The Odisha Wild Adventure

5 Nights 6 Days | Open Dates | August to April | Giant Saltwater Crocodiles | Excellent for birders | Fishing Cat | Leopard Cat | Water Monitors | Dense Forest | Tiny Red Crabs | King Cobras

Giant Salt Water Crocodile

If you've ever wanted to know what it feels like to be at the bottom of the food chain, this is the place to be. Welcome to the untamed wilderness of Bhitarkanika. This webbed network of swamps, creeks, marshes and mangroves is unlike any other wildlife sanctuary in India. The second-largest mangrove eco-system in the country, Bhitarkanika is known as the home of endangered giant Salt Water Crocodiles. If you're lucky, you could even spot the world's largest crocodile, a 7.1m (23ft 4in), 2000 kg male saltwater crocodile, that calls this sanctuary home. Or you could at least see the well-preserved skeleton of a 6.0m (19ft 8in) monster that used to stalk these waters. But it isn't all about these ancient reptilian monsters. There are others. Like the Indian python that may be casually lounging on the branch of a tree. Or the legendary King Cobra that also is found in considerable numbers here. Then there are the multitudes of monitor lizards lazily flicking their forked tongues as you sail by. 

You may think we're giving you reasons to stay away. But no. You'll observe all of these from the relative safety of a boat. Walking will only be limited to the area around your rooms. And maybe to the heronry, an area near a creek where a large number of birds congregate so birders can silently point and stare at them. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded here including eight varieties of kingfisher, numerous birds of prey, waders and more. You could even spot deer, wild boar, golden jackals, fishing cats, leopard cats, Indian foxes, grey mongoose, smooth-coated otters and more. 

 

Look a little closer and you'll also see bright fiddler crabs (these are the crabs with one huge Hellboy-type limb) disappearing into the muck while mudskippers comically wiggle on the surface. And if you're very, very lucky, you may even spot the rare Irrawady dolphins in the water. But don't count on it. 

 

Most of all, you'll understand the importance of maintaining this pristine eco-system, learn about a ton of birds and animals and experience the powerful beauty of nature. You'll hear from your experienced wildlife guide about the lives of these creatures and the humans that live around them. And you'll go home with a set of incredible photos and memories.   

Confluence

Highlights:

 

  • Explore one of India's most impressive wildlife sanctuaries

  • Spot giant Saltwater Crocodiles in their natural habitat 

  • Sail along this webbed water network to spot over 250 species of birds including over 90 migrant species  

  • This thick forest is also home to the elusive Fishing Cat and rare Leopard Cat

  • A rare opportunity to walk through a national park at Bhitarkanika's heronry

  • A chance to walk by an old hunting tower used by past monarchs

  • Spot numerous water monitors along the banks of the estuaries 

  • Spot hundreds of fast-moving, tiny, red crabs living in the swamps

  • Take an optional tour to Mangalajodi, a birders paradise, with over 170 species of resident and migratory birds (best in winter)

  • Feast on delicious, local Odia food

  • We pledge 10% of all profits made at Jokotta Discoveries towards nature and wildlife conservation

Bronze winged Jacana

Your Adventure Itinerary:

 

Day 1: Arrive

  • Arrive at Bhubaneswar Airport excited about the next few days. Our services start here and will conclude once we drop you off at the airport at the end of this journey.

  • If you'd like, you could take a tour with us to the temples of the old town after 3 pm.

  • Or you could take the optional trip to Mangalajodi, an excellent area for birding near Chilika lake. The ideal time to leave for this would be 1 pm. Please let us know your preference while booking the trip. 

  • Overnight at a hotel in Bhubaneswar.

Day 2: The Adventure Begins

  • Leave for Bhitarkanika by 10 am. 

  • Arrive at your nature camp, check-in and break for lunch.

  • Climb aboard on your boat with our wildlife expert to search the for saltwater crocodiles and water monitors in the creeks.

  • Return for dinner and spend the night at Bhitarkanika.

Day 3 & 4: The Search Continues

  • Today you spend the entire day on the boat cruising the waterways of Bhitarkanika.

  • We continue the search for giant crocodiles, monitors and see if we can spot any snakes.

  • We also look for the elusive fishing cat, the rare leopard cat, the otter and other mammals.

  • Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready for any birds or animals that may show up.

  • Prepare to spend at least 12 hours on board on both days.

Day 5: Walk in the wild

  • Today we head to the heronry on foot.

  • Binoculars and cameras with good zoom lenses are a must as we're likely to spot a large number of birds in this area.

Day 6: The Adventure Ends

  • Today we return to Bhubaneswar. 

  • If time permits, we look for wildlife in the creeks.

  • Depending upon your departure time, we may be able to take a detour to a Buddhist heritage site at Ratnagiri or Udaygiri or Lalitgiri.

A monitor lizard

The Firefox Adventure Gallery

Ruff
Ruff
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Boating in Mangalajodi
Boating in Mangalajodi
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Mangalajodi boat channel
Mangalajodi boat channel
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Smooth Coated Otter
Smooth Coated Otter
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Leopard Cat
Leopard Cat
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Brown Winged Kingfisher
Brown Winged Kingfisher
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Estuarian Crocodile
Estuarian Crocodile
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Fotorss
Fotorss
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Black Tailed Godwits
Black Tailed Godwits
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Greater Painted Snipe
Greater Painted Snipe
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Indian Porcupine
Indian Porcupine
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Mangrove Pitta
Mangrove Pitta
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Standard Inclusions:

  • Stay & meals on Day 1 and lunch on Day 6

  • Visit the old town on Day 1, depending on arrival time at Bhubaneswar

  • Stay & meals at Bhitarkanika for 4 nights

  • Guide charges and entry fee to Bhitarkanika

  • Tour led by an experienced Wildlife Tour Leader

  • Visit Buddhist sites on the way back to Bhubaneswar

  • All road transfers in AC vehicle, including airport pick up & drop

Exclusions:

  • Flights/ train tickets

  • Laundry

  • Extra food & beverages

  • Liquor

  • Camera fees wherever applicable

  • Entry fees for Buddhist sites/ museum

  • Tips

  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

Please note that Bhubaneswar is a smoke-free city. There is a ban on smoking in public places.

 

Prices start at US$ 699/- for International Travellers and INR 49,000/- for Indian Nationals per person* 

Photo Credits: Durgesh, B K Das, Anoop Padate

*GST Extra. Prices vary with number of people travelling. Enquire today for your group! Costs in USD may vary in accordance with the exchange rate at the time of booking.