Macro / Snake / Frogs / Herp Photography Tour to Agumbe, Karnataka, India

by Smiitaa Chatterjee

Agumbe is situated in the Tirthahalli Taluka, Shimoga District in Karnataka. This is known as the Cherrapunji of South India as it has very heavy rainfall after Cherrapunji. It is a thick rain forest in Western Ghats that provides shelter to king cobras, vipers, frogs and other insects.
Agumbe Weather :  
Monsoon is the best time for Macro Photography and as Agumbe is known as Cherrapunji of South India, you can imagine the amount of rainfall here. The temperature in July/August is between approximately 26 to 22 degree C.
My experience while travelling to Agumbe : 
I took a night train from CST, Mumbai at 10.30 pm which reached Udupi at around 12 noon. The journey from Mumbai to Agumbe by train is around 13 to 14 hours. And, you get buses from Udupi Bus stand to Guddekeri which will take around 1 hour. This is one of the best bus journeys I ever had. The bus was passing through the dense forest. It was foggy all over. It was also drizzling. And, I had to take an auto from Guddekeri to the place where I was staying in Agumbe which was around 5 mins away.
As soon as I entered the compound of my stay, I was amazed to see the ambience and the cottages because it was a Heritage house place. The owners' house was big, beautiful and traditional. And, I loved the food they served. It was almost 5 pm by the time I finished my lunch.
I was alone but I had to join another small group for the evening walk because of one guide per group. I got ready with my camera, flash, head torch, rain jacket etc. and we left at around 6/6.30 pm. And, the first thing we got to witness was a Cicada Molting. It was pitch dark if we switched off our head torches and it was drizzling, too. Our walk lasted till 10 pm. After coming back, I had dinner and slept alone in a huge room which had a very high roof. I could hear insects' sounds and it started pouring. It was a bit scary as my room was at the end. But of course I was enjoying the sound of insects and rain outside and the silence inside. 
The next morning we could not go for a walk as it was pouring since morning. So we started our walk after 12 noon which lasted till 3 pm. I was a bit disappointed because we could not start our walk in the morning but then it was compensated and I was very happy because the place we went to in the afternoon was just amazing. We went really inside the deep dense forest. It was as dark as night in day time. There was no path to walk. Thick forest, huge trees, layers of dry leaves all over and sometimes we had to hold bushes as tall as us and make way. Slippery, muddy, heavy continuous rains day & night, leeches all over and fear of snakes under dry leaves. Once one snake almost moved touching my naturalist's leg. I was just behind him, 1 foot away. But that snake was not venomous. Macro photography is such a challenge but that's what I love the most. I feel I am actually attached to the beautiful earth/nature.
Our 2nd walk of the day was from around 7 pm to 10 pm. And, even after reaching back to the stay, we got a few tiny things and we kept on clicking till 11.15 pm.
Everyone else from the group left the next morning. And, I did one more small walk with my Naturalist for an hour. I left Agumbe in the afternoon after having a delicious traditional breakfast.

Care to be taken :
Leech socks are compulsory as there are too many big and small leeches.
Rain jacket and umbrella
Polythene covers for camera and flash
Head Torch
The equipments I used :
Nikon D850. Tamron 90mm Lens. External Flash.

How to reach Agumbe
The nearest Airport Mangaluru which is 95 kms away from Agumbe.
The nearest Railway Station is Udupi which is 50 kms away from Agumbe.


Tour Leaders: Smiitaa and Ssaurabh Chatterjee

Note:  If you want a customized tour anywhere in India focused on Photography, I will be happy to organise it for you. 

Itinerary -

Day 1
Friday, August 09, 2024
Arrive by afternoon. Going out for walks in the forest coming back and reviewing the pictures.
Day 2
Saturday, August 10, 2024
Going out for walks in the forest coming back and reviewing the pictures.
Day 3
Sunday, August 11, 2024
Going out for walks in the forest coming back and reviewing the pictures. Leave after the morning session.

Cost: Rs.Rs. 16000/-
Only 6 participants on first come first serve basis.

Cost includes

1) Stay on twin sharing basis in a basic but clean hotel
2) All breakfast, lunch, dinner
3) Local guide charges
4) Nature walks with guide

Cost does not include

1) Travel cost from your destination to Agumbe.
2) Mineral water, any additional food ordered.
3) Tips for guide


Payment Policy

Rs. 10000/- booking amount.
Rest 45 days before the date of the tour.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation costs us too.

As people generally plan in advance, it becomes impossible for us to fill the seats last moment. So, if you cancel, the seat goes vacant. Also, in most places, we have to book well in advance due to the limited choices. 

So, please book your tour only if you are sure.

Refund Policy

60 days to 45 days prior to departure of the tour, 20% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
40 days to 15 days prior to departure of the tour 50% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
14 days to 07 days prior to departure of the tour 75% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
07 days or less prior to departure of the tour 100% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.

There will be no refund for no shows.

Any Questions - Contact us on Whatsapp

PICTURES FROM Agumbe Photography Tour - August 2024


1. How to reach Agumbe?

The nearest Airport Mangaluru which is 95 kms away from Agumbe.
The nearest Railway Station is Udupi which is 50 kms away from Agumbe.

2. What equipment should I carry?
Any camera body is fine. Having a macro lens and an external flash with some diffuser/modifier will be very helpful. As the light is less, having an external flash is a necessity. If you don't have one, it can be arranged on rent.

3. Is this trip only for Photographers?
No, anyone can join. Even if you don't take pictures, you will still enjoy the experience. We will spend a lot of time taking some great pictures though. I'm sure everyone loves doing that. We have had non-photographers in our previous trips and they enjoy as much.

4. I have no knowledge on Photography. Will I get some help?
Yes, absolutely. Ssaurabh will be assisting you all the time. He will help you on how to take some great pictures. So, you will learn while having fun on the go.

5. I don't have a camera. Can I get one on rent? Yes, that can be arranged if required.

Read about my previous experience in shooting the snakes and frogs in Amboli Ghat here.

Any Questions - Contact us on Whatsapp

Share with others