info@theindiansafari.com

Travel Information



Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose an Indian Safari tour?

Our Safaris are completely unique. Simply, we are the only tour operator to give you more value on every tour at no extra cost; you'll consistently stay in quality hotels in desirable locations; you'll enjoy more included sightseeing; and because you'll travel in smaller groups, you'll receive better personal attention from our experienced Team.

Is there a third party involved on your tours?

No, we do not involve any third party in any of our Tours. You book a tour directly/indirectly with us. We pick you up from the airport upon your arrival; take you on a roller-coaster drive through some of the most exotic and incredible destinations in India. We operate all our tours in our own customized comfortable traveller vans (4X4s on some safaris) with our experienced and friendly team. The same team will stay with you from the start of the tour till we safely drop you to the airport after the tour is finished.

What is the group size on your tours?

In most cases, the group will operate with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 10 guests. We operate small group tours to ensure our service is of the highest standards. Our smaller groups are more safe, friendly and intimate, and therefore enjoy more attention from our staff.

When is the best time to travel?

Many of our comprehensive tours have been specifically designed during the most pleasant seasons of the year. The best time to visit India is October-April. The wet and humid 'Monsoon' season is between July-September in the north and July-October in the south.

What are the inclusions and exclusions of the packages?

Inclusions:Most items have been included in the initial cost of your fully inclusive group tour like transportation- including domestic flights, accommodation, meals (from the group’s arrival until group’s departure), English-speaking Local Guides and/or a National Escort, entrance fees to scenic attractions as listed in itinerary.
Exclusions:The only items not included in your fully inclusive group tour are items such as beverages, personal expenses, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets, and Visa Fees etc.
What this means for you is that after your arrival in India you can sit back, relax and we will take care of the rest.

What types of meals are served on tour?

All group tours include 3 meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a combination of eastern and western cuisine served in a buffet style. Lunch and dinner usually consist of local cuisine served in a banquet style with a range of dishes to choose from. At times it may be necessary to provide simple packed meals due to travel schedules, location and hygiene.

Please ensure you advise us of any food allergies or dietary requirements prior to your departure. We will do our utmost to cater to any dietary requirements; however, you should expect complications as we cannot guarantee that all special requirements can be met.

Is it worthwhile to have travel insurance?

It is compulsory, to travel with Indian Safari, that all passengers take out comprehensive travel insurance. It is vital to ensure that you have appropriate cover for your holiday, as overseas medical costs are expensive and private health insurance will not cover you outside of your home country..

We strongly encourage all travellers to take a copy of their travel insurance documents (including relevant international contact numbers) with them whilst on tour. It is very important that you check the inclusions and procedures for lodging claims prior to your departure. These documents should be stored securely.

Vaccinations and your health

We recommend that you contact your GP for advice on vaccinations and travel health. Australian travellers may check out Travelvax, they have a comprehensive website that you may find useful www.travelvax.com.au

How far in advance should I book?

As a general rule, it is best to book as soon as you have made a firm decision on a particular tour in order to avoid disappointment, as our tours fill up rather quickly. You can make an online booking through our website, contact our office, and call us directly or through our booking agents.

Can you create tours specifically for my requirements?

We understand that group travel is not always suited to everyone, so we are more than happy to customize any itinerary to suit your specific needs. Please email us for further details or contact our office for assistance.

Is there any free time whilst on tour?

Our tours are designed to ensure that you will have the opportunity to see the very best highlights of each region visited. Our Tour Escorts co- ordinate with our local travel industry partners to find the best balance of sightseeing and leisure time, which is dependent on the scheduled itineraries and local conditions.

What type of guides escort the tour?

We have two types of guides that escort our tours; a Tour Director and Local Guides. Based on a minimum of 6 passengers, a Tour Director will accompany the group throughout the duration of your stay in the country. Accompanying your Tour Director, in some regions will be a Local Guide/ naturalist who has specialized knowledge of the destination.

How do I get my visa?

Visas are essential when travelling to India. Please be advised that your passport must have at least 6 months validity left on it when you arrive back into your home country. Some tourists may be able to obtain Visa on Arrival (please check if your country is eligible).

Are there any baggage restrictions?

All passengers are limited to two (2) items of luggage each:

> One (1) suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg.
> One (1) piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of 5kg.

It is advisable that your hand luggage consist of a 'backpack'- a small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat etc.

It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage.

What are Tour Directors like?

Time and again, our guests tell us that it was their Tour Director who really made their trip. Our Tour Directors are amongst the finest in the business and will help steer you through the vastness of India's cultures, languages and diversities and bring its magic to life before your eyes.

