Travel Tips

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Travel Tips


About India

 It is illegal to bring rupees in or out of India. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to exchange throughout India at airport banks, hotels and many vendors

Earlier the better, likewise for the flights, hotels and interstate train journeys and most importantly forests safaris are booked in advance. We suggest you to plan and book 6 months prior to your travelling date. Wildlife tourism is best enjoyed if your safari bookings are confirmed as your staying far from any city area and hence there is nothing else to do other than safaris. We have travelers planning their trips 10 months in advance to ensure everything is confirmed and hence the trip is rather comfortable.

English and Hindi are two most common languages spoken in India

New Delhi, also referred to as the National Capital Territory (NCT) .

It is Rupee, being equal to Rs. 100 Paisa. The denominations in which it is available are: Rs 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 & 5. Coins are available in Rs. 10, 5, 2 and 1

Electrical current in India is 240 volts. Most travel appliances have their own built-in power adapters (such as laptop computers, digital cameras, mobile devices, and some travel hair dryers): these can be plugged into either 110-120-volt or 220-240-volt sockets and will adapt to the voltage automatically (but you still need a plug adaptor as noted below.) Check your travel appliances, especially your travel hair dryer to be sure it can operate on either 110-120 or 220-240 voltage

“The Republic of India” is the official name of India.

India is known for its diversity and different geographical area with very different climatic conditions and hence the best time to travel in India depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. Generally, for everywhere except high in the Himalayas, the best time to travel on the sub-continent is from November to April. The temperature in winter is mild and game viewing in the national parks is at its best, although it is very cold in the morning on early game safaris in open jeeps. April and May are considered the best time for tigers and game viewing in the interior, as the jungle thickets dry out and game concentrates at watering holes, but with more heat and insects.


Health Advice & Checklist

It is suggested to avoid drinking the tap water or using it to brush your teeth. Bottled water is widely available and provided in vehicles on our trips. Some lodges provide filtered water which is also safe. 

Non Vegetarian food will be available; however as wildlife lodges are far away from any city, storage of meat for long is not suggested and as we work on best practices in our restaurants, our chefs readily check with our guests about their food preferences and plan their next menu accordingly. Indian food is mostly spicy however our chefs understand that tourist from abroad is not fond of very spicy food.  Please feel free to let our chefs know about your preferences and to prepare a “milder” dish. They will be glad to serve you as per your needs. Please note that Beef and pork are largely unavailable, as they are forbidden among Hindus and Muslims.


Insurances and Visas Information

Travel Insurance is highly recommended while you are travelling to India for unexpected travel cancellation and/or trip interruptions such as medical coverage for accidents and related evacuation expenses that may be incurred during your travel.

Yes, you will need an advance visa in your passport before departure from your country.


Travel Advice for High Altitude

We will have land transfers services available from Airport/ Railways stations to the wildlife lodges and return. The transport charges will be either informed or will be the part of your package.

India is a country of warm, friendly and sophisticated people who genuinely care about your comfort and safety as a visitor. There are pickpockets and scammers who target unwary tourists, although petty crime among tourists is limited to independent low budget travelers. Travelers should take normal precautions in crowded places. It is recommended that you leave valuables in the hotel safe or locked in your luggage while sightseeing and carry your currency and passport in a pouch around your neck or in a money belt around your waist. Vehicles have right of way so be careful whenever crossing the street. Always be cautious while selecting your travel agent so that your safety must not be compromised. 

Yes, however be informed about the international roaming charges. No phone works in forests and has a limited connectivity in jungle lodges.


Travel Guidence

India Visa Information

All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa to enter India. The only exceptions are nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who can enter India without a visa. (Note: Nepalese nationals need a visa if entering India from China).

 

Residents of the UK can obtain a visa by applying online on the in.vfsglobal.co.uk website. Full details of the types of visas and the application procedures are on the website. There are many other websites which offer visa services but these will charge a fee in addition to the normal visa fees. The VFS Global website is the official visa website and offers the cheapest way to obtain the visa.

 

A Tourist Visa may be valid for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year with single, double or multiple entries. Irrespective of the duration of validity of the visa, on each visit the maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days). Please note the validity of the visa is effective from the date of issue and not the date of travel on your application form.

If you are applying by post for your visa then please allow at least two weeks for your application to be processed. You can also apply in person at one of the regional application offices and can make an appointment for submitting your documents.

