12 Day Safari
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ACTIVITIES

Horse Riding
Horse Riding
Adventure
Adventure
Campfire
Camp Fire

RIDING

30-40 km / day

RATING

DURATION

12 days

Day 1 – Arrival Day

  • Our representative will greet you at the airport and take you to KCRC Resort Camp at the White Desert.
  • Upon reaching the resort you will be received with a royal welcome and shown to your accommodation.
  • Accommodation at the resort is in luxury Swiss tents with permanent fittings, so you can enjoy spacious, fully furnished tents with A/C, ensuite bathroom and hot showers.
  • During the ride, accommodation is based on two people sharing but first two nights at the resort you can choose to stay your own private tent at no extra cost so you can totally relax and rest after your long flight.
  • In the evening we will take the jeeps and head out into the White Desert, giving you your first glimpse of this unique and breathtaking landscape.
  • We will watch the sunset over the salt flats and visit Rann Utsav Festival, before returning to KCRC for dinner.

Day 2 – Ride Out

  • Rising early, with tea or coffee served at your tent, you will find your horse prepped and ready, awaiting you in the half-light.
  • We will take a short ride out into the White Desert, where we stop to watch the magnificent sunrise over this unique landscape.
  • Breakfast will be served here, at a stunning location out on the salt flats, a surreal and otherworldly dining experience to start the day.
  • After breakfast there will be time to explore this unique landscape and take some great photos before heading back to KCRC to freshen up and heading out in the jeeps.
  • We will visit Nirona village, famous for the workmanship of its traditional artisans.
  • Perhaps the most famous tradition in Nirona is Rogan art, a unique and intricate form of freehand painting on textiles using natural dyes, made famous when Indian Prime Minister Modi gifted a Rogan art ‘Tree of Life’ to Barrack Obama on his official visit. Rogan art is a tradition which has been passed down through one single family in Nirona for over 300 years and can only be found here.
  • In addition to Rogan art, we will visit traditional craftsmen working with leather, metal, and wood, giving you a glimpse of traditional village work which carries on now as it has for hundreds of years.
  • Unlike the commercialized experiences of many ‘craft villages’ Nirona still retains its original charm. These are real craftsmen, working in their home studios without fanfare, using the same traditional techniques as their forefathers.
  • We continue by jeep to the intriguing Fossil Park for lunch, then on to the hills of Dhinodar, where peacocks roam and leopards prowl…
  • Dhinodar Hill is an inactive volcano with striking basalt rock formations, offering spectacular views across the ChhariDhandh wetlands towards the Rann, with a shrine at the top and the 12th century Hindu Than monastery at the bottom.
  • The monastery itself is a fascinating, well-preserved site with many interesting stories and legends about its foundation and features.
  • We will visit the monastery, before continuing toChhariDhandh Bird Sanctuary, home to vast numbers of migratory birds, including flamingos, cranes, painted storks and spoonbills, amongst others, where we will enjoy the sunset before returning to KCRC for dinner.

Day 3

  • We set off on our safari adventure, riding across the Banni grasslands, home to many different species of wildlife including chinkara (Indian gazelle), Nilgai, blackbucks (antelope), wild boar, golden jackals, caracal, and desert foxes.
  • Today, as every day, the camp team will head out to gather supplies, arriving ahead of time to the lunch spot to set up tents and kitchen before our arrival.
  • After lunch we will take a short rest, before continuing to Hajipir for overnight camp.

Stargazing Night

  • After dinner we will head out into the desert with high powered telescopes and some astronomy experts from Stargazing India for a look at the stars.
  • The Rann of Kutch is recognised as one of the best places to go stargazing, and our experts will help you to identify key features of the night sky, along with an explanation of their significance in both western and traditional Indian astronomy.

