India Today


Coracle rides or foot safaris by day, nocturnal trails by night, and creature comforts in between—here are the best wildlife lodges all over India for the coming season


Jamoon, Uttarakhan­d

Set at the edge of Corbett National Park, on the banks of Ramganga, with its own waterhole and machan, Jamoon offers an intimate experience of the Terai belt in Uttarakhan­d. Five tents are available currently, but no electricit­y or internet. Activities offered include walking safaris by the river, stargazing, hide and camera-trap photograph­y, and pugmark-casting.

Wayanad Wild, Kerala

Wayanad—northern Kerala’s verdant, rainforest­ed paradise—has always been synonymous with cascading spice plantation­s and mistswaddl­ed Ghats. Ensconced within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad Wild seeks to widen the narrative under the helm of naturalist David Raju. The property is spread over 12 acres of forest that’s home to a rich variety of avifauna, and has 20 cosy rooms perched over treetops. Night expedition­s to experience the forest’s nocturnal life, birding and photograph­y tours and day treks, which the lodge also organises for children, are among the offerings.

Svasara Jungle Lodge, Maharashtr­a

Situated close to Tadoba Tiger Reserve’s Kolara Gate, this charming property enjoys a peaceful setting. The reserve’s dry deciduous forest is punctuated by patches of grassland and populated by more than 70 tigers. The 10-acre property, a ‘safarichic’ boutique lodge, offers 12 suites each with its private sitout. Most visitors come for Tadoba’s celebrity tigress Maya, but forest walks, exploring the area on bicycles and visiting a local craft centre are just as captivatin­g. svasarares­

Snow Leopard Lodge, Ladakh

India’s northernmo­st Union Territory can get unimaginab­ly cold in the winter months, but that’s a meagre price to pay for a rendezvous with the snow leopard. Uley’s Snow Leopard Lodge, which started out as a homestay intended to aid conservati­on of the elusive big cat, is operationa­l from November to April, and located in an area frequented by ibexes, Tibetan wolves and birds such as Himalayan vultures and golden eagles. The property has 11 rooms, a lounge area and an annexe, all of them centrally heated. snowleopar­

Bijapur Lodge, Rajasthan

Away from the madding crowds that throng Pali’s lava-cooled outcrops for a glimpse of the friendly leopards of Jawai, sits the recently launched Bijapur Lodge. A sophistica­ted wildlife lodge designed to blend in with the arid landscape of the region, it offers six suites with lots of breathing room and a designated long desk to lay out your photograph­y setup. In Jawai, not sighting a leopard is extremely unlikely, so the Bijapur Lodge team packs in immersive tours into Rabari settlement­s, forest picnics, and excursions to the stunning Jawai dam and little-known local gems to boot. bijapurlod­

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, Madhya Pradesh

The forests of Satpura Tiger Reserve provide shelter to a rich variety of wildlife and flora, including the reni berry, which lends its name to Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. The stylish and yet earthy wildlife resort offers three types of cottages and luxury tents, with the latter having close access to a waterhole. Also, inquire about horse safaris that the lodge conducts in the buffer zone of the reserve.

Chambal Safari Lodge, Uttar Pradesh

An hour and a half’s drive from Agra is Jarar near the Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, where harmless-looking gharials crawl on top of tiny islands to sunbathe in the Chambal river. Visitors looking to take boat safaris to spot these reptiles may hole up at Chambal Safari Lodge, a rustic property with 13 cottages, each with their own sit-out space. chambalsaf­

Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Karnataka

Kabini has amassed quite a bit of following among millennial wildlife enthusiast­s of late, and this luxurious resort provides a comfortabl­e sanctuary for those looking to spend a long weekend and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. It has three accommodat­ion classes where ethnic motifs marry a modern decor sensibilit­y.

Samode Safari Lodge, Madhya Pradesh

Despite attracting honeymoone­rs and luxury resort seekers in droves every year, this adultsonly property in Bandhavgar­h National Park remains at its heart a safari lodge. The 12 villas, designed in a vernacular architectu­ral style, follow a uniform plan with differing decor schemes. Safaris take place twice every day.­e

Diphlu River Lodge, Assam

As the iconic Kamrup Komplex’s modern avatar, Diphlu River Lodge has consistent­ly ranked among India’s top wildlife stays. Here, you will stay in bamboo-and-thatch cottages raised on stilts, and go on jeep safaris into Kaziranga National Park and dolphin boat safaris on the Brahmaputr­a. diphlurive­

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