If you are a wildlife enthusiast, Valmiki Tiger Reserve could be your next stop for a jungle safari.
The environment and forests department will start eco-tourism packages from November to promote Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) as a tourist destination.
The plan was approved during a meeting of the governing body of Valmiki Tiger Reserve Foundation Trust on Monday.
VTR director Santosh Tiwari told The Telegraph: “According to the instructions of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, we are going to start eco-tourism packages at the reserve. The package would include accommodation at guest houses, eco-huts, jungle safari and elephant rides.”
The decision to introduce eco-tourism packages at the VTR has come after a delay of nearly a year. Modi, who holds the additional charge of the environment and forests department, had announced during a visit to the tiger reserve in November 2011 that the eco-tourism would start from January this year.
The entry charge has been fixed at Rs 50 per person (12 years and above) and Rs 200 for each private vehicle.
According to the approved package, visitors would be accommodated either at the VTR tourist lodge that has 13 rooms or at the eight eco-huts under Valmiki Vihar.
One has to pay Rs 500 per day to stay at the guesthouse and Rs 1,000 to hire a double-bed room in the eco-huts. For each additional person, Rs 300 would have to be paid.
Various alternative modes of jungle safari have been offered to the visitors coming to the tiger reserve. Visitors would be able to hire an SUV at Rs 600 for a complete trip of the reserve. A maximum of four people would be accommodated in the trip. Those looking forward to get a complete feel of the jungle could also opt for elephant rides for which they would need to cough up Rs 300 a trip. Three persons would be able to take the ride.
Visitors could avail the services of trained guides under the safari package by paying Rs 200 for three hours and Rs 50 for every extra hour.
The eco-tourism safari has a few restrictions, though. “No activity under the eco-tourism package would be allowed inside the core area of the tiger reserve,” said Tiwari.