Day 4

  • We ride out from Hajipur, leaving the Banni grasslands and passing through stretches of thorn forest and scrubland, interspersed with small farming hamlets, as we make our way West to Siyot Caves, meeting the camp team halfway for lunch and making overnight camp near the caves.
  • The caves at Siyot are a series of five rock-cut caves dating from the first century AD.
  • The larger main cave was originally used as a Shiva temple, with additional smaller caves added as individual meditation cells sometime between the 1st and 6th century. The site has been used by both Buddhists and Hindu Shaivaites over the centuries.
  • Here you will find no ticket office or tourist development. Just a beautiful, ancient piece of early history, carved into the landscape in such a way that it retains its original sense of peace and tranquillity almost 2000 years later.

Day 5

  • From Siyot we continue our journey west, scrubland and thorn forest giving way to the sandy coastal desert terrain surrounding Lakphat.
  • An impressive sight, Lakphat is a fort town, surrounded by 7km of high walls, fortified by ramparts and round towers.
  • Once a key trading port with 15,000 inhabitants connecting Gujarat with Sindh, its fortune changed when the 1819 earthquake altered the course of the Indus river to flow into the Arabian Sea further north.
  • Lakphat lost its importance as a port and by 1850 all trade had gone, along with most of the inhabitants.
  • Today Lakphat stands alone on the horizon like a fanciful mirage, rising where the sandy Kutch desert meets a salty inlet of the Arabian sea; a sparsely populated ghost town, where just 500 inhabitants live amongst the crumbling ruins of the ancient city with a magnificent fort surrounding them.
  • We will arrive at Lakphat on time for lunch and stay camped here overnight, leaving the afternoon to explore the fort, followed by a sunset ride along the shore.
  • The camping experience within Lakphat is wonderfully atmospheric; tents sheltered within the ancient fort walls, lantern light dancing on the old stone as we make our way to dinner, an al fresco feast, sharing our table with the ghosts of a glorious past.

Day 6

  • After breakfast we will take the jeeps to visit Narayan Sarovar, Koteswar and Mata no Madh, continuing to a meeting point where we will rejoin the horses and take lunch.
  • From there we ride on to the historic village of Tera, where we will stay overnight in the fort.
  • Tera was once an estate (jagir) given by the rulers of Kutch to their brethren. Tera Jagir consisted of 41 villages, and was one of the largest jagirs of Kutch, with the ruling family residing in Tera fort.
  • The approach to Tera is quite striking, as we ride down a narrow strip of land between two of the three manmade lakes at the edge of Tera village.
  • These interlinking lakes are a remarkable feat of ancient engineering, fed by canals carrying rainwater from up to 20km away which enters the first lake and is progressively filtered as it moves through to the third. Traditionally these lakes provided all the water needed by the inhabitants of the village, with one for drinking, one for animals to drink, and one for washing clothes and utensils. Even today, it is quite likely we will see herds of goats, sheep or buffalo drinking from the lake on the right or the ladies of the village washing clothes to the left.
  • In contrast to the vastness of Lakphat, camp at Tera fort is a much more intimate setting. Here the village lies outside the castle gates, while only the ruling family lived within the fort.
  • Similarly, when we settle into camp we will light a fire, close the gates and have the fort all to ourselves for the night.

Day 7

  • The area close to Tera is known as Nilaya grassland, home to many species including peacocks, great indian bustards, chinkara, bluebulls, golden jackals, wolves(rare) and hyenas (rare).
  • From Tera we ride southeast, stopping for lunch halfway and camping overnight at a beautiful spot near the river at FotMandev.

Day 8

  • Continuing east, today we ride to Devpar, stopping for lunch along the way.
  • Our accommodation will be at a beautiful heritage property in Devpar, once a small palace, now a boutique hotel. We usually have this property to ourselves.
  • Upon arrival, the grooms take your horse while you settle into the hotel, relaxing in the courtyard, taking in the beautiful features of this 110-year-old haveli.
  • Dinner will be served in the courtyard.
  • The kitchen at Devpur serves delicious, home-cooked Kutchi meals, and a cooking demonstration can be arranged for interested guests.

