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plantation and wildlife tours, south india

 

Presentence a journey through  Plantations and National parks of Kerala & Tamil Nadu

   

 

A unique journey   for nature and animal lovers. 
Discover tea and spice plantations, waterfalls and wild animals. 
The lush vegetation and the plantations of South India are the spectacular backdrop for this journey. On several hikes, you gain insight into the daily work plan and observe the diverse wildlife of the South.

Day 1: Arrival –Cochin
Arrival at Cochin, reception at airport after that we will drive two-hours to  Athirapalli. This region is known for its rain forest flora and fauna. A unique natural  phenomenon are the Athirapalli Falls, which plunges 24 meters into the depth of the water here. After you have refreshed yourselves in the hotel, take a guided walk in the rain forest, and if time permits in a village in the area. Over Night  at Rainforest Resort  Athirapalli

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Day 2: Athirapalli - Valparai
You awaken to the sounds of the waterfall, set off after breakfast and leave Kerala.

After passing through the protected forests of Sholayar you reach Valparai, Located at  1065 m altitude in the Anamalai hills, the town is right on the border of the Indira Gandhi National Park. The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, which is also known as an Animal Wildlife Sanctuary is an ecological paradise in Tamil Nadu. Over 800 plant species and numerous animal species, from Elephants and Leopards on the Nilgiri Thar, Wild boar can be found here. The area is also rich in tea and coffee plantations.
 The next three nights will be spent at tea plantation Bubglow, where you feel you are taken back to the time of the British Empire. The rest of the day you have free time. Overnight at Stanmore Plantation Bungalow in Valparai.

 

 

Day 3: A day walking through the tea plantation and in the surrounding hills
The next two days exploring the area on foot in Valparai. You walk through the tea estate and watch the tea pickers at work. In the surrounding hills there are numerous waterfalls and reservoirs, where you can observe many birds. Three herds of elephants live here and with a little luck you may see deer, wild boar (bison) and maybe even the endangered lion- tailed macaques. Daily walking time: about 5-6 hours, easy hikes. Overnight at Stanmore Plantation Bungalow in Valparai.

 

Day 4: Valparai - Madurai
After an early breakfast, drive over  the Anamalai and Palani hills to Madurai.

Reaching Madurai check in at  hotel, refresh yourself with a delicious lunch. Madurai is one of the oldest cities in South India and for centuries the center of learning and of study and a place of pilgrimage. 
The city was  originally built in the shape of a lotus flower with the Meenakshi temple at its center. In the evening guided tour of the famous temples.  Overnight   at Fortune Pandiyan Hotel in Madurai.

  

 

 

 Day 6: Madurai - Meghamalai
In  the morning you have the time to relax. In the afternoon you depart to Meghamalai, which translates to "Mountain cloud" means. 

This region grows mainly tea and coffee. You'll also find vegetation that is typical for the Western Ghats, the "Shola" forests. Overnight  at Cloud Mountain Plantation Bungalow in Meghamalai.

 

Day 7 & 8: Hiking in the tea plantation and the surrounding area
The plantation and its immediate surroundings offer many possibilities for hiking. In the middle of the plantation is a large lake, which is bordered on one side with the Periyar National Park and on the other side a pristine area that will be in the future "Meghamalai nature reserve". Here too, as in Valparai, you will discover the many bird and plant species, such as, elephants, monkeys, deer, etc. are often observed. 

Daily walking time: about 6 hours,  easy hikes.  Over night at Cloud Mountain Plantation Bungalow in  Meghamalai.

 

 

Day 9: Meghamalai - Gavi
Today you drive to the famous Periyar National Park in the Cardamom Mountains in the middle of the "land of spices". Here, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and many more are planted spices. During a stop at the Spice Garden, you learn a lot about the different spices. By late afternoonyou will take a safari in the Periyar National Park. Here, leopards, tigers, elephants, bison, antelopes are at home. Overnight in  Pachakannam Estate Bungalow in Gavi.


Day 10: Periyar National Park
Today you get up early and take a morning hike in the national park, accompanied by a local guide. The afternoon is at leisure. A short break or take an optional walk in the park. Overnight in  Pachakannam Estate Bungalow in Gavi.


Day 11: Gavi - Kidangara - Houseboat
After breakfast drive to Kumarakom , where you board your houseboat. Enjoy the passing scenery of the backwaters and relax on the veranda of your houseboat. Overnight on the houseboat.

 

 

Day 12: Allepey - Cochin
After  breakfast on the boat to Alappuzha (Alleppey). Once  you get from the houseboat and drive to Cochin. Kochi is the second largest city in the state of Kerala and is situated on a natural harbor in the Malabar Coast. There is always buzzing with activity as ships constantly invest in Asian and Arab countries there. From Kochi products of teak, tea, coffee, cardamom , pepper and rubber are exported throughout the world. You take a city tour and visit the Dutch Palace and, among other things, the Jewish synagogue. In the evening visit a Kathakali dance performance. Overnight at Hotel Fort House in Kochi.


Day 13: Kochi
In the morning you take a guided walking tour of Fort Kochi. You visit a Dutch cemetery, St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica.The afternoon is for your leisure. Early in the evening we go on a sunset boat trip and see the famous Chinese fishing nets, which is particularly romantic at sunset. Overnight at Hotel Fort House in Kochi.

 

Day 14: Departure
After Breakfast drive to Airport for onward Journey.