If you are visiting India after coming from or through a yellow fever country then you must have a valid vaccination certificate.

Foreigners entering India on long term visas valid for more than 180 days should follow the relevant registration formalities. All persons who hold a Student Visa, Employment Visa or Research Visa which is valid for more than 180 days are required to register themselves with the nearest Foreign Registration Office (FRO) or Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival in India.

Please ask us for advice if you require assistance with completing the visa application form.

 

Medical checklist
Recommended items for a personal medical kit:

 

·         Antihistamine tablets

·         Antiseptic lotion or wipes

·         Basic first-aid items such as plasters, bandages, gauze, safety pins, sterile needles and syringes

·         Diarrhoea tablets

·         Hydrocortisone cream for allergic/itchy rashes

·         Ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory

·         Indigestion tablets

·         Insect repellent

·         Rehydration sachets

·         Sunscreen

 

Remember to take any prescribed medicines with you and to consult your doctor in plenty of time about any vaccinations needed. Depending where you are visiting in India you may also need to take anti-malaria prophylactics.

In transit - is all fine

Jet lag & motion sickness
Jet lag is common when crossing more than five time zones; it results in insomnia, fatigue, malaise or nausea. To avoid jet lag try drinking plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) and eating light meals. Upon arrival, seek exposure to natural sunlight and readjust your schedule (for meals, sleep etc) as soon as possible.

 

Medicines taken before travelling can reduce or prevent the symptoms of motion sickness, and they work by interfering with the nerve signals being sent to the brain. Some of these medicines may cause drowsiness or have other side effects.

Rather than wait for nausea or vomiting to develop, antiemetic can be given beforehand to prevent motion sickness. Hyoscine is the most effective medicine for preventing motion sickness.  It’s best to consult your GP or pharmacist before taking it as hyoscine is not suitable for everyone.

For people who cannot have hyoscine, antihistamines are an alternative but they are not as effective and can cause drowsiness. If you are taking other medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medicines may interact. As alcohol can interact with some medicines, also check if you can drink while taking medication for treating motion sickness. 

Ginger supplements work like a charm for some people. Their effectiveness has not been proven but they have no adverse effects.

 

 

Train Travel Guidance

General Advice – Few things to remember

 

1.     Travel light. Make sure you do not keep anything of value in the outer pockets of your luggage.

2.     Once you board the train, secure your luggage with a chain and keep an eye on it discretely. We will assist you in procuring a chain and lock for your train journey.

3.     You will find many vendors selling delicious food items on trains and stations. Do not take anything to eat except fruits, if you so desire. We will provide you with a packed dinner, which will include fruits and other items, for your journey.

4.     Take your time to evaluate your fellow passengers – do not make friends quickly. Never reveal details about yourself.

5.     Do not accept any consumables from anyone, unless you are sure the item has not been tampered with.

6.     If you need any assistance, feel free to call our 24 hour emergency numbers provided to you.

7.     Drink only bottled water.

8.     Take extra care if travelling alone.

9.     Dress comfortably before you board the train. Changing clothes on a running train is best avoided.

10.  While going to the washroom in the train, be careful about your hand bag / purse. When coming out of the washroom, please check that you do not leave anything behind. Carry your own dispensable soaps, sanitizers, and tissue papers. We will provide you with the soaps and tissue papers.

11.  It is suggested to avoid charging your laptop, tablet and mobile phone on the running train as the chances of damage to your equipment is high. If you have to charge your phone in case of very low battery, please remember to put the charger back in your bag.

Indrail Pass
An Indrail Pass allows foreigners (and Indians residing abroad) to travel anywhere without any route restriction within its validity period. If you plan to do most of your travelling by train, it offers better economy as well. Indrail Passes are available at the tourist bureau set up in all major stations. All you have to do is to decide on the class by which you wish to travel and the period.

 

Classes on Indian trains

There are seven classes of travel on Indian trains. For daytime journeys 2nd AC or Chair Class are recommended. For overnight journeys 2nd AC or 1st AC are recommended.

1st AC – Air-conditioned compartments with 2 or 4 bunks and a wash basin, including all bedding. It’s fancier than you would probably imagine, and quite expensive as well.

2nd AC – Air-conditioned compartments with 4 bunks and not as fancy, but still very nice, and about half the price of 1st AC.

3rd AC – Air-conditioned compartments with 6 bunks per compartment so it’s more crowded but still comfortable and clean, and quite cheap usually.

