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Recommended operators, lodges/camps and guides.

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This is a thread for those Safaritalkers who have been to India to share details of operators, lodges/camps and guides with whom they have had positive experiences, and can recommend. Also, if you are a trade professional based in India and provide accommodation and safaris in the parks, please also feel free to contribute, but mention what your personal interest is, eg Tour Operator, Safari Guide, Lodge Owner/Manager or Wildlife Photographer/Artist.

 

Please provide:

 

  • Company name and contact details/website.
  • Location, including parks in which the company operate.
  • Price PPPN including break down of all ancillary costings.
  • Type of accommodation.
  • Itinerary if possible.
  • Any other relevant details.

If posting as someone who has used this service, please link to your trip report as well, if you have written one.

 

Please note, Safaritalk is neither promoting nor endorsing any of the safaris detailed below and has not received any inducement from those operators included. Always research the marketplace and find what it right for your needs. Prices and details are subject to change and you are recommended to contact each operator personally and to seek feedback from other Safaritalk members who may have used these services.

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Posted (edited)

Great Idea GW. I would like to get the ball rolling with my friend's travel company:

 

http://www.wildabouttravel.co.uk/

 

Operated by Jo Thomas.

 

Wild About Travel specialises in wildlife holidays, bird watching tours and culture tours to the countries that we and our local partners know best - India, Bhutan, Ecuador, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. We began as Wild About India in 2005, offering a range of tours to see the spectacular wildlife of the sub-continent. Many of our clients returned to book two or three more holidays in the space of five years to explore different parts of India. Increasingly we were asked “Where else are you going to be Wild About?”

 

So, by popular demand, Wild About India evolved into Wild About Travel in 2009. We now have a portfolio of five different destinations, all of which will feature on this website over the coming months. Currently you can source information on India, Ecuador, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, with Bhutan to follow.

 

I have used Jo to organise both of my recent trips to India (and she actually led the YOC trip I went on when I was in my teens!) and she is working on my Tadoba/Gujurat trip at present. This will soon be available on her website for people to book and people will have the option of doing one section or both parts. She specialises in tailor made itineries and will also work hard to team you up with like minded people if you, like me, want to try and keep the costs economical.

 

Obviously with it being tailor made she can accommodate all sorts of budgets and will offer a variety of accommodation options. We are using:

 

Rann Riders, (Little Rann of Kutch) http://www.rannriders.com/

Blackbuck Lodge (Velavader) http://theblackbucklodge.com/

Gir Birding lodge (Gir) http://www.girnationalpark.com/gir_lodge.htm

Tiger Trails and Swarasa lodge in Tadoba. http://www.tigertrails.in/home.htm

http://www.svasararesorts.com/

 

She also uses

Earth Lodge in Kanha http://kanhaearthlodge.com/

King's Lodge Bandhavgarh http://www.kingslodge.in/

Kenn River Loadge in Panna.http://www.kenriverlodge.com/

Hotel Sunbird, operated by our good friend Ranno, in Bhartpur. http://www.hotelsunbird.com/

Chambal Safari Lodge http://www.chambalsafari.com/

Edited by kittykat23uk

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For Kabini, Karnataka - Highly recommend "The Bison" ........... Tented camp, East Africa style.

 

As KittyKat23uk mentions above, another vote for Tiger Trails in Tadoba.

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MAC, Kittykat, can you provide websites for any of those lodges listed? Thanks, Matt.

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Thanks :)

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GW, great idea but why is this thread just limited to India? It would be good to have a consolodated source of lodges/camps and operators that Safaritalkers have used in East Africa and Southern Africa too. I admit I review the trip reports for ideas before booking and therefore a lot of this info is already on ST, but a one stop reference guide would be handy.

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For our Badhavgarh trip I think in 2006 or 2007, we stayed a few nights here at Tiger Trails Resort.

http://www.indianadventures.com/TigerTrails.htm

I'm afraid I can't recall prices now, it was too long ago.

The accommodation was basic, with gaps in the doors and windows, so small and larger insects could get in, but it was well cleaned and the staff did their best to keep it well maintained. Each bathroom's hot water was supplied by own boiler behind the cottage, so need to speak to staff to discuss times you want it so they can ensure they keep it operating as required.

Food was decent, they looked after us well, though we were there in shoulder season, place was virtually empty, just a handful of other residents.

I'd stay here again, as our driver and guide were absolutely brilliant, far better than most we saw in the reserve.

