7 independent reviews for Wildlife photography vacation in India

Reviews for Wildlife photography vacation in India

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review 30 Mar 2018

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

Seeing my first tiger in the wild

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This is a very 'full on' trip with safaris taking more than ten hours every day of your stay. Little time for anything apart from eating, sleeping and safari. Courtyard House is only about fifteen minutes from Park entrance and they look after you very well.

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

I think the local population benefited considerably since all staff at CH were local and guides and drivers of safari vehicles also seemed to come from local villages, therefore a boost to the local economy. Conservation in the park appeared good with areas fenced off for regeneration and protection and breeding of two rarer species to improve numbers. Also strict limitation of vehicles and areas to visit controlled by GPS tracking devices.

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

Overall a very enjoyable experience, Courtyard House was excellent and safaris very well organised and everything worked like clockwork. Personally I would have preferred to stay at a hotel near the airport in Delhi. Arriving from London after a longish flight and then facing an hour taxi drive in rush hour to the hotel was not ideal. Repeated early the next morning and again on return to Delhi. Having said that you would miss the hustle and bustle of the city. It would also cost more but could perhaps be given as an option. Sometimes felt information about the trip could be more forthcoming e.g. internal flights and routes were changed but did not know anything about this until arrival in Delhi. Also not informed that breakfast was included in our two nights stay at hotel in Delhi, neither by hotel or representative.

review 30 Oct 2017

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

Seeing a wild tiger within 30 meters of our safari jeep.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take the morning safaris as these offer best chance of seeing tigers.

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

Yes.

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

An excellent experience.

review 24 Apr 2017

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

The trip as a whole was fantastic (9 days), but seeing a wild Tiger for the first time was something else. It was quite an emotional experience. We saw 6 Tigers during 10 safaris. We also saw 2 Jungle Cats, 4 sp of deer, Bison, Jackal, 2 cobras and over 100 sp of birds. We missed a leopard by 30 seconds. We saw tigers on 5 of the 10 safaris. The safaris can involve a lot of driving and searching but well worth it. One Tiger lay in the road in front of us for 10 minutes, 30 feet away. Wow! We stayed at Courtyard House for 6 nights. It could not be faulted. The people were lovely, the food was amazing and a great location for easy access to Kahna National Park. We (2 adults + 2 grown up kids 17 and 19) flew to Delhi, stayed one night, then flew to Jabalpur. It was 4.5 hrs by Car to Courtyard House. 6 days of safaris then back to Jabalpur. An overnight train to Agra. Next day we visited the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, then back to Delhi and home the following day.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

1. At the airport when you arrive get plenty of rupees, changing up cash. Our bank cards wouldn't work at cash points and Courtyard House Hotel being so remote didn't take credit cards - to settle up the bill at the end 2. Take some warm clothes - leaving at 5am for safari it was very chilly -but by 10am it was 30c+ 3. Note - no wifi or phone signal at or anywhere near Courtyard House - this was not a problem but good to know in advance 4. Take a cloth to cover your nose/mouth as on occasion on safari it was very dusty 5. Be prepared for early mornings, when on safari we had 6 days in a row of 4.30am starts - worth it though!

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

Yes, the staff at the Courtyard House Hotel were local people. I was impressed at the way entrance to Kahna NP was managed, limiting the number of vehicles allowed in. On occasion we would drive for quite some time in the park without seeing another vehicle.

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

Excellent, particularly the 6 days at Courtyard House and the safaris. 9 days was plenty for us as it was a very tiring trip.

review 9 Mar 2015

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

Actually seeing a tiger

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Probably travel in the hotter months to increase chance of seeing tigers.

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

I believe it did help conservation efforts and local people.

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

It was very well organised and very interesting but I was disappointed by the paucity of tiger sitings.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Derek It was a pleasure to have you here. Im happy you appreciated our services & the tour. But am really surprised that you were disappointed. Tiger sightings are simply not in human hands and they move in wild freely. Seeing Tiger itself is a life time opportunity so i hope you will understand. However we once again appreciate your feedback but again sightings of a Tigers in Wild is not in our Control.

review 25 Apr 2014

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

The first sighting of a tiger in the wild is so exciting and the memory of that will stay with us forever. Also, seeing the Taj Mahal is a never to be forgotten experience, even for the second time!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you stay at Courtyard House in Kanha. You won't regret it!

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

Yes, local people were given employment opportunities in most places that we stayed. Sustainable fuels were used for water heating in many hotels. Conservation was very important in all the wildlife parks that we visited. Particularly protecting the tiger.

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

Amazing! The tour operator arranged the vacation just as we requested. Everything went smoothly and was very well organized.

review 21 Dec 2010

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

It would have to be seeing FIVE tigers however the whole vacation was fantastic. India is certainly a challenge especially the train stations. As a "mature" lady traveling on her own I was a bit concerned about finding my way about, however a representative from the tour company was always waiting for me and smoothing the way. The hotel in Delhi and the Krishna Lodge in Kanha were lovely, comfortable and the staff couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent. The safari guides and drivers knowledge was incredible and they could spot wildlife and birds that I could hardly see even through my binoculars.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take plenty of small change. It is the custom to tip virtually everyone and it can get expensive. A universal sink plug is useful as hotels do not use them. Indian traffic doesn't seem to have any rules and the roads have cows and dogs wandering about in between rickshaws trucks, pedestrians and potholes- but all very amicable. Just a bit scary.

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

The hotels were all small and run by local people as were the guides and the tour company representatives so yes I'm sure the locals benefited. As to the impact on the environment. The environment is different to ours so make up your own mind

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

Thanks to Neleesh of the tour company it was fantastic. Very well organised and better than advertised and I saw 5 TIGERS!!!!

review 11 Jan 2009

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

Without doubt the 13, yes 13 tiger sightings during our stay in Kanha National Park for 5 1/2 days in December 2008. This included a very young tiger cub!! A great privilege to see one tiger let alone more than one. Full credit to Bapu and Raju, our guide and driver respectively, for without whom this would not have been possible. The two sightings of different Indian Wild Dogs packs was also very special as well as all the other wonderful wildlife and birds.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Just relax and enjoy! Please remember this is India and not Western Europe or North America... things can happen at a different speed to what you are used to!! Please be aware that it can be very cold during the early morning game drives so take warm clothes (December / January very cold, March just cold). The tipping of the national park guides and mahouts is customary especially if and when a tiger is sighted. Dust can be an issue for camera equipment especially digital SLR's so make sure you take something to cover your camera and cleaning materials.

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

Firstly any trip involving a long haul flight will have an environmental impact however this should be weighed against the benefits of visiting India's national parks. Without the existence of visitors, especially relatively well off western visitors the pressure from local communities on the parks would be even greater. Effectively no visitors means greater risk for the Tigers. Having said that your visit will give rise to numerous local employment opportunities, either direct or indirect, including the local guides, drivers and staff at Krishna Jungle Lodge, the local national park guides and those people employed within the park. A very clear benefit to the local community. Environmental impacts are minimised by cooking local food (no fancy western imports!), the lack of tv's and radios thereby reducing electricity demands, the restrictions in the park limiting vehicles to those that are petrol powered and the use of trains for long distance traveling eg New Delhi to Jabalpur.

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

Excellent, we would have no hesitation in booking with this operator again. Excellent organisation by Neelesh at a very reasonable price, good friendly communications and willing to be available to deal with any problems that may arise. If you are prepared to take the leap of faith to book with an Indian based operator, as opposed to your local operator, we believe you will be well rewarded.

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