KARBI YOUTH FESTIVAL, WILDLIFE & RIVER CRUISE
A riot of colours and unique cultures at the Karbi Youth Festival
Cycling through country villages of the Karbi and Dimasa tribes
River cruise on the Brahmaputra river on a comfortable houseboat
Rhino spotting at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park
Rafting and walking safari at Nameri National Park in Assam
8 nights / 9 days
12 to 20 February 2020
Cycling & village hiking
JTI Adventure boat in Assam
Basic guest house
DAY 1 | 12 February
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.
DAY 2 | 13 February
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.
DAY 3 | 14 February
A full day of cruising is ahead of us today as we head to the town of Tezpur. 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.
DAY 4 | 15 February
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.
DAY 5 | 16 February
This morning, cruise from Tezpur to Silghat, and check out of the JTI Adventure boat to drive (40 kms/1 hour) to the Bagori range of 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, Kaziranga 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 jeep safari through the park for a couple of hours, before winding down for a sumptuous lunch at Diphlu River Lodge. Then, drive 206 kms/5 hours to Diphu and check into your home stay.
DAY 6 | 17 February
Post breakfast this morning, head to the valley of Taralangso to witness the oldest and the most vibrant festival of Northeast India – the Karbi Youth Festival. This countryside of Taralangso bursts into colours every year between the 15th to 19th of February, showcasing ethnic diversity at its best of the Karbi tribe.
The Karbi Youth Festival is a community festival that originated from a popular movement for cultural awareness in the 60s. Dressed in their best traditional attire, Karbi youth congregate at the festival to display their artistic talents, perform cultural dances, and play traditional sports. Apart from the Karbis, the Bodo, Dimasa and Kuki tribes also participate.
After a traditional lunch in the festival grounds, drive 28 kms/45 mins to a nearby river in the west of the Karbi Anglong hills. Hike in this area for about two hours, keeping your binoculars handy to spot the exquisite bird species that frequent this region. Head back to the guesthouse for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 7 | 18 February
Post breakfast, spend the morning at the festival grounds, participating in the festivities before heading to Karbi Recreation Park. Enjoy learning to cook a full tribal meal in a demo Karbi house. Return to the guest house late in the afternoon for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 8 | 19 February
Today, after breakfast, drive 30 kms/1.5 hours to a Dimasa tribal village and cycle for 20 kms around the countryside. Drive back to the guest house for lunch, before heading out to the festival grounds for the closing ceremony of the Karbi Youth Festival. Sample the delicious tribal cuisine for dinner and then return to the guest house for overnight.
DAY 9 | 20 February
Check out and drive for 46 kms/2 hours to Dimapur airport, and continue on your onward journey.