Oh, we went on the weekend when the posh place, CC Africa? was just doing its training drives, we encountered their vehicles out on training and then the first day of their real opening/ real customers.

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FYI to avoid confusion - the Tiger Trails is not a chain of lodges ......... for example., the Tiger Trails Kavey talks about in Bandhavgarh is no connection to Tiger Trails at Tadoba.

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Yes, I should have said that, thanks Hari!

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We hired a smaller tour operator in India and used it for the entire travel, not just the wildlife part of it. Hence would say this operator is more focussed on Rajasthan and its incredible destinations, not on Wildlife focussed itineraries.

 

But I would like to mention the most wonderful person we met in India, our driver Ranjeet Bhaskar. If anybody is looking for an outstanding host & driven, please send me a pm and I will share his contact details.

 

To the wildlife part:

 

1. Gir Forest

 

Lion Safari Camp

http://www.campsofindia.com/resorts/wild-life-camps-resorts/gir-national-park/lion-safari-camp.html

 

A very good camp without any doubts. Spacious tents, good food, no nonsense and great hospitality. It is a bit outside of Sasan Gir Village located directly at the Hiran River and provides very good opportunites to go for a birding walk between the morning and evening game drives. For the African Safarirista being used to a fair deal of intimate camping & lodging, you have to like people while staying there. The tents are lined up side-by-side. You may also see a lion while staying there, this happens every now and then.

 

Our guide was Bachchu Singh, his company and knowledge is highly recommended. He is also a great birding expert. We enjoyed it a lot!

 

2. Bandhavgarh

 

Bandhav Vilas

http://www.bandhavvilas.com/accommodation.htm

 

A great camp! The Chalets are very spacious and intimate with the right amount of luxury. Overall the camp has a wonderful atmosphere, like a safari camp should have. African Safarirista will feel being "at home" there. The food is awesome and service outstanding. This has a lot to do with the co-owner and camp manager Manish Kumar Sharma, a natural born host. You will enjoy sitting around the fire after dinner and listening to his stories about the Tigers of Bandhavgarh.

 

3. Kanha

 

The Tuli Tiger Corridor

http://www.tulihotels.com/tiger-corridor-kanha.html

 

The luxury choice for sure. The tents can be compared to some of the high end camps in southern and eastern Africa, just amazing. Nothing more to add.

 

Our guide was one of the most dedicated and passionate guides I ever met being in the wild, and just a lovely person. Pradeep Krishna Wasunkar. For those interested he has setted up a page on FB called Tigerland and it is all about Tiger Conservation in India.

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It is now a four or five years since I visited India we went with TigerTrails.

 

At the time of our first trip with them Alan was still working full time at Sellafield Nuclear site, he & his wife had set up TigerTrails to help support a village where they had stayed on a gap year.

I think they have now renamed to WildlifeTrails & it is now a full time operation offering world wide trips.

 

Our guide at Ranthambore was Vepal Jain who is their representative in India, we spent spare time with his family at his home or out & about at the village or Sawaai Madaphore & beyond.

Their ground operators for India at that time was Perfect Travels.

 

Our first trip Ranthambore I believe that park tourism was still under control of the forestry department & my understanding is for our second trip tourism was controlled by the Department of tourism. There was a lot of lodge & hotel building going on at the time & Gypsy's had to be full. We did take other couples for two drives with us but had full control over the vehicle within park restrictions.

Our other drives we took two local boys from the village with us this kept tourist out of our vehicle as well as extra eyes for spotting it also gave them chance to visit Ranthambore Reserve.

Our hotel was the Ranthambore Regency.

 

Our first trip was 2004, If I remember correctly, we also visited Banhavgarh staying at the Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge our guide was Vivek from the lodge.

We travelled by train with a stop over in Agra where we watched the sun rise over the Taj at 0500.

 

I hope this answers a few questions, regretfully I'm not much with words.

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I highly recommend SHERGARH TENTED CAMP in Kanha.