Will road travel be relaxing?

We ensure your comfort when travelling by planning plenty of rest stops during each journey. Seat rotation each day guarantees everyone gets to enjoy the great views. By leaving the driving to us you avoid wasted time planning routes and negotiating traffic and other safety concerns. We'll even take care of the expensive items like refuelling, paying tolls and parking charges, and much more.

Will the coach/van be modern and comfortable?

Yet another exclusive feature of an Indian Safari tour is the incredible space and comfort you'll enjoy whilst on tour. Our luxury vans have been specially customized with fewer seats, you'll relax in style whilst enjoying your tour. Please note that seatbelts are not compulsory by law and locals generally choose not to wear them. It is recommended that where seatbelts are available our guests must use them and remain seated at all times while the vehicle is moving.

How long will I spend on the The Indian Safari van?

We rarely travel longer than a couple of hours or so without a stop or a break for a visit. Some journeys are much shorter. Many times you won't need the traveller van at all as we often integrate multiple days at leisure. One thing you can be certain is that a journey by van/coach is much easier and more comfortable than by any other transport means. We are convinced that you’ll not only feel safer but also see more of India by travelling on our specialized vans.

Is there seat rotation?

Yes, the Tour Director or Tour Driver will implement a seat rotation arrangement, whereby all guests will rotate their seats on the van daily. This allows for everyone to experience the spectacular views from different seats, and you’ll have a better opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.

How many people will be on tour with me?

With a maximum of 10 guests on most of our tours, our clients enjoy a more personalised service. In a smaller group, you'll be closer to your local guide for a more in-depth experience, you'll spend less time waiting to get into sights and it will be faster check-ins into hotels with your luggage arriving quicker to your room. Indian Safari groups are smaller, more intimate and friendlier. Ages range from young to mature, travelling either solo, as couples, families or with friends and are from all over the world.

I want to see all the main sights, but will I have time to explore on my own?

At Indian Safari, planning the perfect tour is our speciality. Not only do we include the 'must see' sights, we carefully balance our itineraries to give you plenty of free time to relax and immerse yourself in the location.

We design each itinerary with the perfect balance of planned activities and personal time to explore. All our guests share a passion for travel, fun, adventure and discovery.

What does the tour cost include?

The prices listed on our website covers all hotel accommodations, all applicable sightseeing and admission fee as per the itinerary, all transportation including domestic flights, services of a professional Indian Safari Tour Director/ Tour Guide, all meals (excluding any beverages) and luggage handling.

Where will my hotel be located and what will it be like?

Our hotels are consistently of first class standard and higher; or in a style appropriate to the destination. They have been selected because they are aluxury private or small boutique hotel. We also choose hotels based on their location. We know you'll prefer to stay centrally, convenient to the main historic, shopping or entertainment districts; or scenically in areas of natural beauty.

What is the difference between a definite departure and a departure that is NOT marked definite?

A definite departure means that the Tour is guaranteed to operate for that given departure date. A tour that is not yet designated a definite departure is not yet guaranteed to operate based on current booking numbers. If a tour and departure date you are interested in is not yet definite, do not let this discourage you from booking. The more paid bookings we receive, the odds of the tour operating increase. In an unlikely event if we happen to withdraw a tour you are booked on due to lack of numbers, you are entitled to a full refund on the funds already paid towards your booking or if suitable, we can move you onto another departure. When booking tours that are not yet definite, we typically suggest not booking your air travel so that, in case of a withdrawn departure, you are not stuck with any non-refundable flights.

When do tours become designated definite?

As a rule of thumb, a tour becomes a DEFINITE departure once we have sold approximately 60% of the maximum capacity of a specific departure. On average a sold out Indian Safari Tour accommodates 10 passengers; a tour is designated definite at the 6 passenger mark.

Is baggage handling provided?

Yes, all hotel baggage handling is provided at no extra charge and included in your tour purchase price. One suitcase per person will be brought to your hotel room.

Do you accommodate special needs?

We make every effort to accommodate any special needs requests, whether it is a dietary restriction or a physical limitation. In order to accommodate your needs as best as possible, we ask that you let us know at time of booking so we can assess the request and see how and where we can accommodate you. We may ask you to fill out a form depending on the request in order for us to assess how and if we can accommodate.

Can I have laundry done?

Most hotels do offer a laundry service and in some cities Laundromats are also available. However, it is a good idea to try and pack enough clothing to avoid having to do laundry, as it can sometimes be costly or inconvenient.

Can I use my electrical appliances?

