This itinerary departs from the beginning of October until the end of March
Responsible tourism: Rajasthan tailor made tours, India
Khem Villas at Ranthambhore National Park is a shining example of an eco-friendly hotel. It is run by Govardham Singh Rathore who won a ‘Green Oscar’ in 2004 for his tiger conservation program and for his work in alternative energy resources (using cow dung in biogas digesters). Other projects he was involved with have helped establish a school, hospital and an informal environmental education programme. He also supported legal aid to combat poaching and an anti-poaching sting operation was put in place with the help of another NGO called Tiger Watch. This helped reveal some of the most prominent poachers in 2005, establishing the fact that 20 tigers had been killed in Ranthambhore and ultimately forcing India’s government to step up protection of the tiger.
We are also a member of TOFT (Travel Operators for Tigers) who also have a Practices Under Guidelines (PUG) classification system that promotes ‘Best practice ecotourism’ within certain accommodation providers. We use a number of these PUG approved properties including Tiger Den Resort in Ranthambhore, Shergarh Tented Camp and Singinawa Jungle Camp in Kanha National Park.
By staying in smaller hotels and converted palaces and forts, you are supporting the local community on a sustainable scale without adversely affecting the surrounding area. The owners of all of these hotels know and are part of their local community and all try to employ locals in order to share the wealth that even a small hotel brings.
Many of the forts and palaces in India are crumbling and left to ruin. Without tourism they would never be rescued and returned to the incredible buildings that they once were. Ramathra Fort is a prime example of this type of accommodation; the rampart walls were almost completely ruined and overgrown with trees and shrubbery only a couple of years ago. The owners, Ravi and Gitanjali, have lovingly restored the walls, rebuilding them in the traditional style and adding seating areas that look out over the lake and beautiful countryside. They are now looking at restoring the palace bit by bit and bringing this fantastic place back to its former glory.