Day 9

  • Turning south from Devpur, we ride to Roha.
  • Roha was once the leading jagir of Kutch, ruling 52 villages, and is situated in a stunning location, covering 16 acres on a hilltop 800ft above sea level.
  • We will explore the fort and take lunch here before continuing south to our overnight camp.
  • Upon arrival, the grooms will receive the horses while we take the jeeps to visit ChavdaRakhal.
  • ChavdaRakhal is a pristine, dense forest reserve, untouched for many years and still owned by the royal family of Kutch.
  • There is a lake at its centre, home to over 300 crocodiles, surrounded by a dense forest of ancient teak, banyan, babool, and numerous other trees and herbs, where Nilgai and leopards are found.
  • We will explore ChavdaRakhalby jeep and return to the overnight camp for dinner.

Day 10

  • Today, our penultimate riding day, we have a full day in the saddle.
  • Making our way to the sea like a river, we ride through varied terrain, crossing scrubland and meandering through sleepy villages as the landscape becomes greener and more tropical on the way to the shore.
  • We stop for overnight camp approx. 15km from Mandhvi.

Day 11

  • Today we ride south, leaving the desert behind as palm trees appear alongside small farms growingkesar mangos and dates, salt on the wind as we approach the shore.
  • We finish our ride with an exhilarating gallop along the water’s edge at Mandhvi, a beautiful 7km stretch of white sand beach.
  • There is nothing quite like plunging into the ocean after 11 days in the saddle, and the horses love it too!
  • We remove the saddles so you can stroll along the shore bareback, cooling the horse’s legs in the waves.
  • When you are ready, the grooms will receive the horses.
  • Our accommodation tonight will be at a beautiful beachside resort.
  • We will show you to your accommodation and give you an hour or two to relax, swim and enjoy the beach before lunch.
  • After lunch, we take a stroll up the beach to Vijay Vilas Palace.
  • Built of red sandstone, the palace is a beautiful example of Rajput architecture and has been used as the setting for many Bollywood movies. Once the summer resort of the Maharao, the royal family now of Kutch now reside here permanently.
  • After visiting the royal neighbours, we will return to the resort.
  • There will be an optional sunset beach ride, for those who would like, before we reconvene at the resort for a grand farewell dinner.

Day 12 – Departure day

  • Optional morning activities can be arranged for guests with a later departure time.
  • Transfers to Bhuj will be organised based on suitable timing for your onward travel plans.

Safari Inclusions
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Daily Horseback Rides

Approximately 4-6 hours of horseback riding
per day / 30 – 40km

Night Stays

Night stays in locations which have a rich and ancient culture, including overnight stays inside some of the ancient forts

White Desert

2 nights accommodation in luxury resort camp in White Desert

Heritage Hotels

2 nights accommodation in Heritage Hotels
(Castle / Palace)

Experience with Tradition

Visits to traditional villages where you can experience the work of the local artisans

Full Moon Ride

Full Moon Desert Ride
(If dates booked include full moon night)

Quality Food

Full board meals & non-alcoholic drinks, with high quality food prepared by our chefs who accompany the ride

Folk Music

Traditional music and dance performances in camp

Visit to Rann

Visit to Rann Utsav Desert Festival

Night Sky View

Stargazing night in the desert, with a high powered telescope and professional astronomers on hand to help you enjoy the wonders of the night sky

Beach Ride

A ride on the beach will allow the riders to view and experience the beauty in the water of Kutch.

Farewell Dinner

After enjoying the safari on horseback, on the last day of the ride, it will be a time to party and enjoy with everyone in a group.

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TESTIMONIALS
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This was my first time traveling to Gujarat India. I'd read that it's like the wild west, a region of environmental extremes. These kinds of places have always attracted me provided it was safe and the accommodations comfortable. My stay at the Kutch Classic Riding Camp provided me with many incredible experiences. A friendly staff member lead me to my elegant tent which had everything thing I needed, even a fan. The camp has a stable of handsome Marwari horses, one more stunning than the other. It was hard to choose which one I wanted to ride. I got to cantor across the white desert, encountered wild camels, experienced the country side intimately like you can only do on horse back. I rode into small villages where I was greeted with curiosity and delight. I'm a photographer whose passion is to capture/document the culture and tribal traditions. The organization of the tour and the accommodations were excellent and the meals, tasty. I look forward to my next adventure with the Kutch Rider Camp.

Joan L. Miller, Miami, Florida USA