NEW TRIP

Witness the Wonder of the World’s Largest Pilgrimage

India’s Kumbh Mela Festival

India

12 Days

From $10,595

Overview

    Book Online Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Experience India in a whole new way at the sacred Kumbh Mela festival, the largest congregation of pilgrims on Earth—and a gathering that only happens every 12 years. WT's private tented camp for three nights is right on the Kumbh Mela festival grounds, where we spend time with sadhus (holy men) and spiritual leaders, with guest lectures by Lakshmi Singh, a disciple of Advaita Vedanta Hinduism. Before the festival, we explore the World Heritage-listed medieval city of Hampi, the former princely state of Hyderabad, with its links to Hinduism and Islam, and fantastically photogenic Varanasi, where we have the honor of witnessing the living traditions of one of the world's oldest religions.

    Please note: Our Kumbh Mela camp is right in the festival grounds, which run day and night with intense pilgrim activity, so this may not be a journey for everyone, but if you're seeking a once-in-lifetime cultural experience, this is it!

    For a post-trip extension, we offer Central India: In the Realm of the Tiger, a chance to relax and unwind in the peaceful realm of four Project Tiger wildlife reserves after our intense spiritual-cultural experience.

    Arrive: Bangalore, India

    Depart: Delhi, India

    Highlights

    • Boat along the Ganges in Varanasi at sunrise to watch pilgrims at prayer
    • Take a fascinating “Death and Rebirth Night Walk” in holy Varanasi
    • Meet with spiritual leaders at our private camp at Kumbh Mela
    • Get an insider's perspective on India's living traditions with our expert guides
    • Explore the medieval city of Hampi, a World Heritage Site, visit the bazaars of Hyderabad
    • Extend your journey on our Central India: In the Realm of the Tiger safari

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      From Bangalore, we fly to Hampi to explore the extraordinary ruined city of Vijayanagar (Hampi), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll enjoy walks and hikes in this stunning open-air museum of 14th century temples, fortifications, and pavilions.
      In the atmospheric city of Hyderabad, where our grand hotel is the former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, we visit the magnificent Golconda Fort, with its elaborate tombs and hammams, and roam the bustling bazaars of Charminar.
      In legendary Varanasi, we cruise the Ganges by private boat to witness prayer ceremonies and watch life along the river banks. One evening, we'll take a fascinating guided Death and Rebirth Night walk, beginning at a fertility temple and ending at the sacred Manikarnika Ghat, a wonderful chance to experience the power of holy rituals.
      In Prayagraj, an ancient pilgrim city at the confluence of the Ganges, Yumana, and Saraswati rivers, our private tented camp is right on the Kumbh Mela festival grounds. With our Trip Leader and a private specialist guide, we experience the festival's meaning, relevance, and rituals, and learn why millions of people journey here from all walks of life in what is the ultimate spiritual quest. While here, we will experience one-on-one time with sadhus (holy men), witness spiritual leaders with their disciples taking a dip in the Ganges, and meet pilgrims. Even though the festival is huge, it is organized very well, and we will be accompanied by our guides through all the experiences. Fly to Delhi on Day 11 and depart on Day 12 or join our Central India: In the Realm of the Tiger safari.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 121 days prior to departure: No charge!
      91-120 days prior to departure: $600 per person
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      60 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in hotels and small comfortable inns
      • All meals except 1 dinner as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Taj West End Hotel

      Bangalore, India

      Day 1 (1 night)

      The Taj West End is nestled within 20 acres of sprawling greenery and distinguished by its colonial-style elegance. There are 117 luxurious rooms and suites overlooking verdant gardens, plus a world-class spa and a myriad of fine dining restaurants.

      Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace

      Hampi, India

      Days 2-3 (2 nights)

      The newly built Kamalapura Palace is designed to reflect the days of the 14th-century Vijayanagara Empire, with architecture inspired by Deccan, Dravidian, and Islamic styles. There are 37 suites and nine pool villas, a bar lounge, a reading lounge, a large infinity pool, and a spa offering traditional Ayurvedic wellness...