Electrical plugs and outlets differ throughout the world so you'll need a universal travel adaptor suitable for the countries you are travelling to in order to use any mobile devices. Electrical currents also vary throughout the world and we suggest you carry a converter for any electronics that are not dual voltage in order to prevent them being damaged.

Do you have a non-smoking policy?

There is a no smoking policy on all our The Indian Safari vehicles. However, we do make plenty of convenience stops giving you the opportunity to smoke, use local restroom facilities, take a scenic snapshot or just relax and enjoy of cup of tea.

Do you have a share program for singles?

If you wish to share with another tour member you can advise us at the time of booking. We believe that travelling solo shouldn't have to cost you more. We will try to match you with someone of the same sex in order to avoid having to pay the single supplement. If we are not able to provide a suitable room-mate, we will provide a single room at no extra cost.

How can I keep in touch with family and friends?

Before leaving on your trip you can take steps to avoid returning home to an expensive phone bill. Please check international calling and text rates, disable data roaming and consider a prepaid service designed for international travellers.

International cell phone and prepaid SIM cards let you stay connected and in touch with family and friends. We can also help you to organize local prepaid SIM cards after your arrival.

How do I change my currency?

Currency can be exchanged at airports or banks. International debit and credit cards are accepted at most bank machines (ATMs) throughout the world. It is a good idea to check with your bank prior to your departure about any fees or charges, and to ensure that your cards are accepted at the destinations which you are visiting.

How do I get from the airport to the hotel/start of my tour?

We offer arrival and departure transfers at the start and end of all of our itineraries. We offer many complimentary transfer services when guests arrive and depart as per our specific tour dates. When arriving earlier or departing later, we can offer private charge transfers when booking our start and end accommodation locations. Since every itinerary is unique, we will be able to provide you with specific transfer information based on your tour of interest.

How do I book a tour?

We strongly recommend that you visit OUR website and make an online booking. Alternatively, you may contact us via email or phone for a booking.

What if I become ill on my trip and am unable to continue?

Your Tour Director will assist you with a doctor's visit or hospitalization should you require. The cost to return home from your trip due to illness would be at your own expense, so we strongly encourage you to purchase a Travel Protection Plan, and coordinate with your travel insurance company to have your medical expenses reimbursed.

What if I arrive late and miss a feature on the trip?

We regret that no refunds can be made for absences from a trip, including experiences such as missed meals or sightseeing due to any reasons. All our tours start in New Delhi where we spend a couple of days in almost all itineraries. So if your arrival does get delayed you are still able to join the tour.

Are there any possibilities of these tours getting disrupted?

Yes, although we prepare for almost every contingency with utmost care, certain factors can cause delays, disruptions and possibly cancellations.

On our Himalayan tours, weather is the biggest adversary and unexpected events (like landslides & road maintenance works) can spoil the best laid plans. Even though we eat & stay at hotels/camps most of the nights during the tour, leaving nothing to chance, we carry high altitude camping gear, fuels, rations & provisions for the entire group to last up to 7 days.

On other tours, since we cross bigger towns & cities, events like shut downs, public protests and political unrest can cause unexpected disruptions to our planned itineraries.

Wherever possible, we make every effort to foresee & avoid any disruptions but a flexible attitude is a very essential to carry along such tours.

What is High Altitude Illness?

Altitude illness can affect healthy men and women who accent rapidly to a higher altitude. It covers a spectrum of illness from the unpleasant, but relatively benign acute mountain sickness (AMS), to the potentially life threatening high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE).

There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that co-relate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don't, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with minimal effect. If you haven't been to high altitude before, it's important to be cautious. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatized.

Symptoms of AMS include headache and one or more of dizziness or light headedness, insomnia, loss of appetite or nausea or vomiting and fatigue or weakness in the presence of a recent ascent to altitude. The correct action to take in case of developing AMS is to stay where you are and wait, then to descend if symptoms worsen or fail to improve.

Is international airfare included in the tour price on the web site?

No, International airfare is NOT included in the price of the tours. We have found that most travellers often prefer to arrange their own flights. Please note that all domestic flights and all other transportation during the tour are included in the price.

Do you assist in bookings for extended stay, before or after the tour?

Yes, but you must inform us about your plans at the time of tour booking. Please check with us for the availability and price for these services.

Where do the tours "start" and "end"?

All Indian Safari tours start & end in New Delhi, the capital of India.

My Question is not listed here?

We are eager to hear from you and happy to answer any query. Please visit our website’s Contact Us page and send us your enquiry. Alternatively, you may email us at – contact@theindiansafari.com

You may call us (24X7) on our Australian Helpline number
1800 859 875 (Australia)
+61 478 895 795 (overseas)

Currency

Currency is Indian Rupee. 1 Rupee = 100 paise. Notes are in denominations of Rs1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of Rs 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 paise.

