About The Rainforest Wildlife and Conservation Photographic Expedition

Looking for a photographic destination of a lifetime? Looking to explore the tropical rainforests in its prime? Looking to help conserve some of best forest fragments in the country?

Well this is it!

This Conservation Photographic expedition will be conducted in the heart of one of the top Biodiversity Hotspots on earth - The Western Ghats. You will be spending 4 days exploring and photographing in and around Anamalais which is part of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. The area is home to some of the most beautiful and rarest mammals, birds, amphibians and plants in the world. This is also the field site of Nature Conservation Foundation's Rainforest Restoration Program.

Ranging in altitudes from 400m to 2600m in the southern Western Ghats, Anamalais is home to some of the rarest and magnificent mammals, birds, plants and amphibians in the world. Anamalais is home to the Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Brown Palm Civet, Nilgiri Marten, Asiatic Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and host of other mammals. These forests are also home to more than 400 species of birds, out of which many are found only in the Western Ghats and no where else. This area supports many species of amphibians and reptiles including some which are new to science, have been described from here.


  • Get a chance in a lifetime to see the Big 5 of Western Ghats
    • Lion-tailed Macaque
    • Nilgiri Langur
    • Brown Palm Civet
    • Nilgiri Tahr
    • Great Hornbill
  • This trip offers superb wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities in The best place in the Western Ghats.
  • You get to have a great holiday, an amazing wildlife experience and a chance to make a difference to the fragmenting forests
  • Your itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience from the surroundings of your luxury premier accommodations.
  • You will be guided by experienced field Naturalists and Wildlife Photographers
  • Opportunity to deploy TrailMaster Camera traps to capture nocturnal animals.

The Schedule

Expedition dates : Dec, 2012

Day 1

Reach Coimbatore early morning, by either the early morning flight or an overnight bus/train. You will be driven up the Western Ghats through 40 hairpin-bends going through some amazing wildlife habitats. If we are lucky, we will have a very good chance to see the endemic and endangered mountain goat of the Western Ghats, the Nilgiri Tahr. You will check-in into a 50 year old British bungalow where you will feel transported to a different era in time, a feeling of being an English Sahib. The fireplace and the sprawling verandah with an expansive well-maintained lawn and garden, finish the "awe-some" picture. After lunch, we head out to photograph the Lion-tailed Macaque in one of the forest fragments near-by. Come back in the evening for relaxation and tea after which we go out in the night looking for some of the nocturnal animals like Brown Palm Civet, Indian Flying Squirrel and if we are really lucky a Mouse Deer or a Slender Loris.

Day 2

Wake up early to photograph birds in the morning light and then head to "Seen God" to try some hand at landscape photography. After the light gets harsh, we go to wet everygreen shola where we will spend rest of the morning photographing frogs, insects and other macro subjects. We come back to the bungalow and review the photographs shot so far by all participants and critique some of the images. In the evening, we head to the edge of the park to look for Great Hornbills. If time permits, we will go on a night spot-lighting trip again and also deploy camera traps in one of the forest fragments.

Day 3

We wake up and spend the whole day inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve having obtained permits. Though large mammals are tough to see and photograph, its an excellent place for bird watching and bird photography. A lot of the endemic Western Ghats birds can be photographed here like the Wyanad laughing Thrush, White-bellied Treepie, Black and Orange Flycatcher, Rufous Babbler, etc. This is also an excellent place to photograph Malabar Trogons. The forests are also one of the best and give excellent opportunities to do landscape, plants and insect photography. We come back to the bunglow and spend rest of the day reviewing the photographs.

Day 4

We go to a patch of the forest where there is a very good chance of finding some hornbills. We will try to photograph these magnificent birds and also photograph Nilgiri Langur and Wild Elephants (if the guides track their location).

After lunch we leave our cameras behind and spend half a day helping Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) scientists and conservationists with their Rainforest Restoration Program. You get an overview of their work and we also go to a degraded forest fragment or an elephant corridor and learn about the role of this landscape in wildlife conservation. We may even collect some seeds and plant them in the nursery. This is a small token we leave behind to conserve these forests for the future generations and also create habitats for all the species we watch and photograph throughout the trip.

We pack-up and leave in the evening. On the way back we will try again to photograph the Nilgiri Tahr, Bonnet Macaques, and Indian Giant Squirrels.

It's About Photography - Lots of it!

This workshop will be very informal and fun. I and Mandanna will be shooting alongside you at all times. We will have discussion and assistance on specialized topics such as, for example, long lens technique, projection flash usage, action shooting, macro photography, wildlife observation, field craft and Rainforest animal behavior. Advanced techniques will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice.

This workshop is about photographing in the field. There will not be much classroom sessions and lectures. It is not the place for absolute beginners as there will be no basic photographic instruction per se. Participants and the group leader will work side by side, sharing their knowledge, vision, philosophy and experience. A small group of participants guarantees that the workshop leader is available to work with each one on a personal level at some point of the trip. This is a unique opportunity to travel and shoot with an experienced professional who knows the forests intimately and can take you to the best photography locations that are off the beaten track, and at the right time- when optimal light shines upon them.

Also on the trip will be a TrailMaster Camera trap unit, which can be used to rig up DSLR's which once deployed in the field can be left alone and when an animal cuts the Infrared beam, the camera takes a photograph by itself.

Because of the unique location of this workshop, and the excellent accommodations, this workshop adventure is open to spouses as well as photographers. Even non-photographers will find the locales visited and the wildlife viewing opportunities to be thrilling. The cost for non-photographers is the same as for active participants.

Photographic Ethic

Working in an area with high biodiversity and a lot of endangered species, its very important to maintain the highest standards in photography ethics. In this expedition, we will be very sensitive towards the subjects that we will be shooting. From limiting the amount of noise we make while watching and photographing animals to the light we use in the night, and also the number of times and the distance from which we flash a subject. We will not feed or handle any of the wildlife. We will respect the right of way and use of these areas by wildlife and local people. We will respect all park rules and access areas within the park only with relevant permits. We will be photographing with the highest integrity.

Reviews from past expedition


Dec, 2012

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is Rs 29,000 per person (but not inclusive of airfare/trainfare to Coimbatore). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals.

Accommodation is two person to a room. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be a supplementary charge of Rs 8000.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as much in advance as possible.

Note: The maximum group size is eight to allow for individual attention

What's Included?
  • All Park fees
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy
  • All meals inclusive of staff tips
  • Services of guides and drivers
  • Pickup and drop to Coimbatore
  • All local transportation in Valparai
  • Bottled water at all times
What is Not Included?
  • Your travel charges to and back to your hometown from Coimbatore
  • Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, insurance and airport taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages and sodas
  • Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary

Kindly read the FAQ for more details

What Do I Do Next?

If you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any queries to kalyan@rtns.org. To register for the safari, kindly leave your information below:

Name :
Email :
Phone :
Kindly read the FAQ for more details.