Wednesday, July 16, 2008

End of the season

With the start of the monsoon the park closes for the tourists. Every year the park closes down on 3oth June and re-opens on 16th October this year. This gives much rest and privacy to the wild animals of the park.

But one negative aspect of the absence of tourists is that the park become more susceptible to poaching another reason for this is the turbulent rains which makes traversing many areas of the park difficult even for the elephant patrol. The whole staff including the guides are involved in safe guarding the park and protecting the animals from marauding poachers. It is hard work for the park staff looking after the wild animals and forests. This is true conservation effort and the staff should be rewarded by tourists and all for this if nothing more.

The activities in hotels in Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and other Indian tiger reserves comes to an end. It is time for rest for the hotel staff and the managers much needed. Servicing the guests is a difficult task what with most of the resources being fetched from major towns.

The timings for the staff are very tough during the season. They have to get up as early as 3.3 am in the bitter cold after having gone to sleep around 11pm. The immediate task is to prepare breakfast and tea which is offered as packed brunch too. The visitors are woken up for the park safari after this so that they leave for the gate in time. The whole day is spent doing numerous chores and serving the guests. Most of the staff goes to sleep late and gets up very early with limited rest.

It is very disappointing when some ungrateful guests do not tip them.

Eco tourism is not only fun and excitement watching rare and endangered species like the tiger. It is a responsible tourism as well so all activities that encourage the locals and those involved will go long way in saving our precious natural inheritance.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Welcome to a Wildlife Resort

Ever since I started frequenting Kanha as a naturalist guide, I developed a habit to account all things interesting at this wonderful National Park in India.

The last trip was few days before the Kanha gates closed for the monsoon. Monsoons are a period of heavy rains in most part s of India including Kanha National Park.

Once you become a Kanha fan it beckons you again and again, such is the magic of this nature preserve. Not only the tigers, the paradise has so much to offer.

On my last visit I happened to visit a luxury resort at Mocha - few kilometers from park gates - in order to take a measure of new accommodations that have been established in recent times.

The Celebration Van Vilas Resort in true sense defines the world "luxury". Yes the Kanha Resort is three star resort set amidst the lush green ambiance of Kanha. It has been designed to cater to the upper class tourists who wish for luxury yet do not wish to sacrifice the feel of the wilderness and tradition.

As a premium three star jungle lodge Celebration keeps it promise. It delivers luxury and comfort and yet mingles perfectly with surroundings of Kanha's pristine forests. In spite of being a luxury lodge meant for high profile tourists from India and Abroad it retains India's rustic charm and warmth.

No wonder the owners are age old conservationists and wildlife lovers and hence their experience of forest life speaks quite loud in their venture at Kanha. The resort justifies its surroundings and adds to the natural beauty of the forests. The wide expanse of the property with large number of cottages dressed in ethnic splendor and cool pool invites wildlife lovers with open arms. The hotel spells class and justifies it with its superb architecture, exquisite decor and dotting service and cuisine which never fail to impress. Yet the resort is a prime example of responsible tourism.

  • The resort has all the must haves of a true old time hunting lodges - a lofty machan (hide) for bird watching and catching site of the elusive panther who patrols the jungle treks in the night as sentinel of the wild. He often drops in to say Hello to the guests...Well almost.

  • Naturalist guides with years of experience who regale you with enchanting encounters in the wild with tigers and other mammals. The interactive well equipped lecture hall is where one should lend ear to detailed lectures on Kanha and Indian wildlife. One should also spend free time with the nature guides here for interpretative dialog on the amazing biodiversity - flora and fauna of Kanha.

  • Well stocked library lets you step deep into the realms of the wilderness, hunting and wild animals of India, penned by top naturalist guides, wildlife biologists and writers. Else watch a movie of nature and wildlife in the auditorium.
I rate Celebration as the best place to stay in luxury at Kanha. It cannot be outdone in organizing luxury widlife safari in the parkas well. Celebration Van Vilas is simply the best.