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The "gypsy" (jeep)... the best way to see the park - Sawai Madhopur

The "gypsy" (jeep)... the best way to see the park

Gypsy or Canter, what's your pleasure?

There are two types of vehicle that one can commandeer for their "safari" in Ranthambhore. There are small five-six passenger jeeps that are called "gypsies", and there are larger twenty seat vehicles called "canters".

Not surprisingly, you'll have a better look at and a better chance for sighting animals - including the main attraction, the tiger - if you're in the smaller, less-obtrusive "gypsy". And as you'd guess, this means the "gypsy" is much more popular. Many tour books will tell you that specifically booking a gypsy in advance is becoming difficult, or near to impossible. If you want to take a chance on getting a jeep and haven't managed to nail down previous booking, you can line up at either 5 am (for the morning safari) or at noon (for the afternoon safari) over at the RTDC Information Center, at the Vindayak Hotel. If there is extra space on any of the jeeps, you can "negotiate" with the guys who are organizing (tongue in cheek comment there, organization is severely lacking as I understand). Good luck. The cost for hiring a gypsy is 1050 Rs per jeep, plus an additional charge of 325 Rs per person for park entry.

If you will notice my tip concerning Ranthambhore Tours and Travel, I will tell you that these guys are very effective at getting advance booking for a smaller jeep (gypsy). It's worth working on, you'll definitely have a more personal and productive visit.

As for the canters, I'm told that you can actually find booking on one of these a day or two in advance. Bookings can be set up through your hotel. You CAN get a slightly better deal (you may save 50 Rs or so) if you go over to the RTDC Information Center at the Vindayak Hotel. (but seriously, 50 Rs is only about $US 1, so do it the easy way, get some help from your hotel staff) One note about the canters....they are operated by private contractors, and the level of expertise and quality in the tour can vary a great deal. The jeep/gypsy vehicles, on the other hand, are operated by the park staff and generally have a consistenly high level of both driver and naturalist guide competence.

As for the cost of the canters, it's generally 350 Rs, which includes your park entry fee. So as you can see, the canters ARE less expensive.

My advice is to find a way to get yourself into one of the jeeps. It'll satisfy the "gypsy" spirit that has brought you to Ranthambhore in the first place. :) And bottom line on a per person basis, it'll only cost you about 200 Rs more than the canters.

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  • Updated Dec 10, 2008
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