3 independent reviews for Rajasthan cycling holiday with Taj & tigers

Reviews for Rajasthan cycling holiday with Taj & tigers

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review 11 Feb 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My wife and I have always wanted to see the wonders of Rajasthan and as keen cyclists we thought why not combine the two? We also wanted to book with a locally based firm, preferring that to a large organisation, knowing that the total cost of the holiday stays within the local economy. The operator, based in New Delhi and run by Sabir Mallick, seemed to provide exactly what we wanted. We contacted Sabir with a list of questions we had relating to his Rajasthan option, he also offers cycling holidays in Kerala, and very promptly we received his reply which clearly, precisely and professionally answered all our queries. This made my wife and I feel this was a company we would like to deal with and you will see in other related reviews that the professionalism and promptness with which Sabir deals with potential customers is a constant throughout those reviews. I can 100% agree with those previous customer’s, and those of our fellow cyclists on our tour (there were six of us in total) that Sabir’s professionalism and conscientiousness was a major factor why we all independently decided to book with this operator. As to the holiday itself? From the time we arrived in Delhi to the time we left Delhi some two and a half weeks later everything worked like clockwork. Clearly the operator are a very experienced company and it was great to know that all the planning and logistics involved in a tour like this were meticulously worked out beforehand and implemented perfectly. The choice, location and quality of the hotels was first class. The bikes, hardtail Trek mountain bikes, were of a good quality and adequately handled the roads which were not always super smooth! The crew that accompanied us, one cycling guide/mechanic plus one minibus driver and a truck driver who drove us, our luggage and the bikes from hotel to hotel and also served us fresh fruit and drinks en route during our cycling days, were professional and very attentive. Obviously anyone wanting to visit Rajasthan will have already done their research and will know what it has to offer. All I can say is that the various antiquities visited, culminating in an early sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal (words simply can’t describe its beauty and the joy one experiences seeing it) are all awe inspiring and give you a wonderful insight into the past glories of this amazing state. My highlight, apart from the amazing hill forts visited and of course the Taj Mahal, as a nature lover, was the safari day we spent at the Ranthambore Nature Reserve where we were lucky enough to see two tiger cubs playing together. Finally, I suppose, I should say something about the cycling itself after all it is a cycling holiday! Each cycling day was between approximately 55kms to 75kms so some fitness is required. Saying that there’s no pressure to finish any day in an allotted time and anyway why would you with so much to see and experience? The route takes you through some fascinating scenery from lush farmland to barren, dessert like landscapes and every day seemed to throw up some magical experience which will stay with us forever. I can highly recommend this operator.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Our holiday was Jan 18 to Feb 5 - take warm clothing as its cold early mornings and evenings.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All hotels, I think, were 'heritage' Indian owned hotels. Local villages benefitted from locally purchased products.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - the owner Sabir simply planned and supported everything from initial email contact to our date of departure. He was the perfect host/guide throughout our holiday. I cannot recommend this operator highly enough.

review 6 Feb 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Every day was a highlight! Cycling over the small roads, sometimes through villages was an amazing experience. But also the selected siteseeïng objects and the safari's were amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do this trip and you will have a very nice holliday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

There was always the possibillity to shop in local stores. Amd conversation with the local people was easy, everybody was very friendly and tried to help us. They were very curious about our cycling. The environmental impact is harder to see, but we tried to be an exampel by cleaning up all our picknickplaces.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Just go and see for yourself. We have done a few cycletours, but this one was farout the best.

review 11 Jan 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Udaipur lakes, Amer Fort, Ranthambore park, and Taj Mahal were highlights of the trip. However, the most memorable part of the holiday was cycling through the countryside and rural villages: dodging cows, waving to local kids, chatting with people on scooters as they drove by, and learning about life in India.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just do it! We took our kids, age 12 and 14 on the trip. Before the trip we took them on several 30-40 km training rides at home on roads with some traffic. This enabled them to finish most of the rides on the trip. This was not necessary for us adults on the trip. If you go in winter, you may want a smog mask to protect against smog and dust.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The trip is run by local staff, and we ate local food throughout the trip. The guides took care to reduce plastic usage and garbage creation along the way. The tour of Ranthambore park supports conservation of land for endangered tigers.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This cycling trip was a fantastic holiday for my family. It was a great balance between active cycling, seeing top cultural attractions, and meeting local people. In Ranthambore, we were lucky and saw two male tigers up close, gaining a new appreciation for this endangered species. Cycling through the countryside was a fun adventure, and we enjoyed sharing the road with pedestrian farmers, cows, scooters, and the occasional tractor. The scenery included lakes, farms, forest, desert, and small villages. Throughout the trip, locals greeted us with waves and welcomed us at all stops. The tour group was small, and the guides took care of my family throughout the trip. They provided bananas, oranges, and clean water during cycling, and added biscuits to the snack tray for the kids. The heritage hotels were each unique and comfortable. The food on the trip was delicious, and the masala chai was a hit with my family. Here is a review from my 12 year old daughter: The trip was amazing! I had so much fun cycling along the green fields and seeing the villages and mountains. We saw so many animals, from camels to elephants to tigers. Once, on one of the first days cycling, I was crossing a busy road when someone yelled 'watch out!' I looked up and there was an elephant right next to me. The pure size shocked me, compared to the many scooters usually on the roads. I ran out of its path, and as soon as I reached the other side of the road I burst out laughing. The tour guides were so nice and friendly, and they always gave us food and juice so we wouldn't run out of energy.

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