School Trek - Kerala and the Western Ghats
India, School Expeditions, 13 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,745 (land only) - from $2,440 (land only)
- A great first-time trek for a School Group
- Learn about Indian Elephants at the Periyar Wildlife Reserve
- A feast for the senses, as we explore India`s tropical south
- Take a houseboat cruise on the Kerala `backwaters`
- See Madurai`s outrageous Sri Meenakshi Temple
At the southern tip of India, the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu offer a range of experiences unlike anything else on the Indian Subcontinent. After a day’s relaxation on the Indian Ocean beaches of Kovalam, we transfer to Alleppey to meet our houseboat for a sunset cruise and overnight stay on the uniquely atmospheric Kerala 'backwaters'. Our next stop is at the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, home to wild elephant and the elusive tiger, where we have a full day’s exploration with Kerala Forest Department guides. Another unmissable attraction is the amazing Sri Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai, probably the most colourful example of Indian religious architecture. Then, from the British Raj hill-station of Munnar, 4-days of trekking takes us through tea plantations, shola forest and rolling grassland, with a high point at the summit of Meesapulimala (2600m), the second highest Indian peak south of the Himalayas. Between the plantations and tribal villages and the highest peaks of the Cardamom Hills there is a world of forest and high moorland which provides excellent trekking. This area is also the natural habitat of a number of endangered animal species, most notably the ibex-like Nilgiri tahr and the Nilgiri langur, a large monkey. A visit to the picturesque old Portuguese city of Kochi brings this varied School Group Adventure to a close. This tried and tested KE Schools itinerary can be adjusted to better fit the needs of your group - please call and speak to a KE School Groups Coordinator or email email@example.com
Is this holiday for you?
This is not a long or sustained trekking holiday. We have a couple of days to acclimatise to the near-tropical climate at Kovalam and on the Kerala `backwaters`. We then start out with a slow-paced introductory walk in the Periyar Reserve, looking for wildlife in the company of forest service rangers. Then, our 4-day trek through the Cardamom Hills begins with a straightforward uphill walk through a tea estate above Munnar and continues with 3 days of varied hiking, averaging 6 hours each day including lunch stops. The altitudes attained are never sufficiently high to cause problems with acclimatisation and the underfoot conditions are generally good, on tracks and trails through tea plantations and across open moorland. We may encounter some slippery conditions on forest trails. The trip also includes a number of half-day vehicle transfers on generally good roads. We recommend a minimum age of 14 years.