Trekking in Orissa gives great satisfaction to those who like walking outside standard tourist circuits, staying in contact with nature and knowing people who still live following the old ways of life. Inland Orissa is patronized by very few tourists, apart from the coastal area. Only in the last few years have the Koraput and Malkanigeri regions seen a thin flow of adventurous travelers who, normally with the help of some travel agencies, come to see the Bonda tribe. Now very famous…All the rest of the state is not visited, due to logistical reasons of various nature. In the first place we must remember that there are no structures for tourism, as for example in Nepal doing trekking in the mountains, so when one leaves the last big village most of the time it is not possible to find shops, hotels, refuges etc. In short, one must be self-sufficient! The second big trouble consists in the almost impossible task of finding English speaking people, especially in the tribal area, so it is necessary to know the Orya language (many tribes speak only their own language, although in a village there is always someone who knows some Orya). The last trouble is that in order to go to some villages one needs special permits that are sometimes difficult to get.

A typical trekking day

In the morning, we shall always try to start early enough, after a good breakfast, in order to make use of the fresher hours of the day, because especially during the dry season the heat for half of the morning can be remarkable, so for lunch it is better to rest in a good shady place. We shall stop near water, sometimes in the middle of the jungle, other times inside villages. After lunch, we shall walk for 2/3 hours just to the place chosen for the night. Arriving well before sunset we shall have all the time if we are in the jungle to investigate and may be see some animals, and if we are in a village to begin to know the inhabitants. The walking hours are not excessive, with many stops in the most beautiful places and in the more interesting villages. This is not trekking where we run to get somewhere, but on the contrary to appreciate every moment… every beauty of the walk.

During the trekking, it is necessary to follow all of my advice, because a walk in the jungle is very different from a walk in one of our forests. To meet an elephant, a bear, a snake or some other species of animals can be very dangerous. I must here make it clear that Indian jungle is not like Amazonian jungle. Here there are many paths, most in a good shape, used daily by the tribal people. And on some treks, we shall walk in the hills or medium mountainous areas, with always a wonderful panorama to admire. Looking for animals in the jungle requires patience, skill and especially time…