      Taj Falaknuma Palace

      Hyderbad, India

      Days 4-5 (2 nights)

      The Taj Falaknuma Palace, built in 1894, is the former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was rumored to be the richest man in the world at one time. Now a 60-room luxury hotel spread over 32 acres, it blends historic elegance and modern luxury. There are several excellent...

      BrijRama Palace

      Varanasi, India

      Days 6-7 (2 nights)

      This renovated 200-year-old palace, accessible only by boat, has a perfect location right on the banks of the Ganges. Guests can watch life along the Ganges from the panoramic rooftop terrace, walk down the ghat right to the river below, and explore myriad shops in the lanes just outside the...

      Naga Kothi

      Prayagraj, India

      Days 8-9 (2 nights)

      Our private tented camp, Naga Kothi, is on the festival grounds of the Kumbh Mela, putting us right in the heart of the action. We'll sleep in comfortable safari-style tents with en suite bathrooms with showers and hot and cold running water. All our meals will be at our camp....

      Andaz Delhi

      New Delhi, India

      Day 11 (1 night)

      Located just a few miles from the international airport, you can watch the planes come and go from this contemporary hotel. Grab a gin and tonic at the Juniper Bar, which offers 35 types of gin and tonic infusions, or if you feel like jumping into an even livelier scene,...

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Indrajit Latey

      View Profile

      Shoba Rudra

      View Profile

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 2+ (Easy to Moderate) according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable walking or being on your feet for 6 hours per day through large groups of heavy crowds. It is best suited for very well-traveled people who have perhaps been to India before and are looking to deepen their connection with the legendary spirituality of the country, or who are looking for an eye-opening cultural experience.

      It is a vehicle-based cultural adventure with hikes to fabulous temples, topped off by an intense three-day experience of India's biggest pilgrim festival. The Kumbh Mela is a feast for the senses and for the soul, so bring an attitude of flexibility and curiosity, a sense of humor, enthusiasm about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected!
      Review Trip Level Details
      While this is not a hiking trip, we will spend much of our time on foot, observing devotional activities along the river as the pilgrims complete their religious journey. The festival isn't set up for visitors—it is a religious right of passage for Hindus, with the festival grounds becoming a vast temporary city for the masses of attendees. To join this trip you must be ready for large and sometimes tight crowds of people (if you have claustrophobia this is not the trip for you!), for strong and intense smells, and to be on your feet for 5-6 hours per day.
      We expect temperatures around Bangalore and Hyderabad in southern India to be warm to hot in February, ranging through the mid-70Fs to high 80Fs. Varanasi, much further north, is cooler during that month. The south of India has two distinct monsoon seasons: one in summer and another from October to mid-November. We don't expect heavy rain to be a problem on our trip, but there can be occasional showers at any time between November and February.
      Accommodations are in excellent hotels for eight days, some of them historic properties that reflect the traditional architecture of the region. For three nights, we stay at our tented camp right on the festival grounds of the Kumbh Mela, where we'll sleep in comfortable safari-style tents with en suite bathrooms with showers and hot and cold running water. During our days at the festival, we'll have morning yoga with a sadhu, watch priests perform an aarti (evening prayers), boat along the Ganges and Yumana rivers, and take a night walk to experience the evening rituals. Festival activities continue throughout the day and into the night, so you must be prepared for noise after we go to bed. There will be story-tellers, singing and chanting, stalls selling items for people to use in pujas (blessing ceremonies), performances by folk artists, and iconic sights such as naked, ash-covered Naga sadhus, the mystics who have given up all worldly possessions.
      Meals at our hotels and at camp will be a mix of Indian and Western cuisine, customized for the Western palate when requested to be mild or spicy. Special diets (gluten-free, dairy-free) can be accommodated but please advise us in advance.

