Jamtara Wilderness Camp is a RARE lodge in Pench away from the busier gates inundated with tourists. Pench National Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has a unique eco system - undulating topography, varied tree expanse, dense green under cover, varied fauna including aquatic life and avian fauna that sets it apart from other popular parks and hence affords a high ranking on the check list of nature and wildlife lovers.
Located in the Northern part of the National Park well into Madhya Pradesh, the camp stands isolated from all other lodges, in the rural village of Jamtara, giving you an exclusive access to the park via Jamtara gate, just 2 minutes away from the camp. Tracing back to what the British had in mind when they set up lodges in the jungles around the country, Jamtara offers an exclusive space for unwinding while setting you up to expereince the jungles at close proximity.
The essential element of the experience at Jamtara is the generosity of the spirit. The Banyan tree at the entrance sets the tone for one’s stay – with arms spread out it welcomes you to Jamtara and what follows is an experience where the hosts, the staff, the naturalists, the friendly villagers and even nature come together in prefect commune to give you an offering in the jungles that is nothing but a joyous solace.
Enveloped by the buffer zone on one side, rural farm lands on the other, the 5 acres of the camp feels as an extension of the forest dotted by Teak, Arjuna and Kusum trees, criss-crossed by a dried river-bed, with only birdsong and insect chatter punctuating the stillness of the day; few settings can be as enchanting as this.
Artistically and Intelligently designed, the promoters live up to their conservation-pedigree and maintain a careful balance between sensitivity to nature and an archetypical luxury jungle camp experience. The camp has cleverly divided itself into 3 main areas with all the common areas for guests ( lounge, library, swimming pool and dining) lying just at the entrance to the north of the camp, the main service area, staff quarters and organic kitchen garden in the south and the tents find space in the west side along the buffer zone and dried river beds
Each of the 12 African safari styled tents occupy a private quiet thicket with patios that are large enough to allow one to stretch for an afternoon snooze or look out for birds. Tents are rather large and extremely comfortable with a choice of king sized beds or Hollywood twins, a writing desk, a two seater couch, ample charging points, impressive lighting and many small thoughtful details like books, torches, bottled water etc. just serve to enhance the camp experience.
The décor is simple yet strikingly stylish (this is quintessential A V Singh design, he is the creative partner in this project), an interesting mix of elements and various stories around the sourced furniture come together to give the tents a RARE character – where else would you hear of a room being made up by weathered wooden flooring sourced from a ship recycling yard in Gujarat and writing tables that once sat in the offices of the Supreme Court of India.
The Star Bed is a concept borrowed from Africa and is a romantic stay under the stars in the wild as much as an opportunity for star gazing and sighting wildlife and nocturnal birds. Set on stilts, away from the camp, this machan located on the farmland adjoining the bufferzone area is a fairly comfortable accommodation with double duvets, hot water bottles, basic washroom facilities on the ground level and an attendant on call. Highly recommended for die-hard nature lovers and lovers of the wild.
As you board off the transport your curiosity is piqued as you walk through a very Indiana Jones jungle setting - kachcha roads, a timber bridge over a dried river bed, past an ancient banyan tree; till you are greeted by warm and friendly camp staff with a welcome drink and cold towels and you instantly know that the Jamtara jungle adventure will have a fair share of pampering.
The food experience at Jamtara is superlative. The menu is an interesting mix of recipes both from traditional and modern Indian kitchens, so expect breakfasts that serve eggs to order ( very recommended, near perfect Julia Child quality scrambled eggs), sausages, marmite, grilled tomatoes with an addition of a local nashta / breakfast thrown in. Main meals are mostly Indian and leaning towards vegetarian since the kitchen is committed to mostly using fresh and locally sourced produce.
Every RARE Lodge is conceptualized by conservationists who continue to actively participate in the jungles and lay great importance on a comprehensive jungle experience, giving guests new perspective / eyes to view the jungle and its landscape. Jamtara is founded on the same belief system and the lodge’s star naturalists have the unique ability to rub off their enthusiasm and passion for the jungles and nature on to the guests. Naturalists are encouraged to spend time with guests sharing stories and experiences and understand their interest and inclinations to plan the next safari route, jungle or nature walk and village activities.
This dry deciduous forest is one of the most visually fascinating of the central India forests, unlike Kanha and Bandhavgarh where the forest is thicker and more dense, Pench allows a visibility, depth and an open habitat that is more involving. Declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1992 the National Park gets its name from the Pench river that flows from North to South literally dividing the park into two also allowing the safaris from Jamtara gate an exclusive drive in its part of the park.
Ecologically, the forest is teak dominated but supports other assorted species many of which are evergreen. A favourite of many is the Indian Ghost tree or the Kullu Gum as is locally known, this tree has a papery bark and glows under the moonlight adding a very dramatic dimension to the forests. Pench is known mainly for the leopards and wild dogs also supports a healthy population of dholes, civet, tigers, sloth bears, sambars, wild boars, nelgai, langur, macaque and other carnivore and herbivorous fauna along with a variety of birds.
We only stayed two nights at the camp 23 April to 27 April 2019, not long enough. The luxury spacious tents had hardwood floors with your own terrace overlooking a dried up river bed. Everything...
Amazing tented rooms, quite colonial feel, very comfortable with spacious balconies overlooking forest. Neil and his team were amazing, beautiful food, great drinks under to the banyan tree and...
We stayed at Jamtara as part of a three stop stay in India. Pench reserve was recommended to us by our agent Imagine Asia as only a limited number of vehicles are allowed to enter the reserve at one...
Nearest Airport : Nagpur- 130 km
Nearest Railway Station : Chindwara - 35 Km
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