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  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Tiger,Dudhwa National Park, India

India Holidays

Home to majestic tigers and royal palaces. With a little help from our travel experts, you can crown your bespoke India holiday itinerary with experiences which let you see the country in exactly the way that you want.

India is one of the most exciting and fascinating countries on Earth. From the mighty Himalayas of Ladakh in the north to the coastal backwaters and rolling tea estates of the tropical south, an India holiday can feel like a visit to more than just one country.

India contains an abundance of wildlife including tiger, one of the most magnificent creatures on the planet. Venture into tiger country to see this endangered species roaming free in its natural habitat. For those who prefer slower travel, travel by boat along the Brahmaputra or Ganges river.

Sunrise over River Ganges, Varanasi, India

Join William Dalrymple on our Ganges River Cruise

Board the five-star Ganges Voyager on a 10-day river cruise into the heart of West Bengal. William Dalrymple, author and historian will join you onboard to share his knowledge of India and explore key regions mentioned in his latest book, The Anarchy.

See holiday idea

Bengal Tiger, Ranthambore National Park, India
Bengal Tiger, Ranthambore National Park, India

Tiger Safari with Steppes Travel

Nothing prepares you for seeing your first tiger in the wild. The world’s most iconic big cat is a mightily impressive sight, leaving those that have seen them, exhilarated, moved and humbled by the experience. Thankfully, recent tiger census results show an increase in numbers, meaning this is the best time to be booking a tiger safari.

Read more about how you can travel on a Steppes Travel tiger safari in a sustainable manner.

Tiger Safaris

 

 

Peacock, India
India

India with Steppes Travel

When you travel with us to India you can expect the following to be included in your holiday:

  • VIP meet and greet in hub cities
  • Complimentary arrival spa massage to assist with getting over jet lag and journey
  • 24/7 emergency response line and dedicated support for the duration of the trip
  • Handpicked guides to suit personal interests and specialisms
  • Hotel upgrades offered at no extra cost, subject to availability
  • Default 25kg luggage allowance, priority seats and meals onboard on all internal flights
  • In-vehicle WIFI on long journeys (regional limitations)
  • Cars under three years old with fitted seatbelts
  • Water, soft drinks and snacks, packed lunch for long road transfers
Oberoi Udaivilas, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India
Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
Palace Suite, Raas Devi Garh, Udaipur, Rajasthan, Udaipur
RAAS Devigarh, Udaipur, India
Bathroom, Raas Devi Garh, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
RAAS Devigarh, Udaipur, India

Accommodation in India

Hotel accommodation in India varies hugely in standard and style, from region to region, so choosing a hotel to really suit you can be a bit of a minefield. Our India experts are crucial to booking the right room, in the right hotel, making sure you get exactly what you want and avoiding the many pitfalls of booking hotels directly online. We will also try and arrange a complimentary upgrade.

We are huge fans of the ‘Heritage Hotel’ where property owners who still inhabit their ancestral homes have converted them into small and atmospheric hotels. Staying in this type of hotel is an experience in itself and allows for an even deeper appreciation of India’s culture, traditions and people. These forts and palaces are central to village life and give the visitor somewhere comfortable to stay while exploring more rural parts of the country. We have been lucky enough to stay in many of them so are able to suggest which might suit you best.

India also offers some of the most wonderfully luxurious 5-star hotels, so if you are looking for something really special, we can include these in your journey.

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Explore India

  • Delhi
  • Rajasthan
  • Gujarat
  • Kerala
  • Chennai and Tamil Nadu
  • Assam
  • Pench National Park
  • Kanha National Park

Experiences

It’s all here. Things to see and do, places to explore and moments to discover.

Iconic Indian Railway Journeys

Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Experience the foothills by Indian rail.

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Rural India

Visit remote villages with their own, distinguishable cultural features and stay in small, boutique heritage hotels.

See Bengal Tigers in India

Head out on a game drive by Jeep in search of tigers.

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India’s Old Hill Stations

Explore glorious old hill stations that take you back to the times of the Raj.

