We were Indians travelling in a group comprising of 5 couples and 5 kids from Mumbai, India and had the least of expectations when it came to living out in the wild. Elephants are quiet common from where I come and so are the mosquitoes. However, we were in for a surprise at this National Park Lodge.
We had to leave our vehicle and cut across the stream in an ancient boat against the current in a crocodile infested river. Thats when the thrill starts. We realised we should have packed light for the night and only carried a night's requirement. The boatsman was quiet a skilled person who deftly plyed us across the river in an amazing manner. On reaching the other bank, welcome drinks awaited us. A short drive in the open jeep took us to the lodges where elephants were awaiting us.
We were late, so after a quick lunch, we went for the evening Safari, in the jungle mounted on the Elephants.The jungle closed down by 6pm as it got dark quiet quickly and we were delighted to see wild (?) rhinocerous, jackals, deers and some birds which we couldnt identify. We were told that tigers and leopards also strayed nearby once in a while. The kids were thrilled to bits. In the late evening, we got to see a film on the wildlife. Dinner was in batches and the food was ok. We had never stayed in a log cabin before in the jungle and the little cottage alloted to us was quiet cozy, clean and comfy. Lights out at 9pm and we had to do with a kerosene lamp. Any loud noises or light, we were told, would attract nocturnal animals.
We all woke up the next day at 5 am for another elephant safari thorugh the fog laden jungle and saw the same set of animals.
Breakfast was ordinary. Even the adults were quiet charmed by this little jungle experience. We next went on a nature trail in a circular path and the lead man showed us some tiger footprints (haha) and rhino droppings (??). The jungle is quiet dense and we did hear some birds. Somehow the whole setting seemed rigged and not natural, but I aint complaining coz the kids and we simply loved living as one amongst nature. We departed by 11am.
They also have some artifacts on display for sale but I found them too overpriced. We found a lot of westerner tourists in groups. The place is a little overpriced and getting bookings is difficult. We wished we had stayed for more than one night. I would definitely recommend this place, if you are looking for some peace and oneness with mother nature in the plains of the mighty Himalayas. We also know of such similar places in India, but all and all, this was a very different experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chitwan Jungle Lodge is one of the few select hotels operating inside Chitwan National Park, which is a World Heritage Site rich in unique flora and fauna. Come to CJL for an unforgettable jungle experience. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chitwan Jungle Hotel Chitwan National Park