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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nameri Eco Camp–The Angling, Birding and Wildlife Den at Nameri National Park

Thirty years back, a group of Anglers discovered the rich bounty in the Jia-Bhoroli river and thus came across the Nameri National Park in Assam. They were so happy with the treasures of this place that they started frequenting this place very often. Shortly after their regular expeditions, they started the Bhoroli Angling Camp, which today, has morphed into Nameri Eco Camp.

The Nameri Eco Camp is situated about 45 kilometres from Tezpur and about 1 kilometre from the banks of the Jia-Bhoroli river. It offers the shortest route into the Nameri National Park. The entire place is set amidst dense green surroundings. In terms of accommodation, they offer the tourist the options of luxury tented cottages, simple tented cottages and dormitories. Food is served at a common dining hall.

In terms of price, the tented accommodation costs about 1,800 rupees per cottage, while the dormitories cost about 250 rupees per head. Breakfast is offered complimentary for those staying at the tented cottages and lunch and dinner are charged at 250 rupees per head. All three meals are served in the buffet style, but the kitchen is open to taking preferences from the guests.

So whether you are an angler, a birdwatcher or a wildlife enthusiast, Nameri Eco Camp offers you the ideal platform to explore Nameri National Park. During my 3 days here, I totally admired their staff, forest guides and forest guards all of whom were extremely cooperative, knowledgeable and supported nature whole-heartedly.

In terms of activities, they offer the services of a rafting team for either birding or Angling on the Jia-Bhoroli river. Rafting trips can be day long or can last just half a day. For full day trips, they provide for camping lunches. If I remember right, full day rafting trips including food costs about 2,500 rupees while half day rafting trips cost about 1,200 rupees. For the rafting trip, the team travels about 25 kilometres upstream by jeep and then travel the same distance downstream on the inflatable raft. A lot of migratory waterfowl can be seen during this trip and if lucky, one can even spot the Royal Benal Tiger and the Elephant on the banks of the river.

In addition to rafting, Nameri Eco Camp arranges for supervised jungle treks in the company of knowledgeable forest guides and armed forest guards. These jungle treks are an adrenalin rush as it allows you to get real close to a wild elephant. These treks are also a great way to spot the rare species of white-winged wood ducks and the great hornbills. In terms of cost, there is a small forest fee for entrance, trekking and for photography. The guide and guard charges are separate, but extremely nominal. You might want to tip the guard and guide depending on your satisfaction. These guys earn very less from the government and hence appreciate any amount of tip.

Further, elephant safaris are also organized, but only when the ground is not wet. While, I was here the elephant safaris were suspended and hence am unable to add details.

My overall experience at Nameri Eco Camp was fantastic. You can just sit outside your tented cottages and do some quality birding from right within the camp. The evening campfire get-together sessions also brings you in touch with like minded souls. I would definitely want to go there again.

If you are interested in visiting Nameri National Park and are looking to book your stay at Nameri Eco Camp, you can contact the office at +91-3714-292644.



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