Just 7 tents in the middle of nowhere (or rather in the middle of a dense forest), fully equipped with european style toilets ... my wife & I had an interesting stay here for 3 days.
This place is run by the forest department: If you need anything, you have to ask the forest officials which frankly felt very weird. It was odd asking men in uniform who are doing a tough job conserving nature to take care of our basic needs.
The bad: They charged us weekend rates though we went on weekdays (even though we had confirmed the rates just 2 days before arrival).
In many famous national parks / sanctuaries in India like the Kabini River Lodge / Ranthambore National Park etc., there is a lot of infrastructure in place for the serious wildlife enthusiast. Like jeep safaris with competent drivers / guides etc. If you expect any of it here, you will be disappointed. You are not allowed to take your own vehicle in the sanctuary. The forest department takes you there in a Minibus which accommodates 20 people (and the chances are that the other people will not be serious at all and will be picnickers who are noisy and will have little regard or respect for the natural beauty around them). The bus driver did not stop when we saw any birds as he was in a rush.
The good: The most amazing experience is the sounds of the forest. It's so quiet: the mornings start with the extremely sweet singing of the Malabar Whistling Thrush ... the evenings full of insect sounds.
A bird-watching walk with our guide Shanmugham was especially rewarding with us sighting many rare species of birds and insects including the largest butterfly found in India - the Southern Birdwing.
While returning in the late evening from the Tribal Dance (which was completely avoidable), the safari in flashlight was a very interesting experience. On the 1 hour drive back to the tents, the guide along with the driver uses a powerful flashlight to find wild animals around.
The food here was quite tasty & the service was good.
Tip: There is no transportation from here to your next destination. You have to either keep your vehicle here ... or book a vehicle in advance to come & pick you up. Coordinating with them would be a problem as there are no phones here and unless your phone has a BSNL network, it won't work either. The forest officer on duty there was kind enough to lend us his cell so we could call for a taxi to pick us up.
Overall, a nice stay. Definitely recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The tented homes at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve are the best available tented facilities than any other place it offers endless thrilling experince in the wild. The tented home package will provide a full experience of nature, wilderness and other facilities inclusive of home made south indian dishes.Programme Day 11.00 pm : Check - in1.30 pm : Lunch2.30 pm : Introduction & Orientation Centre3.15 pm : Kannimara Safari4.45 pm : Tea 5.00 pm : Bamboo Rafting5.45 pm : Tribal Symphony6.15 pm : Parambikulam Dusk Ride7.00 pm : Break8.30 pm : Supper Day 2 :6.00 am : Wake up call, Tea/coffee6.30 am : Bird watching and Trekking (Kariyanshola Trail)9.30 am : Break fast10.30 pm : Interpretation Centre12 Noon : Check out ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tented Niche Kerala, India - Palakkad