Lions and tigers and bears? Oh, my!
And don’t forget the elephants, leopards, rhinos and a host of other exotic creatures found in India as well.
Simerdeep Singh, Canadian representative of Mumbai-based Tamarind Global, says India’s wildlife is more than worthy of attention from nature enthusiasts, with elephants and tigers often serving as iconic symbols of the country. But he notes the state of Gujarat has a lion population, and India has numerous national parks that tourists can explore in hopes of seeing members of the wild cat family and other creatures.
Among those parks is Ranthambore in northern India, which offers tours that seek sightings of tigers, with Singh saying those going on the tours can expect to safely spot one of the large predators from trucks designed for that role and which may have 20 seats.
But he adds that many international travellers are unaware of Indian wild-life spotting opportunities, which often take a backseat to the country’s historical and cultural attractions.
“Whenever they (tourism authorities) promote India, they talk about the Taj Mahal,” he notes.
Tamarind Global offers India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Bhutan.
Sri Lanka is seeing a rebound in tourism, with India travellers often visiting it as well on the same trip, appreciating its tropical beaches, and its also having the likes of wild elephants and leopards found within park boundaries in a country that has particularly green landscapes.
Sri Lanka’s Khondi Hill Station has “you feeling like you’re walking in the clouds.”
Singh notes Nepal offers spectacular trekking, thanks to – like India – its having many Himalayan peaks. “The first thing that comes to mind (upon seeing the Himalayas) is ‘wow!’ ” he says.
Desert safaris are available in Dubai, as are dinner cruises that serve buffets and provide nighttime sightings of Dubai’s dramatic skyline. “In the evening hours when all the lights are lit up it’s beautiful,” Singh reports.
Singh suggests that this is a good time to visit India as rapid development in parts of the country mean it will be harder to spot traditional lifestyles in the coming years.
He has high praise for the country’s tourism infrastructure, which includes many palaces that once served as retreats for maharajas now being high-end hotels. That includes Udaipur’s Lake Palace, seen in the James Bond movie Octopussy, and which has become part of upscale Indian hotel chain Taj Hotels.
Tamarind Global has its roots in the 1990s, and Singh reports that a company that started with 10 employees now has 410 found in 14 offices throughout India and outside the country as well.
FIT and group travel is available, with chauffeured cars offered clients.
Singh notes that Air Canada links both Vancouver and Toronto with India.
Singh can be reached at [email protected] or 647-531-2723.
Tamarind Global’s website is tamarindglobal.com.