Namascar! More often than not the highlight of adventure trips to India is the guides. How well a guide gets along with you, a Wildland traveler, can make or break a trip. Wildland puts a lot of effort into finding the best guides for every area that we travel to. Wildland focuses on using local guides in each area, ensuring that these guides possess a seemingly unlimited wealth of knowledge about their area of expertise.
The last time I traveled to India I compiled a list of questions so we could all get to know our Wildland guides a little better. I met Anand Sinha at Jamtara, a lodge in the tiger park of Pench, and it was obvious immediately that he knew his stuff. He taught me the word "crepuscular" - active at dawn and dusk- and English isn't even his first language! Anand's big smile and seemingly infinite knowledge about flora and fauna across the globe will surely make your stay at Jamtara unforgettable.
Anand Sinha works at the Jamtara Wilderness Camp.
Where are you from? The eastern state of Bihar, but my family lives in Delhi now.
When did you get your start? At Pench, just a few weeks ago! Before that I worked for 7 years in the wildlife industry – 4 in Africa and 3 in India (Pench and Ranthambore)
How did you become a naturalist? I always knew I wanted to be a naturalist. I took science in high school and prepared to enter the field straight out of school. I went to ranger training in South Africa and continued from there.
Anand is the first in his family to pursue the naturalist profession
Who are your favorite type of travelers?Those that come with an open mind and no expectations. People who enjoy simply being in the jungle and want to know about the insects and the trees and the birds. I also really appreciate when travelers mingle easily and well with the staff and the local people in the communities.
What are you most excited to see? Leopard. I think it’s better than a tiger. It’s hard to track, hard to spot, cunning, and beautiful. It really feels like an achievement every time you see one. It’s addicting.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? South Africa. I know the country, the wildlife, and the people there so well and I love it. The diversity is astounding. I always knew I would come back to India though. I think India has so much to offer in terms of wildlife so I wanted to bring back what I had learned about conservation and being a naturalist. India has so much room to grow and it needs to protect the incredible wildlife and natural lands it has.
What's your favorite food? Ice cream. Custard apple ice cream is really good but I’ll eat all flavors.
An interesting fact about Anand, he led a 2-3 month long overland wildlife expeditions in Africa.
If you liked this interview, check out more interviews with India guides.
Your friendly India expert,