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This isn’t just any old safari. This is an Indian elephant safari. From your lofty perch high on the backs of Indian elephants, you’ll explore the forests, villages and rivers of Lohit Valley in India. Back on the ground, you'll spend time with locals in country villages, enjoy game drives at the Manas tiger reserve and volunteer with local conservation & social projects.
No guidebook can ever really prepare you for the explosion on the senses that makes India so compelling. It’s a heady-mix of cultures, landscape, and history. From its sprawling cities where call-workers tap at keyboards into the early hours, to its remote villages lit by the flicker of candles, the India you experience differs vastly from place to place. But the area around the Lohit Valley definitely leans towards the latter. It’s hugged by the Eastern Himalayas, is carpeted with forests in the Arunachal Pradesh region, and is jam-packed with exotic wildlife.
It’s the prospect of trekking through forests atop huge Indian Elephants that makes this trip so compelling. The elephants are only taken out for short treks - 2 hours in the morning and 1 in the afternoon - to ensure that they get plenty of rest. But don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to spend with them when you're not out trekking. During the 2 days staying at the elephant camp, you'll be able to volunteer with the mahouts, helping to bathe, wash and feed these fantastic creatures.
Elephants are not the only wildlife you can hope to see while you're on your holiday, there will be the chance to see rare and exotic birds – 400 species live in this part of India, as well as looking for tigers, bison, swamp deer, golden langurs and the Indian rhino in the Manas Tiger reserve.
When you're not exploring the Lohit Valley, or enjoying boat trips down the river, there will be plenty of chances to give something back to the local communities in this region of India. You will get involved in tree planting and conservation efforts at the Tiger reserve, monitor the rare Hullock Gibbons in the Mishmi Hills and help to distribute medical supplies to remote fishing villages. In return, you will be delighted and entertained by the hospitality and cultural shows in the villages you visit.
This 14 day trip is all about total cultural and environmental immersion. This is not a sanitised trip, you will be meeting local people, staying in their villages and getting involved in local community projects and cultural programmes. The tour operator, who has been established for 17 years, is a tireless campaigner for responsible travel practices and sustainable tourism projects, so you can be sure that your visit will be enhancing the local communities and not exploiting them or their environment.
The idea of an elephant trekking sounds pretty appealing – but if you’re scared of heights, maybe not so much. So, if you’ve ever set out on horseback only to discover you’re terrified of falling off, you might want to think seriously about whether you’ll really enjoy an elephant safari. It’ll also help if you’re bit of an outdoorsy type as you’ll be staying at campsites, not in 5-star luxury hotels.
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.