Wednesday, 15 June 2016

July to December, 2016 Programmes for nature lovers

With Nature in Mind

For details and registrations get in touch with us on
Email id:; Ph: 9969440476 / 9869611810
Please go through the Rules & Regulations, given at the end of this schedule, to be followed during Oikoessence Camps & Trails before registering.

 Residential Nature Camps

July, 2016

9th – 10th July, 2016 – Siddhagad
Siddhagad is known for its wonderful forest surroundings. Walking towards Siddhagad in monsoon will be a pleasant experience.
Camp charges: Rs. 3800/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 27th June, 2016.
Bus will leave from Swaminarayan temple opposite Dadar Station (E) at 6.30am sharp.

August, 2016

12th – 16th August, 2016 – Mandu and Bagh caves, Madhya Pradesh
Wrapped in lush green surroundings Vindhyas the Mandu is perfect example of Afghan architecture. Bagh caves are known for mural paintings by master painters of ancient India.
Camp charges: Rs. 8650/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 30th June, 2016.
Journey Details:
Mumbai-Indore-Mumbai by sleeper bus

26th – 29th August, 2016 – Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (full)
This unique wildlife sanctuary is located near Karad, Maharashtra. It is almost entirely man-made with an area of about 10.87sq kms.
Camp charges: Rs. 4500/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 21st April, 2016.
Journey Details:
26th August (Friday), 2016: Departure by 171411 Mahalaxmi Express from Mumbai CST at 20.23hrs. Reach Kirloskarwadi at 04.43hrs on 27th August, 2016.                                       
28th August (Sunday), 2016: Departure by 171412 Mahalaxmi Exp from Kirloskarwadi at 22.25hrs. Reach Mumbai CST at 07.25hrs on 29th August, 2016.

September, 2016

24th – 25th September, 2016 – Kaas Plateau
Listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kaas plateau is a home for many indigenous and endemic plants especially ground flora. Flowering of Balsams, Utricularias and Karvi bushes offers a spectacular view. It is a very good opportunity for plants lovers to observe variety of monsoon plant diversity.
Camp charges: Rs. 4250/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 9th September, 2016.
Bus will leave from Swaminarayan temple opposite Dadar station (E) at 6.30am sharp.

October, 2016

6th – 10th October, 2016 – Toranmal and Baripada (full)
Toranmal is one of less crowded hill stations of Maharashtra. Explore this part of Satpudarange and its flora and fauna. A very good example of community work can be seen in Baripada village. Villagers came together for protection of their own forest and also formed a Forest Protection Committee to strengthen it further.
Camp charges: Rs. 6950/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 9th June, 2016.
Journey Details: 3AC
6th October, (Thursday), 2016: Departure by 59441 Ahmedabad Pass from BCT at 22.40hrs. Reach Nandurbar at 12.45hrs on 7th October, 2016.                                       
9th October (Sunday), 2016: Departure by 51118 DHI CSN Pass from Dhule at 19.20hrs. Reach Mumbai CST at 04.05hrs on 10th October, 2016.

12th – 16th October, 2016 – Jaisalmer
Explore the golden city of Jaisalmer and Sam sand dunes which are part of the Thar dessert.
Camp charges: Rs. 17,000/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport from Jodhpur to Jodhpur.
Registration before: 28th July, 2016.
Flight tickets from Mumbai-Jodhpur-Mumbai or from any other city to-n-fro Jodhpur can be booked at extra cost (at actuals).

November, 2016

2th – 6th November, 2016 – Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chattisgarh
Chattisgarh holds tremendous amount of biodiversity. Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is aTiger Reserve and is close to Amarkantak - the origin of River Narmada.
Camp charges: Rs. 14,500/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 28th June, 2016.
Journey Details: 3AC
2nd November (Wednesday), 2016: Departure by 12261 Howarh Duronto from Mumbai CST at 17.15hrs. Reach Bilaspur JN at 09.55hrs on3rd November, 2016.                                       
6th November (Sunday), 2016: Departure by 12860 Gitanjali EXP from Bilaspur JN at 00.45hrs. Reach CSTM 21.20hrs on 6th November, 2016.

