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Travellers Tips for India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

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These are intended as useful suggestions based on our experience, and not a definitive guide. A variety of excellent books are available from stores and libraries.

On Safari: always follow the instructions of guides. Keep noise to a minimum and encourage others to do likewise. Flash photography is not allowed within the parks. Don't crowd the animals; respect their privacy as well as other peoples enjoyment of the wildlife by moving on.Mahouts ready for the tourists

Useful Items:
· neutral coloured clothing
· lightweight windproof jacket for open air travel at sunrise and sunset
· fleece, trousers and warm hat (Oct-Jan) until sun is up
· hat to protect head and neck from sun
· good quality 'wraparound' sunglasses with retainer
· small ruck-sack to keep belongings together and dust out

Responsible Tourism: resources are limited, please use as little water and power as possible. Carry rubbish away with you, apart from being unsightly wildlife can be injured or poisoned. Common sense and common courtesy should prevail in all your actions.

Animals: the best advice is not to handle them at all, aside from other risks they may carry a variety of parasites and skin disease. Don't feed wildlife it can encourage unnatural dependency and disease.

Inoculations and Malaria: always seek the advice of your doctor at least two months before travel. Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio and Tetanus are generally advised. A range of anti-malarial drugs is available, however avoidance of bites is the most effective prevention. Mosquitoes are most virulent during and immediately after monsoon. In the evening opt for long sleeves and trousers, light coloured close woven material is ideal, avoid perfume or after-shave and protect yourself with a good insect repellent. At night a mosquito net (especially an impregnated one) gives good protection, along with mosquito coils or 'buzzers'.

Water and Diarrhoea: bacteria multiply quickly in a hot climate, diarrhoea is commonly your stomachs reaction to the unfamiliar germs. When not accompanied by other symptoms it should pass within 24 hours, but it is essential to replace lost fluids and salts. Only bottled water should be used for drinking, and always check the seal. Pay particular attention to personal hygiene, wash hands often, especially before eating, keep cuts clean and covered, use bottled water for tooth brushing. Be wary of salads, prepared fruit and ice.

First Aid and Medical Treatment: if in doubt concerning any medical issue you should always seek expert advice. It is sensible to carry with you antiseptic cream or wipes, plasters, a sealed bandage, diarrhoea treatment (always read instructions), re-hydration sachets, insect repellent and bite soothing cream, aspirin or paracetemol and an adequate supply of any regular medication.

Clothing: (see also On Safari) 'beachwear' away from the poolside or beach usually won't cause offence but will make you the centre of attention, shorts and T-shirts are fine but even men shouldn't go topless. Roads and tracks are often unsurfaced and uneven so trainers or all-terrain sandals are a good idea. When visiting temples women should keep legs, chest and shoulders covered, and men should wear trousers, always remove your shoes before entering.

Laundry: most hotels and lodges offer a laundry service, this is often same-day and cheap but clothing will be vigorously washed, delicate items should not be handed over.

Communications: the privately owned phone booths will usually be cheaper than hotel rates and are open almost all hours in some areas. Internet facilities are available in some larger hotels and cities. Post can take several weeks to reach its destination.

Cameras: there is a small charge for still cameras, and a larger one for video in National Parks. Colour print film is quite widely available but check the use-by date and storage conditions before buying. More specialised supplies should be brought with you from home (remember to check your camera batteries). Lens cleaning materials are invaluable. Ask before taking photos of people or religious sites.

Money: India, Sri Lanka and Nepal each have their own rupees which cannot be carried into or out of the country. A mixture of cash and travellers cheques provides the best degree of security and flexibility. US dollars and sterling are the easiest currencies to exchange, with American Express, Thomas Cook and Visa being the most accepted travellers cheques. It is worth noting that credit cards and travellers cheques are often not accepted in rural locations.

Useful Things to Take: torch and batteries, insulated water bottle, mosquito net, adhesive tape, alarm clock, wet-wipes, small ruck-sack, plastic bags, padlock.







 Sasan Gir



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