Kerala family activity holiday, India

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor-made to suit your interests, time schedules and budget requirements.
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Holiday type

Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala family activity holiday, India

This holiday will help the local community as their participation is involved at each place. The homestays help the local community by providing them employment and also engaging them in the various activities in the farm lands.

By employing local birding guides at Thattekkad and by staying at environmentally low impact accommodation like the Hornbill Camp, we hope to bring in awareness about Responsible Tourism among the general public. Hornbill Camp is made of locally available materials and constructed exclusively by using locally available expertise in reed leaf thatching. There is very little concrete, but tents are used instead. The water is heated using solar heaters and the kitchen refuse is recycled for use in the spice plantations nearby.

We always employ local drivers during all our tours. Our supplies like vegetables and poultry are always sourced from villagers residing near the camp & we promote local businesses by using local jeeps and locally owned wooden canoes for moving on the river, whenever possible. The activities during this holiday, namely, cycling, kayaking and walking are all carbon neutral activities and as such they go a long way in promoting responsible travel.

As a company, we have introduced modes of conservation like introduction of CFL lamps to conserve energy, reuse of paper and old envelops and minimizing printing. The accommodation we use on all our tours have also introduced organic farming, vermicompost for waste disposal, employing local labour in tourism related activities. All supplies are sourced locally.

The parks have introduced a system by which the Vana Samrakshana Samitis (Forest Protection Teams) and Eco Development Committees form part and parcel of all tourism ealted activities. It is mandatory to employ a local guide while entering the park.

Reviews of Kerala family activity holiday, India

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There are so many great memories of the holiday, that will live long in the memory. In no particular order: The smile on the face of my daughter as the helped wash an elephant in the river, the scenery around Munnar was beautiful,
the homestay at Dewalokam was just great - jumping and swimming in the river, elephant riding in Perriyar, cruise on the backwaters, swimming in the warmest sea ever! The interaction with so many friendly local people


2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's a great holiday - expertly managed by this operator. The guides were knowledgeable and managed to get the right balance of sight seeing and down time.

Pack light as it makes it easier when traveling between locations. Stay at the old Harbour in Cochin - great place.

Our children age 13 and 10 thoroughly enjoyed it - and absolutely no issues with anything while they were there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes in as much as we stayed at smaller locally owned hotels. Two grew their own organic vegetables. Local guides were used.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall it was superb, Brijesh and Tensing were excellent guides. They were great hosts, nothing was too much trouble for them. The pace of the tour was spot on with a great mix of time for ourselves and being guided by Brijesh. We had great banter with both of them, and their knowledge of the area made the trip.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for the wonderful review of the family holiday we were privileged to arrange for you & your family.

Keeping in mind the Responsible Travel policy regarding elephant trekking / riding, we will be removing this feature on future family tours.

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing all the different bugs, birds and animals up close. Bananas!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be fit! We walked and kayaked for miles each day. It is a full on, active holiday. Take a camera with a zoom lens and/or a pair of
binoculars.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to all.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


An amazing, unforgettable experience allowing us to see the natural side of Kerala and keep us constantly entertained. We hate sitting still! The team looked after us really well and were flexible and attentive to our needs. We could ask lots of questions and understand more about Indian than we would of as a tourist normally. Our driver was fantastic. He made us feel safe and kept us
supplied in water and snacks. He could name all the birds and advised us where to go and what to do.

Reviewed on 17 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


For me just looking out of the window of the mini van at everyday stories of peoples lives. For my husband lazing in the hot water of a slow moving river at the Dewalokam home stay for over 6 hours watching fish
nibbling his feet. For my 11 year old girl the animals small and large from lizards to elephants and swimming. For my 79 year old mother-in-law the gardens and farms packed with colour and meeting a local family at their house and
enjoying chats and home cooked food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you go at Easter expect great heat and humidity also you will be sharing some of the sights with the Indian people as they will be on holiday too this actually made the experience better for us. There will be long distances between the destinations but expect delightful places once you get there. We went without any computer games or mobile phone and found that improved the experience for us as our child engaged with the country if she was bored she slept and that proved to be the best use of her down time. Other parents with older children found that their children where happy to stay their rooms with air con and wifi and that was missing the point of taking them, but its your call. If you need to contact home all hotels had free wifi and computer access.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All the shops we where recommended where co-operatives and run by small family firms. All the hotels had recycling and water conservation policies many of which had there own small farms with vegetable growing and cow milking making the food fresh and organic. The indian holiday industry has already got sustainability and low impact as part of its charter but if you want a very deeply researched and detailed environmental holiday you must ask more questions before booking. but we felt that we where not taking more form the country that we should have. All guides where local, elephant ride was from a recognised firm that have their animal welfare at heart.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A brilliant first time experience of India for a family. Safe but still experiencing the full life of India. The holiday was well paced by the end of the holiday we where all ready for just relaxation and contemplation and that is what we got at the last coastal resort and on the rice boat night stay. Having a guide and a driver made it possible for us to see so much in 15 days
without hassle. They looked after our safety and hydration! we where watched over by them also my child found them a great source of continuity while we moved around so much. Indians love children and they spoilt her with sweets and cookies i think they where missing there own kids.
We saw art, dance, martial arts, religion, village life, city life, countryside, mountains, the indian ocean, working animals, wild animals and lots of water from elephant showers to mineral salt swimming pools. Now I'm looking back on the trip and I wonder how we did so much but felt so at ease at the same time.

