We stayed at Diphlu River Lodge for 4 nights in February. The lodge consists of one luxury tent, 8 private bungalows, and 6 semi-private bungalows. It is located right off the main highway so it is not as secluded and quiet as we expected; lots of horns honking at all hours; we wore ear plugs at night. You are warmly greeted every time you arrive at the lodge by staff with warm towels and a cold drink. There is a central courtyard consisting of rice plots and a lotus pond dissected by a pretty bamboo bridge.
The bungalow was private and spacious with double glass doors and a balcony overlooking the river. The bathroom consisted of a single vanity, shower stall and toilet. It definitely is due for an upgrade; the shower drain was disgusting, there was mold in the shower tiles and around the base of the toilet, and water damage on the walls where paint was bubbling off. As a result, the whole place had a strong mildew smell which was easily remedied by scented candles that we brought. The hot water tank is very small so 2 people can’t have hot showers without about 30 min. in between. The room also didn’t have a safe so I chose to wear my money belt during the stay.
The dining room and lounge are very nice and spotless. All meals were served buffet style which was perfect for my picky palate. There was a great selection of tasty Assamese and international cuisine. My only critique here is that the restaurant was always late opening which was a challenge at breakfast since they only allow you 30 min. to eat and start your game drive. One lunchtime during our stay, 2 van loads of tourists descended upon the lodge to have lunch. Apparently, the lodge also owns a river boat so this is an excursion for them. I found it intrusive; disrupting the quiet and relaxed nature of the lodge.
There were 2 game drives per day; morning from 7:30-12:00 and afternoon from 2:30-5:45. The vehicles are very old, dirty and small. However, I should say that all of the vehicles that we say at the park were similar. Our driver spoke no english and our naturalist’s english was broken. The roads within the park are extremely bumpy making it more comfortable to stand at times. There is an abundance of wildlife that can easily be seen within the park; elephants, rhinos, water buffalo, deer, otters, hogs, many beautiful birds, and even gibbons. Unfortunately, our naturalist was very focused on tiger sightings which we had already seen at another park. We spent a lot of time at watch towers with very little to see while he looked for signs of tigers. He didn’t even really show us anything or talk to us while we were there. We often drove past wildlife that we wanted to stop and look at because so much time was wasted tracking tigers. We tried to give subtle hints that we were bored like staying in the vehicle while the naturalist spent time at the watchtower but he didn’t get the hint. It was frustrating watching other vehicles come and go while we stayed bored. Finally on our last day we told him that we wanted to go to the village instead of doing another game drive and we had a great time seeing how the locals live. I should say that our expectations of the driver and naturalist were high because we had just had an outstanding naturalist at Kanha. Overall, we were satisfied because we were able to see almost everything we had hoped to see.
We chose not to participate in the elephant ride at the park after learning that their elephants are captured from the wild; (the elephants at Kanha are retired from the city). They are chained up when not working whereas at Kanha they have freedom at the park and drag a free chain so that the driver can find them. We also witnessed an elephant owner “training” his elephant by repeatedly hitting him over the head with a bamboo club. We were so upset that the naturalist asked the man to stop. We also noticed that the elephant drivers control them with clubs where at Kanha they are controlled by the driver’s feet. We were disappointed that the lodge doesn’t discourage elephant rides because of the cruelty associated with it.
Although there are many areas for improvement, we would recommend staying here. I think that this is the best lodge at Kazaranga from what we saw.
Ask for one of the detached bungalows (#5-8) facing the river.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.