      Extend Your Trip

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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This afternoon we catch a flight to Vijayanagar and drive to Hampi, where our hotel is the Kamalapura Palace, built to reflect the architectural splendor of the Vijayanagar Empire that once spanned much of Southern India. We gather for our Welcome Dinner this evening.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"1 hour","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Hampi \/ Vijayanagar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The extraordinary ruined city of Vijayanagar, the &#8220;City of Victory,&#8221; also known as Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the capital of the 14th century Vijayanagar Empire and is closely associated with India&rsquo;s Ramayana epic and with Lord Shiva, making it an important place of pilgrimage. The setting of Vijayanagar itself is surreal, with piles of colossal golden-brown boulders scattered among leafy banana fields. This morning, a sunrise hike brings us up the Tungabhdra Trail for a fantastic view over the site. We&rsquo;ll find magnificent ruins along the way, including the Achyutaraya Temple and its Courtesan Bazaar, once famous for its dancing girls. There will also be an option for an easier hike for those who wish. After a picnic breakfast, we&rsquo;ll walk through the ancient village of Vithalapura to visit the iconic Vijaya Vittala Temple, Hampi&rsquo;s crowning glory, where a magnificent stone chariot graces the courtyard. This temple is also noted for its giant &#8220;musical&#8221; pillars (constructed so as to sound the notes of a scale when struck). We return to our hotel about 11:00am, with the afternoon to relax. A complimentary one-hour Ayurveda massage is available at the hotel&rsquo;s spa. 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After breakfast, we&rsquo;ll enjoy one last visit to the world of the Vijayanagar Empire as we walk a trail to the stunning Lotus Temple. Today is partly a travel day as we make a long drive to Hubli for a short flight to Hyderabad. In Hyderabad, an atmospheric city that dates to the late 16th century, we&rsquo;ll settle into our extraordinary hotel, the Taj Falaknuma Palace, perched 2,000 feet above the city and spread over 32 acres.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"1 hour","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Hyderabad \/ Golconda Fort and Tombs \/ Charminar Bazaar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"This morning we&rsquo;ll visit the magnificent Golconda Fort, a fortified citadel and walled city on the outskirts of Hyderabad. It was once the capital of the Muslim Qutb Shahi dynasty. Its attractions include the ancient Hindu Jagadamba Mahakali Temple and tripled-arched Taramati Mosque. We&rsquo;ll also visit the tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers buried here, surrounded by elaborate mausoleums, hammams, and gardens. In the late afternoon, we&rsquo;ll head for Hyderabad&rsquo;s Charminar district, a mosaic of history, culture, modernity, crafts, business, and Old World charm&mdash;a perfect slice of Hyderabad&rsquo;s life. We&rsquo;ll walk through Charminar&rsquo;s Laad Bazar to be dazzled by the shiny &#8220;lac&#8221; bangles that Hyderabad is known for, take the back streets to meet craftsmen, and watch artisans working with shiny threads and glittery sequins to create intricate patterns on silk fabric. We end our day at a popular tea shop watching the hustle and bustle around Charminar while sipping on sweet Irani tea and dunking just-out-of-the-oven Osmania biscuits.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Varanasi \/ Sunset Boat Ride \/ Ganga Aarti Ceremony","ActivityOverview":"Flight Details:","EstimatedLength":"1 hour","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A mid-morning flight brings us to Varanasi (also known as Benares or Kashi), whose prominence in Hindu mythology is unrivaled. Hindus believe that one who is graced to be cremated in Varanasi would attain <em>moksha<\/em>&mdash;salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. The city has been a center of learning and civilization for over 3,000 years. Tonight at sunset, we take a slow upriver float by boat from Assi Ghat as the setting sun cascades across the city skyline and pause to witness a glittering <em>aarti<\/em> (prayer) ceremony at the riverside. The priests in charge of performing the aarti wear a <em>dhoti<\/em> (long loincloth) and a <em>kurta<\/em> (long shirt). The ceremony begins with the lighting of brass lamps and a rhythmic chanting of the holy mantras. Some priests blow conch shells to sanctify the atmosphere, while other priests wave incense sticks to worship Mother Ganga. The whole ceremony lasts about 45 minutes each evening and many people gather riverside to watch it. Overnight at the Brijrama Palace, a 200-year-old palace set right on the Ganges and accessible only by boat.