DESTINATIONS/ Rajasthan, India

Family travel in India: a wildlife safari

Bishnoi woman Rajasthan India

Flamingos, water buffalo and spiral-horned buck – we took a 4×4 drive out onto the plains to get up close to some of Rajasthan’s wildlife.

WHERE: Olvi Lake near Chandelao (about 80km from Jodhpur), Rajasthan

HOW: We organised a 4×4 tour through our guesthouse, Chandelao Garh

FOR THE KIDS: Lots of fascinating wildlife (including flamingos, cranes, water buffalo, spiral horned buck, gazelles and even turtles!) and a fun, bumpy cross country 4×4 drive!

DETAILS:  Rs1000 per person (US$16/€12). Our safari was about 4 hours long.

Bishnoi woman Rajasthan India
These beautiful Bishnoi women were equally as entranced by blonde Meg as we were by them. Bishnoi follow the worlds only environmental religion –  putting the needs of their animals and the environment ahead of their own. An offshoot of Hinduism, the Bishnoi religion was founded 500 years ago on principles of environmental stewardship. Bishnoi do not cut down trees (these women will have gathered branches that have fallen in winds) or hunt or kill animals. This means that wildlife flourishes in Bishnoi areas – we took a jeep safari out into the countryside to check it out.
Bishnoi woman Rajasthan India

Black buck, with their spiral horns, once roamed freely on the plains of North India but predation, poaching and habitat destruction has reduced their numbers and they are now a protected species. Domesticated in India over 5000 years ago, the water buffalo we saw wallowing in the lake provide milk, ‘tractor power’ (for ploughing fields) and serve as transportation for the local community.

Travel tip: a pair of kid-sized binoculars are a good thing to pack when traveling. Not only for safaris, they are fun for spying all sorts of things – in towns as well as the countryside.

We saw flocks of white flamingos (their colour is dependent on their diet) and cranes and spotted large turtles resting on the muddy shoreline.

A wildlife safari is a fun family activity and children will love spying wildlife through binoculars and getting up close to animals they are unlikely to see back home. And the bumpy ride in a jeep adds to the adventure!

Chandelao wildlife safari Rajasthan
Chandelao wildlife safari Rajasthan
Chandelao wildlife safari Rajasthan

 

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