Jamtara Wilderness Camp
Jamtara Wilderness Camp, Pench, M.P, India
An exclusive luxury tented camp in the wild.
Jamtara Wilderness Camp

Jamtara Wilderness Camp is a RARE wildlife lodge in Pench, away from the busier gates generally inundated with tourists, thanks to the uncheked proliferation of lodges. Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has a unique ecosystem – undulating topography, varied tree expanse, dense green undercover, varied fauna including aquatic life, and avian fauna. It is no wonder then that Pench is set apart from other popular parks and features high on the checklist of nature and wildlife lovers.

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 safaris from Jamtara gate as exclusive drives into the national park that has fewer vehicles out on safari. Ecologically, the forest is teak-dominated but supports other assorted species many of which are evergreen. A favorite of many is the Indian Ghost tree or the Kullu gum tree as it is locally known. This tree has a papery bark and glows under the moonlight adding a dramatic dimension to forest drives. Pench is known mainly for leopards and wild dogs and also supports a healthy population of tigers. Drives in the park are exciting as there is plenty to view – dholes, civets, sloth bears, sambars, wild boars, nilghai, langur, gaurs and several other carnivores and herbivores along with healthy species list of  birds.

Perfectly Rare

Beginning with the large, open grasslands handed back to nature where local grasses and indigenous trees flourish to the small number of tented accommodation to deliberately choosing a location far away from the ‘popular’ location, Jamtara Wilderness Camp has been designed thoughtfully...

Know Your Host

Amit Sankhala has been born into the idea of conservation being the grandson of Kailash Sankhala, the man who fashioned Project Tiger, no less! His father, Pradeep Sankhala successfully developed Kanha and Bandhavgarh Jungles Lodges. Camp manager Kriti Patil is the in-house multitasker and manages...

Located in the Northern part of Pench National Park well into Madhya Pradesh, the camp stands isolated from all other lodges set close to Jamtara village, giving you exclusive access to the park via Jamtara gate, a two minute drive from the camp. Designed around the specifics of typical lodge in the wild akin to the lodges built by the Biritsh in the jungles around the country, Jamtara offers an exclusive experience of the jungles in close proximity. A generous Banyan tree at the entrance sets the tone for one’s stay here – as if arms outstretched to welcome you to Jamtara. You enter a world where the hosts, the team including the naturalists, neighbouring villagers, and often nature comes together in perfect harmony for an exploration of the jungles.

Enveloped by the buffer forests on one side, farmlands on the other, the 10 acres of the camp are an extension of the forest dotted with Teak, Arjuna and Kusum trees, crisscrossed by a dry river-bed, birdsong and insect chatter punctuating the stillness of the day. Arty and desgined keeping wildlife and nature in perspective, and staying true to their conservation pedigree, the owners have maintained a careful balance between sensitivity to nature and the experience of a luxury jungle camp. Exclusive for guests is the central lodge which houses the lounge, library, swimming pool, and dining which comes up ahead shortly as you enter; while quite discreet to the side is the main service area, staff quarters, and organic kitchen garden while the tents find space amidst the generous grasslands close to the treeline buffer forest and dried river bed.

The décor is simple yet stylish with striking colors of ochre, pink, green and turquoise over cushions and beds (quintessential A V Singh design, the creative partner in this project) – an interesting mix of elements, stories around furniture, floors and fixtures; and sourcing them come together to tint the tents with a RARE character. Where else would you hear of living spaces designed with weathered wooden flooring sourced from a ship recycling yard in Gujarat and writing tables that once served in the hallowed offices of the Supreme Court of India?

As you board off the transport, you walk through a natural jungle setting – dirt roads, a timber bridge over the dry river bed, past the ancient banyan tree, till you are greeted by the warm and friendly camp staff with a chilled leomonade and cold towels; you instantly know that the Jamtara jungle adventure is not without some signature indulgences. 

Each of the 10 African safari-styled tents raised over a platform, occupies a private thicket with patios that are large enough to allow one to stretch out for an afternoon snooze, read a book or lookout for birds. Tents are large and comfortable with a choice of king-sized beds or twins, a writing desk, a two-seater couch, ample charging points, subtle lighting and small, thoughtful details like colouring books, crayons, torches, bottled water, etc.just assure you that just about everything has been thought about for your comfort.

