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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Hiking the Letchmi Hills through a photographer’s lens

A lot of times we encounter elephants on this trek as well as bird life and perhaps a mongoose or two…

By Sebinster Francis
Photographic Tour Guide

I wanted to give people more of an experience, an alternative to the standard temple tours people do in South India. A lot of the time people are unaware of Munnar’s unique beauty. It’s the best place for immersive outdoor activities because it’s full of nature. If I want to see wildlife, it’s not like I have to go to a national park. In Munnar, elephants appear right in front of my house.

The Letchmi Hills trek is the closest trek to Munnar town and not only is it beautiful but the route is flexible. You could add a visit to the tea museum or a trip to a tea plantation should you wish. If you’re arriving after the 4-hour drive from Cochin, it’s the perfect way to get outdoors and stretch your legs while soaking up some wonderful views.

The weather here is like a perfect English summer whether it’s winter, summer or spring – ideal hiking temperatures. We begin in the tea gardens before moving into grassland, up the rocky mountain and finally circling back to Munnar. We start at 1,350 metres and ascend to a high point of 1,950 metres. When you get to the top you have 360-degree views of some of the highest peaks in the south of India, the undulating valleys and the spice gardens. On a clear day you could see up to thirty mountain ranges. Our guides are all young and energetic and know the best spots for photographs.

It’s always a matter of chance but a lot of times we encounter elephants on this trek as well as bird life and perhaps a mongoose or two. But just being in the presence of such outstanding natural beauty is always a big hit in itself.

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Alfred & Sebinster Francis

Based in Munnar, Kerala, Sebinster is a photo tour guide in India and Sri Lanka. He is a successful wildlife and landscape photographer who is featured in books written by Kerala Tourism and also on Nat Geo’s social media platforms to name a few of his collaborations. His passion for photography has pushed his boundaries so much so that he’s even taken to the skies to do aerial photography.