Travel Experiences Wildlife and Community

Indian adventures for people who ‘don’t like India’

‘India’s not for me’. We hear that a lot.  But usually from people who haven’t considered that India is vast, and huge swathes of it are virtually untouched by humans. It’s true that India’s cities deliver more than a little…how shall we put it?…’colour’, and we know that isn’t everyone’s cup of Darjeeling, but if you know where to look, it’s actually incredibly easy to escape the chaos and experience a world of rugged, wild splendour.

If India’s not for you, then how about these Indian experiences as presented by The Classic Safari Company…?


Stay in an ‘Out of Africa’ style camp

India has a fabulous selection of ‘Out of Africa’ style elegant tented camps that are the perfect segway into India for hardened safari lovers. Chamba Camp Thiksey sits high up in the Himalayas in an area known as ‘Little Tibet’ where the air is pure and the monastic spirituality is enchanting; RAAS Chhatra Sagar is an elegant, artisan style camp near Jodhpur where you can settle back and drink in the views and bird life of a historic lake; and The Untamed Bandhavgarh present the opportunity to spot tigers slinking among bamboo groves, rushing rivulets and striking rocky outcrops in one of the prettiest forests in India.


Head out on safari

Those hardened African wildlife safari lovers who like the idea of sleeping under canvas may equally be enticed by the idea of heading out on an Indian safari. As the only country where lions, tigers and leopards all inhabit the same region, India is arguably the finest ‘big cat’ destination in the world. If you’re looking for leopards, head to Suján Jawai Leopard Camp in Rajasthan where leopards, sloth bears and the rarely seen Indian wolf coexist with the vibrant Rabari herdsmen who have shared this landscape with wildlife for centuries.

If tigers are your thing there are several destinations where they are thriving and sightings are becoming more and more reliable. One of our favourites is Ranthambore where tigers can be seen lounging among the ruins of Ranthambore Fort providing remarkable photographic opportunities. Places to stay include Suján’s Sher Bagh , a 1920s inspired camp, and Aman-i-Khás which offers luxuriously chic white tents in the forest.

Lions are tricky since they only exist in Gir National Park, Gujarat, where the infrastructure simply doesn’t exist to provide reliable safaris on a regular basis. However, with some careful planning it is possible, and the effort in getting there will be richly rewarded since Gir is also home to jungle cats, rusty spotted cats, a healthy population of leopard, sloth bear, the Indian pangolin and plenty more besides!

Hike the Himalayas

Lift your soul and hike among the snow capped mountains visiting the remote communities of Ladakh in the Himalayas. Our Shakti village walk takes you to a high altitude desert dominated by rugged snow capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes, which is of the most picturesque places on Earth.

Accompanied by local porters and guides, you’ll step out of the modern world, walking between isolated villages to visit schools, monasteries and markets and build up an authentic picture India’s spiritual mountain culture. These walks are the perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in, and a far cry from India’s hectic cities!


Ride through Rajasthan on horseback

This horse ride is perfectly geared for those that want to see India’s sights but don’t want to get mixed up with bus-fulls of tourists. Taking place in the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’ (marked by the blue city of Jodhpur, the lake city of Udaipur, and the pink city of Jaipur) you’ll visit key interest points, such as Udaipur’s City Palace or Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, but times in these busy spots is balanced with days spent in the wilderness experiencing the Osian Desert Dunes or tracking leopards in the jungle. You’ll ride India’s famous Marwai horses, which are famous for their curly ears as much as their elegance and intelligence, absorbing the spirit and history of the country as you canter along ancient trade routes and forest trails. Read more about Read more about Horse India – Riding through Rural Rajasthan here or peruse our collection of luxury horse riding holidays worldwide.

All of these adventures are available either as small group tours or as part of wider bespoke travel arrangements. We also offer a small number of women only travel groups to India timed to join in annual Holi celebrations.

India is a much-misrepresented destination and the opportunities for a wilderness escape here are endless and often overlooked, which makes them all the more special in our view!

Contact us today to discuss your ideas or find inspiration.





See you out there.

Ella Collins

Ella Collins

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