Born in Bangladesh, now a citizen of another nation? A world traveler with sadly no travel history in the land of your birth? Factors that made tourism a pleasure everyplace else could not possibly prevail in Bangladesh, so it is not an option, right?
Having taken a chance with Nijhoom Tours, I am happy to state that I have revised that notion. A small company, but with outsize courage, ambition and competence, Nijhoom provided me a safe, comfortable, diverse visit within a small intimate travel group.
Our guide Naeem, with his pleasant disposition, quiet competence, saw to our every need. I chose an area of Bangladesh I had missed visiting before leaving for the States at the age of seventeen, namely the Sunderbans.
Nijhoom put us on a small boat that cruised the narrowest waterways enabling closeups of wildlife on either bank. The small dinghy pulled behind, was used to get into further out of the way places. For nature lovers, and specifically people interested in the mangrove biome, there will be satisfaction. Sightings included a crocodile, macaque monkeys, kingfishers, river otters, wild chicken, river dolphins, a king cobra, spotted deer, wild boar, raptors, egrets.
A foodie, I could not get enough of the delicious meals concocted by the ship’s cook. Once, I casually mentioned a dish and to my surprise, it made an appearance in our next meal!
The guide and the drivers made allowances for peoples’ personal needs and the itinerary was kept flexible as the situation warranted. I recommend Nijhoom not just for Bangladeshis holding foreign passports nostalgic for a missed exploration of the land of their birth, but for anyone who wants to explore a land not quite on the tourism radarscope.
Visiting Ahsan Manzil (Pink Palace) in Old Dhaka. ©Photo Credit: Shohidul Islam Naeem