Wildlife spotting | Kerala | India
FROM: NZD $7,305 pp
Great Southern Getaway - 15 days map

PRIVATE TOUR: Discover exotic stone carved temples, princely palaces and colonial hill stations. Take a train journey on the scenic Blue Mountain Railway, cruise the backwaters of Kochi and spot elephant from your jungle hide-away at both Mudumalai and Nagarhole National Parks.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Blue Mountain Railway - Travel this UNESCO World Heritage listed railway
Mysore - Tour the palaces, gardens and old world charm
Somnathpur - See the home of the famous Keseva Temple
Mahabalipuram – Discover the striking Shore Temple which sits on the beautiful Bay of Bengal
Guruvayur - Explore the famous Krishna Temple and Elephant Stables
Wayanad - Discover the Sultan Battery's Abandoned Jain Temple
Mudumalai National Park - Explore the home to the endangered Indian elephant and the Bengal Tiger
Srirangapatnam Island and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Visit and explore this island and sanctuary
Coonoor Hill Station - Stroll around and enjoy the mountain scenery, coffee and tea plantations
Nagarhole National Park - Explore tiger and elephant country
Kochi - Visit the Parsi Synagogue, Dutch Palace and St Francis’ Church
Coastal Chennai - Visit the capital of Tamil Nadu

Included

12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
Touring and excursions as per itinerary
Blue Mountain railway toy train journey
3 game drives - Mudumalai National Park
Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
1 overnight sleeper train journey on the Nilgari Express, Chennai to Mettupalayam
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern Chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles (excluding game drives)
13 nights 3-4 star hotels
Kathakali dance performance
Visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
3 game drives - Nagarhole National Park
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides for all included sight-seeing
An airport arrival transfer day 1 and a departure transfer day 15

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tipping - An entirely personal gesture

Itinerary

Day 1

Chennai

Arrive Chennai airport and transfer to the seaside town of Mahabalipuram. Situated on the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram offers long white sand beaches and some of the best archeological sites to be found in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Overnight: Mahabalipuram

Day 2

Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram - Coonoor. Touring the town’s sites to the rhythm of chisels chipping granite provides evidence of the strong stone carving traditions that have endured since the 8th century - Pallava dynasty. Visiting the beautiful ancient stone carved Shore Temple, presiding over the long, flat beach we discover high wall friezes, intricately carved bas reliefs and shrines dedicated to both Siva and Vishnu. It is also of interest to inspect the east facing alter designed to catch the rising sun and the large stone pillar with mountings to hold a beacon for sailors at night out at sea. Later we return to Chennai in time to board the Nilgari Express bound for Mettupalayam.
Overnight: Train  |  Breakfast

Day 3

The scenic blue mountain railway

Upon arrival to Mettupalayam we board the narrow gauge Blue Mountain Railway toy train destined for Coonor. Operating since 1899, the Blue Mountain Railway with its blue and cream steam livery has chugged from Mettupalayam to Otty via Coonoor, negotiating 16 tunnels, 31 major bridges and climbing to 2193 metres. The charming 4 hour journey offers sweeping mountain views and breathtaking scenery. Upon arrival to Coonoor, transfer to hotel and afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Coonoor

Days 4-5

Mudumalai

Coonor - Mudumalai - breakfast. Today we drive to the nearby Mudumalai National Park for a 2 night stay. Wake up each day with a foray of India’s great wildlife right at your doorstep. The 322 sq km predominantly deciduous forest is a sanctuary for Indian bison, Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaques (monkeys), peacock, jackel, hyena and a few tigers and leopards. The northern reaches of the park are home to one of the largest population of elephant in all of India. Over the following days enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris and in the evening retire to your jungle lodge equipped with all the mod-cons to make for an enjoyable and relaxing stay.
Overnight: Mudumalai National Park  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 6-7

Mysore

Mudumalai NP - Mysore. This morning its goodbye to your jungle hideaway and onward travel to Mysore - the former capital of the princely state, ruled by Wodeyars dynasty royalty from 1399 - 1947. The city of former glory and grandeur, enchanted admirers with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. After exploration we continue to Somnathpur, visiting the only complete temple of the Hoysala empire in the region. The small but exquisite Keseva Temple, dates from the 11th century. Day 7 offers a city tour of Mysore and visits to the island of Srirangapatnam and the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
Overnight: Mysore  |  Breakfast x 2

