August 2 - 3, 2014

    The Monsoons are here, and along with Nikon we bring to you our flagship expedition in to the heart of western ghats. An expedition of a lifetime into Agumbe's thick evergreen forests that receives the second highest rainfall in India. Spend 2 days in the rainforests of Agumbe. Here's your chance to photograph some of the most beautiful waterfalls, landscapes, forests, mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians ever seen.

    Camp at our brand new Centre for Rainforest Ecology and explore some undiscovered areas of the rainforest. Learn how researchers work in the field first hand. Trek through the pristine forests which are home to several rare and endemic species of animals which are to be found no where else on the planet. To help you understand and photograph the bio-diversity, you'll be with me and field experts from Center for Rainforest Ecology, who'll guide you through photography, natural history and bio-diversity.

    On this expedition, we take you through some of the most pristine and least known areas of Western ghats. About 510 bird species, 260 reptile species, 140 mammal species, 180 amphibian species and thousands of plants and other animals most of which are endemic and are to be found nowhere else on earth, make Western ghats their home. About 25% of India's biodiversity is found here.

    Take a look at the photo-story on western ghats

Photography

  • The expedition is aimed at creating the best platform for photography. With the help of local trackers and professionals, you can expect to get the best possible settings for your photographs. Going to the right place at the right time and getting constant updates of what's happening in the vicinity are just a few ways we make sure you get the best shot.
  • There won't be any class-room sessions or beginner lessons in this workshops. You'll learn advanced tips and tricks of photographing in the field. All the learning will be done one on one. If you are not a photographer or you are a beginner, you are still welcome to join the group for a purely exhilarating Rainforest and wildlife experience.
  • The Rainforest is a magical place, almost everyone will have something that'll interest them. Hence you don't need to bother much about the equipment/camera gear. A macro and wide-angle lens is preferable but not required.

Conservation

  • Power that photographs possess to elicit responsible action towards conservation is being realized all the more. Apart from being a tool and an art form it also holds the key to bring to light the beauty of the wild and also gory details of how pristine forests are being destroyed.
  • Each photograph can be in parts helpful in aiding research by providing the much needed photographic evidence, spreading the message of conservation and also adding valuable data to the pool
  • Some of our previous participants after being part of the expedition have volunteered for the research projects at Agumbe and helped a great deal
  • Your participation also provides monetary support to existing projects and plays an important role in its conservation efforts
  • Day 1(Saturday) - Reach Agumbe in the morning and take a small 10 minute ride to the base camp and have breakfast. Then a short introduction to Agumbe and Western ghats and a tour of the basecamp and a small hike around where Malabar giant squirrels, variety of snakes, butterflies, frogs etc can be photographed. Relax for a bit, have lunch and then head to see and learn about field research. Then head to the famous kundadri hills to photograph the landscape in the lovely evening light. Come back, have tea, relax for a bit and then a brief photo review session. Have dinner and head to a night trail to photograph some really interesting nocturnal animals like Flying Squirrels, Slender Loris and some recently discovered frogs.
  • Day 2(Sunday) - Wake up early in the morning, go on a morning trail to photograph some birds, butterflies and snakes that would have come out to bask. Come back have breakfast and head to the beautiful waterfall and stream nearby which have been stages for many documentaries from National Geographic and BBC. Come back have lunch and rest for a bit. Head to the famous Jogi gundi waterfalls. Come back have tea and head to the famous sunset point and then back to the camp for dinner

  • My objective to be on a trip like this was really really diverse from the rest! I was there despite not having one of those fandu killer machines 'cause I needed to have a different perspective of things...the wild. I have shocked myself by heading out in the direction of the deadly cobra! For a person who freaks out at the sight of a cockroaches... this is a big big thing ! I guess Amogh kinda caught that! Which is why he'd call out my name - when there was a frog or a snake in the vicinity !

    I grew up like some of us did. With phobias about these creatures. But lately, I'd become aware of the need to remove myself from where I was. From where I stood, there was no way I could encourage my child to be fearless and explore - Hema Menon

  • When it comes to taking good photograph, I think we need 4 ingredients... Photographer, Equipment, Knowledge of photography and the subject. When I signed up for Rainforest photo expedition with Amogh I knew that I will have 3 out of the 4 ingredients for sure... Photographer - that's me, Equipment - Canon 500D my camera with appropriate lenses and Knowledge of Photography - With Amogh leading us, there is no need to think about this. But I was not sure about the Subject, I knew Agumbe rainforests are very rich in flora and fauna but was not sure what we will get.

