Hornbill Festival, Tigers & Head-Hunters

India

Cultural Immersion

Discover one-horned rhinos, elephants and other wildlife in Kaziranga National Park. Take a boat on the Brahmaputra River to Majuli, one of the largest river islands in the world, before finally entering Nagaland. Bordering onto Myanmar, Nagaland is steeped in history and tribal tradition. Wander through tribal villages and soak up the atmosphere at the Hornbill Festival, where Naga culture is brought to life in colourful song and dance. Visit the solemn WWII cemetery in Kohima then cross into Manipur and wander around India's only women-run market in Imphal and experience the tranquility of Loktak lake, known for its rich birdlife and rural culture.

Itinerary

Jorhat → Kaziranga → Jorhat → Majuli → Jorhat → Mon → Sibsagar → Dimapur → Kohima → Imphal → Loktak Lake → Imphal

Day 1: Jorhat - Kaziranga

On arrival in Jorhat, your guide and driver will escort you to Kaziranga National Park. Check into the lodge and rest of the day free to relax. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Day 2: Kaziranga

Early morning game drive in Kaziranga. Return to the lodge for breakfast. Free time to rest or visit the nearby Orchid Sanctuary. After lunch, proceed for afternoon game drive. Return to the lodge for dinner. An evening to relax. The evening is free to relax. Overnight in Kaziranga.

Day 3: Kaziranga - Jorhat

Early wake up with a hot cup of chai and biscuits. A jeep will take you to the Central Sector for your elephant safari [optional]. Return to the jungle lodge for breakfast. The rest of the morning is free at your leisure. In the afternoon, leave for a jeep safari in the eastern sector. Afterwards, leave for Jorhat. On arrival check into your accommodation. Evening free to rest. Overnight in Jorhat.

Day 4: Jorhat - Majuli - Jorhat

Get an early morning private boat and spend the day exploring one of the largest river islands in the world. Visit the island's ancient satras (rare Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries worshipping Lord Vishnu) and pop into the local mask and pottery workshops to watch master craftsmen at work. In the afternoon, take the boat back to Jorhat. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Jorhat.

Day 5: Jorhat - Mon

After breakfast, drive to Mon District, home to the Konyak Naga tribe. Once one of the most elaborate and fierce head-hunting tribes of Nagaland, the tribal elders still exhibit signs of their ancient customs including tattooed faces, elaborate headdresses, and many of their homes still display animal skulls. Overnight in Mon.

Day 6: Mon

Full day exploring more of Mon, including a visit to the village of Longwa which straddles both India and Myanmar. Take a look inside a typical tribal bamboo hut and learn about their way of life. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Mon.

Day 7: Mon - Sibsagar

After breakfast, leave for Sibsagar, the former capital of the Ahom Dynasty. The road will be bumpy so the rest of the day will be free to rest. Overnight in Sibsagar.

Day 8: Sibsagar

Spend the day visiting the ruins of the Ahom dynasty in Sibsagar. Later also visit the nearby Mising tribal village to get an insight into rural village life in Assam. Overnight in Sibsagar.

Day 9: Sibsagar - Dimapur

Leave for Dimapur, the second largest town in Nagaland which borders Assam. Check in to your accommodation and enjoy lunch. Afterwards, visit the Dimasa Kachari ruins and the Kali Temple. The evening is free to relax. Overnight in Dimapur.

Day 10: Dimapur - Kohima

Drive to Kohima and visit the famous World War II cemetery in Kohima, commemorating the British and Nagas who fought side-by-side to defeat the Japanese. Check-in at the hotel and later in the evening, visit the local street food carnival where numerous food stalls serve local snacks. Overnight in Kohima.

Day 11: Kohima

After breakfast, set off for the village of Kisama on the outskirts of Kohima. Stop at the viewpoint en-route for excellent views of the valley. On arrival in Kisama, take your seat in the amphitheatre where the main tribal performances will take place. This day of the festival typically sees tribes from all over North East India's 'Seven Sister' states perform traditional dances depicting war cries or customs relating to their interaction with nature and agriculture. During the day visit the many 'morungs' (communal tribal hut) set up around the venue. Each tribe has its own unique morung. After the festival finishes, return to the hotel. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Kohima.

