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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

On the scent of a local spice farm

We want to show people the incredible produce of one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots …

By Dax Gueizelar
Founder of Raw Adventure

Thekkady is such a special place. However most people either have trouble getting seats on a wildlife tour due to forest regulations or only have limited time so choose a standard 10-minute spice tour which is basically just walking around and shopping. So we created this excursion to show people what they’re missing.

We start our tour by taking everyone to a sloping hill for a lovely view of Thekkady’s town below. Those who can handle the rolling terrain can also do this by bicycle. Here, we explain about the importance of the land. You’re in the Western Ghats, one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world, packed with a huge amount of different species, plants and birds. We explain how it’s very important to safeguard to the extent that the government now employs natural fertilisers and traditional methods to cultivate the land rather than products such as pesticides.

Then we descend to the village and after a wander, visit a couple, Sam and Jisha, who grow spices in the surrounds of their family home. The farmer will take you around the plantation to show you all the different plants and spices they grow such as coffee, jackfruit and black tamarind. Sam and Jisha are so warm and friendly – they’ll just pop into the kitchen and take whatever they’re cooking for lunch and offer you some to try – most likely tapioca or homemade chocolate from their cocoa plantation. They have two very nice daughters who often like to chat and if you’re lucky you can hear them singing beautifully. You can really feel the warmth. Before we created this activity they weren’t used to tourists but treat every guest who comes through their doors like a friend.

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Alfred & Dax Gueizelar

Dax has worked in travel for over 15 years as a co-ordinator and curator for special events. He is the research support agent in India for both Kings College and London School of Economics. His company, Raw Adventure, aims to promote travel experiences in popular regions that focus on sustainable and ethical tourism. His love for local culture allows people to immerse themselves into some of India’s most thrilling destinations.