Days 8-9

Nagerhole NP

Mysore - Nagarhole NP. Today we drive west to Nagarhole National Park, once the Maharaja’s reserve forest turned national park in 1955. The park name, Nagarhole is derived from the Kannada word, naga meaning snake and hole meaning stream. True to its name Nagarhole is criss-crossed with serpentine streams. Covering gentle hills bordering Kerala, the area includes swampland, streams and tributaries, moist deciduous forest, stands of bamboo and valuable teak and rosewood trees. Spot Asian elephant, four horned antelope, flying squirrels and on occasion leopard and tiger. A jeep safari is offered on the afternoon of day 8. Day 9 - morning and afternoon safaris.
Overnight: Nagerhole NP  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 10-11

Wayanad

Nagarhole NP – Wayanad. Wayanad, the green paradise is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats, forming the border world of the greener part of Kerala. Clean and pristine, enchanting and hypnotizing, this land is filled with history and culture. Located at a distance of 76 km from the seashores of Kozhikode, this verdant hill station is full of plantations, forests and wildlife. Wayanad hills are contiguous to Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur in Karnataka, thus forming a vast land mass for the wildlife to move about in their most natural abode.

Enjoy the days at leisure and consider optional activities available within your resort including nature walks and trails.
Overnight: Wayanad  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 12

Kozhikode

Wayanad – Kozhikode. Drive from Wayanad to Kozhikode (Approx 90 kms - 4 hours). Arrive and transfer to your hotel.

Kozhikode is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. It was a significant spice trade center and is close to Kappad Beach, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. The rest of the day is spent at leisure. Consider visiting central Kozhikode Beach, which overlooks and old lighthouse and is a popular spot to watch the sunset.
Overnight: Kozhikode  |  Breakfast

Days 13-14

Kochi

Kozikode - Kochi. Today we drive to Kochi. Stops are made at Krishna Temple and the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Stables. Krishna Temple is one of the holiest sites in Kerala. The heaving Hindi pilgrimage centre is filled with stalls and thronged with devotees wanting to take darshan - a viewing with the deity. It is said to be one of the wealthiest temples in India, with a waiting list for the auspicious duty of lighting its oil lamps filled up until 2025. Afterwards, we arrive in Kochi and check in to the hotel.

Day 14, offers a guided sightseeing tour with visits to the Parsi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, St Francis’ Church and an evening Kathakali dance performance.
Overnight: Kochi  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 15

Kochi

Kochi - breakfast. Arrangements conclude after breakfast and onward transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

Extend your holiday!

If you'd like to extend your stay, we offer a variety of hotels, short stays and add-ons for you to choose from. Please read our best places to visit or best things to see each month for suggested places to visit on your holiday. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please let us know so we can accommodate your request.

For information about visas, top travel tips, best time to travel and much more, browse our travel guide.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults.

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2024
Twin Share
Single Room
NZD $7,305
NZD $10,695
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2025
Twin Share
Single Room
NZD $8,025
NZD $11,755
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NZD $8,025
NZD $11,755
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2026
Twin Share
Single Room
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NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815
NZD $8,745
NZD $12,815

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Ideal Beach Resort, Mahabalipuram

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Ideal Beach is a lovely resort set in lush, tropical gardens. The rooms are stylishly furnished with traditional Indian fabrics in rich reds and golds and are a good size. The extravagant dining hall is the perfect place to feast on some sumptuous meals. Cuisine from China, India and Sri Lanka all make regular appearances within these hallowed walls. Prepared with the utmost attention to detail, you won't be disappointed. The resort is on the beach front and close to the Mahabalipuram Orchid Farm.

Orchid Square Boutique Hotel, Coonoor

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Begin your trip on the right note by staying Orchid Square Boutique Hotel, where complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all rooms. Located conveniently in the Coonoor area of Ooty, the hotel is located within easy reach of attractions and enticing dining choices. Be sure not to miss a visit to the renowned Ooty Lake before you depart. The property offers guests access to massage services, a hot tub, and a fitness center on-site, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Ooty.

