Mandi’s Visit to Incredible India!

“Discover more about a country where a traveller can strike the purest and most historical chords of opulence, nothing can prepare a visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance that lies ahead in this incredible land.”

“Discover more about a country where a traveller can strike the purest and most historical chords of opulence, nothing can prepare a visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance that lies ahead in this incredible land.”

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Dedicated to the art of distinctive journeys, at Travel Concepts we know you want your African adventure to be as unforgettable as it is unique. It is widely known that our team specialise in travel planning and booking exclusive personal itineraries to Southern & East Africa as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. However, other continents have begun to peak our senses and put us on a new path of discovery. Most recently, one country that has it all.

India, a country where a traveller can strike the purest and most historical chords of opulence, nothing can prepare a visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance that lies ahead. Be it inside a working palace that captures all the splendour and romance from a bygone era, or in a whispering and mysterious jungle surrounded by captivating mountain ranges, or finally in The Great Indian Desert of Rajasthan, where the camel rides on the sand dunes are as unforgettable as the sunsets. Magnificent architecture mixed amongst modern bustling cities that never sleep, immerses today’s traveller into the richness of the land and allows one to revel in the lap of luxury.

Not at all a stranger to the splendour of India, our MD of Travel Concepts, Mandi Johnson-Aliverti, was invited to a Travel Trade Conference and Exhibition in Jaipur, hosted exclusively by the Rajasthan Tourism Board, who flew Mandi over to experience India first hand. Leaving husband at home with the kids, Mandi decided to make a girls adventure out of the trip and she invited a close friend to join her. First stop on their itinerary was the “Indian Maharaja – Deccan Odyssey”. A luxury experience on wheels. Knowing this – they simply had to accept. They departed from Delhi and visited Agra, home to the majestic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, then onto Jaipur to visit the Pink Palace, Amber Fort and of couse the Pink City.

Ranthambore National Park was the last stop with safari drives to see the illusive sloth bears, tigers and of course peacocks. “Being an avid lover of safari and wildlife I have always wanted to see the tigers in their natural habitat and was so excited about this. Unfortunately we did not see any tigers – or sloth bears for that matter! However, I will definitely return with the family one day and visit many of the national parks in my search for tigers! Parks like the Pench National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Panna National Park, and Corbett National Park and hope to get lucky!”, says Mandi, “And as for the luxury train, it was absolutely incredible. The food and beverage on board is done exclusively by the Taj Hotel group and was some of the best food we ate on the entire trip.”


What some travellers might not be aware of, is that our very own And Beyond, who have exclusive lodges all over Southern and East Africa, have gone into partnership with Taj Hotels and opened a number of game lodges in India. The Mahua Kothi Lodge in the Bandhavgarh National Park has been invited to be part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection – the first of 3 properties in India to have ever to be invited. “I found the conference was well organized and very interesting. It was wonderful to build on the product knowledge of the various properties, and I find myself more in love with India than ever before.” Says Mandi, looking back on her trip. “I have sent groups and individuals to India for the last 8 years and learnt that it is such a romantic and exotic destination: the sights, sounds, tastes, tributes – Taj Mahal being the biggest tribute to love ever built – and a perfect honeymoon destination. Designing and crafting honeymoons to suit our clients budgets and interests is what we do and adding India to this list only adds to the exclusive Travel Concepts offering.”

For those couples looking at spending their honeymoon in India, or individuals simply seeking out a new adventure, Mandi has offered to share some of her insider travel tips to aid you in your decision, “India is a vast and huge country, so we often design a first timer’s itinerary to concentrate either on the north or in the south. Most new visitors like to include the Taj Mahal which is in Agra in the north, and therefore the north is usually the obvious choice. There are so many things to see and do in India, even extending to yoga and ayurvedic retreats in the lush villages of Kerala in the south, a houseboat on the back waters, Varanasi, Kolkata ….the list is endless!”


“India is well priced and if budget does not allow for luxury hotels for each stop, we can include a few luxury ones as highlights like the Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, which was voted as the most romantic hotel in the world in 2011, the Taj Rambagh Palace in Jaipur which is simply amazing, or the Aman-i-Khas Tented game lodge near Ranthambore. The hotels and service in India is something quite unique and one only understands it once you’ve experienced it. They live to serve you and the service is impeccable. The luxury of the top hotels is simply something that one does not often see in Africa. This is where you will find converted Maharaj palaces in to hotels, and historical forts now housing luxury 5 star villas. The country also boasts boutique hotels like those of the Devi Resorts which are new in the industry.”


“Possibly, the highlight of my journey to India and now, one of the things I can tick off from my bucket list, is a hot air balloon ride I was invited to experience over the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Hearing the cries of peacocks below, the silence of the flight, all with the sun rising…priceless! This is just a small sampling of some of the things that we can put together for you for your itinerary to Incredible India. I am passionate about this fascinating and historic country and would love to discuss your personalized itinerary with you.”

To find out more, contact Mandi directly at