This summer, Outback Campground presents a one of a kind expedition into the rainforests of the Anaimalais. The Anaimalais hills is easily the richest habitat and bio-diversity in the Western Ghats, and we invite a maximum of 5 participants to join us and experience this rainforest wonderland first-hand.
Amongst its amazing attractions, the unique and endangered lion-tailed macaque, will be on the top of our list and the Anaimalais is easily the best place on Earth to observe and photograph these amazing creatures. The highly-endangered Nilgiri tahr is another flagship specie that we will be looking out for as we ascend the hills and the other amazing wildlife that we are likely to come across are Malabar giant squirrels, flying squirrels, brown palm civets, a good chance to see a leopard lurking amongst the tea, elephants and gaur grazing peacefully and the list of cold-blooded animals, which includes the beautiful Anaimalai gliding frog, Jayram’s bush frog and the large-scaled pit viper.
The Anaimalais is also a fabulous destination to go birding. Some of the key species to see and photograph include, the great Indian hornbill, white-bellied treepie, Indian scimitar babbler, Malabar trogon, Malabar whistling thrush, Wynaad laughingthrush, rufous babbler, grey-headed bulbul and the list goes on and on.
Integral to the programme will be hands-on learning on nature conservation, photography, wildlife tracking, outdoor survival skills, not to forget, a whole lot of fun!
Serving as base camps for the exploration of all this glory will be, The Soul Bungalow in Valparai. This amazing and quaint British bungalow situated in the middle of a tea estate and close to fantastic shola forest is the perfect balance between homely comfort and the spirit of adventure.
- Only 4 participants and 2 instructors to maximise individual attention and increase productivity of images
- Special emphasis on macro photography
- Superb wildlife sightings including many endemic mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles
- Learning how to set up and deploy a camera trap
- Three nights and four days in one of India’s richest wildlife habitats – The Western Ghats
- A very luxurious stay and delicious meals at two private estates
- A fun-filled great holiday
- Expert guidance from wildlife photographer, Phillip and Samantha Ross
At 5:30 a.m, we depart from the city of Bangalore, on our much awaited tour of the Anaimalais. After passing through the towns of Salem, Coimbatore and Pollachi we soon find ourselves ascending the hills. The view gets more and more stunning by the second and there are several opportunities en route to stop and capture some amazing vistas. Chances of sighting and photographing the endangered Nilgiri tahr, too, are very high.
Following an invigorating ride, we arrive at The Soul Bungalow, a quaint British bungalow situated in the middle of a tea estate and close to fantastic shola forest. We check-in and while enjoying a scrumptious lunch, camp leader Phillip Ross and Samantha Ross will introduce the participants to the Anaimalais with a brief on the wildlife found in the area, the afternoon’s plan and also a presentation on the ideal settings for their cameras.
Later that evening, we proceed to a private forest patch that is home to two troops of lion-tailed macaques. We keep our eyes peeled and hope that the macaques reveal themselves without much difficulty. This area is also known for its amazing birdlife too and gives us a good chance to spot the great Indian hornbill.
After an exhilarating experience with the macaques, we return to the bungalow and learn how to set up and deploy a camera trap in order for us to capture some of the Anaimalais nocturnal wonders.
We soon gather around a campfire for a presentation on composition, review photographs and discuss animal behaviour and the plan for the next day.
We end the night with a session of entertainment followed by a delicious dinner.
We awake to the sweet call of ‘the whistling schoolboy’ the Malabar whistling thrush and after a quick breakfast, we embark on a walk around the property and do some birding. The Anaimalais are one of the best places in the Western Ghats for birding and the area has over 250 species of avian wonders, most of which are endemic to the region. We end the walk at a beautiful waterfall at the edge of the property and participants will be taught how to use filters and learn to take slow-shutter images and capture the ‘milky effect’ of a waterfall.
We return to the bungalow for lunch and some much needed rest, before embarking on an amazing drive through the Vazhachal forest reserve to spend the rest of the evening tracking and photographing mammals and winged beauties along the way, with the hope of coming across a leopard and a troop or two of Nilgiri langurs.
We return to the property for some refreshing beverages and snacks before Phillip introduces the wonderful world of macro photography to the participants.
We then prepare to set out for the much awaited late evening walk where Phillip will lead all participants to a brook and begin exploring for various macro subjects. We have a great chance to come across various bush frogs, gliding frogs, lizards, spiders, caecilians, beetles, centipedes and an array of insect life. With regards to mammals, we hope to come across some rare nocturnal inhabitants of the rainforest like porcupines, brown palm civets and Indian flying squirrels.
We return back to the bungalow for dinner and retire for the night.
We wake early and return to the lion-tailed macaque forest patch for another rendezvous. We spend most of the morning observing and photographing these magnificent animals before driving to an absolutely stunning view point called ‘Seen God’. Here each participant can get a panoramic view of the Anaimalais and take home some breathtaking landscape images.
After lunch, we depart to a patch of evergreen shola forest known for its rich birdlife. We concentrate on looking for the great Indian hornbill and hope to see and photograph hornbills flying over the canopy of rainforest.
It is likely to be dark by the time we return, which is a great time for frog encounters and hope to come across some more cool endemic species.
We end the night with some games and a celebratory dinner.
After an early rise, we bid adieu to the Soul Bungalow and descend the hills looking for wildlife as the morning-light fills the surrounding hills and valleys.
We halt for breakfast and lunch stops along the way before driving back to Bangalore, where we are sure, your child will be waiting to tell you some fascinating tales.
Per Child: INR 32,000/-
Per Two Children: INR 62,000/-
Group Size: 4
• Shared accommodation in luxury rooms or luxury tents
• Road transfers from Bangalore, to and from the destination
• All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
• All camera and entry fees
• Any extra meals and beverages ordered
• Airfare, if applicable
• Anything that is not expressly mentioned in the inclusions list
Who is this camp for?
Any child or teen between the ages of 14 and 18 is welcome to enrol for this camp. There are no other eligibility criteria.
My child is older or younger than 14 and 18. Can an exception be made?
The age group of the children has been carefully chosen keeping in mind the content and style of delivery. However, if your child is outside the age group and you’re interested in admitting him or her, please talk to us.
How many participants can be expected to attend?
A maximum of 4 participants are expected. The USP is to provide as much individual attention and quality time to each participant as possible and thus the camp strength has been kept low. We do not cater to very large groups per batch!
Where are we staying and what sort of accommodation and food can we expect?
We will be staying at The Puduthotham Bungalow and Sheikalmudi Bungalow in Valparai. These quintessential British bungalows are situated amongst a coffee estate and tea garden and overlooks the jungle. All children on camp will be staying in deluxe rooms. The food served is a delicious buffet spread of local, Indian and continental delicacies.
What all items should my child bring to this camp?
Once you register and pay for the camp, the camp instructor will send out the camp advice and general guidelines to every participant. This document will contain all the necessary information, a checklist of items to carry, etc.
Will my child be safe during the camp?
Don’t worry at all! Your child’s safety is of paramount importance to us. The camp instructor is well trained with regards to child protection and health and safety