 

http://www.shergarh.com/

 

Comfortable, enchanting, clean, adventurous, romantic, safe, fulfilling, and charming are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of Shergarh. The staff’s magnetic and marvelous way of making you feel like family was beyond my expectations. Their amenities held up firmly to western standards, and they really do think of every little detail, from the fresh flowers in your room to the hot water bottle for your lap on chilly mornings. The food was by far the most creative and gentle of all of the different lodges I had eaten at while I was in India and was consistently yummy. On top of all of this was the spectacular wildlife viewing! Out of all of the other lodge guides, Shergarh’s guides felt like scholars, their passion and enthusiasm for nature was truly inspirational and their keen sense of sight was like something out of a superhero movie, incredible! On my 3 ½ day safari with Shergarh I saw everything from Tiger (5), Leopard, Sloth Bear to Sambar and even a few Jungle Cat’s! Some of the Tiger viewing was even on magnificent Elephant back, a dream come true! If you want to experience a true Rudyard Kipling style safari while not having to surrender any of your western style comforts I highly recommend Shergarh, their intensions lie deep with eco-friendliness and true human/nature connection. I will return.

 

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Our open Safari jeep

 

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The "Lobby"

 

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My tent/lodge

 

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Posted (edited)

Bandhavgarh National Park is situated in District Umaria of Madhya Pradesh (Central India). Bandhavgarh forest was officially declared a National Park in 1968 and subsequently a Tiger Reserve under “Project Tiger” in 1994. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve now spreads over 639 Sq. Km.
Earlier it was the hunting preserve (Shikargah) of the rulers of Rewa. The Royal Family retained the hunting rights in Bandhavgarh till 1968. However special conservation measures taken thereafter have ensured it to remain a perfect habitat for Royal Bengal Tiger. Bandhavgarh Park is divided into four zones out of which three viz. Tala, Magdhi and Khitauli are open for wildlife tours in Bandhavgarh. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve beckons wild life enthusiasts for an unforgettable adventurous tour from different parts of India and the world. read more at http://www.wildflowerresort.com/overview.html
Bandhavgarh National Park India has the highest density of Tigers in the World.
The Experience
Imagine staying in wild pristine environments of Bandhavgarh forest where the serene silence of jungle would only be broken by chirping of the birds. Imagine dinners by the campfire, trading the jungle tales and the exotic sounds of the bush lulling you to sleep.
At The Wildflower, authenticity of the experience, without compromising on standards is the hallmark. Welcome to the Wildflower Bandhavgarh Hotels driven by a philanthropic goal of both protecting the environment and giving back to the local community.
Our Bandhavgarh Lodge.
Nestling in the forested hills of Bandhavgarh National Park India, The Wildflower Resort is a leading jungle resort. Here you can revitalize your mind, body and soul amid picturesque wild country.

At Wildflower Resorts in Bandhavgarh National Park India you will find a picture-perfect setting with hills clad in greens skirting the lodge, butterflies fluttering in the gardens and chirping of birds as musical theme.

 

Stay with us enjoying picturesque wild country to revitalize your mind, body and soul. Our Bandhavgarh lodge has just 15 luxurious cottages ensuring a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and personalized service. Wildflower Resorts in Bandhavgarh is equipped with modern amenities to make your wilderness experience wholesome. You may choose to take a dip in the swimming pool or just relax with a book in the library. Experience watching birds and wildlife in bandhavgarh meadows sitting on a private tree top machan or enjoy a drink unwinding at Tiger’s torch. Fine dining at the orchid restaurant or palanquin dining at Sheru-da-dhaba. Unwinding at the meditation points or enjoying choicest drinks with blazing bonfires and alarm calls made by deer hinting at a tiger’s presence. It is one Bandhavgarh jungle lodge which brings every wilderness fantasy to your disposal.

 

Our naturalist guides and the drivers taking you for the park safari know the Bandhavgarh National Park like the back of their hand. They ensure that you derive the best out of your Bandhavgarh tour packages.

 

The Bandhavgarh wilderness experience that you have been dreaming of awaits you at The Wildflower. Experience the magnificence of nature heritage, follow the tiger trails…

 

Our Bandhavgarh lodge has just 15 luxurious cottages. The intimate size of the resort ensures a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and very personal service. Wildflower Resorts in Bandhavgarh offers all modern amenities in addition to the wilderness experience. Be it very comfortable beds, air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms with bath tubs, LCD televisions with satellite connection, we have all that you will need. . http://www.wildflowerresort.com/accommodation.html

The Bandhavgarh wilderness experience that you have been dreaming of awaits you at The Wildflower.

welcome area

Swimming pool entrance

Room interiors

Suite cottage at Bandhavgarh

Surrounded By Jungle

Sitout views from rooms in bandhavgarh

 

We have been recognized as one of the best hotels in Bandhavgarh national park India by several review sites.

