Kerala in depth tour

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala in depth tour

Environment

We work with local providers that are committed to best practices in terms of environment protection and local community benefits. Our excursions maintain small-group sizes to limit the negative environmental impact in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.

In the tours, we strongly request each guest to help in protecting the nature by being responsible during their journey. That means we are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible.

Also in our UK and local offices we re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. We moreover concentrate on providing information online via our website and electronically rather then producing a glossy brochure, hence reducing the use of paper and inks.

Environment & Food
With your visit to Kerala, you encourage a state that has taken important steps in increasing locally produced and organic foods in the last years. Kerala is now meeting over 70% of its demand for vegetables on its own compared with just 20% a few years ago. Large tracts of land are now being converted for organic cultivation. Initiatives by government agencies, social organisations and farmers are all participating in what is becoming an organic farming revolution in Kerala, that will not only benefit the environment and our planet, but also your health.

Accommodation, Nature & Wildlife
The greenest state of India offers shelter to some of the best and rarest plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. Naturally there are many wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that have been developed to look after and preserve the wide variety of birds and animals.

You will stay in resorts that are in the midst of nature and that take great care of it. You will for example learn about the natural ecosystem of the Malabar coast, with 97 species of butterflies, more than 350 species of endemic plants, 3 varieties of turtles, 10 kinds of frogs and an uncountable number of birds on a morning stroll with a naturalist from your hotel in Marari.

Another stay will be at the Emerald Isle Heritage Villa, tucked away on a quiet island. You give to a 150 years old ancestral Country House set in 9 acres of secluded grounds in the peaceful waterways and backwater of the Kuttanad region of Central Kerala. The house also retains its original architectural features, mostly in teak, with splendid wood carvings.

The trip also includes some precious time at the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Zealously guarded and managed, the reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba. People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. Programmes are conducted by local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. By taking tourists along, they are involved in the conservation of the forests of Periyar and some valuable revenue is generated for community welfare. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through these programmes. As you are participating in the rafting programme as a visitor, you are even more directly contributing towards forest conservation and community welfare.

Our local partner is part of TOFT (Travel Operators for Tigers), a pioneering international collective action campaign to advocate, plan, support and fund the protection, conservation and rewilding of natural wilderness and their wild inhabitants, especially tiger habitat, through the clever and wise use of nature tourism, using better visitor guidance, more community involvement, targeted green investment and enhanced governance and monitoring.

Overall, on our trekking tours our guides are trained and actively promoting practices such us not disturbing wildlife, keeping a safe distance to wildlife, reducing production of disturbing sounds, prohibiting feeding, avoiding litter at all times, using water sparingly and not polluting with harmful detergents, avoid being intrusive when taking photographs, dressing appropriately and in subdued colours when wildlife watching, etc. We encourage guests to respect and follow the lead.

Transport
If motorized forms are unavoidable, we make sure that vehicle sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained. Whenever possible we give preference to non-motorized forms of transport. In this trip, you will limit your impact with nature walks, bicycle tours, optional kayak rides instead of motor boats, and a bamboo rafting tour to discover the wildlife park rather than by car.

Culture & Buildings
Kerala is full of important colonial architecture and heritage sites. You will encourage the preservation of cultural sites such as the St. Alphonsa’s Church or the famous Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Tempel. Part of the entrance fees go to the Archaeological Survey Of India who helps maintain the monument sites.

Community

We work with local partners who genuinely commit to encourage and involve the local community in the best way, requesting potential friends from the local area first, like local home stays, guides and restaurants.

This trip will benefit our local partner who is member of Kerala Travel Mart Society. KTM Society has come out with AGENDA 9 in which waste management, community benefits and local pre-requirements are actively dealt with. Our partner also donates a small but regular part to charity, every year since 2009.

We make sure our staff has fair working conditions. As per need, colleagues attend trainings conducted by different institutions, for example programmes towards skill development for teams. Employees are also offered family trips to enhance product knowledge on a regular basis.

Kerala is an extremely warm, friendly and open state with a lot of culture that is happily shared by its locals. On this trip you will stay at very welcoming resorts with direct personal care and contact with its owners, like The Raindrops Heritage Homestay or at Flamingo Marari. They will invite you to discover their culture and their food, they will cook for you, accompany you to local activities and make you feel like you are part of the country. It is important to us we all learn from each other during this authentic trip.

Moreover, you will help sustain jobs, culture and traditions by visiting cultural centres or theatres to witness for example the Katakali dance show, the Kalari martial art performance, or music festivals in different local areas. Our souvenirs to our guests are always locally produced and hand-made.

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