- Stay in the best Mr & Mrs Smith luxury and boutique hotels
- Bedding down in animal-roamed wilds
- Private game drives with real Shere Khan-spotting potential
- Immersing yourself in Jungle Book country
- Beach-lazing and time-hopping in Goa
An Indian safari adventure
Brilliant beasts and blissful beaches
India’s great outdoors is a Kipling-penned set piece of wild beasts. Start in Mumbai and end on Goa’s beaches.
If you want to add to the full set of bells and whistles included in this luxury safari getaway, this trip is fully bespoke and can be tailored to your tastes.
This 13-night trip is £2,898 a person (approximately 3,704 USD), based on two guests sharing.*
To kick off your trip, contact the Smith24 team around the clock on:
+44 (0)330 100 3180 from the UK,
+1 800 464 2040 from the US.
When to go
India’s thriving-with-life national parks open from October to June; the subcontinent’s often stifling heat cools during these months. Avoid monsoon season from May to June, when the heavens open over the south coast and flooding makes travelling inland tricky.
You'll need to get international flights – or get the Smith24 team to book them for you (call on 03300 374 127) – Mumbai’s main hub – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – is convenient no matter which corner of the globe you fly from. Flights run direct from London (around a nine-hour journey); and flights from the US arrive via Paris. The trip includes three short internal flights: Mumbai to Raipur; and Nagpur to Mumbai then Mumbai to Goa, where the trip ends; from there you can easily connect back to Mumbai or fly on to your next destination. Other inland transfers are by private, air-conditioned minivan with a chauffeur.
- A large scarf or light covering to wear at religious sites
- Binoculars for getting close to nature
- An extra memory card for more chances at that elusive nature shot
Day 1–3: Mumbai
Start as you mean to go on in Mumbai: after you clear customs, you'll be chauffeured and checked-in to regal stay the Taj Mahal Palace. It’s hosted maharajahs, presidents and celebs, and – not unlike its vivacious location – it’s overwhelmingly sensual, with sweeping staircases, a ballroom and huge hand-woven rugs.
You’ll be driven to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel for a two-night stay. With laden chandeliers and Gateway of India views, this hotel almost matches its namesake mausoleum for grandeur.
Day 1: Guests have the day to slumber off their jet-lag or explore as they wish. As demonstrated in Attenborough’s Planet Earth II series, the city’s not entirely domesticated: leopards prowl at its edges and cheeky monkeys have been known to swing into visitors’ paths.
Day 2: After piling your plate at the Taj Mahal Palace’s breakfast buffet, a personal guide will introduce you to this dizzying capital on a private tour. See the Gateway of India, then stop at Kala Ghoda, a sub-precinct lined with Victorian and Edwardian heritage buildings. Roam covered Crawford fruit-and-vegetable market then board a train to Mahalaxmi station, to see the famed open-air laundry at Dhobi Ghat before returning to the Taj.
Day 3: After breakfast, you'll be chauffeured to Mumbai Airport for a two-hour internal flight to Raipur, followed by a four-and-a-half-hour drive to Kanha National park.
Day 3–6: Kanha National Park
In these lush, leafy surrounds, you'll stay at remote yet luxurious rustic lodge Flame of the Forest. This camp will set your heart afire with its four-poster beds, loungers with river-spying views and nightly gatherings round the fire. It's also within tiger-spotting distance of the park.
You'll stay at rustic luxury camp Flame of the Forest for three nights. All meals are included and with just four cottages in acres of grassland and jungle, it's as if you have the place to yourself…
Smith Extra A free private dinner or a tribal village walk
Day 3: Today will be spent getting to know your new digs; there are no planned activities, but restless guests can take a class in the river-view yoga shala, sip a signature Mahua martini, or sample chef Jitender’s Burmese curries and grilled fish from the Narmada River.
Day 4: Your time at Kanha National Park will be spent with your binoculars poised on twice-daily shared game drives. Bring a camera and pray to India’s pantheon of Gods that the resident big cats, bears, and the burning-bright tigers are feeling playful that day. Look to the skies too: more than 300 species of bird flock to the treetops here.
Day 5: Once again, you'll be up before dawn to catch the early birds and other beasties on a morning game drive. You'll return by noon for lunch and to relax or ramble around the greenery, before heading out on an afternoon drive.
Day 6: This morning, you'll have one last chance to spot the park's elusive tiggers on a morning game drive. On your return, pack your suitcases and ready yourself for the four-hour drive to Pench National Park.
Day 6–9: Pench National Park
Sheltered by banyan trees and hosting some secluded machaans (four-poster beds set on platforms), Jamtara Wilderness Camp is where safari romance roars. Pench National Park (a three-hour drive from Kanha National Park), where Bengal tigers, leopards and wolves stalk through the kulu (ghost) trees, is within prowling distance.
