Within weeks of its opening &Beyond Banjaar Tola Kanha Tented Camp, the fourth in &Beyond and Taj Hotels’ circuit of luxury jungle lodges in India, has not only delighted guests with incredible wildlife sightings, but been named as one of National Geographic Adventure magazine’s Top 50 Ecolodges in the world.
Set on the forested banks of the Banjaar River, overlooking the core area of Kanha National Park, Banjaar Tola offers the only tented experience on &Beyond’s tiger circuit in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Two intimate camps of just 9 lightweight tented suites each are spread out either along the riverbank or in lovely sal forests. The tented camps are carefully constructed for low impact on this sensitive riverine environment and Banjaar Tola is a worthy recipient of the prestigious ecolodge award.
Contemporary canvas walls and roofs, and immense glass doors create an atmosphere that is light, ethereal and organic. Guests can admire lovely river views from the privacy of their deck and enjoy mouth watering private dinners infused with the fragrant spices of India.
The obvious attraction of visiting Kanha National Park, one of India’s largest, is the excellent game viewing. In 1973, Project Tiger was launched to save the tiger and Kanha was one of nine reserves selected for this undertaking. It is prime tiger country and &Beyond’s guests have been thrilled with regular sightings. During summer these magnificent animals are often seen cooling off in natural pools or rivers in the heat of the day.
The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha shelter a significant population of other rare species such as leopard, tiger, sloth bear, the highly endangered hardground barasingha and Indian wild dog (dhole), and the more commonly sighted species such as the three-striped palm squirrel, langur, jackal, nilgai barking deer and wild pig. Keen birders will also delight in the over 200 recorded bird species.
&Beyond’s Group Conservation Manager, Les Carlisle, who recently returned from a visit in May to Kanha, says, “The game viewing is just amazing – we saw tigers, wild dog and leopard in one day.”
Guests visiting &Beyond Banjaar Tola can fly from Delhi to Jabalpur, followed by a five-hour chauffeured journey by road to the camp. Alternatively, guests can fly from Mumbai to Nagpur, followed by a five-hour chauffeured journey by road.