Rajasthan small group tour, India
Description of Rajasthan small group tour, India
Join a small group of likeminded travellers on this tour of the Indian state of Rajasthan. After a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, you’ll travel through some of the state’s most beguiling towns and cities, including romantic lakeside Udaipur; the walled city of Jaisalmer, which sits of the edge of the desert; laid-back Pushkar, which is famous for its camel fair; and historic Jaipur, also known as the “pink city” thanks to the trademark colour of its forts and palaces.
As well as ancient cities and palaces, you’ll also get to grips with the state’s natural attractions, visiting Ranthambore National Park to track tigers and other wildlife; viewing rare and exotic birds at a former maharaja’s lake sanctuary at Bharatpur; enjoying an overnight camel safari in the Thar Desert; and exploring the rock-strewn region of Bhenswara, where you can take a night time safari in search of the elusive panther.
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PlanetOn this tour clients travel to some remote areas of India, including the Thar Desert and Pushkar, a desert oasis on a holy lake. Whilst in the Thar Desert we spend one night in a permanent tented camp. 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 ensure any negative impacts are minimized.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation, especially in areas such as the Old City of Jaisalmer. This 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, which is particularly important in India where air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have increased in recent years, and we work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.
We visit several historical monuments and attractions on this tour, including the infamous Taj Mahal, which attracts hundreds of tourists every day. The entrance fees paid to see these buildings and attractions go towards conserving and protecting the buildings so they can continue to be visited by incoming tourists.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
We only employ local staff and unlike many other 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 that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This 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. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
PeopleWe visit Chandelao Garh where there will be no other tourists around, which allows our clients to interact with the local people in a more natural way. Visiting small communities such as this encourages social interaction between locals and tourist, promoting healthy and long-lasting relationships. Furthermore, although the local people are generally tolerant of Westerners and don't expect 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 our guests of the correct dress code. This allows the local communities to protect their culture by educating tourists through showing their traditional way of life and inviting us into their homes.
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 believe that tourism is a double-edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited number of departures - between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends not intruders, and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.