|Day 1:||ARRIVE DELHI: On arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your homestay to be welcomed by your hosts. You will spend the next 2 nights here, giving you a great chance to meet and interact with the local people who will enjoy having you as a guest in their own home. Settle in and make yourself at home and make friends with your hosts.|
|Day 2:||DELHI: A full day to explore the city of Delhi. With over 13 million people, this is a busy, crowded city with a full and rich history. There has been a city on this site since at least the 6th century BC and has since been rebuilt several times. There are numerous historical sites and monuments throughout the city reminding you of this varied past, and today your guided tour will take you to many of these. You will explore the bustling alleyways of Old Delhi and the wide tree-lined boulevards of New Delhi. You may also enjoy a ride in a traditional rickshaw. Return to your homestay for the night. Breakfast.|
|Day 3:||JAIPUR: This morning we will drive you the roughly 5 hours from Delhi to Jaipur. The journey is taken with a private vehicle and driver. Your deluxe homestay is a graceful colonial villa set in a garden of lawns and palm trees. Breakfast.|
|Day 4:||JAIPUR: Today you have a full day’s guided tour of Jaipur including Amber Fort, the City Palace, Palace of the Winds and the Jantar Mantar observatory. Breakfast.|
|Day 5:||TO AGRA: After breakfast you will travel from Jaipur to Agra (about 5 hours) with your private driver. On the way you stop to visit the impressive empty city of Fatehpur Sikri. You will be in time to have your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal by sunset this evening. (Note: It is closed on Fridays). Your homestay tonight is only quite a short walk from the Taj Mahal. It's friendly and well-presented. Breakfast.|
|Day 6:||AGRA- DELHI: This morning you'll have an early rise so you can see the Taj Mahal at sunrise - it can be spectacular! After breakfast, you have a half day city tour including Agra Fort. Then we drive you to Delhi (about 5 hours). Breakfast. Back to Delhi. After breakfast you will be driven to Delhi along a fast highway (about 4-5 hrs). You will be taken to your homestay, with the afternoon free to explore the city on your own or just relax. B|
|Day 7:||DEPART: Transfer to the airport for your flight or onward travel arrangements. Breakfast.|
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.
We were voted most responsible tour operator by UK NGO Tourism Concern. On average 75% of the cost of your trip with us - excluding flights - remains in the destination.
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).
Flights - Flights are automatically carbon offset through The Travel Forest, which plants 10 indigenous trees on your behalf (currently in northern Tanzania). Whilst the primary motivation for planting the trees is to offset carbon emissions, the project also works as a poverty alleviation and environmental improvement scheme.
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 - Staying in homestays are a key part of this holiday. Five out of the six nights are based at a homestay. 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.
Local employment - This holiday helps through the employment of local people as drivers and guides. And you will even get that most Indian of experiences – a rickshaw ride – which not all visitors take time to experience.