Responsible Travel Tips

Before & During Your Travel

Read up about the place before your trip. Interact with the native residents to better acquaint yourself with the people and the culture. Both of these would enable you to understand the ethnicity of the place, increase social awareness, and respect the native culture.

India is a country with diverse religious groups. We recommend that you regard people's sentiments such as mandatory removal of footwear in the temple premises, wearing a head gear in a mosque, and so on. Similarly, learn about the preferences of the home-stay and respect their rules. While in a new place, adopt the practises of the place.

Try to be frugal with resources like water, food, and so on. That way you would actively contribute in conserving the resources of the place and in sustainable tourism. Enjoy and preserve the natural beauty of the place. Walk wherever you can; this allows you to see more of a place.

Be alert and responsible towards your surroundings. Try and spread the positive findings of the place with your families and friends. Join the local people in their initiatives – including dance, music, or cleaning up some places, and so on. That would give you a wonderful chance to live like the locals do!

As responsible citizens and educated travellers, let us ensure that we don't get any new items with us that would litter the place. It is a good idea to carry a garbage bag to bring back our used water bottles and snack packets.

Do not give free gifts and sweets to children or individuals. This encourages begging. If you want to give away stuff as a good gesture, we can arrange this through the local school or any local organization working in the area. Check with us if you can carry your old books, clothes, shoes, and so on. And we can check if you can distribute these in the villages.

In case you are confused or need guidance, ask us. We will do our best in helping you out and in actively participating in the place. Listen to the guide's advice/instructions; he knows more about the place and he is there to aid you.

Wildlife Watching Tips

The Western Routes have itineraries specifically for Pench & Tadoba Tiger Reserves and itineraries which involve visiting reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries. This involves living on the periphery of or inside the Reserve, going on nature trails in the buffer zones and taking a jeep safari in the Tiger Reserves. There are separate guidelines for behaving in a forest environment.

While on a safari and inside the jungle, avoid bright colour clothes and wear earth colour or neutral colour clothes which blend with the surroundings. Avoid strong perfumes and deodorants. Smoking and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited on the safari.

Walking is prohibited in the Tiger Reserves. Do not get off your vehicle unless approved by the forest department guide.

Do not litter the National Park. Carry all your litter/garbage back to the lodge and dispose it there. Keep an eye out for plastics or garbage in the forest. Encourage your guide to pick up any litter that may be lying in the forest.

Avoid making loud noises and whisper if you need to make necessary conversation while on a safari. The quieter you are, more is the possibility of spotting the wildlife.

Maintain a safe distance from the animals and keep their life undisturbed. Do not try to herd animals into a better scene, by cornering or chasing them or by throwing objects or making loud noises. Use natural light while photographing wildlife and avoid using a flash or flash light. These actions may trigger aggressive behaviour from the most timid looking animals.

Tigers are shy and elusive creatures. Do not be disappointed if you don't see a Tiger. There numerous other small, yet beautiful, rare and interesting living and non living things to see in the forest.

While Photographing

Always carry a camera with you, to capture those priceless moments. They say that a picture speaks a thousand words. You may want to freeze memories of your trip. In a new place, when you interact with the local people and know their culture and preferences, you would be able to do more justice to the pictures. You would be in a better position to appreciate them and make it more than just a regular photograph. So as to not offend or distract anyone, it would be helpful to request the locals for their permission before clicking their pictures.

Instead of each traveller taking pictures, one person could be designated to be behind the lens. That way, each one is not only able to appear in the photographs but also have more chance to converse with the locals. These pictures can be shared with all the group members. You may also want to share your memories on blogs, publications, and so on; these serve as a historical record for posterity. Please do acknowledge the local communities in such references.

Packing tips

You will be on the move for a good extent in a vehicle or on foot. We recommend that you travel light and with minimal and essential luggage. Many items such as soaps, shampoo, and so on are available locally and thus can be purchased nearby.

We recommend that you could carry clothes that are climate-friendly, comfortable, and respectful at the same time. There is nothing more elegant that dressing appropriately for an occasion.

We recommend that you carry natural items and avoid plastic/environment-polluting items.

You may also want to carry the following items:

  • Good and comfortable walking shoes and footwear to keep your feet happy during all the travelling and walking that you would do.
  • Mosquito repellent if you are prone to insect bites and want to keep those itchy mosquitoes at bay
  • Personal medicines
  • Binoculars, cameras, and bird books for the nature enthusiast in you
  • A small token/gift for your host family as a gesture of appreciation and thanks-giving. This will make a lot of difference to them. However, this is optional and entirely a matter of your choice .