Ranthambore NP How to hire a jeep??

Aug 28th, 2008, 12:45 AM
  #1  
aby
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Ranthambore NP How to hire a jeep??

Hi
i have a chance to experince Ranthambore N.P.
Getting a jeep there seems to be difficult. Can anybody give me a hint how to do it ?
Has anybody been there recently?
Can you recommend a driver or agency to address for a jeep?

Isn't it possible to have a whole day drive in the park?

aby

P.S. i can visit the park (opens only on ctober 1st) during Oct 1-2,
would it be overpopulated at that time?
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Aug 28th, 2008, 02:12 AM
  #2  
 
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You have to hire a jeep through a registered agency, as the park only lets in a certain number a day and those jeeps have to have a permit. Usually hotels have a monopoly on the registered smaller jeeps; it may be possible to go in the larger 10-person open vans without going through a hotel, but I am not really sure about that, and those vans are much larger and can't get as close so I would not recommend them. I don't believe it is possible to go all day in the park, to the best of my knowledge, everyone is limited to the 2 drives a day, a sunrise drive and an early afternoon drive. 6 hours a day is more than enough, you will want to get out of the jeep and rest between drives, believe me. Roads are on the bumpy side.

I have alwasys just booked jeeps through my hotel, so don't really how to book otherwise, you might try Lonely Planet.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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I reserved a jeep through my Delhi-based agent but they subcontracted through another agent in Sawai Madhopur near Ranthambore. That was 3 years ago and my understanding is that the park is more crowded these days with additional lodging having been built in the area. We stayed at Sher Bagh and, for the most part they were handling jeep reservations for the guests.

The system for safaris is quite structured. All of the vehicles arrive at the park at the same time and are expected to be out of the park after 3 - 4 hours. Expect to be away from your lodge or camp for 4-1/2 hours at a time for both morning and afternoon game drives.

Since early October is not high season in India (it starts in November), the park should not be overpopulated.
Craig is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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Get in touch with your hotel in case it is already taken care of. They will book your jeep safaris. You could take a shared jeep costing no more than $25 PP/per safari. An exclusive jeep will cost about US$ 100. It would also include your entry fees & a naturalist who will accompany you. However, sometimes there are no customers available who could share the jeep. In that case, you will be asked to pay the full amount of a shared vehicle.
I don't think it would be too crowded on these dates but it all depends. It would be advisable to immediately book the jeeps as the quotas are limited.
The Vanya Vilas, Aman are the top properties there. In case you wish to spend just a fraction & yet enjoy great rustic ambience, I would suggest Khem Vilas.
There is also an advantage in booking through a travel agent or the hotelier. As their own reputation is at stake, they will send a good driver to give you a safari. Nothing is more disgusting than a driver who will find every concievable alibi to save on his petrol!!!
Be safe!
vp_singh is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 01:23 AM
  #5  
aby
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Thanks Cicerone, Craig & vp_singh

Now i understand the options are:
1. 20-sitter Canter
2. a 4/5/6 sitter Gypsy "Jeep" which i prefer

found this info on TripAdviser forum
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...Rajasthan.html
" is not difficult to book a Canter but getting a gypsy is tricky. Only 17 gypsys are allowed to go inside the park at one time and since there is a huge demand for them, it s not easy to book them.

The policy for booking the safaris is decided by the Government of Rajasthan and they have not fixed one for the next season as yet (from October 2006 to June 2007)".

Does anybody know of any restriction on the number of Gypsy Jeeps for 2008 ?

The 'Villas' for >$200 pn are too expensive for me... Do mid-range hotels reserve jeeps?
Which ?


as for duration of "game-drive" - it seems that the 3 hour is a custom (/matter of payment), but not a park regulation - am i right ??

aby

PS Cicerone - i've done hundreds of days on African safaris, where roads are not so comfortable... if i can i'd like to drive further to non-crowdy corners...

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Aug 29th, 2008, 01:56 AM
  #6  
aby
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BTW
According to (Out of date) WWF site
5,000 to 7,200 Tigers left in the wild, The Bengal (Indian) tiger numbers between 3,176 and 4,556.
http://www.wwf.org.uk/researcher/iss...0000000157.asp

BBC-News (March 2008) no more than 1400 Tigers are left in India, ~3500 total on planet Earth )
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7291122.stm

next census we might find we've been too optimistic...
Let's rush to see the TIGER

aby
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Aug 29th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Everyone, from the fanciest hotel to the normal tourist needs to book sanctuary drives - a seat in the canter or a private Gypsy through the Rajasthan Government website - www.rajasthantourism.gov.in. There is no other way for anyone to book the safari. The quotas will get uploaded end September for the next season. Best to book yourself. Look for the Ranthambore Wildlife Safari link on top left. No there are no whole day safaris. Generally the canter seats are easily available.
npjai is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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As for the time limit, it IS regulated, I can't remember if it is 3 hours but the jeeps and cantors all need to be out by a specified time. Our cantor actually got locked IN the park as the driver took a route he was not supposed to (I think other tourists in our cantor paid him off to do so unfortunately) and it took too long and we got stuck. It took over an hour to find someone to let us out.
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Aug 29th, 2008, 08:27 PM
  #9  
aby
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Thanks npjai
i was very happy to get your message about Online pre-Booking , since i read (Rough Guide) a description of competing for seats at 05:30 AM just before the 06:00 drive, with all hotel reps participating - what chance does a lone tourist have?
BUT, on the RTDC site (good link BTW), The message you get is "no Seat Quota" (originally in red)on any date until 2012. e.g.: There is no Seat Quota on (05-11-2010) Date
So, back to Square One:
Is there a travel agent or mid-range Hotel that can book a jeep in advance??
thanx

aby

kellyee21 i got it; thanks. important info

aby is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 08:43 PM
  #10  
aby
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Hi
since this thread may be used by others planning a Tiger-Watch safari,
i'd like to refer you to another thread on the Africa forum
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...1&tid=35016096
Hari, an India based African-Safari enthusiast (loves Cheetahs!) writes
"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....."
Kavey another safari-lover writes:
" 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."

So, recommendations are for Bandhavgargh & Corbett
why do i insist on Ranthambore N.P ?
because it opens earlier (October) than the others, and that's my time limit

also recommended by Hari is Kabini River Lodge at Nagarhole National Park but it's too far for me, at least on this trip

aby

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Aug 31st, 2008, 07:46 PM
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Aby..pls read my post..I said the quotas will get uploaded in end September. Right they will not show any quota if you check. Ill check the exact date when they are uploading the quotas from the Dept of Tourism which runs the website and post here. Dont worry no one can book until the quotas are uploaded.
npjai is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Bureaucratic designs to sabotage the system...you can not help it...India is most exotic & India could be extremely frustrating!
Ranthambhore Bagh may fit your bill. It may not have the historico-environmental ambience of some other properties...but than it is not woefully expensive.
Get more practical. Leave the wranglings to the hotel or a local agent to deal with. Ask the driver / naturalist who takes you in to give you his very best, quid pro quo!
vp_singh is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 06:50 AM
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Aby..the update is that most probably the website is not going to be working this season because the management of the safari bookings is being passed to the forest department from the tourism department. The forest department has as yet not even appointed anyone to set up their own website. We will most probably have the old system where the touts ruled and gouged tourists. So just ask your hotel or agent to book. God help Ranthambore.
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Sep 2nd, 2008, 06:57 PM
  #14  
aby
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npjai

sorry, didn't understand you... anyhow i intend to be there on 1st October, so maybe end of september is a bit late. anyhow your link was interesting and helpful
hopefully it may help other fodorites

aby

P.S. does the "jai" mean you live in Jaipur?
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Sep 2nd, 2008, 06:59 PM
  #15  
aby
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vp_singh

thanks again for all the valuable info. aby
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Sep 4th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Yes Aby..born and brought up in Jaipur!
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Oct 16th, 2008, 04:42 AM
  #17  
aby
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Hi
i've been to Ranthambhore
it is unorganized (frustrating, jeep reservations controlled by "mafia" touts)

But - npjai is right - one can reserve online (if planned ahead of time; i couldn't)
This is the direct link for vehicle reservation:
http://www.rajasthanwildlife.in/make...ailability.jsp

Canter drivers don't have the slightest idea of how to stop for wildlife, that every matatu-driver in Africa knows. (That is IF they stop at all - in many cases they don't stop when asked to...
Frustrating (have i mentioned?)

aby

P.S. yes i've seen tigers...
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Oct 16th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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It would be interesting to read your trip report.
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Oct 20th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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aby,
where did you wind up staying in Ranthambore?
Paulchili is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 07:22 AM
  #20  
aby
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Hi

some wildlife Pictures incl. tiger (but also mixwd with Keoladeo) at "wildlife" file
http://upload.pbase.com/edit_gallery/dubito/

Paulchili
we've stayed at Ankur Resort a mid-range hotel (next to "Tiger Safari" another mid-range recommended by the Rough Guide) exactly opposite the Ranthambore safari-tickets office. nice garden, pool & new gym
rooms vary (average price 1200-1500)

if you need any more info - ask

aby
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