.
  • Check-in time is 12:00 PM. Please note that early check-in would be provided depending on availability of rooms.
  • If you are planning to arrive early or leave later than the scheduled tour timings, please let us know in advance. We can arrange for extra safaris and meals at an additional cost.

By Road

From Jaipur – ~350km – 5.5 hours

We can help you with cab-pooling from Jaipur, closer to the trip.

Sign Up

You can register by making a payment using the gateway below. For alternate payment options or for more information, please fill in the form below. You may also email us at photography@darter.in or call Arun (+91-9880006460) / Shreeram (+91-9740083260).


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