India big cats safari, lions and tigers
Description of India big cats safari, lions and tigers
On this India big cats safaris tour, you’ll spend time looking for some of the more elusive members of the country’s diverse wildlife cast, including three impressive cats – tigers, leopards and lions. You’ll be joined on the adventure by a small group of likeminded travellers as well as expert local guides along the way.
You’ll be exploring three wilderness areas – Ranthambore National Park, where the main agenda is searching for tigers; southern Rajasthan, where you’ll be on the lookout for leopards; and Gir National Park in Gujurat, the only place outside Africa where you can still see lions in the wild.
You won’t just be on the lookout for wildlife, however. This tour is also about cultural encounters and taking in historical sites. You’ll get to experience tribal rural village life, visit an important place of Jain worship, and explore the magnificent old Ranthambore Fort in Jodhpur.
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1 Reviews of India big cats safari, lions and tigers
Reviewed on 20 Dec 2019 by Julia Killick
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Travelling through lesser known parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan , staying at beautiful heritage hotels and seeing awesome wildlife on varied jeep safaris. The lions of Gir were the highlight
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Stay more than one night in each location so you don’t spend all your time travelling . Do take a few jeep safaris at Gir to increase your chances of lion spotting.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Supporting conservation through tourism at Gir and Little Rann of Kutch. Most of the properties we stayed at employed local people and many had environmental policies .
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
An excellent immersive experience , tailor made for our needs and wishes. Excellent
PlanetThis tour focuses on the regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat of India, and visits some areas which are relatively untouched by tourism, such as the Aravalli Hills in south west Rajasthan. We also spend a night in a rustic camp at the Little Rann of Kutch, which is an expanse of flat, barren land occupied mainly by farmers and nomadic cattle herders. When travelling and staying in these areas we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent trace of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable areas and minimise our negative impacts on the environment.
We visit several historical monuments and mosques on this tour which attract a number of tourists every day. The entrance fees paid to see these buildings go towards conserving and protecting these attractions so they can continue to be visited by incoming tourists.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation. We also use public transport where possible - mainly trains whilst in India - which not only reduces our carbon footprint but we believe it leads to a more enjoyable and intimate experience for our clients. Furthermore, all vehicles used on the tour have low carbon emissions. This is particularly important in India, and the regions we visit, as air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have increased in recent years and we work closely with our local suppliers to highlight the best practice in terms of environmental issues.
This tour is focused around searching for wildlife, namely the big cats, in Rajasthan and Gujarat. When searching for wildlife, especially in the national parks that we visit on this tour - Ranthambore and Velavadar - we follow strict guidelines regarding behaviour towards wildlife, ensuring that our presence does not upset the delicate balance of nature. We visit Sasangir, the only habitat of lion outside Africa. Whilst visiting here and other areas, we ensure that we stick to the trails at all times and do not destroy the environment just for the hope of getting better photographs of the wildlife. The fees that we pay for entering the parks and reserves contribute to important conservation efforts.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally, to emphasize our commitment to Responsible Tourism all our clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
PeopleOn this tour we spend time visiting small villages where Indian ethnic tribes live according to their traditional way of life. We visit the Little Rann of Kutch and smaller villages in Bhenswara. By visiting these villages we are injecting valuable money into the local economy so the villages benefit from tourists. This also encourages social interaction between the locals and tourists, promoting healthy and long-lasting relationships. We want to visit areas as friends, promoting the sustainable use of tourism.
When visiting these small tribal villages, the locals are generally tolerant of Westerners and don't expect that they will necessarily follow or understand local customs, so they are not quick to take offence, but we aim to have as little impact as possible and inform all our clients of the correct dress code.
Clients also have the opportunity to purchase local souvenirs when visiting villages and local markets, ensuring money is retained within the local economy.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision n where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit. If meals are included, we use small, locally owned restaurants so the local community will benefit.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign tour leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe locals know best. Our local suppliers only used locally owned accommodation, which means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.