Kerala is home to among the most stunning bio-diversity on the planet. We take you on a trip to explore this stunning richness which includes – tropical evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, high altitude shola grasslands and scrub forests. The terrain undulates from plains to rolling plateaus, rugged ravines and jagged peaks. We stay one with nature in a selection of eco-friendly accommodation options which includes – resorts, tented camps and tree houses. We offer a range of activities to experience the wilderness such as rainforest trekking, waterfall trails, bamboo rafting, country boat cruise, night jungle patrol, bird and butterfly watching, wildlife spotting and safaris. Whilst most of the day is spent in the forest and its fringe areas, we have taken care to make sure that guests are not denied any level of comfort in terms of accommodation.
Duration: 14 days
Route: Calicut - Wayanad - River Nila - Silent Valley - Chimmony Wildlife - Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary - Munnar - Chinnar Wildlife - Periyar Wildlife - Vallakkadavu Camping - Cochin
Activities: Rainforest trekking, waterfall trails, bamboo rafting, country boat cruise, jungle patrol at night, bird watching, wildlife spotting, safari.
Unique Wildlife viewing spots throughout the itinerary
Calicut – Wayanad: Land at the beautiful coastal city of Calicut and travel to Wayanad by road (3 hours) with our representative. Visit Edakkal caves to see the pictorial remnants of civilisation dating back to 5,000 BC
Wayanad: Enjoy the adrenaline rush of a wildlife safari in Muthanga wildlife sanctuary, a biodiversity hotspot. The 24-kilometre safari is a chance to spot the Asian elephants, bears, wild gaurs (bison), spotted and sambar deers or even a leopard. After lunch at a local home, we take you on a spice tour, tea trail and finally cool off at a waterfall in the middle of a rainforest.
Trek up the magnificent Chembra Peak, the highest point in Northern Kerala. The peak is in the midst of high-altitude shola grasslands and offers panoramic views all round. Its a moderately tough trek at about four hours, with the chance of spotting wildlife in the early hours. After descending we rest for the day at boutique hotel/homestay.
Learn a skill or two on making ethnic handicrafts.
River Nila - Silent Valley: We travel to Silent Valley (3 hours), one of the world's most treasured biodiversity hotspots. We set up camp at a property near the jungle.
Silent Valley: We travel by jeep uphill to the Sairandhri Forest Camp. Silent valley has one of the largest viable breeding populations of lion tailed macaques, a true arboreal monkey which is highly endangered and a good population of birds, butterflies and orchids. We take a small trek through the rainforest to Kunthipuzha, which flows through the valley.
Silent VWe drive down to Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary (3.5 hours drive). Our naturalist will hand hold you and lead you on a light trek through the wilderness which is comprised of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests. The day ends camping under the starlit sky by the rainforest.
Chimmony - Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary: We drive to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (2 hours). The sanctuary is a paradise to observe birds. Ornithologists have identified more than 253 species of birds in the 25.16 sq km area. We stay overnight in a forest camp.
Refresh in a natural swimming pool after a day long trek
Thattekkad – Munnar: We drive to Munnar (3 hours) a breathtakingly beautiful hill station known for its misty col climate, tea plantations and forests.
Munnar - Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: We drive to Chinnar (2 hours) and trek up through the jungle to Vysapara Hills, which is an excellent spot for spotting wildlife. We camp overnight in a jungle hut.
Chinnar: We continue to trek and follow a river. The forests vegetation, dry deciduous, makes it easy to spot wildlife while on foot. The terrain will be undulating with rocky patches that add to the scenery.
Chinnar – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: We drive to Periyar (5.5 hours) and at dusk catch the night patrol. The naturalist will take you to observe the jungle in the dark, guided by just torchlight
Role model for sustainable construction and consumption’
Periyar: We trek during the day and use bamboo rafts to navigate Periyar lake. 63 species of mammals have been recorded in this protected area, along with 323 species of birds. All the species endemic to the Western Ghats except the Nilgiri laughing thrush are found here. Out of the 119 species of butterflies recorded, 20 are Western ghat are endemic.
Periyar - Vallakkadavu Camp: We move base to Vallakkadavu Camp (2 hours). We go for a short trek around the camp and stay overnight in tents.
Vallakkadavu Camp - Cochin Airport: Transfer to Cochin Airport (4 hours)
How your travel makes a difference to the local community & environment
One of the most unique eco-tourism programmes in India, this program supports people who live on the fringes of the forests as trackers, guides and interpreters. Due to several 'social re-engineering' and political decisions, many of the tribal people have been forced to leave the forest and are no longer associated with it in their day to day activities. This particular trip focuses on their role as care takers of forest, its resources and wildlife, and by doing so also assures them a decent livelihood with dignity. Sustainable income through responsible tourism ensures increasing interest amongst local community members, which in turn supports conservation of wildlife and forest resources. Poaching, forest fires and brewing illicit liquor in forest areas have been reported by our assistants and trackers. These have been successfully handled by the authorities with support from VSS (Forest Protection Committee) and EDCs (Eco Development Committee). Except in the rare case of communication problems in terms of naturalist's interpretation, all the associates in this program are locals. The now famous 'Periyar Model' has successfully rehabilitated several former poachers as protectors. The majority of the accommodation used in this itinerary is operated by local community members belonging to the Eco Development Committees (EDCs) and supported by our team of naturalists and professionals. The benefits are transferred directly to the community members and are not token gestures.
Be prepared to be amazed by stunning cultural diversity in a small state
Today it has no geographical bound but its identity binds the people who inhabit the region together
Far from prying-eyes, it comprises of the five districts - Kasargod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram.