Central India small group tour
Description of Central India small group tour
Sign up to this Central India tour and you’ll join likeminded fellow travellers and expert local guides to take in the region’s major sights and under the radar gems. Firstly, there are the natural highlights - Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Park. Bandhavgarh is best known for the many Bengal tigers that roam the landscape, but there’s plenty more on offer here, including wild boar, hyenas, blue bulls and colourful birdlife. Kanha’s lush forests, meanwhile, hide tigers, bison, leopards and deer – a landscape that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write the Jungle Book.
This trip also takes in some of the region’s top historic highlights. There’s Orcha, where ancient palaces and temples rise out of the jungle; Bhoramdeo, where an 11th century temple complex sits beside a lake and a village, in an area that’s home to some of the country’s aboriginal tribes; and Khajuraho, whose temples are known for their erotic carvings. During your journey you’ll also get an insight into local rural life, through village visits and other cultural encounters.
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PlanetOn this tour we visit several historical monuments, including the remarkable ruins at Orchha and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho, which attract a number of tourists every day. the entrance fees paid to see these buildings and sites go towards conserving and protecting these attractions so they can continue to be visited by incoming tourists.
We only employ local staff and unlike may 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. Furthermore when possible, we use local transport (i.e. rail or bus) which contributes to the development of these local services and reduces our carbon footprint.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation - not only reducing our carbon footprint but we believe leading 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 where 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 in national parks of Bandhavgarh and Kanha, as well as the hills surrounding Bhoramdeo. When searching for wildlife, we follow strict guidelines regarding behaviour towards wildlife, ensuring that our presence does not upset the delicate balance of nature. We also 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 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.
PeopleOn this tour we spend time visiting small villages where Indian ethnic tribes live according to their traditional way of life. We spend time visiting Bhoramdeo, home to the indigenous tribes of the Baiga and Gonds. 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 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. 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.
We believe tourism is a double-edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited number of departures - usually 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.