Frequently asked questions

 

What do I need to bring with me?
Depending on the season but we recommend certain things that you should bring irrespective of the season you will be coming in. Details are given below:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Comfortable, loose and decent clothing
  • Camera, batteries and memory cards
  • Laptop is advisable if you’re working on a project
  • Binoculars (8x40 are reasonable for the jungle)
  • Medicine
  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Rain jacket
  • Water purification tablets and/or filter
  • Charger for all the equipments you get

Summer

  • Light, loose cotton clothing is essential
  • Wide brimmed sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent

Monsoons

  • Rain coat

Winter

  • Warm clothes – hats, gloves, jacket, thermals

 

What will the weather be like?
We pretty much have three distinct seasons – summer, monsoons and winter. 


Summer: March to June. The minimum temperature is 18 degrees Celsius and maximum 40 degrees Celsius.  Towards the end of summer (May and June), the weather can be extremely hot, with temperatures in the low to mid 40 degrees Celsius. Pre-monsoon rains generally start in June.


Monsoon: July to October.  The minimum temperature is 14 degrees Celsius and maximum 40 degrees Celsius.  Humidity, however, can go above 80%.  During monsoons, we experience almost daily bursts of heavy rainfall.  During the rains the temperatures drop fairly dramatically, and then rise again after the rains clear.  This is when the humidity will be at its highest

 

Winter: November to February.  The minimum temperature is 0 degrees Celsius and maximum 28 degrees Celsius.  Night times can be very cold during winters, but the days mostly pleasant. It’s advisable to wrap up warmly in the mornings and evenings. 


What vaccinations will I need?
Since we’re not doctors, we can’t advise you on this.  The only thing we can say is go and visit your doctor, or even better, travel doctor, for proper advice. 


What visa will I need?
You will definitely need a visa to come here, but the type of visa you need depends on the motive of visit and details like how long you will stay and so on.  It’s best to contact your local Indian Embassy to work out on the details.
Some visa information can be found here:
http://india.gov.in/overseas/passport/indian_visa.php


Is transportation/transfers included?
Unless you’re staying at Vanghat/Riverine Woods Lodge (where accommodation costs includes transport from Ramnagar to the lodge), the costs for any transport/transfers is extra.  If you want then we can arrange for your transport. 


I’m interested in coming to stay with you, but want to work on a different activity.  Is this possible?
Yes, this is possible, but due to funding/staffing restrictions you’d be responsible for planning and implementing your programme.  Dana Pani Organic Farm encourages students who have their own projects, so does Steve’s Mountain Village.  Society for Mahseer Conservancy will be happy to have more hands to help , but we prefer guests/students working on the projects that are already existing.


What fitness level is required?
Moderate to average fitness is necessary.  Most of the accommodations require some walking and some activities require some level of fitness. 


Is food and drink included?
Yes, all food and drink, apart from snacks like chocolate or chips, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, are included.  You’ll receive three meals i.e. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, along with Hi – Tea or just Chai.


How does banking/money exchange work?
Most towns have ATM’s which accept foreign cards as long as they are CIRRUS or MAESTRO or verify with the ATM Helpline.  Money exchange is available in larger towns, but you’ll get the best rates in Delhi.  Traveller’s cheques aren’t much good and credit cards aren’t accepted, but the ATM’s are fine.


What’s it like travelling in India?
India is a fascinating, amazing place to be in, but for the first timers it could be a culture shock.  It’s busy, noisy, dirty, crowded but you need to be prepared for some adventure.  Those who love India over look the minor aspects and notice the beauty, colours and diversity which the county has to offer.  We’d recommend going through the following websites for information:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india
http://goindia.about.com/


Is it safe to travel in India?
Any place is a safe place as long as you’re sensible.  The rural areas can be safer than the larger cities.  Avoid walking by yourself especially after sunset, don’t flash your money or fancy watch around, don’t do anything or go anywhere where you don’t feel comfortable.  Pick-pocketing can be a problem, so try not to carry large amounts of cash or use a money belt if you have to.


What medical facilities are available?
Basic medical facilities are available everywhere, but these are simple compared to Western standards.  You can get basic health care items (paracetamol, cold and flu tablets) at local pharmacies, but if you need particular medicines then you need to bring them along and keep them with you.


Will I need travel insurance?
Yes.  If something happens to you, or there’s an emergency, travel insurance is essential especially for specialised medical care. It will be quite costly and if you have to be transported under an emergency, then travel insurance will cover sudden expenses


What about cellphones/communication?
SIM cards are readily available. They will be given only on a copy of your passport and visa. Cellphone signal is available at most locations, though different networks have different coverage (for example, Vodafone works fine but Idea works in Dana Pani, Vanghat/Riverine Woods, Baluli Waters and Ramganga Valley Homestay.


Currently, internet is available in Dhikuli Homestay, but we hope that in the future it will be available at Steve’s Mountain Village and Dana Pani.  Due to the remote nature of Vanghat/Riverine Woods, Baluli Waters and Ramganga Valley Homestay it’s unlikely that internet will be activated. 


Is there power at all your accommodation options?
Yes, there is power supply in all our lodges/homestay.  However, power supply is unreliable, with frequent power cuts, mostly at day and sometimes at the night.  It is advisable to bring torches in case of power failure.


I’ve heard Indian bathrooms are different to Western bathrooms.  What should I expect?
Indian bathrooms are different.  Most of the accommodation options have simple bathrooms, with Western toilets, with Indian style “bucket baths”.  Some, however, have traditional Indian pot/squat toilets (you’ll find these at Ramganga Valley Homestay or the homestay at Steve’s Mountain Village).  All bathrooms are kept to good hygiene and cleanliness standards. 


What plug adaptor will I need for electronics?
India takes type D and M plugs, so you’ll need an adaptor that is compatible with this. 

 

What books should I read before coming?
  • Man-eaters of Kumaon Omnibus Part 1, Jim Corbett – Oxford University Press
  • Man-eaters of Kumaon Omnibus Part 2, Jim Corbett – Oxford University Press
  • Any of the Jim Corbett books
  • Birds of Northern India - Richard Grimmett & Tim Inskipp
  • A Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent - KK Gurung & Raj Singh
  • Snakes of India the Field Guide - Romulus Whitaker & Ashok Captain
  • Learning Hindi – Any author
  • Flora Of Himalayas-with Special Reference To Kumaon Nepal And Tibet - E.T.     Atkinson
  • The Book Of Indian Butterflies- Isaac Kehimkar
  • Birds of Prey of the Indian Subcontinent-  Rishad Naoroji
  • Circumventing the Mahseer: And Other Sporting Fish in India and Burma - J. MacDonald
  • The Mighty Mahseer, and Other Fish: Or Hints to Beginners on Indian Fishing- Skene Dhu
  • Angler in India or the Mighty Mahseer - Skene Dhu