Sleeper Class – This is similar to 3rd AC but without air-conditioning or bedding, and usually quite crowded. (Not recommended for travel in overnight journeys)

Unreserved 2nd Class – Open carriages with bench seats and often amazingly crowded, and extremely cheap, of course. (Not recommended for travel in overnight journeys)]

 

 

 

 

Classes on Indian trains

Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A)

AC1 is a comfortable way to travel, although it's only found on the most important long-distance trains and costs twice the price of AC2. It consists of lockable 4-berth & 2-berth sleeper compartments with washbasin.  All bedding is provided, and berths convert to seats for daytime use. 

Air-conditioned 2-tier (AC2 or 2A)

AC2 is relatively clean, comfortable and not crowded, a good choice for most visitors to India. It is found on almost all decent long-distance trains, and is the class typically used by middle class Indian families. AC2 provides padded leatherette seats by day, convertible to flat padded bunks at night.  AC2 coaches are open-plan with berths arranged in bays of four on one side of the aisle (two upper, two lower, transverse across the car width), and in bays of two on the other side of the aisle, arranged longitudinally along the coach side above and below the windows.  Each bay is curtained off for privacy and an attendant distributes pillows, sheets and blankets in the evening. 

Air-conditioned 3-tier (AC3 or 3A)

AC3 is very similar to AC2, but it has three tiers of bunks - upper, middle and lower - arranged in bays of six on one side of the aisle, and bays of two (upper and lower) along the coach side on the other side of the aisle.  It is more crowded than AC 2-tier, and lacks the privacy curtains and individual berth lights found in AC2.  As in AC2, an attendant distributes pillows, sheets and blankets in the evening.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use. 

AC Executive chair class (EC)

AC Executive Chair Class is only found on the most important Shatabdi Express trains.  Seats are arranged 2+2 across the car width. Food and drink is included in the fare, served at your seat. AC Exec Chair class is available to holders of an AC1 Indrail pass.  Online booking systems don't distinguish between AC Executive Chair class and AC1 sleepers; both are shown as AC1 or 1A.

AC Chair class (CC)

AC Chair class is comfortable and air-conditioned with seats arranged 2+3 across the car width. It is a good choice for daytime journeys. AC Chair Class is found on the Shatabdi Expresses and a number of other inter-city daytime trains. It is available to holders of an AC2 class Indrail pass.  

Sleeper Class (SL)

The majority of cars on a long-distance train will be sleeper class and is the way most of the less-well-off Indian population travels long-distance. Sleeper class consists of open plan berths with upper, middle and lower bunks arranged in bays of six on one side of the aisle, and along the coach wall in bays of two (upper and lower) on the other side of the aisle.  Bedding is not provided.  Sleeper class is found on almost all long-distance trains except for the premier 'Rajdhani Express' services.  It can be quite crowded and is fairly grubby and basic.  Sleeper class is suited to the more adventurous backpackers who are prepared to rough it.

2nd class seats (2S = reserved or II = unreserved)

Open plan cars with wooden or padded plastic seats, sometimes reserved and shown online as 2S, sometimes unreserved and shown online as II.  Not recommended for long distance overnight journeys but worth considering for daytime journeys of up to a few hours if you are on a tight budget.

 

 

Baggage Tips

Few tips on domestic sector flights:


Indian domestic airlines allow a checked baggage allowance of 15kg. In addition a cabin bag is allowed together with small personal items such as a ladies hand bag, an overcoat wrap or blanket, an umbrella/a walking stick, a reasonable amount of reading material, a small camera or binoculars, infant’s food or laptop computer.

Due to airport security regulations, no cabin baggage is allowed on any flights originating from Jammu, Srinagar and Leh Airports. A small bag is allowed to enable small, high value items such as passport, money, jewellery, camera or laptop to be carried as hand luggage.

 

If you are arriving on an international flight and connecting to a domestic flight then you will be allowed the international flight baggage allowance for the domestic flight but only if the domestic flight is on the same ticket. If your domestic flight is booked separately, or is on a separate ticket, then you will only be allowed 15kg as checked baggage. Similarly, if you are taking a domestic flight to return to a city for an international flight, you should ensure your checked bag is no more than 15kg or be prepared to pay the excess baggage charges (unless the domestic flight is on the same ticket as your international flight).

