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 Just finished a 45 day Safari in India

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Derrick241
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PostSubject: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:08 am

My name is Derrick

I have just completed a 45 day overland trip in India with the only overland company in India

The vehicle is well laid out, with anything you would ever need on a trip of this length of time, but even now, some of the kit is being updated (tents, tables, chairs, cooking equipment, food storage,/preparation areas, stoves)

It was a great trip, I was the first European person to do this trip with them, they usuaslly only have Indians on the trip, the Indians dont like the thought of sleeping in a tent and bush camping, they would prefer to use a hotel and hostel, but the bush camps are the best part of this trip, we visited so many National Parks and reserves, on the look out for tigers, leopards, spotted deer, blue bulls, various birds and other wildlife

Yes there were times when a shower wasnt possible, but a hostel could be found that would let us use the showers (and sometime a bush toilet is beter than using a dirty hole in a hostel)

The food was fresh bought and prepared, and the dishes were varied and tasty, and yes, chickens were bought and kept alive and killed when we needed them, so its not for the faint hearted, but vegetarians are catered for (but there wasnt any on this trip)

I am not sure if this kind of trip that this website would call an overland trip, but I think it could, the trip was overland and did cover a lot of Kms (or miles)

I can give a complete review if anyone is interested in this trip, but I would say to anyone, get on this trip, it is excellent value and will take you to places the normal traveller wouldnt ever thik of goping to (and before he realises how cheap his trips are)

If I can offer any advice or help regarding this trip, please let me know
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:52 am

Sounds great. The company you went with ... it wasn't Prayaan India Overland by any chance?

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:56 am

Tom Mc wrote:
Sounds great. The company you went with ... it wasn't Prayaan India Overland by any chance?

It certainly was, how did you know ?

I never even mentioned them

It really is a worthwhile trip for anyone to do (and at those prices, gives excellent value
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:35 am

Derrick241 wrote:
Tom Mc wrote:
Sounds great. The company you went with ... it wasn't Prayaan India Overland by any chance?

It certainly was, how did you know ?

I never even mentioned them

It really is a worthwhile trip for anyone to do (and at those prices, gives excellent value
Just an educated guess, too clever by far. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:59 am

Would I be able to post a review of my trip on here about my trip with him (Anand) or would that be advertising ?
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:04 am

Just to say I am not connected to this company, I have just used them,

this is my review of them and their services

My review of prayaanindiaoverland.com

This is my review of the trip, tour, safari call it what you like

I met up with Anand (Prayaanoverland) in Jabalpur; I had got there a couple of days early, to have a look round and sort things out, phone, and internet and to see what Jabalpur had to offer (not a lot)

It was just as well, my phone never worked after I left Delhi

We went and bought a few things we would be needing on the trip, like food, both dry and vegetables

The Van is a transit, but converted to overland safaris and trips

As it turned out I was the first European/English person who had done this trip with them, I wasn’t sure what to expect

We met up with the other guide (Deepti); Anand is a driver come guide,

There were others on the trip, but they pulled out for personal reasons, and it was decided as I had travelled all this way to India it would go ahead

We had bought all we needed and set off

The van has a freezer installed in the back and a microwave (a bit extravagant, but it came in handy) a 100 litre water container, all the boxes are stored under the rear of the van with a shutter, there is a secure location for valuables (only guests have the keys)

It is not the usual pack em in type of trip, there is a maximum of 6, 7 at a push, bags would be carried on the roof for this amount of people under a water proof tarpaulin

There are tents on board, but I would recommend to bring your own if you are travelling on afterwards (they are in the process of upgrading all the tents, boxes, jars, plates, mugs, spoons, knives, forks)

As I was the only one on this trip, arranging a cook group was rather silly, so Anand took over the cooking and we just helped with the preparation and washing up, and cleaning out the seated area and the kitchen area

The van is also equipped with A/C, a radio, a DVD/CD player; there are information books on board and good suspension

Anand makes it a rule to stop for 5-10 minutes every 2 hours to have a pee, stretch your legs and of course to give himself a break (Indian traffic can be tiresome)

Lunch stops are always in an area where good cheap food can be bought (they will come with you to ensure you aren’t over charged (it only works if you all use the same shop though)

Fresh vegetables and fruit are bought in the local markets at extremely good prices, most of the meat you will eat will be chicken (but it’s always served differently each meal), vegetarians are well catered for as well

Real bush camps are few and far between, and most will be in a hotel, hostel ground (this also gives you a chance to upgrade if you wish, but the extra cost is yours) there are showers, hot water and proper clean toilets, towels

