Uttarakhand Basic Information
Corbett National Park
RURALTRAVELLER is based near Ramnagar, which is the biggest town near Corbett Tiger Reserve. Other nearby towns includes Almora, Nainital and Ranikhet.
Long distance telephone, fax and internet cafes are available in Ramnagar. Mobile phone service (GSM) is provided by Cell One, Airtel, Hutch (Vodafone), Idea "roaming services" are provided by all major telephone companies in Ramnagar.
All basic health care facilities are available. The government hospital and a couple of nursing homes may not be as good as a European or American hospital, however they abide by law to use safe and sterilized equipment. Medical stores are well stocked with good medicines. Volunteers must obtain personal medical travel insurance.
INR (Indian National Rupees) is a restricted currency so you may not be able to change money before you come to India. Delhi airport has currency change offices. Use these as you are more likely to get a good exchange rate at the airport rather than outside.
Traveller’s cheques are not accepted. There are ATM counters in and around Ramnagar. Money transfer facilities by Western Union are available. Credit cards aren’t of much use.
Health and Safety
In terms of diseases and personal health issues we strongly advise you to consult your local doctor about standard routine vaccinations (tetanus, hepatitis and so on).
In terms of more serious diseases you should consult your local doctor. We cannot give advice pertaining to certain vaccinations, malaria and rabies both are prevelant so it’s better to take precautions. You can reduce risks by following preventative measures such as keeping mosquitoes away with an insect repellent and coils, avoid stray dogs or monkeys they can be carriers of rabies. However, you may like to get vaccinated against rabies, and a few other rare, but serious diseases.
The dreaded ‘Delhi belly’ or bacterial or amoebic dysentery is something that concerns everyone. Taking precautions reduces of infection. We advise people to drink filtered water (either bottled mineral water, or water that has been treated by reverse osmosis (RO), or other filtering methods), and to avoid “street” food from vendors that don’t look like they’re paying much attention to hygiene (look for flies and uncovered food).
The food at our accommodations is hygienically prepared, safe water is provided. Always be prepared for stomach upsets for the first few days while you get acclimatised.
Electrolyte drinks can be bought from shops or medical stores – it’s important to stay hydrated if you are suffering from diarrhoea. Do get an anti-diarrhoeal medicine, it is sometimes best to leave things to nature.
Important Points to Consider
Climate and Clothing
Dress according to the season, bringing appropriate clothing and equipment. Try and wear neutral colours such as green, brown, beige, camo or khaki. Preferably conservative clothes, as scantily clad people (bare shoulders, cleavage, legs and arms), particularly women are a cultural shock for the community.
Most people have tried Indian food before coming to India, so you have a rough idea of what to expect, but foreign Indian restaurant food is not exactly the same as traditional Indian food. In most of the places you will be nourished with traditional Indian food. It can be spicy and sometimes reasonably hot.
The area is very rural and does not have pubs, bars or nightclubs. The villages are small and the people curious especially with foreigners so please take this as an innocent curiosity, rather than an invasion of privacy. Local customs may seem strange but its their traditional way of life.
Large cities and towns will be very different as it could be crowded, noisy and chaotic, and in many places poverty can come as a surprise.
Hints & tips
Essential items to bring:
Recommended reading includes:
CODE OF CONDUCT
Conduct and behaviour is important as you will be living with the sensitive rural community. You will be briefed on local customs and traditions.
Infringement of above rules can result in the termination of stay and all costs will be non-refundable.