When your driver pulls up to Pench National Park, you’ll be delivered to your jungle-surrounded hideaway and home for three nights, Jamtara Wilderness Camp, just north of the park. Here the tents are more tricked-out than the average two-man-sleeper; marquees have wooden floors, Moroccan rugs, vintage furnishings and plumbed bathrooms.
Smith Extra One private dinner in the bush for two
Day 6: After arrival, you’re free to unwind. At your serene HQ, there's an infinity pool overlooking the forest, an informal open-air bar, and retro-styled lounges. Or you can simply take tea on your tent's veranda.
Day 7: The next morning, guests are gathered for the first of twice-daily shared safari drives. From your jeep you may spy the rabble of wildlife within: monkeys hanging from branches, sproinging antelope and creeping tigers.
Day 8: Immerse yourself in the wilderness again today, with an early start and shared game drive in the AM, lunch and gentle nature walks at noon and a second drive in the PM.
Day 9: Unleash the Travel Scrabble, your journey to the next destination – beach babe Goa – is a two-parter. You'll jet off from Nagpur airport for a three-and-a-half-hour flight with a stop in Mumbai; from Goa International Airport, your driver will take you to your hotel, around an hour's journey.
Day 9–14: Goa
Goa holds the title for India's best beaches, so you’ll want a stay within toe-dipping distance of the water; Ahilya by the Sea’s dusky-red, Portuguese-style villas fit the bill.
On arrival, you’ll be chauffeured to shoreside hotel Ahilya by the Sea for a three-night stay. Built on the site of Portuguese custom houses, this stay has twin, private, red-rock-hewn villas, each with palm-dotted gardens and a lap pool.
Smith Extra A bottle of wine and one massage each for two
Day 9: Today you'll settle in at Ahilya. From the hotel's gardns – or its shoreside infinity pool – try to spy dolphins cavorting in the bay, or splash about by the seaside before watching the sun set in glorious Technicolor. The hotel's owners have accrued a fascinating art collection over the years; poke around and you'll find Burmese earthenware, porcelain butlers, crucifixes, Hindu bronzes and ceremonial masks from Africa.
Day 10: Guests explore Old Goa – a former, phenomenally-wealthy Portuguese trading outpost – with a private guide. Its ornate colonial churches are in a fine state, and the Unesco-listed city is a charming spot to explore the legacy of the Portuguese empire.
Day 11: Today, you're free to explore at leisure. Perhaps stop by Agonda, Palolem or Mandrem beaches, 600-metre-high Dudhsagar Falls or one of Goa’s many ashrams to top up your karma.
Day 12: On request, we can arrange for a boatman from nearby Nerul Village to take you out to sea so you can try your hand at fishing or crab-catching. If you prefer your fish and crustaceans on a plate, laze around in the hotel's gardens until lunch; we know some of Goa's best seafood spots.
Day 13: On your last full day in Goa, make a mental note of the turmeric-hued sands, palms that nod agreeably and the crumbling buildings that stir up the past, for when you need a mental screensaver back home. On request, a cooking class, tour of Goa's 16th-century churches, or an arty encounter at the Funde Çao Oriente museum can be arranged.
Day 14: Today, you'll take a short domestic flight back to Mumbai, before flying home or on to your next destination.
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Terms and conditions
Theres so much more to see in this fascinating subcontinent: desert-set monuments, palatial hotels and luxurious camps, the heady heights of the Haimlayas… Be inspired by our collection of luxury trips in India.
*The package includes all Smith boutique hotels and local transportation with your own driver; entry fees; local guides and naturalists; and all applicable taxes.
Not included in your package
- International or domestic airfare, visa fees, airport taxes or insurance.
- Any items which are not mentioned as ‘included’ in the itinerary.
- Any increase in government taxes.
- The price for this itinerary applies for each guest.
- Ahilya by the Sea has different rates every month so the itinerary price may vary depending on when you travel.
- All prices are subject to any revisions to taxes or tariffs.
- From December to January, fog may delay flight and train departures in North India.
- Domestic airfare charges will be finalised depending on the date of travel. Each passenger on the economy-class flight has a check luggage allowance of up to 15 kilogrammes, and a carry-on allowance of seven kilogrammes.
- All flight and train timings are based on the current schedule and are subject to change.
- Please note that foreign visitors to India require a visa in advance of arrival in the country.
- All parks in Central India are closed for afternoon safaris on Wednesdays.
- Bookings for safaris in Central India's parks are made 120 days before arrival.
- Central India's parks are open from 16 October to 30 June each year.