20th – 26th November, 2016 – Hampi, Badami and Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Hampi and Badami both are renowned World Heritage sites and have architectural marvels. Get a chance to observeKaradi – Local name for Sloth Bear in its natural habitat at Daroji.
Camp charges: Rs. 14,800/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 15th July, 2016
Journey Details:
20th November (Sunday), 2016: Departure by 17322 LTT Hubli Exp from LTT at 21.15hrs. Reach Badami at 13.48hrs on 21st November, 2016.            
25th November – Overnight Sleeper bus Journey from Hampi to Goa.                     
26th November (Saturday), 2016: Departure by 12052 Janshatabdi Exp from Madgaon at 14.30hrs. Reach Dadar at 23.05hrs on 26th November, 2016.

December, 2016

10th – 14th December, 2016 – Kumbhalgadh Sanctuary, Rajasthan
Named after the impressive historic fort of Kumbhalgarh, the sanctuary is located in Aravali hills. One can observe good number of fauna.
Camp charges: Rs. 15,550/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food, stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai. 
Registration before: 5th October, 2016
The cost includes food, stay and transport from Udaipur to Udaipur.      
Flight tickets from Mumbai-Udaipur-Mumbai or from any other city to-n-fro Udaipur can be booked at extra cost (at actual).

24th – 30th December, 2016 – Vedanthangal, Pichavaram and Puducherry (Pondicherry)
Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is a sanctuary protected by locals and one can observe many species of birds. Mangroves of Pichavaram are truly magnificent. Puducherry is a union territory of India. Influence of French architecture is a unique feature of its housing. 
Camp charges: Rs. 18,350/- per head. 10% discount for a child below 12 yrs.
The cost includes food (except train journey), stay and transport Mumbai to Mumbai.           
Registration before: 20th August, 2016.
Journey Details:
24th December (Saturday), 2016: Departure by 11017 Karaikal Exp from LTT at 12.05hrs. Reach Chennai Egmore at 11.008hrs on 25th December, 2016.            
28th December (Wednesday), 2016: Departure by 11006 Chalukya Exp from Puducherry at 20.30hrs. Reach Dadar at 05.45hrs on 30th December, 2016.

One day Programmes

Participants should bear their own expenses for travel and food and entry tickets (wherever required). Oikoessence will not bear any expenses for participants, unless mentioned.
Carry cap, sunglasses, and rainwear according to the season.
Prior registration is compulsory.
Duration of the trail will vary depending upon the sightings. However tentative duration is mentioned in the schedule.
 Group size -  5-20 participants.
Registrations will be on first come first serve basis.

July, 2016

24th July, 2016 – Yeoor
Have a look at monsoon flora and lots of arthropods in Yeoor forest range.
Meeting point: Patonapada, Yeoor; Time: 8.00am, Duration: 3 hrs
Charges – Free. Park entry fee and guide fee has to be paid by participants.

August, 2016

7th August, 2016 – Sagargad machi.
Situated in Alibaug, this fort gives a spectacular view of Alibaug region.
Meeting point: Swaminarayn temple, Dadar east. Bus will start at 6.30am sharp.
Charges – Rs. 1000/- per head. The cost includes Food (breakfast, lunch and evening tea); Travel by private vehicle Mumbai-Mumbai

September, 2016

18th September, 2016 – Prabal machi.
Located in between Panvel and Matheran this place holds variety of monsoon flora.
Meeting point: Swaminarayn temple, Dadar east. Bus will start at 6.30am sharp.
Charges – Rs. 1000/- per head. The cost includes Food (breakfast, lunch and evening tea); Travel by private vehicle Mumbai-Mumbai

October, 2016

2nd October, 2016 – Animal Hospital campus, Parel (subject to permission)
The campus of the animal hospital is one of the few green patches left in the city of Mumbai. It houses varieties of tree species that attracts variety of lesser fauna.
Meeting point: Main gate of animal hospital, Parel; Time: 8.00am, Duration: 3 hrs
Charges – Free.
November, 2016
27th November, 2016 – Owalekarwadi
Owalekarwadi planned butterfly habitat and attracts good number of butterflies.
Meeting point: Owala village bus stop; Time: 08.00am, Duration: 3 hrs
Charges – Free. Entry fee for the Owalekarwadi has to be paid by participants.

