India Abroad March 30, 2012
These newer wildlife
lodges go back to the
basics of natural
comfort and the
excitement of the
The MB Sundari & The
Sundarbans probably gets its name from the
huge mangrove trees that characterize it — the
sundaris. These trees also lend their name to the
prettiest boat on that stretch of the delta, the MB
Sundari, which is managed by Asian Adventures.
The vessel will happily sleep eight people and
has comfortable deck chairs, running water,
showers, electricity backup and – importantly —
WCs. But many prefer the safety of solid ground
that the charming Mangrove Whistler (named
for a bird endemic to the Sundarbans) offers.
The Whistler lodge and Sundari are comple-
mentary properties and you could pick either or
even divide your stay between the two; the price
is the same. Right now, the lodge has two bed-
rooms on offer, but 12 more are in the works.
Tariff: Rs 18,500 per person for two nights, all-
inclusive (including pick-up from Kolkata) for a
minimum of two people
The Sarai, Panna National Park
The Sarai At Toria, Panna
The Sarai at Toria is the brainchild of long-time wildlif-
ers — conservation biologist Dr Raghu Chundawat and his
writer-photographer-conservationist wife, Joanna Van
Gruisen. The lodge itself is charming: stretched across
nine acres on the banks of the Ken river, the Sarai is a
cluster of low-lying, mud-and-thatch cottages wrapped in
On the accommodation front, there are only six cottages
at the moment, but another two are in the pipeline.
Rustic-chic defines these rooms, as each displays simple
but stylish furniture, while private courtyards and veran-
das add to their charm. Self-proclaimed foodies,
Chundawat and Van Gruisen promise excellent food on
the tables. So breaks from safaris in Panna National Park
should mean happy meals amid very comfortable sur-
roundings. Still looking for things to do? Visit Khajuraho’s
magnificent temples, explore the neighboring town of
Panna for its historic architecture or go fishing in the river.
Tariff: Rs 12,500 for two persons. Includes all meals,
taxes and on-site activities
Contact: 91-9685293130; 91-11-42567017
Sloth Bear Resort, Daroji Sanctuary
Monsoon Forest Tented Camp, Bandhavgarh
Whether you’re looking for a wildlife holiday or simply
to get away from it all, chances are you’ll have your way at
this boutique camp.
The right mix of adventure and luxury, Monsoon Forest,
on the fringe of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, compris-
es only six tents — but does them well. Shaded by mahua
trees, each tent includes wooden floors, elegant furniture,
wraparound verandas and tasteful bathrooms.
Stay in for some peace and quiet. Or to just soak up the
views of Bandhavgarh’s impressive fort.
Or get a therapeutic massage in the privacy of your
veranda, open grasslands and the hills beyond for compa-
For nature lovers, of course, there’s a range of safari and
Tariff Rs 11,250 per person per night on Jungle Plan (all
meals, safaris, on-site activities, taxes)
Contact: 91-11- 44128758, 91-987148340
No, it’s not in tiger country. But why would you care if
there were enough bears, hyenas, wild boars, black-naped
hares, porcupines, yellow-throated bulbuls, jackals and
leopards to keep you amused at the Sloth Bear Resort in
Bellary district in Karnataka.