I used a tent the whole trip, except when there was no other choice, I enjoyed it, and it beat waking up to traffic noises, wildlife is so much better

This trip isn’t like the other European overland companies, this does safaris, photographic safaris, bird watching, and rare species, city tours, the ‘golden triangle’ in fact you can have an itinery built just for your group, he is toying with longer trips and more personalised trips, if people want them, trips can be from a long weekend to a 45-60 day trip, the choice is yours

He is the only overland company based in India, his prices are great (everything depends on what you want to do and see where you want to go)


If anyone was to come from the UK to do a trip he can arrange to meet you at New Delhi airport, arrange the first night at a hostel there, then a train to Jabalpur a night there and to start your trip (Jabalpur is where the trip starts, the ‘get to know you meeting’ A Q&A session, )

This is a very little known company outside of India, they speak excellent English, are full of information about animal, birds, history, areas you will visit

You will stay in small villages, you will meet the locals, you will see local crafts being made, you will see village/country life, you will be the center of attraction where ever you stop

There are faults as well, but I think they are minor, others may think they are a major issue

Sometime’s when there is an early start for a safari 4-5am, breakfast is foregone (if the cook group wants to get up and prepare breakfast, crack on) but you can have brunch when you return

I am really trying hard to find faults on this trip, but there are so very few (there are upgrades happening to make life even better for travellers)

Charging points are limited to iPods, phones and tablets, NOT laptops

No food of any kind left over night in the seated area, it can go in the food area and should be in a box with your name on it (this is simply to prevent ants and flies)

The rules of the van are simple and few, but they get reposted with each trip

(My view is, get on this trip before the crowds find out about it and the prices go up and it gets too popular)

..........................................................................................................................................................


Anand did his training to be a guide, a leader and an advisor in South Africa, he has a lot of qualifications to his name, in fact he is the most qualified guide I have ever met, and he has a really good knowledge of every place we have been to

His passion is photography, especially wild life, be it animals or birdlife

He met his girlfriend on face book, and found they shared a lot of interests

The vehicle he uses is custom built, there are 3 like it in the whole of India, but he has added modifications to suit the trips and the amount of people he carries

The tents aren’t the best in the country, but they are adequate (but I would bring my own next time)

Really it isn’t an overland company, it is better than that, it is a photography tour and you visit lots of wildlife parks, and Anand is always after the perfect photo of a tiger, but it doesn’t stop him from being the perfect host and guide, he has a wealth of knowledge about all the animals in India

Deepti, is an amateur ornithologist, which does make for some interesting arguments about birds

The vehicle is well laid out, big bags can either go on the roof or inside the vehicle, it depends on numbers on the trip

The food is plentiful and tasty, Anand is quite a cook

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:57 am

That is a good review, can you share any more reviews of trips with companies,or your own trips, we always like reading of other people's trips, and experiences. clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:06 am

I did a trip last year with another company, the trip was nothing like the trip I have just done, the review I wrote did slate them quite a bit

It was an 8 month trip overland from the UK to Australia

I also did an overland trip in Africa (Gorillas and Gameparks) the year before (2011)

That was a great trip

I can post them, but they would just be my opinion
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:01 am

Derrick241 wrote:
Would I be able to post a review of my trip on here about my trip with him (Anand) or would that be advertising ?
Myself, or I am sure anyone who uses this forum, wouldn't regard ‘trip reports’ as advertising - IF they, and the person posting them of course, are genuine. Of what you've said since you came on this forum, I believe you are genuine so your report is welcomed. Totally different matter if Anand, the owner of the company, was just a mate of yours and the report was more his words rather than yours (as you'll appreciate, it happens all the time on forums), but as I say don't think this is the case here.

As for Anand posting two or three times about his company, I was in fact going to wield the axe as it was a bit OTT and smacked of spamming, but upon reflection I will now give him the benefit of the doubt and conclude it's a cultural thing. Anand probably didn't even realise his posts came across to us here in the UK as blatant advertising. I will however give him credit for still running your trip, given that you were the only client to turn up. Many others would cancelled it there and then, especially being a 45 day trip! That's one hellava long time with just one client, so fair play to the bloke.

Anyway, now that's been cleared up, yes ... please dig out your old reports/reviews. As you say, they are simply your opinion after all, so folk will have their own thoughts and make up their own minds. The section entitled COMPLETED - Overland Trips & Expeditions was designed specifically with past excursions in mind, so by all means start a new Topic for each review.