December, 2016

18th December, 2016 – Elephanta Island
Elephanta is a world renowned heritage site. But, the flora and fauna of natural environment cannot be ignored.
Meeting point: Ticket counter, Gateway of India; Time: 8.00am, Duration: half day
Charges – Free. Entry fee/s and guide fee has to be paid by participants. Please note that participants should bear their ferry charges Mumbai-Elephanta-Mumbai.

Rules & Regulations to be followed during OikoEssence Camps & Trails

1. Oikoessence Nature Camps and trails are educational camps and not luxury camps or picnics.

2. Basic necessities will be provided like simple and wholesome vegetarian food (tea/coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner), clean accommodation and toilets. During visits to remote forest areas participants will have to use open air toilets and rough it out.

3. During multiple accommodation facilities at the camp site participants must adjust to them and no separate accommodation will be provided. The group leader will decide the room allotments and the participants in the room, no alterations will be done.

4. Participants must follow strict discipline and no misbehavior will be tolerated any participant found doing so may be requested to leave the camp.

5. Detailed program of the following day will be briefed one day in advance.

6. Participants have to adhere to the given itinerary and no alterations by the participants will be entertained.

7. Participants should strictly follow the instructions of the group leader.

8. Smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.

9. Participants should take care of their belongings & valuable articles & will be solely responsible for them.

10. No portage will be provided.

11. Mineral water will not be provided unless mentioned.

12. OikoEssence will not be responsible for any mishap or catastrophe.

13. Wear comfortable walking shoes and never wear any high heels foot wear.

14. Please carry Water bottle, Cap, Torch, Mosquito repellents, Personal medicines and toiletries.

15. Do not wear any kind of perfume or deodorant while in the sanctuary.

16. Do not carry any music system or walkman, etc. in forest area.

17. Do not carry any inflammables and do not light fire in the forest area.

18. Do not tease any wild animal or destroy habitat of the Park or Sanctuary.

19. Carry clothes according to climate and season (do not wear red, white or any bright/fluorescent colours).

20. If a camp is canceled by OikoEssence for reasons such as lack of enough participation, unless any expense is incurred, a 100 % refund will be given. Participants who cancel their seats prior to cancellation of the camp will not get a complete refund. 50% of the total camp cost will be deducted for cancellation done 15 days prior to the commencement of camp. After that no refund will be given.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Pench Camp sightings

Clicked by Rupali G.
The land of Mowgli welcomes you with its amazing landscape and awesome biodiversity. That is a reason why lots of nature lovers are attracted towards it. Although this year the temperature was too high, we visited the Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh with great energy. As, every season in the wild (and wildlife) has its own beauty. We were 12 of us from Mumbai and had about 5 safaries in the national park.

The forest being located in central India has Moist Deciduous type of vegetation with Sal trees present in huge numbers. Apart from this tree trees like Arjun, palas, amaltas are among the few that show their dominance.
Orchid Clicked by Dr. Shreya B.
Bauhinia vahlii clicked by Dr. Shreya B.
Amaltas cliced by Dr. Shreya B.