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Varanasi \/ Sunrise Boat Ride and Walk \/ Death and Rebirth Night Walk","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Fantastically photogenic Varanasi is at its brilliant best by the ghats, the long stretch of steps leading down to the Ganges on the western bank. On our sunrise boat ride, we&rsquo;ll view the River Ganga in golden morning light, watch pilgrims and priests perform their aarti to the rising sun, and see children taking their morning baths. We&rsquo;ll also explore on foot and find places such as kushti akharas, the traditional &#8216;gymnasiums&#8217; along the ghats where young boys mud-wrestle the ancient Indian way, practicing millennia-old moves. We return to the hotel for breakfast and later walk to the street markets and sacred ponds of Varanasi. The afternoon is for lunch and a rest. Around 7:30 this evening, we&rsquo;ll take a fascinating &#8220;Death and Rebirth Night Walk&#8221; through Varanasi, a special opportunity to experience the power of holy rituals and ponder the cycles and mysteries of existence. Our walk begins at a fertility temple dedicated to a Hindu goddess and ends with a visit to Manikarnika Ghat, the most sacred Ganges cremation grounds. Witnessing a cremation at Manikarnika Ghat is a powerful experience. The intense heat and smoke of the fire, combined with the prayers and chants of the mourners, creates a remarkable atmosphere. The sight of a body slowly being consumed by the flames is a reminder of the fragility of life and the passing of the soul from this world to the next.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Prayagraj \/ Luxury Tented Camp at Kumbh Mela Festival Grounds","ActivityOverview":"Driving Details:","EstimatedLength":"3 hours ","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A morning drive brings us to Prayagraj, a beautiful city situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (&#8220;prayag&#8221; means confluence). The city draws pilgrims and heritage lovers from all over the world and is one of the destinations that holds the Kumbh Mela. More than ten million people dip into the holy Ganga at this festival to purify body, mind, and soul and wash off their sins. It is a mass pilgrimage for the Hindu community of India, from sages, yogis, ascetics, and mendicants to ordinary men, women, and children. On arrival, we settle into our private camp, with time at leisure before we have an informative briefing on the days ahead by our guide and host Lakshmi Singh, a disciple of two Advait philosophy masters for over 20 years.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Prayagraj \/ Kumbh Mela Festival","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We have two full days to experience the Kumbh Mela, its meaning, relevance, and rituals, and learn why millions of people journey here from all walks of life in what is the ultimate spiritual quest. With our Trip Leader and hosts from camp, we&rsquo;ll attend ceremonies and meet pilgrims, hearing their stories and learning what Kumbh Mela means for them. We will experience one-on-one time with sadhus (holy men), witness spiritual leaders with their disciples taking a dip in the Ganges, and meet aescetics. Even though the festival is truly huge, it is organized with security provided by the Indian military, and we will be accompanied by our Trip Leader and specialist guides through all the experiences.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Delhi \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"Flight Details (Day 11):","EstimatedLength":"1.5 hours","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<strong>Day 11:<\/strong> Fly to Delhi and check into the hotel. We gather for our festive Farewell Dinner this evening. <br><br><strong>Day 12:<\/strong> After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart, or join our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/trip\/india-tiger-wildlife-safari-kanha-tour\/\">Central India: In the Realm of the Tiger<\/a> safari.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Bangalore \/ Hampi \/ Vijayanagar World Heritage Site","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"From Bangalore, we fly to Hampi to explore the extraordinary ruined city of Vijayanagar (Hampi), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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There is a spa, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-andaz-delhi-king-room.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-india-s-kumbh-mela-festival\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"","Custom_Carry-On":"","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"india-kumbh-mela-festival-guided-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Witness the Kumbh Mela, a famous Hindu pilgrimage festival, travel along the Ganges in Varanasi, meet sadhus at the pilgrim city of Prayagraj","Custom_List_Description":"Witness the Kumbh Mela, a famous Hindu pilgrimage festival, see the holy Ganges in Varanasi, meet sadhus and Hindu pilgrims at the pilgrim city of Prayagraj","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"India's Kumbh Mela Festival Guided Tour","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"Bangalore, India <br><br><strong>Suggested Airport: <\/strong>Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR)<br><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 1, anytime<br><strong><br>Meeting Place<\/strong>: A complimentary transfer is provided from the Bangaluru airport to the group hotel, no matter when you arrive. Check-in begins at 2:00 pm. There are no scheduled activities on Day 1.","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"Delhi, India <br><br><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)<br><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 12, anytime<br> <br><br>A complimentary transfer is provided from the group hotel to the Delhi Airport, no matter when you depart. Check-out time from the hotel is 12:00 pm on Day 12. <br><br>If you are departing on a different day, extra hotel nights can be arranged at additional cost.<\/div>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from India. There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"www.exitotravel.com\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>. <br><br>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US.<br><strong><br>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once tickets are purchased, please forward a copy of your email flight confirmation from the airline. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"indias-kumbh-mela-festival","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from India. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a>or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens need a tourist visa for India. <strong>Indian visas cannot be obtained upon arrival; you must obtain your visa prior to departure.<\/strong> We suggest applying for your visa 2-3 months prior to trip departure, as visa processing can take time. <br><br>Currently, there are two ways for US citizens to obtain a visa for India: <br><strong><br>1. Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), E-Visa Issued Online:<\/strong> US citizens can obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), and have the option of choosing between a 30-day, 1-year, and 5-year visa. The 30-day ETA is good for double entry, while the 1- and 5-year options are valid for multiple entries. Each is valid for the specified amount of time from the date of issue. Please Note: If you plan to apply for the 30-day ETA, you must wait until 30 days prior to your expected date of arrival to apply. <br><br>Currently, this ETA is valid for entry through 28 designated airports and 5 designated seaports, but visitors have the flexibility to depart\/exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India. Upon arrival, you will need to present your physical ETA document and passport to the Indian immigration officials. Please make sure that you also have a printed copy of your international flight itinerary. <br><br>You must apply for this ETA through India's Ministry of Home Affairs at <a href=\"https:\/\/indianvisaonline.gov.in\/evisa\/tvoa.html\">indianvisaonline.gov.in\/evisa<\/a> <br><br>All applicants will need to upload a recent passport photo as part of the application process. <br><br>The ETA application will ask for a &#8220;Reference Name in India,&#8221; as well as a &#8220;Reference Name in United States of America.&#8221; For this, please put the following:<br><strong><br>Reference Name in India<br><\/strong>Name: Encounters Asia<br>Address: Suite # 206, Rakeshdeep Building<br>11 Commercial Complex<br>Gulmohar Enclave<br>New Delhi, 110049, India<br>India Phone: (+91) 11 2685-3760<br><strong><br>Reference Name in United States<br><\/strong>Name: Wilderness Travel<br>Address: 1102 Ninth St<br>Berkeley, CA, 94710<br>USA<br>Phone: +1-510-558-2488 <br><br>For more details on the process, including instructions and ETA fees, please visit the official website.<br><strong><br>2. <em>RECOMMENDED:<\/em> Passport Visas Express (PVE): <\/strong>If you need assistance, you can also choose to obtain your visa through our designated visa processing service, Passport Visas Express (PVE). <br><br>Please check service fees, processing times, and specific Indian visa information on the PVE website. <br><br>When contacting PVE, please let them know that you are on a Wilderness Travel trip.<br><em><br>All visa regulations are subject to change. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, please check with a local consulate for entry requirements.<\/em>","Custom_Money":"India's currency is the rupee (INR). We suggest you bring your funds in US cash. You can exchange money at the international airport or at our hotel in Delhi. We suggest that you exchange money at the airport, as this is where you will find the best exchange rate. You will be issued a currency exchange form each time you change money; keep these forms as you will need them to change rupees back into dollars at the airport upon departure. <br><br>Credit cards are accepted in most shops, hotels, and restaurants in larger cities during the trip. Visa and MasterCard or more widely accepted than AMEX. It is a good idea to have some small US cash ($1s) on hand for minor expenses. There are ATMs at the international airports, and you can use these upon arrival in India. Please note that there are ATM machines elsewhere in India, but they may not be conveniently located near the properties on our trips. <br><br>To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, for any meals not included in the trip itinerary, and for personal items such as snacks, phone calls, etc. A great variety of craftworks are available in India. Depending on your taste, you could spend anything from $100 to $300 or much more.