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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Serai Tiger: Tadoba’s Tented Wildlife Camp

There are not many wildlife resorts at one of India’s lesser known tiger dens, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. In fact, there are only three of them running base on the fringes of this tiger reserve. One of them is run by Maharashtra tourism, while the other two are managed by private players. The last time I was there, I decided to stay at one of these private wildlife resorts and thus ended up at Serai Tiger, a luxury tented camp situated 5 kilometres from the Mohurli gate.

I stayed here for 3 days and had a great time at this tented wildlife camp. The place is ideal if you seek some luxury while not wanting to spend too much for it. A little bit of luxury is required here given the fact that Tadoba faces some of the most extreme weather throughout the year. Summers can be terribly hot at temperatures above 45 degrees, while winters can be bitterly cold. And early morning and late evening wildlife safaris will make you even more vulnerable to this extreme weather.

In such extreme weather, the Serai Tiger, offers 11 great luxury tented accommodation, each with an attached bathroom, an air-conditioner and an air cooler. The tents located slightly above ground level are even fitted with nets to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from entering inside. These tents, which come with 2 beds are large enough to accommodate an extra bed, if required. Backup generators ensure that power supply is available round the clock. These tents, if I remember right, cost about 3,500 rupees per tent and this includes 3 meals for both the occupants in the room.

In addition, there are 2 dormitories that can accommodate 16 people each. This is ideal for large groups, who are on a tighter budget. Food is served in a central dining hall that has a television in it, though I am not much in favour of television while I am on a wildlife trip. But, I am sure a lot of travellers would love to catch up on the latest news n stuff. The food here is homely and the cook can dish out some fancy fare, vegetarian and non-vegetarian both. Breakfast is generally packed to be had during the morning safari. The lunch is between the morning and evening safaris. A cup of hot tea and a plate of biscuits greet you when you are back from your evening safari and then dinner from 8 to 10 pm. In between, one can admire the various photos in the dining halls, read the assorted collection of wildlife books in their library, enjoy the serenity while walking in the garden or climb up the watch towers in an attempt to spot any stray wildlife.

Another thing in favour of the Serai Tiger is its location. It is situated very close to a hillock and its perimeter is frequented quite often by the leopard especially in the late evening hours and the night. And i you are interested in bird life, then the surrounding dam waters offer tremendous opportunity. The service is also quite impressive with each employee ensuring that your trip is great fun.

The resort also helps arrange wildlife safari tours, though might charge a bit more than the jeeps available at the gate. But, they also make up for the extra cost by providing great drivers and forest guides. They also offer pickup services from Nagpur airport and back through their tie-up with local travel operators. Bonfires are arranged upon request and on a full house, tribal dances are arranged, though I did not get a chance to see the tribal dance.

I would definitely recommend Serai Tiger if you wish to indulge in some luxury while on a wildlife trip to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. It may be a bit pricey, but it is totally worth it especially in the summers, when a little bit of luxury is needed and its location offers much more than other properties.

To book, you can lookup their website www.seraitiger.com, reach them out on their email id: seraityger@gmail.com or call them on their phone numbers: +91 – 9552224149, 9373663219, 9868920498, 9810062078, 9665053505, 9910069567.

Nearest airport: Nagpur at 135 kms from the camp, roughly a 3 hours drive.
Nearest railway station: Chandrapur at 30 kms from the camp, roughly 50 minutes away.



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