Some of the fauna sighted during safaris is listed below -

Birds: (Thanks to all the participants for making this list with great enthusiasm)
Jungle Owlet
1. Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata)
2. Common Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius)
3. Eurasian Collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
4. Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
5. Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
6. Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata)
7. Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
8. Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)
9. Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)
10. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
11. Stone-curlew (Burhinus indicus)
12. Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix)
13. Great Tit (Parus major)
14. Yellow-throated Sparrow (Petronia xanthocollis)
15. Eastern Jungle Crow (Corvus (macrorynchos) levaillantii)
16. Indian Jungle Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus)
17. Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicatus)
18. Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus)
19. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Malabar pied hornbill
20. Gold-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)
21. Red Spurfowl (Galloperdix spadicea)
22. Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
23. Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)
24. Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala)
25. Wooly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus)
26. Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
27. Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris)
28. Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
29. Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
30. Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus)
31. Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus)
32. Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
33. Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata)
Indian Roller clicked by Sameer G.
34. Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassinus)
35. Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis)
36. Spotted Owl (Athene brama)
37. Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
38. Jungle Owlet (Glaucidium radiatum)
39. Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
40. Grey-headed Starling (Sturnia malabarica)
41. Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum)
42. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
43. Red-vented Bulbul (Pynconotus cafer)
44. Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda)
Knob billed duck clicked by Thiruvengadam E.
45. Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos)
46. White-eyed Buzzard (Butastur teesa)
47. Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus)
48. Yellow-footed Green-pigeon (Treron phoenicopterus)
49. White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
50. White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
51. White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
52. Intermediate Egret (Egretta intermedia)
53. Indian Pond-heron (Ardeola grayii)
54. Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina)
Greater flameback clicked by Thiruvengadam E.
55. Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis)
56. Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus)
57. Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)
58. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
59. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
60. Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
61. Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Indian pitta clicked by Meghana O.

Painted spur fowl clicked by Meghana O.

Indian grey hornbill clicked by Sameer G.
Tiger Clicked by Dr. Shreya B.

Sambar swimmingclicked by Sameer G.
Spotted deer
Sambar deer
Rhesus macaque
Hanuman Langur
Wild dog
Wild boar
Civet cat
Indian gray Mongoose
Hanuman Langur clicked by Sameer G.

Spotted deer clicked by Dr. Shreya B.

Panchgani camp sightings

Group pic shared by Thiruvengadam E.
Tourist places are often omitted by nature lovers due to the enormous amount of picnic crowd and the havoc they create there. However , at such places one can still find the piece mind with nature if visited of beat areas. It is only matter of being nature observant and adding the 'true nature' factor to your visit.

Panchgani is one such tourist place which is always over crowded with tourists. Oikoessence decided to conduct nature camp over here to observe the biodiversity of this area. And we are glad to say that it has plenty of it.
Sharing some moments from the camp:

Wasp clicked by Bhaskar P.
Ant nest
In the forest....

Aerides maculosa 

Puff ball fungus

Ledebouria revoluta 

Malabar Giant Squirrel clicked by Bhaskar P.

Evening stroll clicked by Thiruvengadam E.

Tansa - World Environment Day

Oikoessence and its supporters observed the World Environment Day (5th of June every year) in  
Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. The seeds of some trees and shrubs that are indigenous to the area were dispersed during the trail.

The catchment area of Tansa lake is comprised of 'Southern tropical moist deciduous forest'. Tansa and Vaitarna are one of the major water sources for Metropolitan cities of Mumbai and Thane. The existence of this forest is very crucial to the lakes and ultimately to the biodiversity of the area which includes humans as well.
Kumbhi ckicked by Bhaskar P.
Gunj clicked by Sudheer A.

Wrightia tinctoria clicked by Sudheer A.
Saded kuda clicked by Thiruvengadam E.
Mytragyna parviflora clicked by Thiruvengadam E

We are thankful to the Tansa Forest Department for allowing and helping us in conducting this programme.

Sharing the list of birds that were sighted during the trail - 

Tit clicked by Bhaskar P.
1. Crested Tree swift (Hemiprocne coronata)
2. Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)
3. Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
4. Andaman Woodpecker (Dryocopus hodgei)
5. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
6. Common Bushchat (Saxicola torquatus)
7. Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus)
8. Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
9. Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
10. Great Tit (Parus major)
11. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
12. White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
13. Red-vented Bulbul (Pynconotus cafer)
14. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis coromandus)
15. House Crow (Corvus splendens)
16. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
17. Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum)
18. Gold-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)
19. Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
20. Eastern Jungle Crow (Corvus (macrorynchos) levaillantii)
21. Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
22. Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
23. Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)
24. Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis)
25. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)


Credits Thiruvengadam E.
Clicked by Thiruvengadam E.