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $150 to $180 per trip member for the main Trip Leader. <br><br>All other tips are included in the trip costs, including gratuities for local guides, guest lecturers, drivers, hotel staff, waiters at restaurants, and porters for luggage handling. If you would like to tip your private transfer representatives\/drivers in Delhi or Bangalore, an amount of $2-3 per person, per transfer is suggested.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs. <br><br>Out of respect for the religious nature of this trip, alcohol will not be included nor readily available for purchase.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone:<\/strong> The international dialing code for India is 91. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Internet Access:<\/strong> WiFi is available in your rooms at all hotels except for our private tented camp, Naga Kothi. There is very limited WiFi available in the common area of Naga Kothi only. ","Custom_Electricity":"India has 230-volt current and either C or D plug types. Bring a converter and plug adapter kit for appliance use.","Custom_Laundry":"Laundry service is available at all hotels except for our private tented camp, Naga Kothi.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling (however, the card is not required to enter India). This provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. We recommend you discuss the following with your physician: <br><br><br><strong>Polio: <\/strong>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals). <br><br><br><strong>Hepatitis A: <\/strong>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries. <br><br><br><strong>Tetanus Booster: <\/strong>A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years). <br><br><br><strong>Typhoid: <\/strong>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"Malaria is a serious but preventable disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Please discuss antimalarial medication with your doctor, who will explain various antimalarials and their side effects and recommend a regimen for you. In addition to medication, a further precaution against malaria is to wear long sleeves and long pants at dusk. Thin clothing should be sprayed with insect repellent, especially around the elbows and ankles. Use repellent containing DEET. <br><br>If, after returning from your trip, you have a persistent fever with chills, muscle aches, and headache, report to your doctor the possibility of exposure to malaria. For further malaria information, consult your doctor or the CDC Malaria Hotline (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers\/\">cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers<\/a>) or by phone at 888-232-3228.","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"Don't brush your teeth with tap water; use bottled or filtered water. Don't use ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.<br>","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-india-s-kumbh-mela-festival\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"In India, folk beliefs and religion merge until they become almost indistinguishable. It is difficult for travelers in India to comprehend the traditions and rituals involved in everyday life. As in all travel situations, it is important to observe the local people carefully and use common sense. For example, ask permission before taking a photo, entering a temple, washing at a tap, or touching a baby. You'll almost always find the Indians friendly and helpful. A few guidelines are offered below.<br><strong> <br><br><br>Body Language<br><\/strong>When seated, it is not polite to show the bottoms of the feet, and it is especially rude to point them in someone else's direction. Therefore you should not stretch your legs out or cross them with the sole turned up or out. Also, never step over or on any part of a person as this exposes them to the bottom of your feet. The purity of the body is viewed as being the highest at the head, becoming progressively dirtier down to the feet. This also makes patting children or other people on the head ill-mannered. Touching a person of the opposite sex, even on the shoulder or hand, can easily be misinterpreted and it's best to refrain from doing so.<br><strong><br>Clothing<br><\/strong>Be modest in the way you dress while visiting India. (See Notes on Clothing in this booklet.) Women should wear skirts falling at least to the knee, or pants. Halter tops and tank tops are considered an unseemly display in India and will embarrass local people. Especially in and around temples, wear long pants or a skirt, and a top that covers the shoulders and upper arms. Men may wear shorts up to mid-thigh, but no shorter. It is permitted for men to rest and sunbathe without a shirt, but it is considered extremely rude for men to walk about bare-chested.