Explore Kerala

Walk the lush green paddy fields of the plains, through spindly rubber plantations and blooming coffee plantations.

Visit the Temples of Khajuraho

Visit Khajuraho and discover some of India’s best-known temples covered with erotic carvings.

Visit the Holy City of Varanasi

Journey to one of India’s holiest cities, and watch religious rituals being performed daily on the banks of the River Ganges.

Visit the Taj Mahal

Travel to Agra to witness first hand the incredible beauty of the Taj Mahal.

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Tiger Safari

See a wild tiger strutting through the jungle, straight out of Rudyard Kiplings’s Jungle Book.

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Ranthambore Tiger Safari

Go in search of tigers at Ranthambore National Park.

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Track Tigers in Central India

Visit one of India’s wildlife parks – Madhya Pradesh, Kanha, Bandavgarh, Satpura and Pench in search for tigers.

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Need Inspiration?
Browse our India holiday ideas.

Our India experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure in India.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way. In fact, I am never happier than when I’m cycling, trekking or simply eating my way through a country! My heart and head regularly pull me east, notably to India but I may also be found wandering through the galleries and piazzas of Italy or daydreaming about fresh ceviche in the far west.
Talk with our experts
  • 1 855 2037885

Joe Parkes

As a child I read voraciously so the seed of travel was planted by none other than Enid Blyton. Family holidays ran the gamut from icy dips in the early summer seas of Cornwall, to camel rides in north Africa, from Times Square to Tenerife. A GAP year upon leaving school cemented the travel bug. After graduating University and before stumbling, happily, into a career in the travel industry I spent a couple of glorious years exploring southern and east Africa, large swathes of South-east Asia, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Talk with our experts
  • 1 855 2037885

Frequently asked questions about India

What vaccinations do I need for India?

We recommend that you speak to your GP and visit the excellent travel-medicine website http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx

It strongly recommends you get vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, poliomyelitis and hepatitis before travelling to and around India. The key for travel vaccinations is to start planning well in advance. Both diphtheria and tuberculosis require a three-month incubation period before the start of the trip. Start by consulting your GP (who will be able to advise if you are up-to-date with your polio and tetanus jabs); he or she may be able to provide the jabs or direct you to a travel medicine specialist.

When is the best time to travel to India?

India is a huge country – it is fourteen times the size of the UK – and its weather is wide-ranging with considerable regional variations. The key feature of the subcontinent’s climate is the monsoon, which breaks on the Keralan coast at the end of May and then works its way northeast across the country. At this time rainfall can be very heavy, particularly over the higher regions facing the sea. Thus the best time to travel to India, or at least the majority of the country, is during the dry season from November through to  March when it is cooler. It is a great time to visit Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The best time to visit the tiger parks is from October to April. If you can bear the heat, then May is also an option when the vegetation is not as thick and it is also mating season.
In the south – Kerala and Goa – the weather is comfortable from November through to January. In the Himalayas, the best time to go trekking is in August and September. However, we would recommend travelling earlier in the year, in March, if you want to try and see snow leopards.

Can I eat food from street markets and stalls?

One of the attractions of India is the tempting array of foods available. We recommend eating at stalls where there are more people and where you can see your food being prepared in front of you ensuring it is fresh. Avoid eating at buffets and where food has been left on display. Ask Steppes about the interesting street food tours you can arrange in advance of arriving in India, to ensure you don’t miss out on some of the most amazing street food eateries – often well-kept secrets amongst the locals.

Where is the best place to see tigers?

India is home to more than 40 national parks. To help increase the odds of spotting a tiger, Steppes Travel can offer you a greater understanding of the local issues and differences between the parks, the best chance of being in the right place at the right time and advice on how to avoid the many pitfalls that create substandard safari experiences.

Do I have to take my luggage with me on the train?

This would depend on the length of the journey and whether your car and driver are following the train or not. For many shorter journeys, the car would follow with luggage and you would be met on the other side.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are travelling overnight by train or for more than around six hours, then you will have your luggage with you.

Will I see poverty?