The Star Bed is a concept inspired from Amit's travels in Africa put to use in the Indian context as a unique conservation opportunity. The proceeds from the overnight use of the star beds go to the farmer who owns the land, constantly ravaged by wild boars. Keeping it wild and true to the jungle is one of the foremost responsibilities of a conservation-based lodge. Hence the star bed is also a unique romantic stay under the stars in the wild, an opportunity for star gazing and to view the nocturnal movements of wild animals and birds. Away from the camp, set high on stilts, this 'machan' located on the farmland adjoining the buffer forest is a fairly comfortable night stay in a four poster bed with gossamer insect protection, double duvets and hot water bottles. Washroom facilities are at the ground level and an attendant is on call closeby. Highly recommended for die-hard nature lovers and lovers of the wild. 


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 (highly recommended, near-perfect Masterchef quality scrambled eggs), sausages, marmite, grilled tomatoes, hash brown with a couple of local nashta (breakfast) items thrown in. Main meals are mostly Indian and leaning towards vegetarian since the kitchen is committed to using fresh and locally sourced produce.

Take scheduled safaris in 4X4 through the Karmajhiri or Jamtara gates accompanied by Jamtara’s inhouse  naturalists, knowledgebale and excited to share the forests that they know intimately. Highly recommended is exploring the natural world on a nature walk around the camp. An overnight stay on the Star Bed is a ‘must-do'. This dry deciduous forest is visually fascinating, unlike Kanha and Bandhavgarh where the forest is thicker and denser, Pench allows visibility, depth, and an open habitat that is more engaging.

The Star Bed is an opportunity for guests to have a unique experience that the villagers have on a daily basis, where they sleep on beds on a raised platform to keep an eye on animals eating their crops. The forest takes on a life of its own under the night sky. Sleep in the fields with the stars overhead and witness  the live orchestra of crickets, owls, frogs, jackals, ceremoniously punctuated by alarm calls of the spotted deer, making you aware of the predator’s presence. It is wilderness in its purest form.

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 perspectives to view the jungles 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 onto the guests. Naturalists are encouraged to spend time with guests sharing stories and experiences and understand their interests and inclinations to plan the next safari route, jungle or nature walk, and village activities.

Perfect For Couples who love the wilderness, and like the active life of safari-oriented camping. Cycling around exploring villages and life around the buffer zone are other activities for people to explore around. Early morning safaris and afternoon safairs on 4 X 4 are the norm at any wildlife lodge and so it is at Pench except when the park is closed on Wednesday afternoons. For the young and tireless there are many walking trails as well as cycling opportunities to explore the villages and vistas around.

Operational status:  Open from October to April end.

Keeping in mind the location, Jamtara ticks many boxes for responsible tourism. With a legacy of conservation, the camp has always been a passion project and operates with a gentle touch.

No Single-Use Plastic: All forms of plastic are discouraged. Guests are given their own personal refillable bottles to carry on safaris and use around the camp. There is a water station in the common area where bottles can be refilled. Bathroom amenities come in refillable dispensers.

Water Conservation: Careful use of water resources is adopted.

Safe Garbage Disposal: Segregation, recycling, and safe disposal measures are in place. There is emphasis on ensuring minimal waste is created, especially as there is a stream nearby that is accessed by wildlife.

Energy Efficiency: The Camp is working toward being completely solar-powered. Being close to the jungle, the lighting is intentionally kept low and turned off where not needed once guests retire for the night.

Nature and Biological Diversity Conservation: Before the settlement of the farmers in this part of India, the land was part of a continuous jungle, which is now the core and the buffer. Jamtara aims to reclaim the eighty acres of farmland and make it a part of the forest once again. Once the land is left untouched, it will organically reinstate itself as a forest, with wildlife thriving in it. The villagers can be made guardians of their own lands, where various models of tourism, like the Star Bed concept, can be set up for unique and authentic wildlife experiences.

Local Community Engagement: When Jamtara first began, the local communities did not know what tourism was. However, with consistent training, the lodge is almost fully run by the locals today. The interaction with the community is also with the village schools and in times of celebrations and problems. Support is extended by helping villagers rise above the man-animal conflict with the objective of empowering them to protect wildlife. The safaris inside the national parks serve as an ongoing patrol against poachers and give local guides and employees an incentive to not become poachers as well.

