Tours for you
All our tours are tailor-made. We keep costs reasonable whilst not stinting for those who want a bit of luxury (which India does very well). Most accommodation is on a full board basis in the countryside, and bed and breakfast in cities.
Domestic transport is included, but not international flights.
Village IndiA: A SPONSORED Walk for FRANK Water.
This tour is based at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat, a wonderful farmhouse style home at the foot of the Maikal Hills. You will have the opportunity to explore the local villages and countryside in the company of Sunny; the most enthusiastic host in Central India. Sunny's knowledge of the yearly harvest cycles and the joys and hardships of the villagers whose tolas (hamlets) dot the hills and plains around BJR gives one a genuine insight into rural Indian life that few tourists really see. The highlight of the tour is a two day trek and overnight camp, visiting villages supported by Samerth, an NGO that works to provide villagers in our area with clean and sustainable water supplies, and whom we support via FRANK Water, a UK water charity (reg. 1121273) that works with NGO partners across India to improve access to safe water and sanitation. We will be accompanied by members of FRANK’s Chhattisgarh partner Samerth team at villages in which they work.
We ask that guests on this holiday raise £250 for FRANK Water, via Just Giving, on top of the trip cost.
This four night trip begins and ends in Raipur, including transfers to and from Raipur airport, and all meals and guiding. We highly recommend an extension to Kanha National Park for three nights of wonderful wildlife at Shergarh Tented Camp.
This trip is being offered at the very special price of £650 per person.
Village India AND Kanha National Park (with possible extension to INland goa OR the western ghats).
This fourteen night immersion into central Indian rural life includes a week long stay at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat exploring the fabulous villages and countryside that surround Sunny's heavenly farmhouse style home. This is followed by four nights in tented luxury at Shergarh Tented Camp, Kanha National Park, with our friends Katie and Jehan Bhujwala and the camp's superlative naturalist Raj Gurung. You will have the opportunity to drive into the national park on five safaris as well as a walk in the buffer zone and local cycle rides. From Kanha you will return to BJR, with the option (arranged in advance) of doing so by bicycle, over two days, with a night camping in the courtyard of a beautiful village home on the edge of Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary. A final night at BJR before flying back to Mumbai for a night of of city buzz staying in our favourite boutique hotel, Abode, in the heart of Colaba. Mumbai is a fun and unthreatening Indian metro with many fine restaurants and the best bar-with-a-view just a short walk from the hotel.
If you have the time to extend this tour by a week it works really well with a few nights' R&R in Karnataka and inland Goa, in the two peaceful home-stays we use: Off the Grid offering trekking and wild swimming; and Olaulim Backyards for an even more slow and sultry end to your holiday.
Or in Wayanad in the heaven that is the five hundred acre estate of Fringe Ford. Here you can enter primary rain forest on foot, in the safe hands of an expert guide but with the possibility of seeing elephants, gaur and even tigers without being cut off from it all in a jeep. Fringe Ford is an extremely special place.
This costs around £2550 per person (£3300 with Goa and Karnataka/Wayanad).
The Nilgiri Hills
This gloriously unspoilt part of the Western Ghats is well served with some extremely lovely places to stay, and one or two wonderfully eccentric hosts. There are various options in this splendid part of the world. We suggest flying into Coimbatore airport and driving up to the new and unique 18 Elephants: posh tents perched in the middle of nowhere with abundant wildlife and great dinner conversation grâce à its Anglo-Indian proprietors Kevin and Fenella Wakely. Sit and watch birds and giant squirrels or head off on bush whacking walks with Kevin for spectacular views and not a sign of human habitation. From here via a beautiful Toda village to Jungle Huts, a lodge that is situated right on the edge of Mudumalai National Park. The animals are unconcerned by park boundaries and you’re likely to have spotted deer grazing in front of your veranda and quite possibly bison and elephants. There are various water bodies with superb birds, butterflies and frogs, and a swimming pool for human animals. A drive to Bandipur National Park is worthwhile, tigers are less common here than in central India but the experience a fun one, in small buses rather than jeeps and with a fabulous elephant population.
Travel on from Jungle Huts to Wayanad for a night or two in a beautiful coffee estate at Tranquility Homestay and visit the petroglyphs at Edakkal Caves, continuing on from there to Fringeford. Or head south towards Dindigul to stay in Tamil Nadu with retired British doctor Chris Lucas at his home Cardamom Hills. From here a train ride to the former French Colony of Pondicherry for fine food and wine (perhaps less fine), a cycle tour of the city and for those who are game, a Bollywood dance class!
This tours costs around £2500 per person for two weeks.
Central Indian Wildlife and Culture
This tour begins and ends in Delhi with an Anglo soft landing at Tikli Bottom before flying down to Bhopal for two nights at Jehan Numa Retreat, a magical hotel run by Zafar of the lovely Rashid family. Bhopal is home to two spectacular anthropology museums, and we can arrange a tour of the superb tribal museum with its wonderful curator Shampa Shah. The tour also includes trips out to the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi and the glorious cave paintings at Bhimbetka. From here to the Rashid family's country pad, the very special Reni Pani for six safari-type activities including the rare treat of canoeing and walking in the jungle. A long drive to Kanha brings you back onto our home territory for three nights at Shergarh Tented Camp. We’d recommend an absolute minimum of four nights at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat at the end before a final night at Colonel’s Retreat in Delhi with a late flight home on the final day.
This tour costs approximately £3800 per person.
Children are accommodated free if they share their parents’ room. We have a lot of experience of Indian travel with children in tow – being in a country where people actually like children is wonderfully rewarding for all concerned.