There is poverty in India but the curve has flattened a lot in the last few decades because of successful government schemes covering health, education, monitory support, food and shelter for the poor. You may still see people, the majority of which are women and children, begging for money in the cities. However, begging has become a job for this sector and it is highly organised. Hence we recommend you not to encourage them by giving any money and simply ignore them. The best way to help is to donate directly to an NGO or buy food stamps that the homeless can exchange for a plate of food. This way you know your money is going to be used in a positive way

Do I need a visa to visit India?

UK passport holders require a visa for India and you must obtain this visa before you travel to India. The easiest way to do this is to apply online for the E visa – there is no need to involve a visa company or to go to the Indian Embassy in person. You can apply online a maximum of 21 days in advance of the date of arrival when applying for a 30-day visa. You can also apply for one year and five-year visas, 120 days in advance. The fee has been noticeably reduced since 2020, and the cost is now $25 USD for 30 days, $40 or $80 USD for a one year or five-year visa. This fee is non-refundable and payable online. A passport photo must be uploaded online. Processing time is up to four days. On receipt of the e-visa by email, print and carry this with the relevant passport when travelling to India.

How safe is the food and drink?

One of the great fears about travelling to India is the quality of the food. Let’s put your mind to rest straight away and say the opposite: the food in India is delicious and indeed one of the highlights of a visit to India. Indian cuisine is heavily influenced by religion, cultural and ethnic groups – one of the joys of travel to India is the diversity of the cuisine. Also, it is important to note that not all the food is spicy. Many of the diseases are waterborne, so do not drink the tap water.

Drink filtered water as opposed to water out of plastic bottles – we do not condone the use of single-use plastic. In terms of alcohol, beer, wines and spirits are all available although the quality is sometimes not what you might be used to.

Is it safe to travel to India as a single woman?

It is largely safe for women to travel in India alone. There are measures we can put in place to ensure you are well looked after. Some city hotels offer women butlers, and women’s rooms on a dedicated floor. Private same-sex drivers and guides can be requested for your peace of mind. Train journeys can be organised with an accompanying escort.

Is there an etiquette to photographing people?

When photographing people in India, we always advise asking the person you would like to photograph beforehand out of politeness. In most cases, people are happy to have the picture taken, especially children who will readily pose for several. If photography is prohibited, this is usually clearly marked.

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Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

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Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

Everything went smoothly, we were met as arranged by extremely knowledgeable personnel. The guides and drivers came up to and exceeded, our expectations.

India

Tadoba is a very friendly and family orientated park. It was the best for tigers, with nine different tiger spottings during our stay. Birds and other wildlife was also great. Our drive, Richin, was very knowledgeable, both in India history and world politics as well as being a great naturalist and spotter.

Tadoba National Park

Kate Hitchen was excellent and managed to book and organise our trip to India perfectly, it was even better than expected. Thank you.

India

Outlining a trip and having Joe fill in the details and make suggestions or changes meant we had a wonderful experience.

India

A great itinerary for an introduction to India. It has given us lots of ideas and enthusiasm for a return trip.

India

All guides, drivers and vehicles were superb and it was such a great way to see everything and know everything. The service was excellent.

India

Outlining a trip and having Joe fill in the details and make suggestions or changes meant we had a wonderful experience.

India

Charlotte knows India extremely well. Very happy to answer even the most trivial of questions. Nothing is too much trouble.

India

Joe was wonderful and very knowledgeable about India. He was patient with us as we made numerous changes to the itinerary and very quick to respond.  

India

oscar foundation kick like a girl programme
OSCAR Foundation
Sheroe's hangou acid attack victims
Chhanv Foundation, India
Wild Shaale, India
Sambhali colourfully dressed women
Sambhali Trust, India

Our projects in India

We support projects right across the planet. Explore below to see where and how we’re making a difference – in some cases, we can even arrange a visit as part of your tailor-made itinerary.

The Steppes Fund for Change supports four incredible organisations in India; Chhanv Foundation, OSCAR Foundation, Sambhali Trust and Centre for Wildlife Studies.

Read more about The Steppes Fund For Change

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes