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You’re a city girl, more comfortable in modern surroundings. What would you need to do if you had to go on a trip to the forest wilderness? Here are some pointers.
I’m a city girl – through and through. I like clean washrooms, easy accessibility to the convenient things in life, the entertainment options available – you get the picture…
So when a friend called and urged me to take an extended trip in to the wild, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. He was persistent though, and I gave in. And before you knew it, I was signed up for 3 days in the jungles of central India, with nothing on the agenda but tracking tigers.
When I saw the itinerary I hyperventilated – get up at 4:30am! Eat breakfast in the jungle! Five hours in one stretch on a Gypsy that you can’t get off of! Totally not my cup of tea (and I’m VERY fussy about tea).
Anyway, the day dawned and suddenly I was in the heart of the jungle. It’s safe to say my life changed.
From then on, while I haven’t shed my city girl avatar I’ve been privileged to go on more trips exploring the thrill of wildlife and the serenity of the jungles with a tour planner that specialises in getting into the wilderness. It’s been an adventure that’s taught me a lot. But philosophical musings aside, it’s taught me some practical ways to survive the jungle experience.
So here’s my list of what a city girl needs in the jungle.
Since you’ll be spending most of the day in the jungle there really isn’t enough time for multiple change of clothing. And though most lodges in India have porters, you might find yourself carrying your own things.
So take only as much as you can carry and invest in a good cabin sized bag. Keep in mind the season of your visit and make sure you are carrying appropriate clothing. In any season a light jacket, a few comfortable tees, sturdy shoes, a pair of shorts and full-length track pants would be a good bet.
Make sure you ask your travel planner for a packing list.
Safaris are crowded and multiple vehicles on mud roads kick up a lot of dust. In a few hours you would be covered in dust.
So avoid clothing that gets dirty easily. Wear neutral colors – preferably dusty browns. Or invest in a good camouflage outfit. A breathable neck gaiter is a must have to avoid breathing in the dust as we as protecting your skin from the harsh sun. Carry a good cap or scarf to cover your hair too.
It’s brilliant to breathe in the fresh jungle air. No pollution, no chemicals, just fresh, crisp, natural oxygen – just as it was meant to be. The jungles are good for your body and soul, but they can be a bit harsh on the skin. You may be out in very harsh sun for long periods of time. If it’s cold weather, that’s extra dryness for your skin. So make sure you pack enough moisturizer and SPF50 sunscreen. If you have space a leave on soothing mask for the night would also be a good idea. If not, carry a spray bottle of rose water and add a few drops of glycerine to it – use that to sooth sun baked skin.
Don’t expect stellar washroom facilities while in the jungle. You may be using a hole in the mud, or just going behind the bush to relieve yourself. For very good reason jungles are litter free zones, and so toilet paper etc. is not really going to be an option. So use the washroom before you leave the lodge. Don’t forget panty liners – they are lifesavers. Pack pads/tampons since you may not find a shop to buy them in the vicinity. Carry a hand sanitizer and while on the safari a disposable bag to keep your trash in.
Medical care isn’t easily accessible in these places. While your trip planner would usually have essential medicines, carry a personalized medical pouch for emergencies. Bouncing around on the jungle roads can get extremely tiring and often stressful for your back. Pack any medication you need as well as general things such as pain killers, anti-bacterial/ anti fungal creams, antacids, band-aid etc. Definitely carry an insect repellent. If you have any medical issues, keep your travel guide informed.
The jungle experience is as much about capturing good moment as it is about seeing wildlife. Take a good camera – you needn’t be a pro, and you don’t need to buy expensive equipment, but invest in a decent lens. If you can, add a pair of binoculars to your list as well. The electricity supply would most likely be erratic, so take extra battery packs and portable chargers. A small flashlight is also a good idea.
Finally the idea is to enjoy and immerse yourself in the jungle experience. Don’t worry if not everything is going according to plan. Chill and let nature show you what she has in store.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and let the adventure begin. It’s time to go beyond wild.
< Box: Travel essentials for a wildlife trip>
• Comfortable clothing in neutral colors
• A light jacket
• Sturdy shoes – Avoid heels
• Medical essentials
• Bug spray
• Face and head covering
• Feminine hygiene products
• Skin care travel kits
• A good camera
• Power bank
• A lightweight bag to carry it all in
*Disclaimer: I am not getting any monetary or other benefit for recommending these brands.
Image source: videoblocks
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Supriya is a single mom, entrepreneur, marketer, editor, author, and facilitator – on the quest to
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