Gujarat tour, tribes and wildlife, India

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Date
Price
Basis
13 Oct 2018
£ 1935
including UK flights
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03 Nov 2018
£ 2025
including UK flights
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15 Dec 2018
£ 2295
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19 Jan 2019
£ 1879
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9 spaces left
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09 Feb 2019
£ 1930
including UK flights
6 spaces left
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23 Feb 2019
£ 1890
including UK flights
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02 Mar 2019
£ 1879
including UK flights
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16 Mar 2019
£ 1879
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12 Oct 2019
£ 2220
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02 Nov 2019
£ 2140
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23 Nov 2019
£ 2140
including UK flights
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gujarat tour, tribes and wildlife, India

Environment

On this trip we explore the wonderful Gir National Park which is the only place in the world where Asiatic Lions can be seen in the wild. Since the population fell to around 15 in the early 1900’s the park has been dedicated to their conservation. There are now over 500 lions and the population continues to grow. We also visit the Wild Ass sanctuary at the Little Rann of Kutch where the endangered Indian Wild Ass thrives and is protected.

Despite the large distances that we cover on this trip we prefer to travel by train and bus, which minimises our impact on the environment and gives our customers the opportunity to mix with the local people. There is also plenty of time to walk, particularly in the hill stations and lots of time is spent with the local tribes who continue to ply their trades as they have done for centuries. In the Kutch area we meet with the Lohar community who are traditionally blacksmiths and the only people in the world who still practise Rogan art, where designs are painted on cloth to create colourful saris. We will also visit the Meghwal people of Bhirandiyara and the Samma Muslims who consider themselves the descendants of the Rajputs that once dominated north and central India.

The trip is led by our knowledgeable Indian tour leaders that have a strong love for their country, and its’ fascinating culture and traditions. As an investment in their future and ours, we run an annual dedicated training course for them with a strong focus on responsible tourism practices. This helps to ensure that our tours run in accordance with our code of practice.

The training focuses on, amongst other things, our Responsible Tourism Policy, including advising customers to switch off lights and air conditioning when leaving their rooms, use of plastic water bottles, recycling towels where possible and visiting restaurants that use local produce.

Community

Gujarat is an area that is relatively unexplored and new to tourism; visiting the area and working with local suppliers provides a much needed source of revenue. Where possible we use independently run and locally-owned accommodation to ensure that the income generated from our visit is spread amongst the community.

Our accommodation is typically Indian and particularly the Royal Safari Camp in Little Rann of Kutch which has been constructed by local artisans using local red stone. A Weavers Co-operative society has also been set up to provide an outlet for the many diverse local crafts and for tourists to contribute to the sustainability of these ecologically sound trades.

We visit several villages where the inhabitants belong to distinct ethnic groups and maintain unique traditions. They are often talented craftsmen and our visit helps to support the continuation of their skills and provides them with an opportunity to generate some income from their skill.

At the start of each trip our Tour Leaders provide guidance concerning local customs and culture so as to ensure that local sensibilities are respected.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world.

We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators. We acknowledge that air travel has a negative impact on our environment, so we work together with Cool Earth to offset carbon and protect our important rainforests.

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