All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).
Local Community All the accommodation used in the four elements is individually owned and staffed by local people. All the accommodation options are small hotels, guesthouses or homestays. By supporting locally owned properties we are helping to provide employment for local communities. Travelling independently means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. We encourage you to stop at the small chai (tea) shops as you travel and give business to the chai wallah (even if you do not like the idea of drinking the tea yourself, your driver will appreciate it).
The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work).
Environment Individual holidays have a lower impact on the environment as waste, power etc is minimal. The owners of the accommodation all have a commitment to environmental issues and as you travel between the properties you will find good practices, eg waste being recycled, low power light bulbs, water being heated by solar panels etc. A number of the homestays are working farms and you can expect a certain amount of your food to be home produced (and in many cases organic). A number of the properties are heritage buildings and tourism is helping to preserve what was previously considered ‘not worth saving’.