How the royals went on safari – in the days gone by – Circa 1932

A picture speaks a thousand words and it’s so true when I try and explain what ‘Game Drives’ meant to us in our growing and formative years. It wasn’t just a drive in the bush but a concerted effort by the Palace Administration to ensure that all amenities and comforts that could be desired at any time, was always available to us.

In this picture taken in 1932, HH Hamidullah Khan the Ruler of Bhopal, my great grandfather, is personally guiding his guests on a game drive in forests that belonged to us, on roads made especially by his state, leading to wildlife hot spots especially created so that dignitaries from all over the world could come and view the spectacular wilderness of Central India enveloped in luxury, treated like royalty!

The follow car driving a respectful distance behind HH’s jeep has an ADC (aide de camp), the forest in charge, a chef, a masseur and a driver cum mechanic. The vehicle was ordered to stock food, drinks, cooking utensils, tables, chairs and a complete set of rescue equipment in case the royal car had a set back. I hope this does not sound over the top but it was something that the first family of Bhopal took for granted. Thats how my brother Aamer and I grew up. Thats the world we remember. Thats more or less the world that we have recreated for you at the Royal Migration Camps in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.