    When we reached Agumbe on Saturday morning with in few minutes I knew I have hit a jackpot and 2 full days are not enough to capture all the things that Agumbe offers. The rainforests are filled with flora and fauna that you can shoot (with your camera ofcourse). It was a dream come true for me, it is undoubtedly photographers haven and in my opinion every wild life photographer, armature or professional, should visit Agumbe atleast once in their life time - Ravi Narayana

  • Deepa's blog about the expedition here and here

  • Sharath's Journal and pictures here

  • Monish's Journal and pictures here, here and here

  • Saroj's photographs here

Cost of this expedition ex-Agumbe is Rs 13,400/-

The cost includes :
  • Accommodation on twin-sharing basis in tents. Tents are pitched about 100m from the base camp in the forest to provide a unique experience. They are pitched inside permanent platforms raised above the ground. Sleeping bags, mats etc. are provided
  • All meals, local guide/tracker charges, Leech socks (provided in monsoons)
  • Transport in private vehicles to different places around Agumbe
Excludes:
  • Transport to and from Agumbe
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Medical Insurance
  • Purchases made outside
  • Agumbe is about 370kms from Bangalore, with a drive time of 9hrs
  • You'll have to be ready to trek about 3kms a day
  • It's the rainforest so it'll be raining most times
  • The food and accommodation will be basic as it's a field research station
  • You'll have to follow the rules and regulations of the forest dept and the camp while you are there
  • All participants must sign the declaration form before the beginning of the program
  • Any cancellation has to be done at-least 15 days in advance for a refund, no refund will be possible later.
    More than 45 days before departure : 70% refund
    45 - 29 days before departure : 50% refund
    30 - 15 days before departure : 40% refund
    Less than 15 days before departure : no refund
  • Is electricity available at Basecamp?
    The basecamp is run on solar and generator (in case of emergency) and hence power is very limited which calls for responsible usage. Charging of camera batteries and mobiles are permitted.
  • Can I use my mobile at camp?
    BSNL mobiles work in patches.
  • Is there access to the internet?
    Internet facilities are not available at Agumbe Village.
  • Are permissions required to travel around Agumbe?
    Agumbe Reserve forests falls under the purview of the Anti Naxal squad, which is a special police force deputed to target and remove a group of anti-social elements called the Naxalites. In view of this the anti naxal squad conducts regular combing operations in these forests. Hence any person visiting Agumbe or willing to venture into the Agumbe Reserve forests or other adjoining forests must seek permission and intimate the police station. Since visitors are part of CRE, the CRE staff does this on behalf of them. Hence it is required that all visitors strictly adhere to rules and regulations at CRE for their own safety and for CRE's safety.
  • Is non-vegetarian food served at camp?
    Mostly vegetarian food dominates the menu but occasionally non-vegetarian food is also served.
  • Is there a hospital near by?
    At CRE we have first aid facilities with basic medicines. We have a Primary Health center. However there are no pharmaceutical shops that sell medicines. It is hence required that visitors carry their own medicines with them. Hospital with admission and emergency facilities are available at Melige Hospital,Thirthahalli approximately 32km away from CRE.
  • Is there access to the internet?
    Internet facilities are not available at Agumbe Village.
  • Can I collect specimens, fossils/ shells / rocks etc?
    No. Nothing from the forest can be removed. This is against law unless specific permissions from the Karnataka State Forest Department are sought.
  • Can I venture into the forest alone?
    Visitors are allowed to move alone within the premises of CRE only after informing the CRE staff. If venturing outside the premises it is mandatory that visitors be accompanied by a field assistant / local tracker. This is to ensure your safety
  • Is handling of animals allowed at CRE?
    Handling of any animals in the Agumbe Reserve Forest or within the premises of CRE is strictly prohibited by all visitors unless under exceptional conditions and under supervision of the conservation officer.
  • Can we wear camouflaged clothes?
    Camouflaged or olive or khaki colored clothes or bags are strictly prohibited. Reason being, since both the anti naxal squad and Naxalites prefer these colors it is important for visitors to distinguish themselves by choosing other colored clothes and accessories (black, grey, brown, blue). This ensures that visitors are not suspected by either groups and also gives a clear indication to villagers of their neutral position.
  • How can I avoid leech and tick bites?
    Leeches in the monsoon and ticks during other times are a given in the rainforest. While you may not be able to completely avoid you may use certain methods to control. One may apply Neem oil or Lemon grass oil before venturing into forests. We advise visitors to take bath every evening and use antiseptics such as Dettol or Savlon. Applying turmeric powder to wounds also serves well as an antiseptic.
    You can contact me for any further information at mail@amoghavarsha.com or +91 9901044344.

    To signup for the expedition leave your contact details here and we'll contact you

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