TRAVEL: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS

Tiger treks

It is my lifetime ambition to see a tiger in the wild - in India preferably. Are there travel companies that can help me accomplish this? I sponsor a tiger with the World Wildlife Fund and wonder if they could possibly arrange this?

Mrs M Bullard

Basildon, Essex The Travel Editor replies: The World Wildlife Fund sponsors tigers in the Royal Bardia National Park in Nepal, but unfortunately the organisation does not arrange trips there and it is quite tricky to organise an independent trip to Bardia at all.

Safari Consultants (tel: 01787 228494) are specialists in tailor-made trips to Nepal and can organise a 10-day trip to the park, with three nights in Kathmandu and five nights at Bardia (three nights at Karnali Jungle Lodge and two nights at Karnali Tented Camp), including accommodation, food, flights and transfers as well as activities on safari, such as elephant- back safaris, nature walks, game drives and rafting trips on the Karnali river. This tour costs from pounds 1,450 per person.

There are lots of organised group tours to India's Tiger Parks. The following national parks are recommended for tiger safaris: Ramthambore (Rajasthan, north-west India), Bandhavgarh and Kanha (both in Madhya Pradesh, central- north India). November to May is the best time to visit, with parks often closed over the summer monsoon.

Travelbag Adventures (tel: 01420 541007) offers a 15-day Tigers and Ganges tour, staying three nights at Bandhavgarh park with visits to other Indian tourist attractions. It costs around pounds 1,100, including accommodation, all food, flights, transfers and game drives. The Imaginative Traveller (tel: 0181-742 3113) offers a two-week Tiger Country Tour, visiting Ramthambore (three days), Kanha (three days) and the Bharatpur wetland bird sanctuary for pounds 1,075, based on two people sharing, again including flights, accommodation, meals, transfers and safari costs.

The best time to go tiger-watching in Nepal is between late February and mid-April when you have an 80 to 90 per cent chance of spotting one. At this time, the high monsoon-fed grasses have died down or been cut back by villagers who harvest from February onwards, and although October and November are recommended for trekking, mists at this time are bad news for spotting tigers.

Less well known than Chitwan National Park, Bardia in the remote west of Nepal is one of the best places in the world to see tigers and one of the nation's hidden secrets. Other wildlife in the park also make it worth the trip: elephant, Indian one-horned rhino, leopard, various deer, small game, sloth bear, Gangetic dolphins (found in the Karnali river), marsh muggers and gharial (crocodiles), and more than 350 species of birds.

Drinking water

Any advice on how best to cope with water in Asia. Should we drink it, get sick, then get used to it? Or should we try to purify it all the way?

Janet Reynolds

Hertfordshire

Dr Larry Goodyer replies: To get things into perspective, you are more likely to get diarrhoea from eating dodgy food than by drinking infected water. But you are quite right to be cautious about the water supply in many parts of Asia, and Nepal has a particularly bad reputation.

It is true that once you have had a bout of traveller's diarrhoea, subsequent attacks are less likely, due to the development of some immunity against the organisms responsible. Unfortunately, such immunity only develops to certain of the organisms, so good food and water hygiene should be observed throughout the trip. Drinking untreated water in order to get used to it would therefore not be recommended.

Those going away for longer trips should not reach out for antibiotics at the first sign of diarrhoea in order to develop some immunity, but even longer-term expatriates residing in developing countries are advised to observe the same sort of precautions recommended to tourists.

Use bottled, preferably carbonated, drinks and water where possible. Otherwise, boiling for five minutes is the method for sterilising. Hot drinks that have been boiled are also okay, so the tea boiled up together with milk in India is fine. One tip, though, is to have it served in your own clean mug or cup. Carry some chemical water treatment as a standby.

Dr Larry Goodyer is a lecturer in clinical pharmacy at King's College, London. Contact the Nomad Travel Health Helpline (tel: 0891 633 414; calls cost 60 pence per minute).

Suggested Topics
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit