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Impressions of Northeast India Itinerary

Day 1: Kolkata
Day 2: Imphal
Day 3: Imphal
Day 4: Kohima
Day 5: Kohima
Day 6: Kazaringa
Day 7: Kazaringa
Day 8: Cherrapunji
Day 9: Cherrapunji

Day 10: Night train
Day 11: Darjeeling
Day 12: Darjeeling
Day 13: Gangtok
Day 14: Gangtok
Day 15: Kolkata
Day 16:
Tour ends

Website, Images and text Steve Davey/ 1990 - 2023

item27This tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography, which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.

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The remote Northeast of India is outstandingly unique even in this amazingly unique country! Our adventurous trip starts in the fascinating city of Kolkata, before taking in the states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Sikkim.

Encompassing an entrancing range of subjects, you will be able to photograph tribes in Nagaland, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, seek out the seemingly pre-historic Indian Rhinos in the Kazaringa National Park and cross the breath-taking living bridges of Cherrapungi, woven out of the limbs of ancient trees – as well as photographing an almost bewildering array of people. We also hope to take one of Indias narrow-gauge toy trains to the hillstation of Darjeeling, one of the summer refuges of the British Raj.

This is an exploratory trip: Steve has visited Kolkata many times, but hasn't been to the other regions of this trip. We have secured the services of the incomparable Chetan as our leader who has much local experience. Steve will accompany the tour supplying his unique blend of photographic tuition and encouragement.

This exploratory adventure starts in the thriving and bustling city of Kolkata, one of the few cities in this vast country where there are still hand-pulled rickshaws. Kolkata is a run-down, yet engaging place with a faded colonial splendour, and some of the busiest streets, where all life seems to go on outdoors.

We fly from here to Imphal in the state of Manipur, before embarking on an atmospheric drive to Kohima in the state of Nagaland, where we visit a number of traditional tribal villages - one of the absolute highlights of this little visited state. As well as experiencing tribal life, we will also enjoy a local meal.

From Kohima we have a full-day drive to Assam and the incredible Kazaringa National Park. In two jeep safaris we will search out the prehistoric looking Indian One-Horned rhinos. Unlike the African rhinos, the skin of the Indian rhino is so thick, that it appears to be armour plated.

After a couple of relaxing nights in the jungles of Assam, we head to Cherrapungi - reputed to be the wettest place on Earth. Certainly there are many atmospheric waterfalls here, , but this town is more famous for the living bridges, which are woven out of the living branches of ancient trees. We will enjoy a trek to visit these bridges, before exploring a couple of traditional villages.

A night train takes us back to the state of West Bengal, where we will climb to the former hill-station of Darjeeling - one of the places where the British Raj used to seek respite from the monsoons when they ruled India. Darjeeling is an atmospheric place, and we will attempt to ride the famous narrow-gauge Toy Train.

Darjeeling has a fantastic view of the Himalayan Mountains, and is also home to a number of Tibetan refugees. We will visit the historic Ghoom Monastery.

Crossing to the state of Sikkim, we will visit the sprawling Rumtek Monastery, which is the seat of the Dharma Chakra Centre, before catching a flight back to Kolkata.


Although we have set out an itinerary above, there are always a number of gaps and things that are organised on the ground. One of the things that we specialise on my trips is wringing the most photo-opportunities out of any trip. In essence, this is the basis of all of our trips: it is not just the things that are listed on the itinerary that are the things that people remember, we are always seeking out things to stop for, engage with and photograph. There are a number of times when we have built in time to be flexible.

This is officially an exploratory trip: Steve has visited Kolkata on a number of occasions, but hasn't been to the other regions of this trip. We have secured the services of the incomparable Chetan as the local leader though, and he is experienced in the area. I am confident that we will be able to work together in our usual well-practiced way to create an incredible experience – even if it might be a little less polished than usual.

In some ways this is a positive advantage: seeing the way that Steve approaches a less familiar location gives a fantastic insight into how you can approach photographing new places that you travel to in future. If we simply usher you between pre-planned photo-opportunities, then you will learn less about how to take pictures yourself in future.

This trip has worked out more expensive than we had hoped. This is in part due to the higher costs of travel in the region, including taking two internal flights; but unfortunately due to the recent issues with Sterling following the UK's ridiculous mini-budget last year. The way that Intrepid prices up trips means that it will take some time for this shock to work its way through the system.

The single supplement has also come out rather high on this trip. Unfortunately this is a problem with any trip to India, where there is seldom such a thing as a discount for a single room. The single supplement on this trip is exactly what we are charged for a single place, and so there is nothing that we can do about it. It des mean though that we are simply unable to have any one in a single room without paying the supplement.

On this trip we will be covering some long distances. There is no way to avoid this. The reward will be the places that we are able to visit, but also the sheer fascination of being on the road in India and being able to get some inkling of just how vast and varied the country is.


To cope with the challenge of travel in the post-Covid era, we have introduced a variable pricing policy. Traditionally we have always priced our trips to be full, in order to keep prices as keen as possible. This means that dropping even a couple of places can severely affect the viability of a trip: more than that means we are running at a loss.

Rather than hike prices across the board to cover ourselves for people dropping out we have instituted this policy. The price varies per person, so if people drop out before paying the balance of the trip, but without us having the chance to replace them, then we are covered. In essence, this makes it more likely that the trip will still go ahead, and that we won't have to cancel the departure!

When you book a trip, you should assume and be prepared to pay the higher 8 person price. Obviously if the trip goes ahead with this number then you will benefit from more personal attention with your photography. Once we have the final payments in, and it is too late for people to pull out then we will notify you of the final price and action any refunds due to the actual numbers of people on the tour.

Highlights of this trip

• Thriving city of Kolkata

• Tribes of Nagaland

• Rumtek Monastery

• Cherrapunji 'living bridges'

• Toy train in Darjeeling

• Kazaringa National Park

• Extensive photographic tuition

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Start: 13 Nov. 2023

End: 28 Nov. 2023

Code: IONE23

Variable price structure.
Prices from:

8 pax 3095 pp
9 pax 3050 pp
10 pax 2995 pp
11 pax 2945 pp
12 pax 2895 pp

excl. flights, based on roomshare

Info about variable pricing

Min 8, max 12 people

Places left: 0

Trip is full

Trip is to be confirmed.

Single supplement: 750

Estimated current
flight cost 750

Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Tailor Made Dept. in London. Contact Steve Davey for information

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