Jamtara is involved with two local schools and has helped supply clean water, repair their roofs, contribute books and tables, and participate in their annual functions. There is a small vegetable garden onsite; however, in order to provide an economic benefit to the community, farmers living close are encouraged to grow the vegetables needed by the Lodge.

Light Footprint Tourism: The entire camp has been made with reclaimed wood and furniture, and every piece has a story to tell. The dining table has been made with mango wood; the artistic blue flooring was refurbished from government buildings and schools in Central India; the rooms have 1970s art deco furniture once used by embassies in Delhi; and the wooden flooring has been made from decks of ships due to be scrapped and with items that were once part of the Supreme Court. Common practices, such as no use of single-use plastic, bedsheets only being washed when necessary, etc., are considered a basic requirement to operate a camp. In late summer, the camp is dismantled, with the tents and flooring coming down and everything packed away in the dining hall. This allows nature to take over during the monsoons and recharge the land.

Sensitive Destination Discovery: The choice of location was crucial as Jamtara looked at their impact on the area; thus, adding a camp to countless other hotels was not on the agenda. The motive was clear: create a wilderness experience beyond chasing the tiger, a place for inspiration to bring children and allow them to fall in love with nature, and create a positive impact where there was a contribution to the community around with the overall development of a better future.

Human Touch: The Star Bed concept at Jamtara is an extension of the concept of working with and empowering the local communities to ensure the success of conservation. For generations, villagers have spent nights in their fields on machans, beds made on raised platforms, to keep an eye on animals eating their crops. Guests can avail themselves of this experience firsthand as the jungle takes on a completely different life at night. There is a greater purpose to this experience – a vision to re-establish the corridor and simultaneously support the local community. The camp has hired a liaison officer between the community and the camp, whose job is to educate in the local schools, learn about the day-to-day problems of nearby villagers, understand the medical needs of the village, and coordinate with the local government body, among other things.

No Single Use Plastic Safe Garbage Disposal Water Conservation Nature and Biological Diversity Conservation Local Community Engagement Light  Footprint Tourism Sensitive Destination Discovery Heritage Preservation The Human Touch
Explore Jamtara’s village – remote, rural and real to be transported back in time, where the village folk live simply; cycle, walk or ride bullock carts, electronics and machines are still a few decades away. The villagers here largely subsist on farming, grow corn, and make jaggery in the traditional way – curious vistas that offer an insight to rural India and are stunning frames for photography.
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Reviews and Location
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Luxury, wildlife, and friendliness.
by Compass08633730496 on 06/15/2024

What immediately stands out about Jamtara is its fantastic location. There is no distinguishing between the jungle and the lodge itself, which is exactly what you want when staying at a JUNGLE...

Little heaven in Pench
by Carolina F on 05/01/2024

Probably one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed. Food was unbelievable. Staff was so friendly! Guides were really good and knowledgeable! Rooms and details are unique! I fall in love with every...

We felt a little like royalty!
by AnnieBird2 on 04/29/2024

We stayed at the start of the season and were the only guests there, so we felt rather like the king and queen! We were certainly well cared for by staff and management and enjoyed the delicious and...

Nearest Airport : Nagpur : 130 km
Nearest Railway Station : Chindwara : 35 Km

Cancellation Policy:
  • Due to limited accommodation, a deposit of 130 days of 15% is required to secure a confirmed reservation.
  • Full payment must be received 45 days prior to the guest's arrival.
  • A 50% cancellation fee is applicable if canceled 45 days (or less) prior to arrival. A 100% cancellation fee is applicable if canceled 15 days (or less) prior to arrival.
  • Any increase in government taxes GST etc, or fees (liable to change without notice) will be included at the time of billing as actual.
  • Children under 6 years of age are free, Above 6 years of age our extra bed policy applies.
  • Wednesday afternoon Park is closed, on Diwali and HOLI festivals, Park is closed for the full day.
Terms & Conditions:
  • We do not allow Jungle Safaris from outside providers.
  • Wednesday afternoon Park is closed. Diwali and HOLI Park are closed full day.
  • Any increase in government taxes GST etc, or fees (liable to change without notice) will be included at the
  • Children under 6 years of age are free, Above 6 years of age our extra bed policy applies
  • If there are two children above 6 years of age (under 12 years) one extra bed will apply, one child will be charged at 50% of the extra bed rate for meals
  • In case there are two children above 12 years of age an extra tent will have to be taken.