Our Indian herpetological tours immerse you in a lush tropical rainforest and a species-rich iconic sandy desert. You will be guided by two of India’s leading herpetologists enabling you to find and photograph the greatest percentage of the regions’ hundreds of species of amphibians and reptiles in the least amount of time.
Your itinerary is meticulously planned using local knowledge and the insights of specialists to give you optimal exposure to what Thar Desert and Western Ghats has to offer.
You can get to the Thar by flying in to Jodhpur (from Delhi or Bombay) and then it's a 300 km (~5 hour) drive to Jaisalmer, which is already in the Thar. We would likely base ourselves at Sam or midway between Sam and Jaisalmer (45 km distance between the two).
The Thar Desert is spread across extreme western Rajasthan and adjacent Pakistan, receiving less than 150 mm of average annual rainfall. A predominantly sandy desert that is interspersed with rocky habitats, the Thar has an assemblage of species with both Indian and Saharo-Arabian affinities. Fourteen lizard species from five families and about 10 snakes from four families are known from the region. There are a number of unique species in this landscape, both in sandy and rocky habitats. The monotypic agamid Bufoniceps is endemic to shifting sand dunes in the Thar; the fossorial skink Ophiomorus raithmai and the snake Lytorhynchus paradoxus leave distinct tracks in sandy habitats; and the gecko Crossobamon orientalis and the lacertid Acanthodactylus cantoris both have fringed toes to move over loose sand easily. Saara hardwickii is one of the few herbivorous Indian lizards and lives in low grasslands with rocky soil. Finally, the rocky habitats, which cover the least area of any habitat in the Desert, are the most diverse with 11 of the 14 lizard species found there, including an unnamed Hemidactylus and Microgecko species, the latter of which is perhaps the smallest Indian gecko.