Wildlife of Eastern India: From Red Pandas to Rhinos

Singalila, Kaziranga, and Darjeeling with Devendra Basnet

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate, according to our trip grading system. It is a cultural and natural history journey with travel by vehicle with hikes and walks that can be enjoyed by anyone in reasonably good health who has recent hiking experience. Keep in mind that our panda viewing walks require scrambling up and down often slippery hillsides through trees and bamboo thickets.


Our panda-tracking hikes involve bushwhacking through trees and dense bamboo thickets up and down steep hillsides. If lucky, the site can be nearby but often involves a scramble through the thicket, and can involve negotiating slippery sections and rocky gullies. These hikes are best suited for people who have a good sense of balance. There is also bumpy, rough road travel on dirt or gravel tracks.


Singalila National Park is at altitudes between 7,000 and 10,000 feet in the foothills of the Himalayas. In spring in Singalila, daytime highs will be in the chilly 50s and 60Fs, even dropping as low as the 30s at night. There is more precipitation in spring and skies can sometimes be hazy but the rhododendrons should be in beautiful bloom and the stunning tea gardens will be operational. In autumn, daytime highs will be in the 60, with nights in the low 50s, and the Himalayan vistas should be mostly clear. As in all mountain areas, there is always the possibility of rain. In Darjeeling in spring, temperatures will be pleasant, ranging from the 60Fs to the high 70Fs, with autumn temperatures ranging between 50F and 75F. In Kaziranga National Park in the lowlands of Assam, it will be quite warm, with spring temperatures between 70F and 85F and autumn temperatures ranging between 65F and 80F, dropping to much cooler at dawn.


We enjoy excellent hotels and a comfortable wildlife lodge on this journey, plus four nights in Habre’s Nest, a very simple “homestay-style” accommodation at 7,500 feet in Singalila National Park. Habre’s Nest has four double-bedded rooms with en suite toilets. Single accommodations are not available here, so guests must share a room on these three nights. Electricity at Habre’s is provided by generator from 5pm to 6am (although the generator can fail so pack a flashlight or headlamp!), and there is no central heating, so warm mountain attire is advised. A recommended clothing and equipment list is provided in our Pre-Departure Booklet, and more detailed description of each accommodation can be found in the “Lodging” section.


In Singalila, the only vehicles available are old-fashioned “vintage” land rovers with limited shocks and suspension systems, which make for bumpy rides on the dirt roads. In Kaziranga, we use open-roof safari vehicles that guarantee everyone a “window” seat and great wildlife viewing opportunities. All other road travel will be in modern and comfortable vehicles—typically a Toyota Innova.

Important Note: Please be aware that this journey includes three long, full days of rugged overland road travel (Day 2, Day 6, and Day 9). These long travel days are demanding but necessary to allow us to access remote and diverse
wildlife areas.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.