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This was our first visit to India and we were a little anxious about how things might go but we needn't have worried - we had an amazing time! Particularly memorable was the homestay at Dewalokum - a wonderful experience. We were looked after so well and experienced warm hospitality, delicious food and some fascinating day trips. We also had the most wonderful guide, Deepu, who was with us for the whole trip. His excellent knowledge of Kerala, safe driving and great sense of humour really made our holiday. Nothing was too much trouble and we genuinely left India feeling we had made a good friend. Our children - 18, 16 & 12 would probably rate the elephant ride and 'washing' in
Periyar as top of their list!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be ready for a full on itinerary but if you need to rest by the pool or just take an
afternoon off, just say so. We had some great food throughout the trip and didn't suffer any 'tummy troubles' which was a great relief! We stuck to bottled water only and kept hand sanitiser at the ready and were fortunately ok. Some mosquito bites but not many.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - lots of organic farming and drives to be self -sufficient - we were very impressed with the use of methane gas in the kitchen straight from the slurry tank! Apart from at the coast, Kalypso had selected small, family run accommodation where you sensed local people were very much involved.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was fantastic. The travel company was great to travel with and I would definitely recommend them.

Reviewed on 21 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This was the holiday of a lifetime that we will hold dear in our memories.

The quality and variety of the experiences in the itinerary of the family tour in Kerala were hugely enjoyable, informative and unforgettable. We really felt that we had immersed ourselves in the beauty and culture of Kerala. The quality of the accommodation organised was luxurious and exciting and staff were consistently kind, friendly and informative.

Highlights were the time with elephants, the treks in many different parts of Kerala, the quality and luxuriousness of the accommodation, time spent at Dewelakom organic farm and the consistent charm of our guide Deepu.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The expertise and professionalism in supporting us in the organisation of the tour by Thomas, the representative at Kalypso was exceptional. He made the process of navigating the steps of arriving in Kerala seamless and straight forward. This was an unprecedented journey for us, not without anxiety, and the concise, exact and careful guidance he gave us was invaluable

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Professor Jose and his lovely family at Dewalakom organic farm made us feel so welcome and cared for and illuminated so thoroughly the ethos of the environmental and eco aspects of the tour.

Staff at the hotels were consistently informative and inspiring on issues of the environment and an eco ethos.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I would thoroughly recommend it. We have no experience of this kind of undertaking and we had an exceptional time that catered perfectly for a family of 4 including an 11 year old girl and 14 year old boy who all valued the tour immeasurably.

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were so many but to name a few; elephant washing in a river, massages in the Monsoon, having a tea stop watching the mist over the tea plantations as the sun rose, a jungle walk spotting langurs, elephants and huge butterflies as well as leeches (!), a colourful fairground and flower show, the back waters of Kerala, shopping for dresses for the children to celebrate Vishu, all the homestays and meeting the people, the temple visit in Arunmula and the wild Arabian sea at sunset.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The driving distances are not far but can take a long time as the roads are sometimes small and busy. We asked for stops for the children to stretch their legs and experience a little of the busy Keralan towns. Lots of mozzy cream/spray is useful. We talked to our lovely driver, Deepu, a lot and learnt so much about South India, the elections taking place, the culture and traditions. Leave any preconceptions of India behind and be prepared to be amazed!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Apart from the flight and car usage throughout Kerala, I felt the holiday was geared towards eco-tourism. The home stays employed local village people, tips where always shared out equally, organic and local produce used and wildlife seemed to be responsibly conserved. India had a lot less plastic and rubbish than when I visited in 1999, which was a joy to see.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely incredible! The children loved it (age 8 and 5) as well as the parents, we had so many rich experiences and wonderful stories to take home.
Thank you very much to Thomas, the tour operator, Deepu our driver and to Responsible Travel for pointing us towards this holiday!

Reviewed on 13 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Too many things- some of the main highlights were: the homestays, the food, the people, the variety of activities, visiting a local school and orphanage, elephants, the Ayurveda.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Give the tour company an idea of wants and do not wants and they tailored us the perfect holiday e.g. bit of adventure, bit of relaxing, lots of local culture.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so, we shared our experiences we also gave them quality clothes of ours that were too small and shared them out. We learned a lot about what the people of Kerala do to reduce waste, recycle and use local resources. The safari taught us a lot about conservation, how they are trying to conserve the Begali tiger.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, it was so good. There is nothing I could fault everything met or exceeded our expectations.

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Everything was superb from beginning to end. The guides and drivers used were truly professional. Mr J.K.Sharma, our guide in Delhi and Agra was knowledgeable, amusing, very professional and adapted the tour to suit our specific requirements. He certainly made our visit to Delhi and Agra a memorable one and if/when we return we would definitely request him again. The driver for the trip, Sukhdeo, was excellent and unflappable, which are two necessary requirements for Indian roads! For the second part of our journey in Kerala we were accompanied by Peter. He was also superb. He was thoroughly professional and made the Keralan adventure very enjoyable and personal. A credit to the operator.

All the places we stayed in were superb. Some accommodation was more basic than others with occasional plumbing issues, but we enjoyed each and every location. Our particular favourite was Dewalokum at Thodupuzha. The location, the accommodation, the welcome, the staff and the food were out of this world. We were impressed by the quality and freshness of all the food that we were given - wonderful flavours. We enjoyed all the activities from sightseeing to birding, cooking demos to kayaking. We would have preferred more/longer hikes, but not enough time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be clear what you want to do and then trust the operator to organise it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. The majority of the accommodation was homestay or equivalent and local staff and produce were used. Dewalokum, for example, uses homegrown produce and mainly local staff and is self-sufficient for energy production.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

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