Excellence Badge 2013

Guided Jeep Safari.
(6:00 AM- 9:30 AM; 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM) Let the magic of dense pristine forests unfold the spell in an open 4x4 Gypsy in the core of the national park, with some of the most adroit drivers at the wheel accompanied with a knowledgeable naturalist. Follow the pugmarks and before you know it the king is right in front of you with all the magnificence and splendour. There's plenty in the store for you be it rich game like the Sambhar, herds of spotted deer munching in those vast grasslands, or wild boars trying to run away from your sight, peacocks dancing in frenzy or the bison trying to figure out what are you doing in their territory.
Bandhavgarh Tourism Zones
Tala Gate = Primary Zone
Khitauli Gate
Magdhi Gate
The main attraction of Bandhavgarh tour packages is Guided Jungle Safari. Also known as Tiger Safari Bandhavgarh we facilitate our tourists and travelers to explore the mystical beauty of the jungle and experience the vast wildlife diversity. Bandhavgarh National Park booking can be done online directly by a traveler or through resorts / hotels in Bandhavgarh on instructions. Please fill the online safari booking form given at our website and we would be more than happy to assist you. A jeep safari in Bandhavgarh involves making a safari booking through mponline website, hiring a jeep for tiger safari and engaging an official guide of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

We also have safari inclusive Bandhavgarh tour packages which might serve you better.

Safari Jeep

Wildflower Resorts in Bandhavgarh is equipped with modern amenities to make your wilderness experience wholesome. You may choose to relax by the pool side with a book from our wildlife library or just take a dip in the swimming pool. Sip a chilled beer sitting on a private tree top machan or enjoy a drink unwinding at Tiger’s torch. Savor delicacies at Orchid, our fine dining restaurant or under the Mahua.

It is one Bandhavgarh jungle lodge which brings every wilderness fantasy to your disposal including, • Swimming Pool • Tree top Machan • Wildlife Library • Indoor and Outdoor Games • Motorcycles on Rent • Bicycles available for guests • Travel Desk • Souvenir shop • Baby-sitting service and kids activities • Dry cleaning/laundry service • Internet • Car parking • Currency exchange • Medical service (on call) • Transfers by Luxury Sedans. • Accommodation for maids and personal staff. • Bathrobes. • King Beds and Twin Beds. • Duvet Bedcovers • Individually controlled Air-conditioning • Meditation Points. • Coffee Shop and Activity Room.

 

pool

Edited by Wildflower at Bandhavgarh

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@@Wildflower at Bandhavgarh You have linked to smaller pictures in your gallery - if you click on the above, it expands them to full size. Right click and copy the image URL and then paste that into a post.

 

Please do introduce yourself personally by starting a new topic in the introductions forum and then feel free to use the operators forum to promote The Wildflower, share news, pricing etc.

 

Matt.

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Posted (edited)

  • Company name  : Syna Tiger Resort
  • Website : www.synatigerresort.com
  • Contact Detauils : +91 - 9821395399
  • Email : info@synatigerresort.com
  • Location : Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
  • Type of accommodation : Cottages, Theme based Cottages, Suites
Edited by Syna Tiger Resort

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My favourite lodges for safari in India:

1. Tadoba: Svasara Resort

2. Bandhavgarh: Mahua Kothi (Taj Safaris) Naturalist/Guide: Rajkishore, Karan. Both are superb.

3. Kanha: Banjar Tola (Taj Safaris) , Flame of the forest

4. Pench: Baghvan (Taj Safaris), Jamtara Wilderness Camp (Different gate, low density of lodges, almost exclusive access)

5. Satpura: Forsyth's Lodge.

6. Ranthambhore: Ranthambhore Bagh (Mid Range, Opt for rooms avoid "tents", Owner- Aditya Singh is a friend), Get them to book your safaris. Guides: Rajkumar or Salim, Drivers: Best is Himmat Singh (You do not need guide for full day safaris, just driver is sufficient. With HImmat Singh, you won't miss the guide)

7. Corbett: Stay in the park- One of the forest bungalows. Contact Ritesh Suri, He will take care of bookings and will guide you. Superb guide.

8. Kabini: Kabini River Lodge. Avoid weekends. Lodge is too big for my taste but safaris are the sole purview of Kabini River Lodge. All other lodges have to go through Kabini River Lodge. Naturalists are poor. Safari experience is really poor. But if you want to see Black (Melanistic) Leopard, this is your best bet.

 

I would also recommend Harsha J as a private guide. He has guided me in Pench and Kanha when he used to work for Taj Safaris. He is now a freelance guide. You can email him on harsha@kaadupapa.com. 

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