Jungle Safari #1
05:30 AM – 09:00 AM
Jaldapara National Park
Safaris can be taken in two ways – elephants and jeep.
First elephant safari begins at 06:00 AM and last safari begins at 08:00 AM. These elephant safaris lasts for 60 minutes. The problem with elephant safari is that there are only 4 elephants, each carrying 4 tourists, in 3 shifts. So only 48 person can enjoy the elephant safari in one day. Bookings cannot be made beforehand. Tourists at Hollong Lodge are given priority because the property and elephant safaris are maintained by WBTDCL.
Price for elephant safari is Rs 600 per person but total cost can go over Rs 800 per person which includes vehicle entry, parking and pick-up and drop charges.
Jeep safaris are very easily booked. Every resort and hotel makes the booking for jeep safari.
You can also book your jeep safari from vehicle owners in Madarihat market. Jeep safaris are allowed in 3 shifts – 2 in the morning and 1 in the evening.
Morning timings are: 05:30 AM to 07:00 AM & 07:00 AM to 08:30 AM
Evening timings: 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM.
Total cost of hiring a jeep will be around Rs 2000 and can accommodate 6 person. This is cheaper than elephant safari.
Jungle Safari #2
01:30 PM – 03:30 PM
Chilapata Forest safaris happen in 4 shifts – 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.
Morning Timings: 05:30 AM – 07:00 AM & 07:30 AM – 09:00 AM
Evening Timings: 02:00 PM – 03:30 PM & 04:00 PM – 05:30 PM
The forest is 20 km away from Madarihat and takes 45 min to reach. Booking your jeep at your hotel which will cost around Rs. 1500. Bookings can also be made online at https://wbsfda.org/.
Sunset at Phuentsholing
04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
After being occupied with jungle safaris in the day, head towards India-Bhutan border at Phuentsholing.
Phuentsholing is the entry point of Bhutan. Bhutan Gate is an important landmark and tourist attraction. The hills of Phuentsholing are perfect vantage point to capture the captivating views of sunset. Although in Bhutan, tourist are allowed to roam and explore the town and its market with limited restriction and beyond a point tourist are not allowed without proper documents. This is probably the only place for you to buy something that is traditional and can be kept as a souvenirs.
Head back to your rooms and that will be it for the day!
Also read: Best area to book your hotel in Dooars
Forest and Tribal Village Excursion
09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Buxa Forest is much larger green cover than Jaldapara and so the safaris are longer in this forest. Safaris begin at 06:00 AM and entries are limited. Make your arrangements one day before at your hotel reception. Although the forest is much denser than the others, wildlife sighting will depend on your luck.
After the safari, you head towards a tribal village – Jayanti.
Jayanti village lies in Buxa region and is famous for Mahakhal Temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva. These temples have a rough and difficult accessway and definitely not meant for children and elders or anybody having any ailment.
Your next attraction will be Buxa Fort which takes 45 minutes from Jayanti village.
Buxa Fort is no longer a standing fort. It’s almost destroyed and that too for a very long time. The reason why tourists visit the fort is the get a glimpse from the viewpoint near the fort.
After this you head back to your hotel and get some rest.
Also read: Jaldapara Itinerary
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Today you check out from Madarihat / Jaldapara and head towards Jalpaiguri. (Doing this is necessary because it saves time for people who have to take a flight or train the next day for their return journey.)
Jalpaiguri is 100 km from Jaldapara and takes close to 2 hours. You must book your hotel in Lataguri. Lataguri is the entry point of Gorumara National Park and getting your tickets for safaris is much easier.
Gorumara National Park
01:00 PM – 04:00 PM
Gorumara National Park is the most popular jungle safari in north Bengal. Hence it has to be in your itinerary.
Safaris take place in 4 shifts – 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening
Morning Timings: 06:00 AM – 07:30 AM & 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Evening Timings: 02:00 PM – 03:30 PM & 04:30 PM – 06:00 PM
Book your slot for 2:00 – 3:30 slot and for that you need to the get the permit between 01:00 PM – 02:00 PM for the ticket counters in Lataguri.
Prices of the safaris will depend on the areas you are willing to explore.
Teesta River Barrage
05:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Teesta River Barrage has become a popular tourist attraction in the region due to the fact that you get a soothing and mesmerizing view of the sunset and the golden peak of Kangchenjunga. There are a few roadside stalls for you to indulge in some local street food.
This will bring an end to your adventurous trip of Dooars!