“Epic 87 day overland truck tour of India from the Himalayan foothills in Bhutan and Nepal to Kerala and Goa via Delhi, Mumbai and the Taj Mahal.”
Kolkata | Darjeeling | Tigers’ Nest Monastery | Chitwan National Park | Kathmandu | Nepal to India | Varanasi | Fatehpur Sikri | Jaipur | Delhi | Rajasthan | Udaipur | Jodhpur | Jaisalmer | camel safari | Ajanta and Ellora caves | Mumbai | Goa | Hampi | Mysore | Kerala | Kanyakumari | Chennai | Sri Venkatesvara Tirumala | Odisha | ancient sites of Puri |
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Price per adult
16 Oct 2017
15 Oct 2018
Responsible tourism: India overland truck tour, with Nepal and Bhutan
We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through.
On this epic trip through India, Bhutan and Nepal, we will be traveling overland, using a combination of overland vehicles, boats, rickshaws, 4x4s and trains thus cutting out the need for air travel and reducing carbon-emissions. Going overland (by car and on foot for excursions) means you get to experience physically crossing the borders between countries as well as explore places which are off the beaten track.
We believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.
Wherever we are in the world, we prefer to use smaller locally-owned businesses, ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business, for example, we use small locally owned hotels, campsites and activity providers wherever possible. In Bumthang we stay in a local farmhouse, where we will experience a genuine slice of Bhutanese life and hospitality, and the food is in no way adapted for tourists. While in Muniguda we stay at a guesthouse run by the New Hope Charitable Trust, an NGO helping to uplift the poor and disadvantaged, and support and visit their project and the people that they assist.
We use local guides and operators throughout the trip, for example in Bhutan and the Odisha Tribal Region of India, we use a responsible local operator that provides training and employment to many local people as guides, providing them with stable employment in the tourism industry.
We also feel it is important that our guests immerse themselves in the culture of their host country and we ensure that we weave experiences that will facilitate this into our itineraries. For example, we visit local markets in Thimphu and in Chitwan, we support and attend the performances of local musicians and dancers keeping the ancient tradition of Thali stick-dancing alive.
We have a strict set of rules regarding wildlife-spotting, for example when in Chitwan and Bandhavgarh National Parks. In order to minimise the impact of our presence on the wildlife and ecosystem of the areas where we travel, we explicitly forbid any involvement in activities that harm or exploit animals, and advise our crew in specific activities to avoid in this regard.
On the road: All of our vehicles conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK and are regularly serviced and maintained in established, locally-owned workshops ensuring that they run as efficiently as possible and our economic returns to a country reach beyond tourism. Waste products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them, as we pass them on to local people.
All trucks carry a 350-litre water tank, providing drinking water for the group and minimising the need to purchase bottled water. Rather than using plastic bags when shopping for food, we also provide reusable longer lasting bags; we bury our bio-degradable waste or give it to local people to feed livestock; and for cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel which leaves natural resources for local people. Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, which can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel.
In the office and as a company: We are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible: we reduce what we print by using email and online media for the majority of our communication; any necessary print is always 2-sided and all paper products (in addition to plastics, glass, cardboard, oils and metal) are recycled. We minimise our energy consumption in whatever way we can (e.g. using energy efficient light bulbs and minimising water usage with reduced water cisterns in the bathroom for example).
We are committed to promoting human rights within our sphere of influence – this means trying to ensure that everybody involved with us are treated with fairness and respect, including our office staff, crew, local guides and suppliers, as well as all the other stakeholders. For example, In Kolkata, we have the opportunity to visit and support the Ushti Foundation, who support underprivileged children and young people through schooling and professional training, so that they can lead self-determined, financially independent lives.
We are also involved with a variety of community projects in key destinations as we visit. For example, In Jodphur we visit and support the Sambhali Trust, a centre run by a local charity for providing local women and girls with education and vocational skills. Our involvement with these projects is a long-term commitment, allowing us and our passengers to participate directly in delivering real practical benefits to the communities we travel through on the ground. The projects are not tourist initiatives, but a way of employing tourism to generate funding and support and facilitate community interaction.