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:36 am

Would I post them here or in another place (my reviews)

He wasnt a friend before I went on his trip, but I would like to think he is now

I gave him lots of ideas to improve his trips, like better tents, improved storage, a stove in case wood fires are a problem (they have these great little kerosene cookers over there) having shorter trips, meeting people at Delhi airport, then getting them on a train to Jabalpur, rather than them make their own way there, they start right off meeting people on the train (okay it would increase the cost of the trip, but not by much, train travel is cheap out there)

Good tents are hard to come by in India, let alone a self inflating mattress, I said I could send him GOOD tents from the UK

Getting fold up camping stools and tables, improving some of the route s he does, make it more of a 'personal' trip

I would like to see him succeed, he is the only overland company in India, Indians dont really understand a tent and camping or that it can really be enjoyable and better than a hostel

There are UK based overland company's that go through India, but dont do anything like his trips, they just do the major cities and the usual Agra, Red fort, Taj Mahal, Varanasi, okay they are fine but everyone goes there, he goes to smaller little known places, villages, you get to meet people whose lives are a struggle every day, but they are genuine people

I think he is up there with the best of any overland company, just limited by his location and his company hard to find, even on the internet

I'd like to see more Europeans use his trips, its mainly Indians that do his trips and they are sort of long weekends, he wants to do more of these long trips, but its trying to get the interest and 'bums on seats'

This is why I did my review, he has only been going for a short time, (I think) he deserves credit for trying to do this overland thing, especially in India, a place where overlanding is unheard of

The only reason my trip went ahead was I had come over from the UK, just to do his trip, I had no other plans until the trip was over, I dont know of any other company that would have even considered it, they would have just cancelled and blown me out (he couldnt have made any money from taking just me)

Yes it maybe a cultureral thing when he posts his company information anywhere, I think he is trying to get ANYONE interested in his trips
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:38 am

Now we have a better idea of the situation, then fair play to you for helping him out. thumbsup

Your reviews - what's you've done is perfect, starting a new Topic in this COMPLETED - Overland Trips & Expeditions section, one for each review.

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:24 am

Seemed the right thing to do

I hope you can give Anand a little leeway, when he posts

Would be appreciated
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:34 am

as it happens, already have Derrick. We've had several companies, mainly from the Far East, who have come on here and blatantly listed their holiday schedules, then just as quickly disappeared. The thing is, they weren't even about overland travel or adventure holidays, they were just ordinary 'beach resort' type of breaks!

Anand's were different inasmuch his company's trips involved vehicles - a good start - plus I already knew of his company, so let his posts stay whereas others I have deleted within the hour.

My advice to Anand, and any commercial concern for that matter, there is a Companies (Commercial) section within the forum, this therefore is a much more suitable place to promote his company. It then leaves the rest of the forum clear of selling and promoting, that way we can get on with what we do best ... idle chit chat!

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:45 am

I wouldnt call it 'idle chit chat'

I have been reading through various threads, there is some great stuff in here

Its made me wish I handy sold my 'landy' now

I was thinking of asking if anyone was going somewhere and if they wanted a driver/companion/someone to blame

Only problem is I have seen a lot of the countries to the right of the UK, but as I said in the UK to Australia review, it just scratches the surface, I know there was a lot I didnt see lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:39 am

I have made a few suggestions to them, reference picking people up in Delhi (their trips start in Jabalpur)

They meet them in Delhi, have a night in a hostel, then escort them to Jabalpur, stay a night there, then that evening, go over the trip, put their gear on the van, sort out groups, then go shopping (if they haven't done it already) then start the trip, at the end of the trip in Jaipur, they can either carry on or get a train back to Delhi (but the train journeys would be an additional cost, unless they want to meet up in Jabalpur)

It would save people a lot of time registering on websites, trying to buy tickets

Anyone could meet them in Jabalpur and start the trip there, but I have found it could be time consuming and labourious

(I got a flight in the end from Delhi to Jabalpur, after I bought a SIM card for my phone)


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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:11 pm

Aren't the trains dirt cheap in India? Also, of what I've seen about the country, a train journey is a must to get a real feel for the place.

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PostSubject: Re: Just finished a 45 day Safari in India   Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:08 pm

Yes they are, but they get full realy fast, so buying tickets for them in advance is a good idea, and there are several classes on them

Booking them can be an ordeal and a lengthy process if you dont know what you are doing

There are also several trains going to the same place, just at different speeds

So having Anand (or someone) who knows what they are doing (and speaks the language) is a bonus
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