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Frequently asked questions

 

Below are some details that answer questions we are often asked relating to our tours. 

If you have any query that is not answered below, or in About our tours feel free to contact us, we will be happy to hear from you.

  

 

What travel documents are required to enter India?

Almost all foreign nationals require a visa to enter India, which must be obtained from your nearest Indian embassy in advance of your tour.  An additional Restricted Area Permit, or equivalent Inner Line Permit for Indian nationals, is required for entry to some regions, which we will secure on your behalf.  We will supply information in advance of the tour to help with the visa application process, detailing the documents required for any necessary permits.

 

Does India Nature arrange international flights?

No, we do not arrange international flights.  Our tour costs are for ground arrangements only, beginning the moment you arrive until the time of your departure.  We do arrange domestic flights where required, and can advise you on suitable international flights if you need help.

 

When is the best time to visit India?

This depends to some extent on the tour region and the most favourable time of year in terms of species movement, ease of sightings, and weather conditions is indicated in individual our itineraries.  In general the best time for a bird/wildlife focused visit to India is between October and May, avoiding the monsoon when many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries close and more remote regions may become difficult to access. 

 

Is India a safe country to visit?

Yes, almost all parts of India are considered safe for visitors.  India is set to become the world's most populous country by 2025, and the sheer number of people may be a culture shock, particularly if you have no previous travel experience in Asia - you will find however that most people you encounter will be friendly and hospitable.  You should take the same precautions in terms of your personal safety that you would take anywhere in the world.

  

I am not an expert, can I still join a tour? 

Yes.  Our tour participants range from enthusiastic beginners and non-birding partners to experienced and expert birders and mammal listers.  Level of knowledge is not important as our guide will always be on hand to look after the needs of all group members.  The only particular requirements are that you have a love of the outdoors and are keen to watch birds and wildlife for the duration of the tour, appreciate that specific targets may be important to other group members, and, if you are joining a scheduled tour, are willing to get along with others.

 

I am a keen birder but my partner is a not, what would you suggest?

Whether or not you join a scheduled departure tour depends on your partners willingness to 'go along' with a birding group - if he/she has some interest and enjoys seeing wildlife then our tours offer some exceptional and enjoyable bird and wildlife watching at an easy to moderate pace, a range of experiences, and an insight into India's culture as we travel - so long as he/she is willing to participate in most activities there is also scope to 'sit-out' some sessions, instead relaxing at our hotel.  Alternatively a custom tour gives you the opportunity to combine bird/wildlife watching with your partners interests, perhaps sightseeing, handicrafts, historical monuments, or even a beach holiday.

 

Will I need to study in preparation for my tour?

Since our guide will always be on hand your enthusiasm is more important than your knowledge, and you do not need to be an experienced birder, or build up a great knowledge of India's birds and wildlife in order to enjoy your tour.  If you can find time for a small amount of preparatory study however you will find that this will enhance your own enjoyment.

 

I enjoy photography but am also a birder, which tour should I choose?

Our photographic tours are aimed at dedicated bird and/or wildlife photographers.  Photography is the primary pursuit of the tour, with the itinerary designed to allow adequate time for photographic opportunities at each site.  If you are new to photography, or have a moderate interest, you may find adequate opportunities within our birding or combination tours, which allow some time for photography providing it does not interfere with the progression of the tour.

 

Are sightings guaranteed?

Although we detail the key target species of each tour we do not guarantee sightings of any species.  This does not mean that we are not confident of our itineraries or our guides' abilities and make every effort to locate target species and rarities, but we prefer to encourage realistic expectations of the tour and a true understanding of the status of India's rarer inhabitants. 

 

Can India Nature arrange a tour for families with small children?

We are especially delighted to accommodate families with children of any age in a custom tour and will formulate your itinerary with your children in mind.

 

I usually travel with a tour company in my own country.  What is the difference if I book with India Nature?

Many people are accustomed to booking through a tour company in their own country, and can be hesitant to book directly with a foreign travel company.  If you book with a tour company in your own country then depending on the operator you may receive your international flights as part of the tour 'package', and may be accompanied by a tour leader of your own nationality from the time you depart your home country.  Our tours do not include international flights, which you must arrange independently, and begin the moment you arrive, when our guide will meet you and accompany you until your departure.  We ourselves work with a number of foreign tour companies as a ground agent or in joint marketing arrangements.