Calling Hari & Kavey

Old Jun 14th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Calling Hari & Kavey

I would like my daughter to do a Tiger safari while she is in India next year. I know the Oberoi Property is very luxurious but can either of you suggest one thats not so pricey but still gives her a good opportunity to see Tigers. Not too homey as she likes her creature comforts. I thought while she is in the area she should see Khajurao as well. She will likely be leaving from Delhi.

Many thanks for our advice.

Miriam
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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I know I'm not Hari or Kavey, but here's my two cents... My husband and I went on a 4-day tiger safari in Corbett National Park about a year and a half ago, and we arranged everything through a company in Delhi called Wild World India. They have a good website with lots of information, and were terrific from start to finish, with all our contact via e-mail.

For about $1500 (for both of us) we had RT transfers from Delhi to Corbett in a private car, one night at the Infinity Lodge (which was not luxury on the Oberoi level but we thought it was very nice and had great food), and three nights at forest rest houses in the park (pretty basic, but you do have a private bathroom with shower and it was great to be right there in the park and meeting lots of Indian families on holiday). For game drives, we had our own private jeep with a fantastic driver and an amazing guide who we just loved. We had three incredible tiger sightings (including an elephant-back safari, which was included in the price), and saw lots of other wildlife, too. I would highly recommend Wild World India, and if the forest rest houses are too basic I'm sure they could arrange something with staying at one of the nicer lodges outside the park.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Sorry -- I made an error on my post. The cost for our tiger safari was around $1000 for two of us, so about $500 each.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Although I did go to Vanyavilas/ Ranthambore in April last year I then went to Tiger Trails/ Bandhavgarh.

Whilst I can't say I didn't enjoy Vanyavilas (and was UNUSUALLY lucky with my tiger sightings) I hated the bureacracy at Ranthambore and felt that the way the park and game drives were run was not ideal, to say the least.

I LOVED Tiger Trails. Simple but comfortable ensuite accommodation run by a team of friendly, helpful staff - not polished and trained to international 5 star standards but genuinely warm and helpful. Food predominantly Indian, safe (even to me with my sensitive tummy).

Game drives very good and fantastic sightings. We opted to do the elephant back thing only once because whilst it did get us very close to the tigers we wasted hours sitting in a stationary queue of jeeps waiting our 5 minute turn. Instead we made a point of asking our driver and guide to take us away from all the other vehicles and still lucked out with incredible sightings.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Kavey, my daughter is concerned with the quality control in the Indian reserves. She heard that in one case people were jumped from behind and killed by a Tiger. From the safety point of view what did you think of Tiger Trails?
Thanks
Miriam
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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I was extremely happy with safety - the guide and driver were well-trained and knowledgable (especially our driver who was clearly respected by ever other driver in the entire park). Some of the drivers from other properties (couldn't tell you which properties) worried me somewhat - aggressive driving, sometimes precariously close to edge of the dirt track where there was a sharp drop downwards. And some guides seemed unable or uninterested in telling their (mainly local) guests to shut the h*** up.

The racket being made by other guests and revving vehicles is the main reason we asked to be taken into empty routes within the park.

But the sightings were better, the fact we were ABLE to take any route we wanted (after the initial hour set route in the morning) and the number of great sightings made this park a better one in my opinion than Ranthambore.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Miriam,

Hari is not ignoring you...I think he's still in Botswana, and probably thoroughly enjoying himself from what I hear on the grapevine. Not sure how much longer he'll be away.

John
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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ttt
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 09:35 PM
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Yes, John.....great trip!!! It was nice meeting your friends at Zib camp.

Now tigers.....emdee i only have experience of the southern parks and they are "very rough it out" kind of experiences and not africa style lodges by any means. Sightings of tigers themselves, i have only seen twice in my life. Ranthambore and Kabini in Karnataka. Ranthambore, i won't go to as the park isn't managed properly.....

Hari
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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sorry to interupt. Welcome back Hari
Hope you had a great trip
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Old Jun 18th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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Hari

I am in absolute agreement re Ranthambore. Much as I was extremely lucky with my sightings there I was the exception of most of those I travelled with AND I found the way the park was managed extremely frustrating indeed.

Regarding Bandhavgarh - it does now have (with CCAfrica's new camp) a luxury option but the Tiger Trails resort I stayed in is certainly not in that category and does not match up with African luxury camps.

My best comparison would be that the accommodation at Tiger Trails is very similar to the (en suite) chalets/ rondavels provided in public camps in South Africa national parks - it reminds me of accommodation we stayed in at Addo and in Kruger.

Perfectly acceptable and comfortable but definitely not luxury!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 06:30 PM
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Hi Kavey,

If you get to read this thread .... couple of questions as i leave for Pench national park just after Diwali.

Here goes ........
Gameviewing on elephant back - what lens would you recommend?

would you recommend skipping the ele ride gameviewing and just stick to the jeeps? i would figure that the park may be crowded during Diwali week ......

pretty excieted .... i know it's one of the lesser known parks in the north but, due to lack of time can't make it to Bandhavgarh or Kanha, as they both are a real pain in the butt logistically, to get to!

Thanks
Hari
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Sorry to "butt" in Hari (no pun intended).

Wht camera are you using? If it is one of the newer Canon DSLR's (350D up) I really suggest you to use an IS lens. Ideally an 100-400L IS else a 70-200 f2.8 which is a very very sweet lens especially if you will in low light.

Tell me about the pain of getting to Bhandavgarh - arrgh..... but I gotta go there soon.

Mohammed
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:33 PM
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Hi Mohammed,

I'm a Nikon "nut" myself ..... the D2X. Thanks for the lens suggestions ......

RE Bandhavgargh ...... if you are flying into Nagpur or Jabalpur, i hear the drive is a gruelling 6-8 hours. We are doing Pench, as it is 90KMs by road from Nagpur.

Being Diwali week ...... i'm sure all parks will be packed. But yes, i need to get to Bandhavgarh too!

Hari

PS: I need to get to Yala too! - next year!!!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:40 PM
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Mohammed,

Have you been to our Southern Indian parks? Kabini in particular i recommend ...... huge herds of elephant and gaur and if lucky the Big cat. I have seen only one in about 10plus visits. But, it's one of my favourite parks with few tourists and jungle resorts and lodges (Kabini river lodge) do run good game drives into the park.

Not to name drop, but in 2004 when i was last there .... bumped into Rahul Dravid! (our ex-captain)

Hari
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Thats a great camera and I think they have a 80-400VR lens.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 03:28 AM
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We only did one elephant back tiger viewing trip as we didn't like wasting time in the queue of jeeps sitting doing nothing for an age.

BUT we did get pretty darn close. Ideal might be to have two cameras around your neck (you won't be able to change lenses whilst on the elephant), one with a wider zoom and one with a telephoto, just incase you want some serious close ups of tiger face or paws etc or incase you don't get as close as we did...
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Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Thanks, Kavey.
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Old Aug 29th, 2008, 09:39 PM
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Hi everyone

i need help on booking a Gypsy (Jeep) in Ranthambhore
although you write against visiting
Ranthambore, it is virtually my only option on this trip

This is my thread at the Asia Forum called 'Ranthambore NP How to hire a jeep?? '
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...nses=9&start=0

with thanks

aby
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