 

The cabin bag allowance is usually 7kg but please check the allowance and bag dimensions for your airline as these can vary between airlines and types of aircraft.

 


Wildlife Rules and Regulations

Yes, Bird watching has always been an important part of our itineraries. India is home to 1200 bird’s species, out of which 141 are endemic to the Indian sub-continent. What’s even more astonishing is that of the 27 Orders and 155 Families that avifauna has been classified into; Indian habitat embodies 20 Orders and 77 Families. The reason for such rich birdlife is the climate, diversity of landscape and vegetation, and migratory routes through such a wide range of altitude from southerly latitudes of the tropics to the high Himalayas.

It is the most common question that we answer/ discuss with our guest. The rule is to never ever get off from your jeep while you inside the forest. It’s illegal and a punishable offence. The Naturalist and vehicle driver are skilled enough and know what to do in case of any unusual occurring. Trust them and follow whatever they guide.

Silence and keeping patience is the best way to enjoy your game drive. Animals are very shy and try to keep away from distraction as they feel it as a threat. Sightings are best if we keep our calm and enjoy our excitement within.

Wildlife lodges will have limited internet connection; a wildlife lodge without wifi connection is quiet common. Please confirm with us about the same prior to your travelling dates.

Tipping is a rather a custom in India and it is expected from tourist at all points. In India Tips are often used to get the things done, and is offered by citizens almost everywhere. It is best suggested to carry small denominations to hand out for daily assistance with porters, local guides, gatekeepers and bathroom attendant. Tips for driver and escorts are paid in the end. In the lodges instead of tipping all staff individually you may leave your tip at check out in the tipping box kept at the reception. We will provide you real time tipping guidelines with each trip. You may simply follow our suggestions and save some money on your tipping expense.

A Study shows that even a 5 years old kid gets amazed by wildlife and nature. Wildlife is nature and nature is for everyone, whether you are adventurous or seeking relaxation whether you are a photographer or a explorer, nature and wildlife offers something interesting for everyone. We have regular return guests every year and they find the same forest very different from their last year’s experience.

It is highly recommended for that you wear earth color palette of browns, tans, beige, warm grays, and greens are the best combinations for safaris. It helps in best sightings too as strong colors like red, yellow, blue turn out to be a distraction for animals and they hide or keep away from such odds.

Wildlife lodges are far from any city hence it is best suggested to confirm your accommodations and safari prior to your travelling dates. Travelling with enough cash for your tips, souvenirs any personal expense like liquor, calls and laundry is a good idea. ATMs and traveler cheques can be used to obtain currency however once you are on your way to a wildlife lodge, ensure that you have enough to pay anything which is not pre booked.

A good digital camera is always suggested at wildlife safaris, if you are a photographer or wildlife enthusiast, we are sure that you luggage will include a tripod or bean bag support for your lenses for great wildlife pictures. A safari hat and shades are also suggested to have your personal cover from sun as the safaris are for 3 hours to 4 hours drive in the jungle which could be bit uncomfortable. You could purchase hats from any jungle lodges. Rain coats and jeep cover are standard inclusions in the safari vehicle.

Footwear: Light walking shoes, light socks.

Clothing: Waterproof jacket and trousers, woolens, sweater or fleece jacket, cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, sun hat, bathing suit, track suit. Carry casual and comfortable and adequate clothing for travelling. Sun protection lotion and other cosmetics as per personal needs.

 

Guide books: Wildlife Guide books are suggested as they help you to gain more knowledge. Surprisingly it triggers your interest and turn out to be a treasure hunt sort game to follow. The excitement remains for the entire journey and you enjoy your game drive to the fullest.

Travelling in India could be hectic and dusty; Wildlife tourism is a game of patience and fatigue. Sightings are worth the wait however on your return your body needs enough comfort to rejuvenate and refreshes you for your next game drive. Our accommodations are selected considering various aspects. Location: Our proud properties are very near to the core area which saves time and on your return from the game drive, you are inside your lodge before you know it. It is best to be informed about the distance between the lodge and forest gate before you book. With us is our priority to ensure the comfort of our guests.

A safari experience could turn out to be interesting or ruined depending on your naturalists and safari drivers. We understand the importance of having a skilled safari driver and our team of naturalists have third generations naturalist who were born in villages of the forests. Their knowledge on jungle has been a daily routine from their childhood and its family hierarchy. We have trained them to interact with the travelers and hence the team speaks English and loves their story telling sessions.