6 independent reviews for Gujarat holidays, Asiatic Lions, Blackbuck & Wild Asses

Reviews for Gujarat holidays, Asiatic Lions, Blackbuck & Wild Asses

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review 1 May 2017

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

It would be impossible to identify a single highlight- there were so many! Seeing so many leopards, the Asiatic lions, the nesting hornbills, saving a Blackbuck fawn from a pariah dog, the simply superb staff, some truly amazing dishes we tried and people we encountered- simply too much and many to mention.

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

Take a travel plug, try to get lots of small denomination rupee notes, plenty of insect repellent, budget for high camera fees especially in Velavadar (where it is USD20 per camera per visit, NOT per day!). Incognito incense sticks were very reassuring and watch out for IndiGo air crew for overcharging inflight purchases!

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

Yes definitely

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

SUPERB! One of our best ever! The structure of our holiday could not have been more diverse and better constructed.

review 1 Jun 2015

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

Being in amongst the crazy traffic and not having to drive...seeing wild leopard in Gir...seeing a bridal party in all their finery...seeing the contrast between wealthy and subsistence living

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

Cut down on the distances and only visit 2 parks reasonably close together. India is a big place and travelling takes time

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

Yes, lodges employed locals for staff and also provisions

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

Very good. The arrangements with the control of the operator were well managed, and the whole experience was so unlike anything we have done before

review 27 May 2014

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

To enter through the gate of the Taj Mahal at dawn with only 8/10 people in front of you. What an amazing place!

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

Carefully consider the long distances. We did not realise that the roads in India were in such a bad state that it takes 6 hours to travel a distance of 250km. Although rural India is special it does become a bit boring when having to do it for many, many hours. We would advise against going from Agra all the way to Jim Corbett NP. It is almost 10 hours in the car.

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

All people involved were local people, but I do not think there are many non-local people in the tourism industry in India. Not so sure about reducing environmental impact: travel by car. Focus of our holiday was on culture rather than nature. So the conservation aspect was limited.

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

We really enjoyed the holiday. Most of the guides were very good, if not excellent. All the drivers were well trained: no use of mobile phones while driving and very pleasant companions. The food was good, especially in the hotel/guesthouse we stayed in near JC National Park.

review 17 Dec 2012

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

Where to start! The lions, the leopard and her cub, the jungle cat kitten, or the magical sighting of wolves. The insight into Gujarati culture was also unforgettable and we were grateful to our driver, Mr Khuman Singh, for not only finding us so much wildlife but also introducing us to local people from all walks of life.

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

There is a charge of 500 rupees per camera per game drive (540 rupees in Velavadar). This is payable in cash at the park gate, so be sure to bring enough money.

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

Definitely, through providing sustainable rural employment. This was my fifth visit to the tropics and felt the most authentic and least 'touristy'.

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

Outstanding. I certainly hope to use this company again in the future.

review 15 May 2009

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

Staying in the Jalore Wildlife sanctuary. A fantastic initiative where wildlife areas are managed on a private basis, offering genuine protection and a chance for animals to thrive in India. In a country with enormous pressures on it's reserves, this is something to be truly applauded. We saw a wide range of wildlife including Asian Steppe cats, Hyenas and beautiful buck and were closely on the trail of an elusive female leopard and her cub.

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

After March the temperature in the desert rises sharply. Go on the night safaris and do not be afraid to ask for anything. Ravindra will tailor the trip to your wishes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, employment to locals and also not only protecting a habitat but actually improving it.

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

Fantastic, the mix of adventure with luxury was amazing and the team tried very hard to meet our wishes. It is said all too often how unique somewhere is or a trip is, but in 20 years of travel to India we have never been to such a mix of unique wildlife spots with wonderful palace and fort like accommodation. The level of service was never less than first class. Really recommended and true luxury deserve every success with their initiative to protect India's wildlife on such a scale. Well done.

review 30 Jun 2009

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

Perhaps the sightings of leopards and wolves as well as the Asiatic lions, wild asses and blackbuck promised. But also being just about the only Europeans in the area we felt a lot closer to the local population including the tribal people.

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

We went in June, immediately pre-monsoon, when it is very hot. This is not a problem if you manage it by taking early morning and late afternoon safaris and holing up during the hottest period. Although the bird population is lower then, the mammals are easier to spot near waterholes or with reduced foliage. We had an outstanding driver (Mr Deepsingh) and the personal service meant that we could request specific add-ons or diversions: the Harrappan city of Lothal (a mere 2,500 BC) and the Calico Museum at Amedabad were spectacular. Do your research before you go. Think about adding an extra day in Amedabad as we did. Remember that Gujurat is dry (alcohol) and the cuisine is largely vegetarian (excellent).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

There are no chain hotels in Sasan Gir or the Rann of Kutch so all staff are local and of course this goes for the park drivers and trackers. Rann Riders was exemplary in its integration with the nine different communities in the nearby village. In both places the construction and operation was low impact.

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

It was exceptionally enjoyable with excellent support from the operator who were not only able to tailor the programme to our specific requirements but also to react swiftly and creatively to unexpected circumstances - in our case the unscheduled closure of the Blackbuck Sanctuary (we still got in!).

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