Wildlife Camping in India

For Destination, Horizon, The Assam Tribune

It has been tried, tested and proved that vacationing days in the wilderness, recharges our faculties and results in better productivity. And when it is about going back in time (what else would you call camping in a jungle?), India definitely scores amongst the most sought one’s of the segment. And thanks to the Tourism industry, this adventure is no more about fatal combats with bandits or man-eating predators, or mad-rush for a cave during unpredictable weather catastrophes. Today, camping in the wild is about complete tour packages with all facilities and amenities.

What awaits you...

The Himalayan foothills, the oasis recluses of Thar, the premises of the various wildlife sanctuaries, the beaches, you name it and your travel agent will give you detailed tour itinerary for one of your chosen spots. The days remain animate with activities like trekking, forests trails, angling, cycling, photography, bird-watching, river rafting, tiger-tracking, elephant/jeep/camel/horse safari expeditions, trip to the nearest tribal village - according to preferences. In such sylvan purlieu, poetry and paintings ooze without effort and there is no dearth of a quiet place to sit and let them flow on to the paper. The nights come alive with bonfires, grilled meat fiesta, jam sessions and you name it and of course the nerve-tingling sensation of sleeping with wild animals only ear-shot away.

India’s Favourite Camping Zones

Northern Hills: The Himalayan mountain ranges are an ideal choice anytime. Chitrauli, near Nainital (Uttaranchal) is a popular base camp for trekking expedition in jungles strewn with Oaks, Deodars and Pine. Bird lovers and wildlife photographers have ample scope in Chitrauli’s wilderness. Corbett National Park provides Tiger camping. And if you are with your family, Himachal Tourism organizes exciting camps at Sarchu in Lahaul, Sangla and Kalpa in Kinnaur and at Kaza in Spiti, Barog in Solan district, Baspa (Sangla) valley, Tabo (Spiti), Al Hilal (Taragarh) and Dharamsala (Kangra), Dalhousie (Chamba) and camps at Kullu-Manali are popular vacation hubs. Camps at Hatu (Shimla) at a height of 10500 ft, makes you want to touch the sky.

Westwards: Gujarat’s Gir has lion safari camps. The Siana camp and safari in Rajasthan is another ideal place for a wildlife camping. Ranthambore National Park has camping provisions at Dev Villas, with the Aravalli backdrop and adjacent to 13th century monuments. Rajasthan also has desert camping at Jaisalmer Sam sand dunes, for that unforgettable experience of living amidst the endless expanse of sand. Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary’s has a choice of adventurous camping haunts. Just stay clear of rains for the desert is made of salt deposits and in case it starts to shower, in no time the region (Little Rann of Kutch), turns into a sea of mud.

Baywatch: The beach at Mandavi place by the Arabian Sea, Kutch, is dotted with beach camps. The Beach camps at Goa, however, remains the hot favorite. With Goa beach festival and the New Year bash there is more to tango.

Designer Camps: Karnataka’s Cauvery Fishing Camp, Kabini River Lodge Camps, Kali Wilderness Camp, B.R. Hills Wildlife Adventure Resort have a choice of tiled and colonial styled cottages, thatched log huts and swiss tents, hurricane lamps to illuminate your nights - all designed to give you a luxurious stay close to nature.These and many more camping joints await your arrival. All tenting provisions, a smart naturalist guide, the best of locales, travel tickets, loads of travel tips - all come in the package. Alternatively, you can pick one of Lonely Planet Guides for India, and set off on your own. And trust me, that would team better with your adventurous wildlife camping plans.

Do’s and Don’ts

Nature too has Her rules of hygiene. Please take care that your camping area is left as clean as it was when you arrived. Trying to steal in some wild flora or fauna is a strict ‘No No’. And while camping in the jungles, a check on your decibel level will help keep the ambiance just as it should be - let only the wild voice itself. A camera and binoculars are a must-carry.

Happy and safe journey!


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