Gane and Marshall announces one-of-a-kKind opportunity to explore, wildlife watch and camp in Satpura National ParkAdventure and wildlife specialist Gane and Marshall has announced a new tour to India, offering a unique chance to explore, trek and camp in the pristine wilderness of Satpura National Park and Tiger Reserve.
The ‘Satpura Under Canvas’ itinerary covers the Pachmarhi Trail, 32kms of varying habitat in Satpura National Park, cradled in the Mahadeo Hills of the Satpura range. Believed to be a bridge between the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats, the area is known for its rugged terrain that undulates from meadows to deep valleys, sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, cascading waterfalls and dense green forests, offering a home to unique central Indian flora and fauna.
Satpura is the only tiger reserve in central India where comfortable mobile camping is possible, with trekking on foot offered in the core area of the reserve.
Guests on the new itinerary will spend the first night at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, an exquisitely-designed conservation and wildlife-focused lodge located close to Satpura, and then stay in exclusive mobile camps for the next two nights, set in beautiful open meadow or on the banks of the Denwa River.
The mobile camps, available for up to ten guests at a time, will be erected before trekkers arrive and dismantled after use, leaving no trace to the local environment. The tents are well equipped with camp beds and comfy mattresses, a dining area will be erected for meal times catered by camp staff and private, portable bathrooms will be set up.
This unique camping opportunity leaves guests more time per day to explore Satpura, with local expert guides accompanying the treks and educating guests about local wildlife and its tracks, as well as birds, insects, trees, plants and much more.
Some of the animals that can be viewed in Satpura National Park include Indian bison, leopards, sloth bear, black buck, wild boar, porcupine, sambhar, four-horned antelopes, smooth otter, Pangolin, marsh crocodile, Indian giant squirrel and if guests are lucky, Bengal tigers. A myriad of bird species can be spotted in Satpura.
The inspiration for the new itinerary was the local forest department and pioneering lodges like Reni Pani’s desire for tourism to Satpura to be a refreshing change to wildlife viewing in central India. The goal is to encourage non-motorised forms of exploration such as trekking, walking safaris, canoeing, elephant safaris and boat safaris, as well as the standard jeep drives.
During the times of the British Raj, the state of Madhya Pradesh was known as the Central Provinces and the forest department of the province commenced with its headquarters in Pachmarhi. Captain James Forsyth, the man largely responsible for establishing and operating the headquarters, ascended to Pachmarhi using the same route as the ‘Satpura Under Canvas’ itinerary.
Day One - On arrival at Bhopal airport, guests will transfer by road to Reni Pani Jungle Lodge for one night of full-board accommodation. The lodge features 12 luxury cottages, a cosy meeting place and a jungle pool. The site features magnificent trees, meadowland, seasonal nullah and waterholes that attract several species of birds and mammal. A wildlife activity or safari will be offered if time permits.
Day Two – On departure from Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, guests will travel by road to the foothills village of Matkuli and then Manakachar, the starting point of an 8km trek towards Jhela, where the first camp is located. En-route, guests will walk through open woodland to join the banks of the Denwa River. Several species of birds are likely to be spotted, as well as mammals on the fringe of the reserve. Lunch will be served at the camp and the afternoon is spent at leisure, relaxing or exploring.
Day Three – After breakfast, guests will embark on a 7km walk along the banks of the Denwa River, heading for Dehelia Camp, a picturesque sandy beach on the river. The walk along the Denwa showcases the magical change in scenery that Satpura offers. Indian vultures can be spotted at the steep cliff these endangered birds use as a nesting site. On arrival at the camp, lunch will be served and the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the scenery and wildlife opportunities.
Day Four – Breakfast is followed by a 10km to Pachmarhi, the first half of which is mainly on plain and light hilly terrain. From the point known as Kanchighat, the trek ascends to Pachmarhi, and guests will witness the transformation of the forest from teak trees to primarily shala trees. Magnificent vistas of Satpura National Park will be enjoyed from the apex of the Pachmarhi trail, before lunch is served at a local hotel. Guests are later driven back to Reni Pani Jungle Lodge for one more night of accommodation.
Day Five – One last morning of wildlife activity or safari is offered at Reni Pani, before guests are taken back to Bhopal airport or perhaps continue to Banhavgargh National Park for further wildlife sightings on a secondary itinerary offered by Gane and Marshall.
Prices for Gane and Marshall's new ‘Satpura Under Canvas’ itinerary start from £645 per person, based on twin share. Prices valid 15 October 2015 - 15 March 2016. The price includes return transfers from Bhopal airport in exclusive chauffeur driven vehicles; two nights at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge on a full-board basis with one shared safari and one wildlife activity; two nights at mobile camps in Satpura National Park on a full-board basis; services of guides and camp staff; and all currently applicable taxes. International return flights from London to Bhopal start from around an additional £600 per person.
The 'Satpura Under Canvas' itinerary can be designed for each guests’ requirements and abilities, including a programme with just one-night of camping and less trekking, for guests who want to enjoy the national park but are less active. Gane and Marshall offer this itinerary in conjunction with other India tours, treks and wildlife watching itineraries.