|Day 1||ARRIVE IN DELHI - On arrival into Delhi International airport you will be met by your driver and taken to your hotel. Use the rest of the day to relax after your journey and utilise the hotel facilities.|
|Day 2||FULL DAY TOUR OF DELHI - This is a great opportunity to experience both Old and New Delhi. The tour will include The Red Fort, Jami Masjid, New India Gate, Humayuns Tomb and the Qutub Minar. Why not finish the day with a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi?|
|Day 3||TRANSFER TO SAMODE - About a 4-hour journey, Samode is an attractive town with many winding streets and old buildings. Explore the rolling hills around the town in the afternoon.|
|Day 4||ARRIVE IN JAIPUR - Use this morning to relax in the hotels grounds before an afternoon drive of about an hour to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.|
|Day 5||FULL DAY TOUR OF JAIPUR - You will start the day with a visit to the impressive Amber Fort on the outskirts of the city. The Fort has a plethora of murals, paintings and carvings to view. Later in the day you will experience a guided tour of the city itself including Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar.|
|Day 6||RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK - After a 4-hour drive, you will arrive at the national park in time for lunch. In the afternoon, you will have your first game drive in the park on the lookout for tigers. The park was once a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur but was declared a wildlife Sanctuary and in 1981 achieved the status of a National Park.|
|Day 7||RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK - Further game drives in the park will enhance your chance of seeing tigers, sloth bears, deer, gazelle and even leopards. Along the shores of the lakes you may spot some crocodiles and look out overhead for langur monkeys!|
|Day 8||TRANSFER TO FATEHPUR SIKRI VIA AGRA - After you final morning game drive in Ranthambore National Park you will depart for the train station. You will be transferred to Agra by train via the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned city was only occupied for a short time due to the shortage of water. Today is perfectly preserved. On arrival in Agra you will be taken to your hotel.|
|Day 9||TAJ MAHAL AND TRAIN TO VARANASI - Today will be an early wake up to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. This is the best time to see the famous monument. After breakfast, we will take you on a guided tour of Agra Fort and baby Taj. In the evening, you will be transferred to the train station for the overnight train to Varanasi.|
|Day 10||VARANASI - Your train will arrive in the early morning and you will be taken straight to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore or relax. Varanasi is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and an evening boat ride on the Ganges is a beautiful way to see its highlights.|
|Day 11||GANGES BOAT TRIP - This morning you will have a boat ride on the holy Ganges River. Later you will have a tour of the city visiting some of its famous temples.|
|Day 12||RETURN TO DELHI - You will have the morning to relax and in the afternoon, you will be taken to the airport in time for your flight to Delhi. Once you have arrived in Delhi you will be met by your driver and taken to your hotel for the night.|
|Day 13||DEPARTURE DAY - Once you have checked out of your hotel and taken to Delhi International Airport in time for your flight home.|
The company - The company that organises this holiday is a multi award-winning responsible travel company. They try to ensure that nothing they do at home (in UK) or abroad compromises the environment or wildlife or exploits people. They believe in ensuring that travellers are well-informed, as an informed traveller tend to be a more respectful and sensitive traveller. They also believe in giving back to the country, people wildlife and environments which are affected by tourism.
Informed Travellers - They are about to bring out a Responsible Wildlife Viewing guide. For anything more specific, e.g. rules about visiting gorillas, this information is also given to clients. In addition, they offer more information about the native people and cultures in a destination country, which all adds to a traveller being more aware.
Carbon Offsetting - Every person that travels with this company automatically has their flights carbon offset. This is done through The Travel Forest, a project of registered charity, The Tribes Foundation. The Travel Forest plants indigenous trees to offset the carbon emissions produced when you fly on holiday. Whilst this is the primary motivation for planting the trees, the project also works as a poverty alleviation scheme and also aims to combat environmental degradation
In the UK - The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). They also buy only fair trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. They also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (e.g. monitors).
Train travel - You will also be having two nights on an overnight train. Train travel is a great way to keep carbon emissions down whilst travelling, as otherwise the journey from Delhi to Varanasi and back would have to be by plane. Train travel is a great cultural experience too!
Ranthambore - Visiting Ranthambore helps conserve Indian wildlife including tigers by bringing in funds to the park. Of course all travellers are advised (as on all our holidays) how to respect the wildlife and habitats they come across. During the trip we use all Indian guides as another way to encourage the use of local services and keeping money in the country.
Informed Travellers - In terms of information, all travellers are given guidelines on Travelling with Respect, which includes advice on cultural aspects of your travels as well as protecting the environment. For any community-owned or run project, they also have an Community Tourism Information sheet for travellers to help explain how to get the best from the experience, and what to expect (good and bad). For trekkers, the company have a Porter Policy in place, a copy of which is given to clients.
Eco-ratings & community tourism - The company works with partners on the ground in each destination, and only uses local guides. They also primarily promote locally-owned services (hotels etc). They have eco-rated about 300 properties worldwide which they work with closely, so they are very clear which accommodations have good environmental and social responsibility credentials. This information is used to ensure that any traveller wanting to ensure they are really making a difference, can choose between one property and another on eco-issues. They also promote community-owned projects and services where applicable and possible. Indeed they were instrumental in setting up two community-owned ventures in Tanzania and Peru.
Travel Philanthropy - The company backs a charity called The Tribes Foundation with funds and administration. This is a registered UK charity whose principle aim is to relieve the poverty of indigenous communities in areas outside of the UK which are affected by tourism. The charity backs poverty alleviation, education, cultural preservation and conservation projects within these regions. It has backed schools, clinics, micro-business projects and more. They are currently raising funds for 9 different grassroots projects in nine different counties, which travellers are encouraged to donate to if they would like to give something back.
Homestays - You will be staying in a homestay for 3 nights of this holiday. Homestays really benefit the local family hosting you of course, but they also help the immediate local community. They do this as they almost always recruit staff from the locality, but local foods and services. As far as the traveller is concerned, the ability to talk with local people in a friendly, informal way opens up an area and its culture and traditions so that the traveller can absorb and enjoy more of the place they’re visiting.