Nestled in the heart of reclaimed woodland, Chambal Safari Lodge is an oasis of tranquility, seemingly far removed from the throng of the Taj Mahal, yet merely an hour's drive away. A warm and welcoming haven for the eager explorer and weary traveller alike, the lodge is well situated for wildlife lovers and offers a number of safaris and excursions. In the evenings, guests can unwind in the secluded grounds, enjoy the warmth of the camp-fire and home-cooked buffet meals sourced from the surrounding farmland.
Nature is the main attraction for many visitors to the richly diverse Chambal Valley, and this is reflected in the number and variety of safaris on offer. River Safaris showcase the local birdlife and regularly encounter crocodiles and turtles - with occasional glimpses of Gangetic river dolphins! Those preferring drier journeys can trek the trails of the Chambal Ravines by camel - on the Camel Safari - exploring the breathtaking citadel of Ater. Residents may also embark on different Jeep Safaris, taking in local nature reserves home to wetland birds like the Sarus Crane or even seeking out Blackbuck deer.
Local culture is not overlooked, however, and the village of Jarar is a short walk away and largely untouched by tourism. We particularly enjoyed a visit to the Bateshwar temples, whose ghats evoked memories of Varanasi. Between October and November the temples spring to life when hosting the annual animal fair, a colourful pageant of rural India.
There are 13 rooms and cottages within the lodge's grounds and the convivial atmosphere makes it a refreshing place to relax: whether escaping the heat in an air-conditioned room, or discussing sightings over a drink in the library with the resident naturalist - this family-run establishment is a wonderful escape.