Kerala and Karnataka tour, India
Description of Kerala and Karnataka tour, India
This fourteen day tailor made tour of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala tickles the senses and opens the eyes to some of southern India's most exciting cultural and natural settings. From Mysore to Cochin by way of Nagarhole National Park, the Nilgiris and Kotagiri, this tour is as enlightening as exclusive with a private car and driver ensuring you travel in style from one hand-picked property to the next.
Our company has an intimate knowledge of both Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala which is why we've been able to craft this tailor made itinerary to get you off the beaten track and into the true character of southern India. Local assistance along the way and genuinely welcoming hosts ensure you'll get to experience as much or as little as you like with cooking, safaris and sightseeing all ideal for making the most of your time over the course of ten days.
Adapting the tour below is entirely up to you. We've tried to ensure a balance between free time, optional activities and cultural immersion with a couple of nights in each location ideal for those who like to get to know a place, and the local people, rather than whizzing from one site to the next.
We think that the best time to visit Kerala is either side of the rainy season that tends to last from May through to the end of July. Christmas and New Year are extremely special times to visit.
PlanetAll our holidays are tailor-made which means that you are not travelling with a group of other people. With small numbers of individuals staying in small properties the impact on the environment is reduced, as waste, lighting etc will be minimal.
This tour includes a visit to one of India’s Wildlife Sanctuaries. Indian National Parks are protected areas and the Indian government are committed to conserving the numbers of tigers, elephants and other wild and endangered animals within the reserve. Visitors to the parks pay an entrance fee and this money will go towards the up-keep of the park and enhance their community based ecotourism practises.
A train journey is included in this tour. Train travel is possibly the most environmentally friendly way to travel a long distance.
Stay at small family run homestays in both Mysore and Palakkad, a perfect way to experience the local culture and interact with the fabulous hosts.
The accommodation at Coonoor is Raven's Nest. This property grows its own vegetables, and when they are not in season they obtain produce from the neighboring farmers or from vendors in the Niligiris.
All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks.
PeopleBy using homestays and small privately owned hotels on this tour, you are supporting the host families/owners, their staff and the local community.
The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent who works almost exclusively for us. We supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work).
Tipping is expected in India, especially by the lower paid workers who rely on tips to help to boost their wages. It is important to get it right – enough but not too much. We supply all our customers with details regarding gratuities and we hope these guidelines are followed.
Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. We encourage you to stop at the small chai (tea) shops as you travel and give business to the chai wallah (even if you do not like the idea of drinking the tea yourself, your driver will appreciate it).
All of the guides we use are local and self-employed giving them the freedom to set their own fees and select when they work and who they work for.
We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).
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