Organised by our friends at Holidays in Rural India, 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 ask that guests on this holiday raise £250 for FRANK Water on top of the trip cost.
This trip begins and ends in Mumbai, with a night in Mumbai at the start and two at the end and includes a tour with Reality Tours and Travel (a social enterprise that supports educational projects in Mumbai's slum areas). We highly recommend an extension to Kanha National Park for three nights of wonderful wildlife at Shergarh Tented Camp.
- Tuesday 20th November: You'll be met from your flight or train (flights and train tickets not included but can be booked via Holidays in Rural India) at Raipur and driven (three hours) to Kawardha District where the Maikal Hills rise up ahead and cold beers and warm welcomes await you at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat.
- Wednesday 21st November: Rising early we will drive to one of the many villages in the area supported by Samerth and FRANK Water. This relocated village is home to families who were moved out of the forest when it became a wildlife sanctuary. Samerth, with FRANK's support and the labour of the villagers have dug a pond, installed a water pump and opened an excellent early years centre for the under-fives.
- From here we will drive to the set off point for our walk. The walk starts uphill for about an hour and then flattens out nicely, we'll stop for lunch en route and reach our campsite by mid-afternoon. Dinner round the camp fire and feet in the stream!
- Thursday 22nd November: An easier more downhill walk today, more forest than village, finally reaching Bhoramdeo to hot showers, cold beers and a hero's welcome.
- Friday 23rd November: You will spend the day exploring the local area with your wonderfully knowledgeable and ebullient host Sunny. The medieval temple of Bhoramdeo is just a minute's walk away and there are numerous villages that can be visited on foot or by bicycle. Take a cookery lesson with Nanuk in the kitchen; throw a pot in the pottery village or do some shopping in the bustling but friendly town of Kawardha.
- Saturday 24th November: Bid farewell to Sunny and the team, setting off from BJR by car to reach Raipur in time for onward flights or trains. Or extend your trip a few days of tented luxury and look for tigers in Kanha National Park.
This costs around £685 per person based on two sharing with full board accommodation. Transfers to and from Raipur are included.