ChaloHoppo to Meghalaya, Kaziranga and Majuli
Rhino sighting, walking over living root bridges and a quiet time in the wilderness. Did we mention that you will be ferrying over the Brahmaputra and spending a night on the largest river island as well? This is only a brief description of what you can expect in this expedition. Keep them camera batteries ready!
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
With the Brahmaputra river skirting the area of the national park in the north, east and west, annual floods brings both nourishment and destruction. So when winter comes plan your winter sojourn for a safari of a lifetime. Before that your drive to Cherrapunji on beautifully laid out roads, skirting calm meadows decorated with a few homes. otherwise visiting the caves and relaxing in your resort under a blanket of stars isn’t a bad idea.
After driving along the tea gardens of Assam, ferry across the vast Brahmaputra to be welcomed by your hosts, in the world’s largest river island- Majuli. Live in stilt huts and enjoy the calm of the island. Your soul is going to go for a major refreshment.
The cost is for 2 people travelling in a Swift Dzire with all inclusions as mentioned in the itinerary.
For other costs and variations in accommodation options, please fill this form.
This trip will be active from November to March.
- Overnight accommodation in comfortable, clean and hygienic accommodation
- Breakfast on all days
- English Speaking guide for Nongriat
- English speaking guide for Shnongpdeng
- One ChaloHoppo Representative on all days
- Internal Transport in a vehicle mentioned above
- All parking, tolls, and driver allowances
- Lunch and Dinner at Nongriat
- All meals at Shnongpdeng (In case of Option 2)*
- Local vehicle for Majuli
- Local guide for Majuli
- Jeep safari at Kaziranga
- Cycle/Scooter on rent in Majuli
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages costs apart from the ones mentioned above
- Fuel cost for bike rental in Majuli
- Any camera fees
- Hotel & driver tips (Since the locals earn low wages, your tips can show them your appreciation)
- Entry ticket fees to Museums, Parks, etc.
- Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Elephant safari (we don’t encourage people to go on elephant safaris since it leads to harsh treatment of elephants and capture of the wild ones)
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”.
Driving to a dry Cherrapunji
Welcome to Guwahati! But your real journey begins when you drive on NH 40 to be lead you away from the bustling capital city of Assam to a cooler and greener Meghalaya. Enroute stop to pick up some juicy and delicious pineapples from the little town of Nongpoh. If you like pickles, then pick those as well. Stopover at a cafe in Upper Shillong to be in atmosphere that reflects Shillong’s love for automobiles. Check into your stay in Cherrapunji and walk around to absorb the vibe of the place.
The itinerary assumes that you start the drive latest by 11 am.
Total drive time from Guwahati airport to Cherrrapunji will be 4.5 hours.
Trek to the Living Root Bridges
Waking up early would give you the chance to explore the beautiful stream that flows behind the resort. After breakfast drive to Tyrna village, the start of the famous Double decker living root bridges trek. The descend takes a maximum of 2 hours (3600 steps) as you trek an approximate distance of 3.5 kms. Avid trekkers can even complete the descend in 45 minutes. On the way, the guide will try and let you pluck some local fruits that grow during that season, if you wish(we take permission from the villagers before plucking anything and even compensate them for it). This trek is nothing like a typical trek as you need to climb down a staircase. Your knees will start to give in and you may find your thighs shaking and you will be drenched in your sweat but you will recover every drop of that sweat when you reach your destination. After you reach the end of the stairs and finally see the Double decker living root bridge, the guide will take you to a hidden rock pool for you to freshen up (since the pool in front of the Double decker bridge may be crowded). The evening will be spent around the bonfire(depending on the temperature) and star gazing while sipping on hot red/ black tea.
Total drive time from Shnongpedeng to Tyrna parking lot will be 3.5 hours.
Total time taken for the trek to reach homestay from the parking lot will be 1.5 to 2 hours. Carry a water bottle that can be filled up along the way. Refrain from buying mineral water and reduce the plastic content that is becoming a problem in Nongriat.