<br><strong><br>Shrines<br><\/strong>Along almost every street and trail you will find temples and shrines of all sorts. Regardless of their size, they are revered with great devotion. When entering a temple, ask about or observe local practice. In some temples, shoes must be removed. In some, it is forbidden to wear leather of any kind (such as a leather belt) or to eat.<br><strong><br>Begging<br><\/strong>Begging is a tradition in India and can be difficult for westerners to confront. There are no easy answers as to whether to give small amounts of money to beggars. It is ultimately up to each of you to decide. Children along popular travel routes often ask for candy, pens, or money. Rewarding this behavior sets up a barrage of requests for more, a dependency on products not locally available, and in the case of sweets, an increasing dental problem. We, therefore, ask that you do not give anything to children: no candy, pens, balloons, or money. If you like, you can bring pens, crayons, large felt-tip pens, paper, maps, or postcards to donate to schools we pass along the way.<br><strong><br>Homes<br><\/strong>Indians are very hospitable and it is common for them to invite travelers into their homes. If your hosts take off their shoes before entering a household or room, do likewise. Inside, cooking and eating areas should be treated with special respect. Avoid going into the hearth unless specifically invited there; it is sacred, and home to a guardian spirit. Do not touch the fire area or dry your shoes by it, and do not point your feet at or burn trash in the fire. Do not touch food or eating utensils used by local people. Also, many Hindus cannot eat food that has been touched by a foreigner, so don't offer anything from your plate. <br><br>","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>Soft-sided suitcase, with a small padlock (must be unlocked for air travel). Rolling suitcases have been the preferred choice of past travelers.<\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a light jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day.<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel to carry home purchases if you are an avid shopper, keeping in mind that you may have to pay excess baggage charges if you are over the weight limit.<\/li><\/ul> <br><br>IMPORTANT! Valuable or essential items such as camera equipment, prescription medications, or hiking boots should always be hand-carried on any flight to avoid loss or damage. Once you arrive in India, it may be impossible to replace these items if your luggage is delayed. <br><br><strong>Weight Limits<\/strong><br><ul><li>On the internal flights for this departure, each participant can bring 1 piece of checked luggage with a weight limit of approximately 25 kg (55 lbs)<\/li><li>Each participant can also bring 1 piece of carry-on, which cannot exceed 7 kgs (15 lbs)<\/li><li>If your baggage exceeds this weight limit, you may be required to pay excess baggage fees on the spot, which typically range between $3 - $5 per extra kg<\/li><\/ul><br>","Custom_Clothing":"In Delhi, daytime weather can be hot and humid (80Fs-90Fs), so do pack cool, lightweight city clothes for touring. However, in the evenings, temperatures can drop into the 60Fs. <br><br>Dress on the trip is informal, with the exception of city dinners for which you may want to dress up a little. <br><br>Please keep in mind that India is still a traditional culture. Visitors should take care to dress modestly. For women, long pants, skirts, or knee-length hiking shorts are fine. Revealing tops are generally frowned upon. Men should wear shirts with sleeves and long pants or knee-length hiking shorts. Sleeveless shirts are not appropriate for either women or men. In some temples and religious sites, shoes must be removed. Long pants with long-sleeved may also be required. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only; we encourage you to pack as lightly as possible. <br><br><ul><li>Strong, sturdy shoes for walking<\/li><li>Knee-length hiking shorts<\/li><li>Light cotton or quick-drying synthetic pants<\/li><li>Short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirts (advisable to help protect the skin from insects and the harsh sun)<\/li><li>Lightweight rain jacket and\/or windbreaker<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Socks\/underwear (synthetics dry faster)<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire<\/li><li>Bathing suit (with a light cover-up garment)<\/li><li>Sandals for poolside properties<\/li><li>Shade hat with wide brim, preferably with chinstrap<\/li><li>Warm hat for early morning and early evening activities<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Binoculars<\/li><li>Camera, spare batteries, memory cards, etc.<\/li><li>Tripod<\/li><li>Personal toiletries, biodegradable soap<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses<\/li><li>Assorted plastic bags to organize items in your luggage<\/li><li>Flashlight or lightweight headlamp, spare batteries<\/li><li>Converter\/plug adapter kit for appliance use<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, lip balm with sunscreen. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches.<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic (Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores.<\/li><li>Insect repellent. Repellents with DEET are recommended. DEET content of about 30-35% is ideal (higher DEET content is not recommended). Wipe DEET off your hands before touching plastic surfaces (such as binoculars) because it can damage the plastic. Aerosol repellents are useful for spraying on clothes.<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing<\/li><li>Antihistamine such as Benadryl<\/li><li>Pepto-Bismol tablets for indigestion and diarrhea<\/li><li>Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Refillable water bottle (filtered water is widely available on the trip)<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Travel alarm clock, small mirror<\/li><li>Earplugs<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"Satellite phones are no longer allowed to be brought into India. If you bring a satellite phone to India, it will be confiscated and you could be subject to serious penalties, including arrest. Please double-check entry requirements on your own before traveling.","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Witness the Wonder of the World&rsquo;s Largest Pilgrimage","Custom_Lodging":"8 nights hotels, 3 nights private tented camp","Custom_Meals":"All meals included except day 1","Custom_Difficulty":"Moderate to intense cultural immersion amid vast festival crowds, 3-5 miles of walking most days, some early morning starts, three nights at tented camp amid 24-hour pilgrim activity on festival grounds","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is rated <strong>Level 2+ (Easy to Moderate)<\/strong> according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable walking or being on your feet for 6 hours per day through large groups of heavy crowds. It is best suited for very well-traveled people who have perhaps been to India before and are looking to deepen their connection with the legendary spirituality of the country, or who are looking for an eye-opening cultural experience.<br><br>It is a vehicle-based cultural adventure with hikes to fabulous temples, topped off by an intense three-day experience of India's biggest pilgrim festival. The Kumbh Mela is a feast for the senses and for the soul, so bring an attitude of flexibility and curiosity, a sense of humor, enthusiasm about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected!<br>","Custom_Terrain":"While this is not a hiking trip, we will spend much of our time on foot, observing devotional activities along the river as the pilgrims complete their religious journey. The festival isn't set up for visitors&mdash;it is a religious right of passage for Hindus, with the festival grounds becoming a vast temporary city for the masses of attendees. To join this trip you must be ready for large and sometimes tight crowds of people (if you have claustrophobia this is not the trip for you!), for strong and intense smells, and to be on your feet for 5-6 hours per day.","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"We expect temperatures around Bangalore and Hyderabad in southern India to be warm to hot in February, ranging through the mid-70Fs to high 80Fs. Varanasi, much further north, is cooler during that month. The south of India has two distinct monsoon seasons: one in summer and another from October to mid-November. We don't expect heavy rain to be a problem on our trip, but there can be occasional showers at any time between November and February.","Custom_Accommodations":"Accommodations are in excellent hotels for eight days, some of them historic properties that reflect the traditional architecture of the region. For three nights, we stay at our tented camp right on the festival grounds of the Kumbh Mela, where we'll sleep in comfortable safari-style tents with en suite bathrooms with showers and hot and cold running water. During our days at the festival, we'll have morning yoga with a sadhu, watch priests perform an aarti (evening prayers), boat along the Ganges and Yumana rivers, and take a night walk to experience the evening rituals. Festival activities continue throughout the day and into the night, so you must be prepared for noise after we go to bed. There will be story-tellers, singing and chanting, stalls selling items for people to use in pujas (blessing ceremonies), performances by folk artists, and iconic sights such as naked, ash-covered Naga sadhus, the mystics who have given up all worldly possessions.<br>","Custom_Cuisine":"Meals at our hotels and at camp will be a mix of Indian and Western cuisine, customized for the Western palate when requested to be mild or spicy. Special diets (gluten-free, dairy-free) can be accommodated but please advise us in advance.","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 121 days prior to departure: No charge!<br>91-120 days prior to departure: $600 per person<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>60 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}