A new breed of eco lodge is emerging throughout India that aims to take the pressure off purely tiger focused tourism and to excite travellers about India’s other phenomenal wildlife. This innovative new type of property have also considered the local environment and eco systems during the building process and work on projects of long-term sustainability which benefit the local communities and focus on the conservation of India’s wildlife. Indian Experiences represents a collection of boutique camps across India that showcase this progressive type of tourism.
Jims Jungle Retreat, Corbett National Park
This year sees the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Corbett National Park, Asia’s first wildlife sanctuary. As well as being a famous tiger reserve, the national park is home to six hundred species of bird, wild elephants, the long snouted gharial crocodile and playful packs of otters. The aim of Jim’s Jungle Retreat is to bring a wildlife focus back to this beautiful yet sometimes overlooked park and with their motto is ‘seek the tiger, find the jungle’ they strive to promote different areas of nature and to show guests that there is an abundance of diverse wildlife in the area. In addition to the jeep safaris, the lodge offers a series of additional birding, angling and buffer zone experiences all of which help take the pressure off the tiger. They also educate and involve the local communities in the conservation of the park through awareness tours, awards and competitions. In celebration of its 75th year, the management of Corbett National Park will be holding workshops ranging from biodiversity management to mitigating man vs animal conflicts.
Reni Pan Jungle Lodgei, Satpura National Park
Reni Pani is a unique and beautiful boutique camp located in Satpura Tiger Reserve, the most untouched national park in India. With just two lodges around the park, a rarity in India, it remains India’s best kept secret. Although Satpura is a tiger reserve, tigers are not commonly seen within the park, however other species flourish here and there are excellent reported sightings of sloth bears, leopards and wild dogs. The birding in the national park and the surrounding area is also excellent. Satpura is one of the only national parks in India that allows walking safaris within the core area and in their attempt to keep the park as pristine as possible they also offer elephant safaris and canoeing on the dam which surrounds the park on three sides. Reni Pani offers a chance for guests to experience a far more intimate and up close kind of safari. They also offer a unique collection of buffer zone experiences including village walks, cycling safaris and horse riding.
Singinawa Lodge, Kanha National Park
Singinawa Lodge is located in Kanha National Park one of the best places in India to see tigers and therefore a busy and popular destination. Singinawa is at the forefront of conservation and their 56 acres of once barren, decimated land has been replanted and now attracts much wildlife including a pair of resident leopards. Singinawa has a strong focus in taking the pressure off tiger tourism and offers guests the chance to participate in many additional experiences including visiting the Singinawa foundation which does philanthropic work within the tribal community near the park and helps to teach them how to live near the animals in a responsible way. Singinawa have recently purchased 18 acres of land for a model farm that is being established to teach the villagers about the use of indigenous plants.
For each of these lodges, a list of conservation practices and additional activities to the main safaris can be seen under the relevant section of www.indianexperiences.com