Amboli is a hill station in the state of Maharashtra. This lush green place lies in the Sahyadri Hills. There is very high rainfall in this place and it becomes dreamy when mist surrounds all over. The best season for macro photography here is monsoon, specially in July, where we can see varieties of reptiles, amphibians and other species. Malabar Pit Vipers, Green Vine Snakes, Gliding Frogs, Toads, Cicada, frogs eggs etc.

Why Join Us for the Photography Tour? 

We will make your DREAM COME TRUE - your dream to observe the beautiful herps and other creatures and to capture them. We will also take some great portraits of the locals.

We will be going to the right places at the right time. I will suggest you the right settings for taking pictures and will personally assist you so that you go back with some great shots. We also do post-processing and feedback/review sessions whenever possible, during the tour.

Saurabh has been visiting these regions for almost a decade and great knowledge about the place. 

You will also be in the company of some great fellow travelers and will make friends for life.

Tour Highlights

Snake Photography, Frogs, Geckos, and many more.

You must take this tour if you are afraid of snakes or if you love snakes. Your fear of snakes will be gone after this tour.


And of course, you will come back with some great pictures.

This tour is led by Smita Saurabh Chatterjee and assisted by Ssaurabh A Chatterjee.

We reach Amboli on the first day by 9 am. Being a part of the rain forest, it rains very heavily in these parts.

Make sure you have good rain protection for your camera.

We have our breakfast and go venture out in the forest.

The very common species of snakes here are Pit Viper. It is venomous and shooting them one needs to be careful. You can shoot them from beyond their striking distance - about 2 feet. They will never attack you though, unless you are doing rapid movement. I have found them to be very well behaved and keep posing for pictures without any movement. Having a macro lens will help. External Flash is compulsory as the light is very less.

The other common species here are Amboli Leaping Frog, Amboli Toad, Narrow Mouthed Frog, Wrinkled Frog. Then, we spent a lot of time observing and clicking Malabar Gliding Frog female laying eggs.

The frog lay eggs on the branches of the trees just above the water bodies so that they fall directly into the water once they mature.

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

Here is the list of animals we've spotted.

Frogs:
Amboli Bush Frog, Amboli leaping frog, Narrow mouthed frog, Burrowing frog, Amboli toad (endemic), Malabar gliding frog, Eggs of Bush frog, Eggs of wrinkled frog, Tadpoles of leaping frog, Malabar Gliding froglet, Cricket Frog / Zakerana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakerana)

Snakes:
Bamboo Pit Viper, Malabar Pit Viper - Green morph, Giri's Bronzeback Tree Snake, Green Vine Snake, Cat snake

Spiders:
Wolf spider, Unidentified spider protecting its egg sack

Gecko:
White-banded Gecko, Prashad's gecko, Day gecko

Insects:
Walking stick / Stick Insect - Green and brown, Eggs of unidentified bugs, Stink Bug / Hitler's Army bug - Yellow and Orange, Ground cricket laying eggs

List Courtesy:

Aranya Sen

Feedback from the previous Participants

Amboli has always been one of my favorite destinations. This time was no exception! Visiting with SIA Photography added to the amazing experience! In the three days, with multiple field trips we spotted several reptiles, frogs, insects, spiders, and with Ssaurabh's guidance we tried out various photography techniques on those beautiful subjects! Macro photography needs special equipment and skillset. Add to it the difficult conditions of photographing in total darkness with constant downpour. Without an able leader, an expert guide/naturalist and a great co-operating group it's extremely difficult to get decent shots in such conditions. We had a combination of all three in this trip! Most of all, the fun and learning experience we had were unforgettable! Looking forward to do this again next year!
Aranya Sen

Amazing experience. Getting so close to snakes and still feeling safe, clicking them, the weather, stay n food, the group and on top of it all Saurabh and Smitha Chatterjee make you very comfortable and make sure we learn something new and carry back some really good pics n fantastic memories. Thank you Saurabh ..... your trips r fantastic.

Dr. Srinivasa Chakravarthy

This trip is my one of the most memorable trip. As a beginner in the photography field, this Amboli trip gave a lot of memories. I learn so many things about the animals we shoot. I learned about the behavior and habitat of snakes and frogs. Before coming to the trip I never thought to be so close to the snakes. And the special part of this memorable trip are @Ssaurabh A Chatterjee @Smita Chatterjee @Aranya Sen @Dr. Srinivasa Chakravarthy and our field guide Kedar. I felt so comfortable and grateful to be with you all. Whenever I felt uncomfortable in the field @Ssaurabh A Chatterjee helped me to understand the angles and light, and knowledge of @Aranya Sen sir about herps and their behavior is excellent, it encourages me to do more hard work. The only thing I can say is to thank you everyone for making my Amboli trip full of memories.

Anmol, Photography Student

Itinerary -

Day 1
Friday, August 13, 2021
Reach Amboli by afternoon, relax and field trip evening session.
Day 2
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Amboli - Morning session and evening session
Day 3
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Morning session and leave post-lunch

Cost: Rs.15,000/-
Only 8 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 Amboli.
2) Mineral water, any additional food ordered.
3) Tips for guide



PICTURES FROM Amboli Ghat Macro Photography Tour 2021


Video


FAQ


1. How to reach Amboli?
Flight: You can take a flight or Volvo bus from Hyderabad to Belgaum and then take a taxi from Belgaum to Amboli (Max 3 hours) Buses also run every half an hour. From Mumbai, you can take any train to Sawantwadi Road and then from there, a local bus or taxi to Amboli. The route is very scenic.


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.


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