The Windflower, Mudumalai

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Nestled along Mangala village road within the scenic Bandipur reserve area, Windflower offers an immersive natural retreat surrounded by lush trees, occasional sightings of deer, and boars, emphasizing its close connection to nature. With complimentary car parking and easy access to attractions and dining venues, guests can kickstart their trip with ease. The property ensures a high-quality stay with on-site restaurant facilities and an indoor pool for added relaxation, making it the ideal destination for those seeking rejuvenation amidst the wilderness.

Fortune JP Palace , Mysore

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Situated in Mysore, the Fortune JP Palace offers panoramic vistas of Chamundi Hills, setting a picturesque backdrop for guests. Boasting a swimming pool, three dining venues, and spacious accommodations adorned with modern decor and parquet flooring, the hotel ensures a luxurious stay. Each room features large windows providing captivating views of the surrounding greenery, along with amenities such as a safety deposit box and tea/coffee maker for added comfort. Guests can use the on-site fitness center, or dine in at the 24-hour Orchid Restaurant.

Red Earth Kabini, Nagerhole NP

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Nestled on the serene backwaters of Kabini Dam, Red Earth Resort invites guests to take in the breathtaking views from its outdoor pool. Each elegant cottage offers a private hot tub, providing the perfect sanctuary for relaxation. The accommodations feature a sofa seating area, cable TV, and a private patio to soak in the scenic surroundings. The spacious en suite bathrooms boast hot/cold shower facilities for added comfort. Guests can rejuvenate with a selection of spa treatments or stay connected at the business center. Embracing an outdoor dining concept, Poshini Restaurant offers a fusion of Indian and continental cuisine.

Wayanad Wild - CGH Earth, Wayanad

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Located in Lakkidi, Wayanad Wild offers a unique accommodation experience with rooms nestled amidst the treetops, providing a picturesque view, and a refreshing swimming pool for guests to enjoy. The on-site restaurant serves delectable meals. The fan-cooled rooms are equipped with essential amenities such as a desk, wardrobe, and attached bathrooms featuring showers and complimentary toiletries. Designed with families in mind, Wayanad Wild ensures a memorable and comfortable retreat amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The Raviz Kadavu, Kozhikode

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Nestled amidst the serene backwaters and coconut plantations of Calicut, Kerala, The Raviz Resort and Spa, Kadavu sprawls over 9 acres, offering a luxurious retreat. Facing the Chaliyar River, the resort features an outdoor pool, indulgent spa treatments, and a yoga center. Elegantly appointed air-conditioned rooms provide modern amenities including flat-screen TVs and minibars, with some rooms offering picturesque views of the river and coconut groves. Guests can enjoy a range of activities including exercise at the fitness center, relaxation in the sauna, or perusing books in the library.

Casino Hotel, Kochi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Casino Hotel is a modern hotel located on Willingdon island, set in tropical gardens it is a beautiful blend of art deco and colonial Indian architectural styles. With a large pool and and spacious comfortable rooms this hotel offers a fantastic experience when in Kochi. Casino Hotel boasts 2 restaurants, a 24-hour health club as well as free wifi in public areas.

Trident Hotel Kochi, Kochi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Nestled serenely on Willingdon Island, Trident boasts an array of indulgent amenities, including an Ayurvedic spa, an inviting outdoor pool, and a modern fitness center. From the comfort of its air-conditioned guestrooms and suites, adorned with picturesque garden or pool views, guests revel in modern comforts like satellite TV and minibars, with suites offering the added luxury of separate living spaces. Dining at its four restaurants promises a culinary voyage, from the flavours of Indian and Continental cuisine at Travancore to the seasonal seafood delights of The Seafood Grill.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Chennai
Ends
Kochi
Departs
Every day of the year
Hotel Rating
Our rating: Standard
Tour Guide
Yes - for all included sightseeing
Meals
Breakfast: 13, Lunch: 6, Dinner: 6
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
Coonor steam train
Mysore Karnataka Royal Palace
Indian elephant walking through lush jungle in Wayanad
Kochi Chinese fishing nets - Highlight
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