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Guided by Ashwin
About this experience
Experience an adventure like never before, as you enter one of the least frequented tiger reserves in India, Satpura National Park. I believe in the ideology of exploring the wilderness on foot and paying attention to every detail that surrounds it, which transforms that journey into a lifelong memory. I aim to provide you with a tailor-made Satpura experience and therefore have introduced a bespoke camping experience that’s one with nature. This will ensure that you experience the exotic jungle along with its many denizens that comprise a tiger’s habitat, as opposed to just one species at a time.
Arrive at Forsyth Lodge preferably before 1pm. Assemble for hi-tea and orientation. Later, we will set out, first for a short drive to the Satpura National park entry point and then on a short boat ride across the Denwa river to a drop-off point for our walking safari in the national park area. Satpura national park is one of the very few parks where one is allowed to walk in the park area. This gives a really unique opportunity to see the pristine forest and its inhabitants really up close without any sound of the motor vehicle. It is completely safe as most of the animals are shy creatures and will evade human confrontation. But nonetheless it is an opportunity to see animals and big cats. This region also has a lot of sloth bears and they are the ones who sometimes are curious enough to come closer but worry-not, our experienced forest guides carry pepper spray and a blow horn to scare them away. The walk is also a great opportunity to see different small birds, raptors, owls, insects and butterflies which one misses in a jeep drive. The walk will be approximately for 2 hours and will give you a feeling of truly one with nature. Return to the lodge for dinner.
This early winter morning, set out once again exploring the forests from Madhai entrance after a short jeep drive and boat ride to take the forest gypsy to traverse the rugged terrain of the park equipped with 4x4 towards Jhin Jhini Mahal. We will be driving through thick teak forests, grasslands and through nallas which change into fast gushing streams in the monsoons. Be attentive to alarm calls from Spotted deer or Langur monkeys high up on trees because that could indicate a predator on the prowl. Satpura presents an opportunity to see Gaurs, even some albino specimens, Four horned antelope, Blue bull and sloth bears that we might have come across in your last walk here. We can also see numerous bird species from the list of over 360 which have been seen in this region. So keep silent and get your cameras out because you don’t know what you will encounter on the next bend. We will stop for a bush breakfast in between the safari at a scenic location and then continue our drive back towards the park entrance, but the drive isn’t over yet so be on the lookout. Return to the lodge for a quick freshen-up before brunch. After a short rest we will assemble for hi-tea and orientation. Later, we will set out for a dusk safari in the buffer forest. Late evenings are the best time to look out for nocturnal wildlife which you cannot sight during daylight. No other national park in India allows you to explore the forest at this time of the day. Great opportunity to look for owls, wild cats, bears, civets, etc. If we are lucky, we may see the world’s smallest wild cat- the Rusty-spotted Cat. It’ll be an approximately 2 hour long excursion. The buffer drive will take us to the designated camp site at Jamani Devi where my team would be waiting for us with a campfire while dinner would be getting ready. Look above and you will see the most amazing starlit sky. Try your hand at stargazing or night photography or assist the chef in the wood fired kitchen. We can also explore the jungle around for insects, scorpions, spiders and frogs or sit around and share wilderness experiences with each other. After a relaxed dinner around the campfire we turn into our tents for the night, but do keep your torch by your side. If you stay awake for longer you might encounter your jungle neighbours.
The day breaks with a hot cup of tea or coffee and the forest waking up to bird calls. Time to get ready and get on the jeep to drive through some new areas of the buffer zone to sight some animals before we head back to Forsyth lodge for breakfast. Later in the evening, we will set out for a dusk safari in the buffer forest in a completely different landscape called Parsapani, an area which has been reclaimed into a natural forest after moving out villages from this area and stopping illegal timber trade. Return to Forsyth lodge for a farewell dinner.
We will start our day with a canoe safari across the calm, azure waters of Denwa. This is a great opportunity to see crocodiles and birds nesting on the banks and also occasional wildlife that might be coming to the forest edges for a drink. We arrive at a half-way point for a packed breakfast and then return to the lodge. Departure from Lodge.
How to reach
Forsyth Lodge is easily accessible via Bhopal (135 kms), which is also the nearest airport and a major train station.
About your host :
I started my career with bird watching and wildlife photography, but never had I foreseen that it would lead me so far on the path of wildlife conservation and guiding. With shear passion for the forest, wildlife & nature, a journey in photography , film-making and research was an obvious transition. I have extensive experience in working with the likes of BBC and in shooting some of the king cobra and elephant documentaries. I understand wildlife really well, especially in the Satpura landscape and I hope to share it with you.
Host reviews :
22 March 2016 - Lee J
About the park :
Satpura National Park is spread over an area of 1427 sq. km. It was formed in 1981 and is one of the lesser visited national parks in Central India. The terrain of the national park is very rocky and rugged. It consists of gorgeous un disturbed deep narrow gorges, sandstone hills, rivulets and forests of teak, sal and mixed deciduous forest tracks. Satpura’s name is derived from the Sanskrit work meaning 7-mountain folds. It is the only park in India where one can do safaris in multiple ways: Jeeps, walking, boating, canoeing and on elephant back.
About the lodge :
Forsyth’s Lodge is a small lodge on the outskirts of Satpura National Park. It is spread over an area of 44acres of reclaimed forest. They focus on meaningful sustainable wildlife and wilderness experiences. It has won multiple awards for best wildlife lodge.
What to pack :
Terms and conditions :
The minimum group size needed for this trip is 4. If for any reason we don’t have 4 participants , a complete refund of the trip will be done.
Since the safari reservations are open to all, there may be a change in itinerary depending on the availability of the safaris. please inform us via call and an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the reason for cancellation to process the cancellation,advance paid is not refundable.
Payment of the full amount is required to confirm a spot on the trip. The trip cost is 50% refundable for a cancellation made before 15 days of the commencement of the trip. After which it is fully non refundable.
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