Amidst the thick bushes lurks the agile predator, waiting patiently as it watches its prey. Somewhere else in the forest a herd of bison visits the local water hole to quench their thirst and the sly crocodile remains lifeless, waiting in silence to launch its attack. With a camera and binoculars in hand, cautious to any movement and ears alert to the sound of the forest, you are ready embark on a jungle safari. It’s nothing short of a privilege to see nature’s inhabitants in their natural habitat, displaying raw emotions. Read on for our selection of stays that are the perfect concoction of opulence and jungle living…
The Ranthambhore National Park, located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range, is a famous national park open from October to June. Apart from being home to the glorious tiger, the forest is dotted with structures that remind you of bygone eras along with crocodile lakes, and a variety of species of birds. A stay at this luxury camp nestled on the borders of this park transports you a time of ‘shikar’ (hunting) camps and taking a safari into the park is the cherry on your jungle living experience – Apart from the tiger, other animals commonly seen are the wild boar, deer, antelope and jackal. During the winters, thousands of birds migrate from Europe and Siberia making Ranthambhore an ornithologist’s paradise.
Bandipur National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is set across the Deccan Plateau and Western Ghats. This national reserve was at one time a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. It harbors Indian elephants, spotted deer, gaurs (bison), antelopes and numerous other native species. Almost half an hour away from the park, the Windflower is the perfect place to retire to after a day spent spotting various animals and birds. Indulging in Ayurvedic therapies or taking a dip in the infinity pool are great ways to relax and prepare for your adventure into the wild.
Named after celebrated tiger hunter Jim Corbett, who played an important role in creating a national reserve for the endangered Bengal tiger, this park is home to many animals including tigers, elephants, reptiles, and beautiful birds along with other animals. Set in the Marchula Valley, this retreat was designed in accordance with the elements : Earth, Fire, Water, Sky and Air to tantalize the senses. Seated comfortably on the back of elephants, you can experience an age-old tradition of India. It’s an unforgettable experience where you get to not only explore the jungle but also interact with these gentle giants.
A large population of the Bengal tiger, leopards, sloth bears, and wild dogs inhabit this park in Madhya Pradesh. When staying at this retreat, you can choose between the morning and aftrenoon safari. Observe a skulk of fox preen themselves, the big jungle cats relish an early morning kill or simply immerse in the pristine chirping and sounds of birds that call this park home. The afternoon safaris allow you to feast on zestful jungle activity as the dying sun signals the commencement of the game between the predators and their preys. You skillfully trapeze through the maze of flora and fauna, especially in the Mukki region of the park and enjoy a front seat in the theatrical of nature.
Sitting comfortably amidst the Savannah, this is a stunning wildlife retreat set in Western India. You can gaze out of the deck of your cottage at the changing colours of the vast stretches of the grasslands. The blackbuck (Indian antelope) wanders close to the cottages and you may even spot some endangered bird species. The lodge also provides safaris along with guides and spotters to help you get closer to wildlife and nature.
So which of these is on your list next?