Hiking to Rainbow falls and swimming
Waking up early(6 am) will ensure that you get to spend quality time near the Double decker living root bridges before day trekkers start pouring in while getting a natural fish pedicure at the pool in front of the bridges. Ideally by 8 am, you should start the trek to Rainbow falls. Today’s trek is more akin to a trek on a rugged stony trail. This takes an hour from the homestay. Remember to carry packed lunch since you won’t be back till about 3 pm. The blue rock pools will make you want to stay there forever but then you have to trek back up to Cherrapunji today. Be equipped with torches, since it will be likely that you may have to trek in the dark. The ascend once you reach the homestay can take up to 2.5 hours. Upon reaching your resort give yourself the well deserved rest and sleep.
Life jackets are essential for you to be able to enjoy the blue rock pools of Nongriat if you don’t know how to swim.
Total time for the trek from homestay to Rainbow falls is approximately 1 hour one way.
Total time for the trek from homestay to parking lot (Tyrna) will be 2 to 2.5 hours.
Total drive time from Tyrna parking lot to resort will be 45 minutes.
Camping beside the transparent river
Honestly after you have seen the Rainbow falls from such close quarters, all other falls before the monsoon will seem petty. So skip all the usual sightseeing and head straight to the Arwah caves where you can spot stalactites and stalagmite formations. The cave will be interesting for those probably haven’t been inside a cave before. After that head towards Shnongpdeng village, the river that passes through this village is known for its absolutely transparent waters. This is probably the most famous picture of Meghalaya that has been circulated in the web. Except you probably know it as Dawki. Tonight you camp by the riverside and enjoy the calm of the village and the river. Crash in your tents with the million stars above you and a bonfire keeping you company.
Total drive time from Cherrapunji to Shnongpdeng will be 3 hours.
An adventure filled day
Have your cup of lal chai and laze around till 10 am since that’s when the village opens up for you to indulge in water based activities such as cliff jumping, snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving, zip lining and swimming. You can also go for country boat rides on the transparent waters of Umngot river where the fishes swim along with you. You can also go for country boat rides on the transparent waters of Umngot river where the fishes swim along with you. Return to the campsite for lunch and then make your way to Shillong for the night. Start your drive by around 1 pm so that you can explore some cafes in Shillong before retiring for the night.
Total drive time from Shnongpdeng to Shillong will be 3 hours.
A jeep safari in Kaziranga
Good morning! Your grogginess should be shrugged away for today, since the animals in the wild await you. An early breakfast will ensure that you start in time to reach Kaziranga for your afternoon jeep safari. While you are almost certain to see the famous one-horned rhino and deer, you could get lucky and spot the Indian leopard, the clouded leopard and even the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Total drive time from Shillong to Kaziranga will be 6 hours.
Ferrying into Majuli
You need to start early today as well. Drive to Nemati ghat to catch your morning ferry (8 am or 10 am) to Majuli island and float on the waters of the Brahmaputra. The ferry ride is an experience in itself where you travel with the locals. A vehicle awaits you on the other side of the river that takes you to your stay. Let life slow down while you explore the Mishing villages of Majuli. The island, being a haven for vibrant Vaishnavite culture has a lot of activities that you may indulge in. Whether you choose to visit the famed mask-makers house or maybe experience the traditional hymns and dances in the Xatras(Traditional Schools of Vaishnavite culture), Majuli has a lot to offer. You can also go for a sunset boat ride on the Brahmaputra in the evening. At night it is time to enjoy some delicious food and a perfectly brewed glass of the local black rice beer aka kala apong.
Total drive time from Kaziranga to Nimati ghat will be 3 hours
Total time take taken by ferry to reach Kamlabari ghat(Majuli) will be 1.3 hours.
A jungle trek on foot
Go for a morning walk and then rent some cycles or scooters if you would like to explore the island on your own. Overall you will experience the bliss of Majuli and the calm of this river island will definitely have a soothing influence. Reach in time to catch your last ferry at 3 pm to reach Jorhat and drive to the Gibbon wildlife sanctuary, or Hoollongapar Gibbon as locally known, is popular for its distinction as a host for India’s only ape species — The Hoolock Gobbons.
Total time take taken by ferry to reach Nemati ghat from Kamlabari ghat(Majuli) will be 2.3 hours.
Total drive time from Nemati ghat to Gibbon wildlife sanctuary will be 1.3 hours.
Fly out from Jorhat
Wake up early since that gives you the best chance of spotting wild animals. The unique aspect of this sanctuary is that walking safari is the only way to explore the forest as the jungle is too thick for any kind of vehicles to pass through.
