Rajasthan desert adventure
Description of Rajasthan desert adventure
Rajasthan is filled with imposing forts – testament to its warrior past, when battles raged across these landscapes. But there are many exquisite palaces, too – Rajasthan was also the “Land of Princes”. This small group, Rajasthan desert adventure holiday takes you across the state, introducing you to its history, culture and nature.
Along the way you’ll visit many forts – learning about the unique history of each, including the Red Forts of Delhi and Agra, Bundi’s hilltop fort, ad the incredible Amber Fort at Jaipur. India’s different religions are explored through its mosques and Hindu temples, including Jama Mosque – the largest in India, the while marble Pearl Mosque and the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar. And no tour of northern India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal; you’ll arrive there in time for dawn– just as the white marble exterior s changing colour with the sunrise.
A day in Ranthambore National Park reveals quite a different side of Rajasthan; it’s one of the best places in the world to spot endangered tigers, along with monkeys, crocodiles and deer. And for an extra special twist to this Rajasthan desert adventure holiday – once a year, we offer a departure which includes the renowned Pushkar Camel Fair.
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This tour includes the wonderful chance to visit Ranthambore National Park for 2 game drives. Ranthambore is a tiger reserve under Project Tiger- a conservation effort which has now been running with progressing success for over 40 years. Tigers have been targeted for centuries by poachers for their fur and various body parts for Chinese medicine, but with increasing tourist numbers investing in a mutually safe form of tiger tourism, population numbers are on the rise. By paying National Park fees at Ranthambore, this tour contributes to the upkeep of this vital habitat for the tigers, deer, crocodiles, bird and plant life etc.
For years we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014 we teamed up with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian charity dedicated to conservation-oriented research. They have proved instrumental in enabling us to get the funds to where they are needed. Through this we have now completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Craft & Culture
We are keen to encourage guests to engage with the culture of India and to purchase local crafts and services where possible. Your local guide will be able to recommend the best of the area’s colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses and through our commerce, tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. You might pick up some street food in Delhi, in Jaipur take the opportunity to explore the emporiums specialising in block printed material and blue pottery or in Agra visit a hand-knotted carpet factory. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available by most of the landmarks we visit, and your guides will be able to advise you on which to buy and which to avoid. For example, some bangles and other decorative items in Jaipur claim to be made of ivory and, although this is mostly fake, we are against the popularisation of this kind of product and make a point of including a warning in the briefing.
Accommodation & Meals
On this trip, you will spend your nights in various hotels and you will notice that our hotels employ locally and use local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In Jaipur, Udaipur and Delhi, clients can even see how the food is made e.g. Masala Chai (Tea), Samosa (Mashed Potato Snacks), Jalebe (Indian Donuts), Lassi (Yoghurt Drink), etc.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.