Unbeatable special offers
Unbeatable special offers now available on a ten day Indian safari in April. Exclusive to direct enquiries only.
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Botswana and Vic Falls
We have two places remaining on our May overland safari visiting Botswana's Okavango Delta, Moremi NP and Chobe NP and Vic Falls.CLICK HERE
to find out more.
Birding on Safari
Just a small selection of bird pics from our safaris
Joke from a Christmas Cracker
Joke from a Christmas Cracker: What is the difference between a Bison and a Buffalo?
|African Cape Buffalo|
You can’t wash your hands in a Buffalo.
Indian roads - it's all part of the experience!
Driving (or better put being driven) in India, is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. For those of us who are used to the rules of the road in other parts of the world, travelling by car in India offers a whole new cultural experience. Where basically, the rule book is treat more as a guidance note. For example, if the highway planners built and marked out a two lane road, then Indian drivers will create their own four lanes. And not always heading in the same direction! Basically if there is even the tightest road space to fit a car, motor bike, cycle, taxi or bus, then it will be filled. In the cities that means bumper to bumper, door to door. But in the rural areas where the pot holes are everywhere, then the order of the day is to weave, swerve and generally find your own way on whichever side of the road is most convenient.
Whether city or rural road, the drivers use their horn to announce their presence to other drivers. For instance when overtaking on a blind corner, one simply sounds the horn to alert oncoming g traffic and if that doesn’t work, then one or other vehicle will casually swerve onto the side of the road to avoid collision.
And remarkably, without cause for anger, distress or upset from either party. It’s just the way things are done.
Remarkably it works. Somehow from the chaos comes a system that (if the statistics are anything to go by) results in less accidents per head of population than the supposedly safer roads in the developed world.
My advice to those of a sensitive nature, is close your eyes and try to relax. It will be fine. For those less sensitive, relax lie back and marvel in the chaos. It’s all part of the experience.
Join us in India
Elephants free to roam after work
Within India’s National Parks, the forest rangers sometimes need to go on Elephant back to monitor the resident Tiger population,. Especially in areas that are inaccessible by vehicle and (for obvious reasons), access by foot is not advised.
|Early misty morning - Elephant backed Ranger checking on a Tigers progress|
I am not normally in favour of training elephants to be ridden and most definitely not for tourism. Which (incidentally), is why you will never find elephant riding in any of our Safari packages.
The Elephants used in India's National Parks come from domesticated stock i.e. are not taken from the wild, and (from what I have seen), they are not mistreated.
I understand the cultural, historical and practical reasons that park rangers and vets ride Elephants to check on Tigers well being and to administer care.
A good example of this can be seen from a recent occasion when a sick Tiger requiring treatment had retreated deep into the forest in a place that could only be reached by Elephant.
The vet was extremely concerned and commented that the added benefit of using Elephants, was that the presence of an Elephant was accepted as a natural event in the forest and did not upset the poorly Tiger.
Thankfully the vet was able to administer care to the dehydrated Tiger in the forest, in a situation when sedating and relocating the animal would probably have killed it.
The happy end to the story is that the Tiger made a full recovery.
At the end of the day the practical realities of wildlife conservation often result in imperfect policies, which are not black and white decisions, but on balance outweigh other concerns.
|Off road - Ranger returning from checking resident Tiger|
I also have to say that when I raised my doubts about riding Elephants to a mahout he replied “but you ride horses don’t you”. He has a point, I have ridden horses and enjoy being around horses. So who am I to judge.
We are of-course talking about a handful of Indian Elephants in Nation Parks and not African Elephants. I spend an awful lot of time in the vicinity of wild Elephants in Africa, and am more than happy to just respectfully view them in the wild. Magnificent creatures, which must be treated with absolute respect, especially when on foot. There is a reason that they are one of Africas big five.
|Free roaming elephant after work|
Back in India. At least when they’re not working, the Elephants are given the freedom to roam, free grazing in the park and doing what comes naturally.
Written by Will Fox
Wherever I travel on safari, a Wild Dog sighting is always guaranteed to create an extra buzz with Safari guests. Whether it’s Africa or India, when there are Wild dogs around the level of excited anticipation rises up to Tiger, Leopard and Lion levels.
|Indian Wild Dog|
And so it was when traveling back towards the entrance gate in Kanha Nation Park one morning, after a great five hour game drive. Earlier we’d tracked and found a Tigress and her four cubs, and seen a myriad of other creatures, now all thoughts were on a celebratory early lunch and a siesta. All that changed when we heard about this mating pair.
|Pair of Indian Wild Dogs|
Cameras came back out of bags, and heads were spinning in all directions searching for these illusive animals. Which dutifully appeared right at the last minute 500 meters from the gate. Fantastic.
|African Wild Dog|
Join us on safari in India or Africa www.ontracksafaris.com
New for 2018, we are now able to offer a beach holiday in Zanzibar. The perfect place to end your African safari.
And the best news of all, our newsletter subscribers can enjoy discounted rates in this idyllic beach location, when added to any of our African safaris.
We have partnered with a local family run business offering their privately owned collection of beautiful luxury hotels and resorts. Each has been inspired by the magic of Zanzibar and all are located on the Eastern side of the island away from the crowds.
As they say 'astunning recluse for the discerning traveler and a sanctuary for those in search of tranquility … a place to stimulate the senses and to experience the very best of the magical island of Zanzibar".
Alongside stunning beaches and luxurious accommodation, you can also enjoy a range of water sports, stunning spas and an affiliated PADI 5 star Dive Center. And if you would like to learn more about local culture and the history of Zanzibar (the Spice Island), we can also offer guided trips on the Island.
As ever our newsletter subscribers are eligible for discounted rates. Email Carol
for more information.