Day 12: Kohima

Arrive around 9 am at the festival ground. This gives ample time to wander around the morungs again and take photos of the various tribes. This day usually sees each of the Naga tribes performing dances or enacting scenes relating to war and their way of life. The Nagas are the most elaborately dressed of the tribes in North East India, so this is perhaps the most important day of the festival. There are various food stalls serving Naga specialities, which includes smoked pork - the aroma can be smelt all around the venue! Visit the handicraft and textile shops where you can pick up some Naga souvenirs. Return to the hotel, where the evening is free to rest. Overnight in Kohima.

Day 13: Kohima - Imphal

Set off for Imphal, the capital of Manipur. On arrival, check-in at the hotel and after refreshing have lunch then proceed to Khwairamband Bazaar (also known as Ima Keithel market), which is predominantly run by women and the largest of its kind in India. Evening free and overnight in Imphal.

Day 14: Imphal - Loktak Lake - Imphal

Day trip to Loktak Lake, the largest 'floating national park' in the world, and one of the most picturesque lakes in India. Stop at the viewpoint for tea/coffee and take in panoramic vistas of the lake before driving to the shore where you will board traditional wooden boats for a tranquil ride on the lake against the stunning backdrop of the Sendra Hills. Watch your boatsman navigate the moving phumdis and how fishermen catch their haul. Afterwards, take a short village walk to get an insight into local life. Enjoy a traditional Manipuri lunch and cultural show depicting local dance forms. Late afternoon return to Imphal. Evening free. Overnight in Imphal.

Day 15: Departure

Morning free at leisure. Optional visit to Kangla Fort (closed on Wed, opens at 10 am) before transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Note: extensions to other parts of the region or India can be organised. Contact us for more information.

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Map

What's included

Accommodation

Accommodation as per itinerary

Meals

Day 1: Dinner

Day 2-14: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 15: Breakfast

Guided tours

Guided tours as per itinerary (only local guides)

Transport

Transfers as per itinerary

Support

24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line

English-speaking guide

ABTA and ATOL bonded

Not Included

International flights

Meals not mentioned

Optional tours and activities

Personal expenses

Highlights

Watch one-horned rhino & wildlife in Kaziranga

Enjoy song and dance at the Hornbill Festival

Discover Satras and village life on Majuli island

Explore ruins of Ahom Dynasty in Sibsagar

Learn tribal culture of Nagaland

Observe the unique floating 'phumdis' at Loktak Lake

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USA

I decided to take my dad to the World Cup to watch Ecuador play and enjoy the opening ceremony. After some online research, I found World Of Discoveries and I am beyond glad I found them. I trusted them with all the details and our experience was exceptional. World of Discoveries personalized approach is something I beyond appreciate; the team was in touch and answer my questions super timely and very clearly (I had many many questions). I received guidance on next steps as we were approaching the world cup and I knew I was not going to miss any details because they were on top of everything. The World Cup experience was above and beyond what we expected. We didn't have to worry about anything, World of Discoveries took care of the logistics and planned everything for us! even our side trip to Dubai was unforgettable! Thankful to companies that deliver above and beyond expectations and help us make memories that we will cherish forever. I can't wait for our next adventure!

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Costa-Rica

Our experience with World of Discoveries has been impeccable. From Qatar’s World Cup onwards, they will be our #1 choice. Varya, Iren, Nathan, Damon, Iren, Lina; Anna and all the rest of the Wofdi team: Thank you!

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Canada

We came across WOFDI last spring when we were trying to figure out how to attend the World Cup. The staff at WOFDI organized game tickets and accommodation for us. Communication was excellent throughout. They provided airport transfer and cultural tours as well. Wonderful experience!

Juan Torres & Family

Mexico

worldcup experience (A+) It is great when companies do exactly what you paid for. Host Anna, was amazing at answering all questions and posting in the WhatsApp groups the timings and what to expect in each of the stages of the trip. Seats could have been a little better but we were told that it was a Fifa decision.

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USA

Best Staff, Great Communication The communication and assistance from the Michael from the beginning, Alex during the pre-tour and post tour and Anna during the tour was better than exceptional; we were well taken care of. The staff truly cared about us having a memorable experience and their efforts greatly contributed to that happening. I’ll definitely be looking into their other tours.