Kerala and tigers tour in India
Description of Kerala and tigers tour in India
This magical 11-day tour of India provides you with an unbeatable mix of landscapes and experiences. From the Dutch forts of Cochin to the high-altitude tea estate of Kolukkumulai, you are sure to experience the wonders India has to offer.
Starting in Cochin, you will be treated to wonderful Dutch-inspired hotel, an elegant base from which to explore the city and with its own superb dining experience not to be missed. Once you have found your feet, it's off into the mountains where you will discover the pristine air of a high-altitude tea plantation. Check into the original staff quarters, roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn about top-quality tea production. Enjoy a breath-taking hike up India's second highest peak (don't worry - we'll send you with a picnic) and soak up the fresh air, staggering views and tranquillity of the mountains.
From mountains to rivers - your next stop takes you to the twisting waterways of Kerala. Explore this lush region and its vast network of channels from the comfort of an original wooden houseboat.
Head back to civilisation with a trip to India's most famous city - Delhi. Spend some time soaking up the bustle before heading back into the wilderness to Bandhavgarh National Park. Three days of thrilling game drives should reward with sightings of birdlife, wild boar, cheetas and bison, but most importantly India's highest density of tigers.
Your luxurious park lodge provides the perfect base with a tranquil outdoor swimming pool and beautiful sympathetically built eco-cottages which blend into the forest background.
At the end of your stay you will return briefly to Delhi before making your return flight armed with promises of returning.
Internal travel arrangements are included, along with a guide and private chauffeur driven car for transfers. Internal Flights are included however international flights are excluded in the price but can be quoted for separately and any additional activities can be added or tweaked to your liking. Meals are as specified in the itinerary.
|Day 1:||Your chauffeur will collect you from Cochin airport and transfer you to your hotel in a private car. Once you have checked in, enjoy a half day tour of this beautiful city. Believed to be the oldest European settlement in India, there are a number of fascinating architectural sights plus historic Fort Cochin to enjoy before returning to your luxurious hotel to unwind.|
|Day 2:||Leave the city and head into the countryside in a jeep as you travel a winding dirt track up to the highest tea plantation in the world. Learn about the history of tea making and its modern incarnation and how the high altitude produces the finest quality tea. You'll stay in the well-equipped guest room in the heart of the estate. (B, L, D)|
|Day 3:||Enjoy a full day surrounded by mountains as you hike on a full day trek up the second highest peak in the Western Ghats. A guide and picnic lunch are provided. (B, L, D)|
|Day 4:||Time to try your hand at tea-making as you roll up your sleeves and have a go at creating your own blend. (B, L, D)|
|Day 5:||Today you will take to the water to board a houseboat in Alleppey. From your vantage point on deck, explore the lagoons, lakes, canals and estuaries which make up the 900km of backwater of Kerala. Experience the local tradition of coir rope making and fishing and discover the importance of these canals for washing, transport and food. Spend the night on board your boat and let the peaceful sounds of water lull you to sleep. (B, L, D)|
|Day 6:||Enjoy a full day exploring the waterways before returning to dry land late afternoon and heading onto the bustling city of Delhi. (B)|
|Day 7-9:||Hop on a plane to visit Bandhavgargh National Park, home to the highest density of tigers in India. For the next three days you will enjoy a variety of game drives across the broken hilly terrain and grassy swamps spotting not just tiger, but the incredible variety of wildlife and bird species which live in this beautiful National Park. (B, L, D)|
|Day 10:||Return to Delhi and spend the day exploring the city. Speak to us about adding in a guided tour. (B)|
|Day 11:||You will be collected from your hotel and driven to the airport for your return flight. (B)|
PlanetAwareness of responsible tourism in India is on the rise with many hotels leading the charge. Your stay in Cochin is an excellent example of this. They have reduced their use of plastic from over 12,000 bottles a year and instead replaced them with glass bottles filled with treated drinking water which is placed in their guestrooms and restaurant, Plastic toiletry dishes have been removed and earthenware containers used in their place. Made locally to support handicraft workers to support their local community and help the environment.
Their second project is to educate and involve local residents in the maintained of their local area so the hotel organises initiatives to clean up the beach and local roads regularly.
Your visit to India will also take you high into the mountains to a tea plantation. Here you will find that the plantation will not use any fertilisers or pesticides on their plants to maintain the natural balance of the eco-system. Local staff help to maintain the tea growing traditions of the estate.
By spending time on a houseboat in Kerala, it is not only a fantastic way to explore the beautiful countryside but also leaves no trace on the land, leaving less damage from tourism as they are constantly on the move.
Finally, you will travel to the incredible national park of Banhvagarh. It has the highest density of tiger in all of India and this protected species finds a safe haven in the park. While it was once the hunting grounds of Maharaja of Rewa, it now encapsulates over 400 square metres of protected grounds. The park also holds the largest breeding population of leopards and deer. Over the years the park has seen an increase in the tiger population thanks to its tireless preservation.
The fees you pay to enter the park play a vital role in funding the protection and research on the tigers which roam the park and make your visit so unforgettable. Your lodge in the park has an organic vegetable and herb garden to ensure the freshest ingredients and they try to limit their use of packaged and processed food. Energy conservation and minimising their ecological impact is a the heart of everything they do - from recycling everything where possible educating its staff on its importance. Its luxury cabins offer environmentally sensitive and low-impact accommodation through their use of local stone and waste wood, while the lodge encourages guests to get out on foot or by bike to explore rather than just use vehicles.
PeopleWe work closely with carefully chosen ground agents, who along with ensuring you have an unforgettable trip also have a responsibility to ensure that they are providing a responsible visit.
They have a wealth of community engagement activities on at any given time and their staff get out into the local community volunteering with aid projects. They have a Woman Empowerment project to use the skills and trade of local women and visit schools to see to both educational and welfare needs. They have adopted a school in Srinagar and contribute towards the Spiti Project – an organisation working to improve the life for the Tibetan Communities which live in the Spiti Valley.
During your stay in Cochin, the hotel has a firm commitment to working with and employing the local community for their mutual benefit. Alongside employing local people, they have partnerships with local street vendors and tuk tuk drivers to ensure that guests use local services and their stay is more enjoyable by getting to know the local community. The hotel also works with local residences to educate about waste and plastic use and organises clean ups of local beaches and roads to keep the town and region clean.
Your stay on a houseboat in Kerala plays a vital part in keeping traditional alive. Making a fantastic way to explore the waterways, these boats are also made and maintained by local boat builders and craftsmen, providing a consistent source of income and keeping these ancient skills alive.
During your stay in Banhavgarh National Park your lodge is committed to the preservation of the park’s inhabitants – both wildlife and people. They believe that local people can shape the environment for the better and so they work with them to educate them about responsible living and employ them in the maintenance and conservation work going on. They use local farmers to provide fresh ingredients which have not travelled far to get to the kitchens, supporting local markets and marginal farmers. Guests are encouraged to learn more about the native skills and social and cultural practices at play in the park and are offered village visits and interactive sessions to experience the culture.