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.
- Sunday 18th November: Depart UK. BA, Virgin and Air India all operate good overnight flights, but there are many options. International flights are not included in the price of this trip.
- Monday 19th November: Arrive Mumbai where you will be met by fantastic female taxi driver Husna and transferred to Abode hotel in the heart of Colaba.
- Tuesday 20th November: After a top breakfast at Abode you will be fetched by Husna and taken back to the airport for a midday flight to Raipur. You'll be met from the one and half hour flight 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-afernoon. 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 and Saturday 24th November: You will spend the next two days exploring the local area with your wonderfully knowledgable 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.
- Sunday 25th November: After a leisurely last breakfast at BJR, either drive the three hours to Kanha National Park for the chance of tigers and the guarantee of jungle creatures in multiple forms as well in the tented luxury that is Shergarh. Or head to Raipur for flights to Mumbai. Here you will be met once more by Husna and return for a proper stay at Abode.
- Monday 26th November: A morning tour will be booked for you: walking, cycling or by car, with the great organisation Reality Tours and Travel. Excellent guides, all of whom live or used to live in one of Mumbai's slum area.
- Tuesday 27th November: A last breakfast at Abode and final scoot through Mumbai with Husna behind the wheel, for flights back home.
The price will be approximately £1600 per person on a twin-sharing basis or £2100 with the extension to Kanha National Park.
The price includes all domestic transport including internal flights. It is full board at Bhoramdeo and Kanha; bed and breakfast in Mumbai.