BEST OF ASSAM ON BICYCLE: WILDLIFE, RIVER CRUISE & DANCING MONKS
River cruise on the Brahmaputra River on board your comfortable house boat
Safaris in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Nameri National Park, both renowned for good sightings of wildlife and birds
Safaris in Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the world's largest population of the one-horned rhino
Cycling through Assamese villages on the riverbanks
Discover the microcosm of Assamese culture that is Majuli, one of the world's largest river islands
7 nights / 8 days
From November to March
JTI Adventure boat
Arrive at Guwahati airport, and drive for around 30-45 mins (depending on traffic) to our JTI Adventure boat to check into your accommodation for the rest of the trip. Settle in and cruise upstream on the Brahmaputra river, taking in the views of Assam's verdant scenery and riverine life, before docking for the night. Enjoy a freshly prepared Assamese dinner onboard your boat and relax around a bonfire on a moonlit sandbank.
After a hearty early morning breakfast, we head off on a cycling adventure of around 25 kms to enter Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the world's highest density of one-horned rhinos as well as plentiful other mammals like deer, wild buffaloes and a variety of wetland based birds. Upon reaching the sanctuary, go on a jeep safari for close encounters with the region's incredibly rich tapestry of wildlife. Later, stop for a tea break at a local joint before cycling 15 kms to head to the boat for lunch. This afternoon, start cruising upstream again until you reach the mooring point for the night. Dinner will be on board the JTI Adventure boat.
A full day of cruising is ahead of us today. Relax with a book and a cup of tea, or keep your binoculars handy in case you spot a herd of wild elephants as you pass by Orang National Park. After cruising for around 12 hours, dock for the rest of the day and head off on a short stroll to catch the sunset from Agnigarh (provided we have enough time for it). All meals will be on board the JTI Adventure boat.
Early this morning, drive for 40 kms/1 hour to Nameri National Park. Located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in the Sonitpur district of Assam, this is excellent elephant country with many to be seen lazily grazing on grass. The park is also an ideal habitat for a host of other animals including tigers, leopards, sambars, dholes (Asiatic wild dog), pygmy hogs, sloth bears, capped langurs and Himalayan black bears. A birder's paradise, the White-winged Wood Duck, Rufous Necked Hornbill, and Blue-bearded Bee Eater are a few of the 300 species of birds that reside at Nameri National Park.
Enjoy breakfast at Eco Camp, before heading off on a hike for two hours into the park. Stop midway for a tea break and then onto a rafting adventure of another two hours on the Jia-Bhorelli river, with the view of the breath-taking eastern Himalayan range to your back. Return to Eco Camp for lunch, and then head off for a cycling experience of around 30 kms through a few villages. Late afternoon, drive for 40 kms/1 hour to head back to the JTI Adventure boat for dinner.
After breakfast onboard the boat, drive for 10 kms/0.5 hours to reach the point from where your cycling adventure starts. From here, cycle for 20 kms across a historic bridge, past paddy fields and charming villages, before going back to the boat for lunch and afternoon rest.
In the afternoon, drive for 40 kms/1 hour to Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that 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 (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. Head on a 2.5 hour jeep past safari marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, before driving back to the boat for dinner.
Another day of cruising awaits us today. Cruise past Kaziranga and head to Majuli, one of the world’s largest river islands and a microcosm of Assamese culture. The island is a stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism; its elegant island satras (monastery) — some for celibate monks, some for families — showcase a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (songs and musical instruments) and readings. Reach the island by late afternoon or early evening. All meals will be on board the JTI Adventure boat.
After breakfast this morning on the boat, embark on a 38 km cycling trip from the ghat to a famous island satra, tiny villages, markets and more. Majuli represents rural idyll in Assam, so there will be plenty of bucolic scenes to capture for avid photographers! Stop along the way to discover the island's culture as well as a crucial cuppa, before heading back to the boat for lunch and afternoon rest. In the evening, visit another satra for a religious dance-drama performance by the Majuli monks, exclusively performed for you.
This morning after breakfast, cruise for an hour down to Neamati Ghat in the mainland to disembark and make your way to Jorhat airport for your onward journey.