The luxury of leaving the resort lazily depends on the time you book your flight. Preferably book the last flight.
Drive time from Kaziranga to Guwahati airport will be 5.5 hours.
Each cottage in this resort is differently designed. From the exteriors to the interiors, not a single cottage is identical. If room service isn’t your priority, this is the place to be.
Undoubtedly the best stay option in Cherrapunji for anyone who is willing to spend anywhere to between 10 to 18 k a room. it is worth every penny.
Nothing to describe about the homestays in Nongriat apart from asking you to leave the conventional idea of stays and what they offer. Choose between rooms or camping on roofs.
Byron, the owner of the homestay is a hard working man. His kitchen is always stocked up and he offers the best food amongst all the homestays in Nongriat.
Pioneer adventures camp
Your idea of riverside camping will either be fulfilled or you will be overwhelmed by the serenity that reside on the river side.
You have a toilet with running water on the river bank and have to walk over a hanging bridge to reach here. The campsite’s location ensures that your tents are secured from the winds that usually blow across the river.
Sha Ri Loum guest house
Would you like it if the place where you are staying in had pine trees all around? Oops we are sorry if you have allergy from pinecones!
Perched on a hillock, this provides for a very cozy and comfortable stay. If having a restaurant in the property isn’t a priority then you would enjoy all the other comforts that this 7 roomed property provides.
Dhansiri eco camp
Extend your safari to the wild side of Assam by booking yourself a cottage which is true to the promise of Kaziranga. No, there isn’t any electricity in the stay!
Le Maison de anand
No Frenchmen running this property but the Mising man is a sweetheart who serves up some delicious traditional cuisine.
Gibbon eco camp
A basic facility to stay near the Gibbon park.
Entry to the states of Meghalaya does not require a permit.
A most definite yes, as long as you are okay travelling in a mixed group of other solo travellers or small group of friends.
Not all travellers who sign up for a tour with ChaloHoppo are swimmers so the experience doesn’t get hampered due to lack of that skill. It is certainly an advantage for those can swim but life jackets can be rented along with a guide to ensure safety of the travellers.
- Thermals and sweaters, woollen socks
- balaclava/ beanie (something that covers your ears and your head)
- mufflers and nose mask (to cover the nose as some people catch cold if their nose is exposed)
- Sports socks and Swimwear for the Nongriat trek, you can also get swimming goggles or snorkelling masks, and swimming cap
- Raincoat (just in case, since you are travelling in ‘abode of clouds’)
- Trekking shoes (basic ones will do)
- quick dry towels (plastic bag/ ziplock to carry your wet clothes)
- Allergy medications and other medicines, since these are very remote places with very little access to most basic things.
- A non disposable water bottle to fill water and AVOID BUYING MINERAL WATER
- ID Proof – Voters card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Drivers license/ Aadhar cardYou can always buy these things from the Decathlon (1 km away from the airport) in Guwahati, if you wish.
Other things that you may bring along :
head lamps/ Torches with batteries
Playing cards and small board games,in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Go pro for under water shots
Homestay: Alcohol shall not be provided at the homestays, so those who enjoy their drinks are advised to carry it from before.
Swimming: You have to be careful as it’s deep and sometimes the current could pull you in. If you aren’t a swimmer, please mention that specifically and put a request for renting a life jacket on email.
Avoid plastic: Please avoid buying mineral water, specifically while in Nongriat(Double decker living root bridges village) since it is a major cause of pollution in the delicate eco system of Nongriat. Remember to take up whatever you bring down.
The cultural diversity of northeast India is so vast that we can’t blame outsiders for not being aware of communities in the region who are purely vegetarians, so much so that they avoid eating onions( they are indigenous to the region, in case you are thinking about communities from mainland India who have settled here). Having said that, we must admit that the region’s food habits especially in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are predominantly non vegetarian with a whole lot of red meat based preparations. But the states have warmed up to tourists recently and almost every place you visit will provide the Indian staple diet of rice, dal and sabji, even chapatis if you are lucky. As far as Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Sikkim are concerned vegetarians have decent number of options. Your craving for butter paneer may not be satisfied, but you will do just fine as far as maintaining your health and strength is concerned.