March 9, 2022: Over the two years that travel played peek-a-boo with the world, the passionately driven team at Jehan Numa Wilderness have been busy creating innovative and exciting ways for guests to experience the beauty of Satpura.
Riding on horseback through the wilderness at the critically acclaimed Reni Pani Jungle Lodge in Satpura, exclusive big cat sightings and the upcoming butterfly eco-system in the more recently opened Bori Safari Lodge or the picturesque boat ride that traverse the forests to connect the two lodges – guests can now explore parts of the Satpura landscape that were not easily accessible before.
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge needs no introduction to the wildlife enthusiast. Stylish, intimate, and luxuriously earthy, the exquisitely designed conservation and wildlife-focused lodge are widely known for its incredible offerings of the Satpura National Park and the pristine nature that surrounds it. A pioneer in responsible tourism in the region, Reni Pani was one of the first to successfully introduce non-motorized safaris on land and water, as well as ‘under the star’ canvas experiences within the park. Besides being eco-friendly, these activities allow a more immersive experience of the forest and all its elements.
Committed to the preservation of the country’s wildlife heritage and involving local communities within the tourism fold by providing them alternate livelihoods, Aly Rashid, Director and CEO of Jehan Numa Wilderness and his team have been instrumental in putting Satpura on the Indian travel map.
Towards this effort, Jehan Numa Wilderness opened the contemporary and rustic Bori Safari Lodge close to two years ago. The 8-roomed lodge is the first-of-its-kind at the lesser-known Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and has already earned a glowing reputation for spectacular sightings of big cats and mammals. A part of the larger Satpura Tiger Reserve and away from the crowds, the sanctuary is a thriving tiger landscape in the region.
Voicing the exclusivity that safaris at the Bori sanctuary offer Aly says, “In most popular wildlife parks in India, there are usually a number of jeeps at a sighting. But at Bori there is exclusivity. The forest here is extremely raw and unexplored. Big-game sightings of leopard, tiger, sloth bear and wild dog are very good, and it is a great place to see classic Central Indian birds like the crested hawk eagle, Malabar pied hornbill, sirkeer malkoha, different species of owls and more. The night safaris are great for leopard and sloth bears as well as to spot some rarely seen nocturnal species like Indian palm civet, small Indian civet, Indian crested porcupine, and jungle cat.”
What’s more, one can even safari between the lodges. Travelling between the lodges is unlike any other. There are no long car drives or boring train rides. The journey between the lodges is either an all-day safari transfer or a serene 2-hour boat ride of beautiful sights of the striking landscape that come with a few sightings of the avian kind. Explaining this further, Aly adds, “Opting for a safari transfer from Reni Pani to Bori Safari or vice versa means driving into Satpura Tiger Reserve through either of the gates for a morning safari, breaking for lunch and some rest at the Forest Rest House in Churna, and driving out of another gate onward to the lodge you are moving to. It can also be done on a two-hour boat ride making for a unique transfer experience for guests.”
With the two lodges, Reni Pani and Bori Safari, travellers can explore the whole range of Satpura experiences.
While Reni Pani features the pristine wilderness of the Satpura forest, including a diverse range of activities with many wildlife spotting of sloth bear, leopard, Malabar giant squirrel etc. the utterly unspoiled Bori Sanctuary is an absolute delight for sighting the big cats and mammals. Both safaris are great for birding with many species that are rare. “We also offer anthropological excursions in the Satpura region up to Pachmarhi for insights into rural living here. Combining the two lodges, Reni Pani and Bori Safari, into a single itinerary will give guests a holistic understanding of the region, enable multiple nature-based experiences and a rare chance to see all of Central India’s icons namely tiger, leopard, sloth bear, Indian wild dog, gaur and Malabar giant squirrel in one landscape”, muses Aly.
Jehan Numa Wilderness’ constant and admirable endeavour to preserve the natural environment in the region. The team is painstakingly creating an eco-system for butterflies in a carefully selected area at Bori Safari Lodge. The Bori Safari team have planted indigenous trees that the caterpillars are currently feeding on and nectar trees for adult butterflies to thrive on. The butterfly ecosystem will be fully developed by October for guests to explore. Satpura Tiger Reserve is home to over 50 species of butterflies – pertinent to the process of pollination much like bees.