Currency can be exchanged at banks, airports or authorised money changers. It is illegal to exchange money through unauthorised money changers. US Dollars, Australian Dollars and Pounds Sterling are the easiest currencies to exchange.

Credit/Debit Cards: An increasing number of cards are accepted including American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa.

Traveller's Cheques: These are widely accepted and may be changed at banks and larger hotels.

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Indian Rupees can be exchanged before leaving India on production of your original encashment receipt. It is not possible to change back more amount than is shown on your encashment receipt.

Latest currency exchange rates can be found at www.xe.com

Climate

India is home to an extraordinary variety of climatic regions, ranging from tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayan north, where elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall. The nation's climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert. The Himalayas, prevent cold Central Asian winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. Simultaneously, the Thar Desert plays a role in attracting moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate, into which fall seven climatic zones that are defined on the basis of such traits as temperature and precipitation.

The four climatic groupings are:-

  • Winter, occurring from December to March. The year's coldest months are December and January, when temperatures average around 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) in the northwest; temperatures rise as one proceeds towards the equator
  • Summer or pre-monsoon season, lasting from April to July. In western and southern regions, the hottest month is April; for northern regions, May is the hottest month. Temperatures average around 32–40 °C (90–104 °F) in most of the interior.
  • Monsoon or rainy season, lasting from July to September. The season is dominated by the humid southwest summer monsoon, which slowly sweeps across the country beginning in late May or early June. Monsoon rains begin to recede from North India at the beginning of October. South India typically receives more rainfall.
  • Post-monsoon or autumn season, lasting from October to November. In north-western India, October and November are usually cloudless.

Clothing

As india has all 4 seasons so always keep an eye as to which time of year you are visiting

  • When travelling to India, carry minimal clothing - both clothing and laundry are cheap.
  • Take loose pants and some full-sleeved shirts and t-shirts for comfortable travelling.
  • Jeans are popular, but will probably be uneasy in hot weather.
  • Full-sleeved shirts/tops are ideal protection against sun burn during the day and mosquito bites at night.
  • Sleeveless shirts, if decent can be worn without any problems but they give less protection from the sun and mosquitoes.
  • Be sure to have good sturdy walking shoes with you since your feet will get dusty and dirty.
  • A sunhat is a must for the summer, and a travel umbrella gives great protection from both rain and sun.
  • Quality sunglasses are a must too.
  • If you're trekking, Merino wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • If you will need swimwear for your hotel pool or the beach, make sure you take it with you as it's difficult to buy and can be expensive.
  • Dress modestly at temples and be prepared to take your shoes off. The locals will appreciate it. Some temples will require you to cover your head. Stick to full sleeve shirts and avoid singlets.
  • Religious sites and homes throughout India require all visitors to remove their shoes to be allowed entry; even if you are outdoors you will not be allowed to wear shoes.

Clothing Tips for Women

India is very traditional and some heads will turn if you dress provocatively in public. Short tops, short skirts/shorts, tight or body-revealing clothes etc should be avoided. You might invite unwanted attention from certain men who stare and pass comments at women to amuse themselves. Clothes should cover both shoulders and knees. It is advisable to carry a Sarong or Scarf with you to cover your head in case it gets too hot. Some religious places also require you to cover your head, so it will come in handy then too.

It's best to avoid high heels; flat sandals will do just fine.

Hotels

Our hotels are consistently high standard and/or in a style appropriate to the destination. They have been hand picked by our expert team who do an in-depth research to make your stay very comfortable and unforgettable.

We choose hotels based on their location as we know you'll prefer to stay centrally, convenient to the main historic, shopping or entertainment districts; or scenically in areas of natural beauty. All group tour hotels have private western bathroom facilities, air conditioning, TV and a telephone. If you experience any difficulty please speak to your Tour Escort.

In remote areas, accommodation may not be of a desired standard and may not have all western amenities. It may be a family run guesthouse, popularly known as Homestay, a farmhouse camp or a private heritage property. Please note that differences in facilities and quality do exist between the western world and India.

Throughout Rajasthan you will get the opportunity to stay in quality heritage properties which are restored former mansions, palaces or forts. This uniqueness will simply add to your India experience.

Recommended Reading

The Age of Kali by William Dalrymple

The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Tahir Shah

The Life Of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Chasing the Monsoon by Alex Frater

Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon

No Full Stops in India by Mark Tulley

Liberty or Death by Patrick French

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple

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