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“Village life.”
Review of Skay's Camp

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Skay's Camp
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Village life.”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

I had the privilege to be a guest at this home stay recently.
If you are looking for 5 star, al a carte menu or someone to wait on you hand and foot - this will not be the place for you.
If on the other hand, you are looking for a place that provides good SAFE, wholesome food, great company and a smile at every corner, this is probably more what you are looking for.
Kay and Satyendra work very hard at making sure you feel like you are a guest in their home. Nothing is too much trouble and specific dietary requirements can be easily catered for.
Their place is covered in trees and plants which provide welcome shade in the heat of the afternoon if you don't want to be stuck in the room. The trees and plants encourage lots of birds and smaller creatures (butterflies and other insects) that provide you with the opportunity to occupy your mind whilst your not "out and about". The rooms however do have Air Conditioning if the heat gets too much for you.
The village in which this place is located has a few shops that can provide the basics (Coca-Cola, biscuits, chocolate, souvenirs, etc) but are limited in their offerings. It felt safe to walk around even in the evening.
The rooms have constant power, running water, shower and European facilities. There is plenty of shelf space for putting your gear, windows that open, a desk and chair if you find the need to write in your diary. The beds are quite basic and are a welcome place to rest the weary bones after a day of game drives through Bandhavgarh National Park.
I don't recall having any specific problems with those pesky little critters - mosquito's, which for a person that has a vulnerability in this area was quite welcome. Of course it could have been the time of year.
The reason that I went was for the Tigers.
Both Kay and Satyandra are both extremely knowledgeable in this field and were invaluable on the drives through the park. The sightings that we had were nothing short of extraordinary. Don't kid yourselves, seeing the wildlife is nothing short of a team effort and is very difficult. The Driver, Kay and Satyandra and the official guide all contribute to the guests realising their goals (remember - these are wild animals so nothing can be guaranteed).
If I were asked to recommend a place to stay, this would be my place of choice. Sure, I could have chosen a more impersonal, up market place but the recommendations that I had read resulted in my contacting Satyendra and the rest, as they say, is history. What I wanted was a place that was going to pander to my desire to see wildlife - and to be staying with like minded people that have an appreciation and passion for wildlife.
As an additional note, I would like to add that Satyendra organised my entire Indian experience from the time that I arrived at Jabalpur Airport right through to getting me to the airport in New Delhi. They listened to what I wanted to do, built an itinerary for me that met my needs, organised everything so all I had to do was show up.
I spent 4 days in Kanha National Park - with Satyendra
I spent 6 days in Bandhavgarh National Park - with Satyendra and Kay
I spent 2 days in Agra (including a trip on the train - interesting experience in its own right)
This was all organised by Satyendra and Kay to work seamlessly.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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1 Thank chris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 30 April 2014

Skay's is a home stay run by Satyendra and Kay, a husband and wife team of naturalists with a passion for the flora and fauna (particularly tigers) of India. Having flown from Mumbai to Jabalpur, Satyendra had arranged transport to bring us to Skay's. He also arranged for our transport to Katni for our train journey to Agra at the end of our visit. Skay's is on the doorstep of Tala zone on the Bandhavgarh reserve. Skay's was recommended to me by a photographer friend, who had stayed there two years previously. Two friends and I visited for a week in February 2014 as part of a one month visit to India (see A4DJL review). We were not disappointed. Having arranged the booking several months in advance, Satyendra and Kay were able to get reserve permits for Tala zone for our whole stay. The reserve is currently limited to 20 jeeps per morning or afternoon slot. We had a total of 5 tiger sightings, but there were many other animals to photograph including a leopard on our first day. Five sightings in 11 outings was very good and you need to be prepared to spend time on the reserve if you want tigers. With Kay and Satyendra your chances are maximised. Their combined knowledge of the area is second to none and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to be your guides of choice for any tiger safari.
Skay's camp accommodation is simple but comfortable and chatting with Kay and Satyendra, round the campfire and over wholesome, not spicy, vegetarian meals was a fine part of every day. From a photography perspective there is a great variety of bird life in the garden. If the species is unfamiliar, you only have to ask Kay or Satyendra for instant identification. If you want a break from wildlife photography a short walk into Tala village provides opportunity for travel images of village life. A thoroughly enjoyable trip and one I'd like to repeat some day.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Doug B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holbeach, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 21 April 2014

This was a 2 week stay at SKay's Camp and had been in the planning for over a year with constant contact between myself and Satyendra. Nothing was too much trouble BEFORE I got to the camp. Greeted with food straight away and introductions made all round. Satyendra is a terific raconteur, some very funny stories! Both are very, very genuine with their concern for tigers and the entire ecosystem of the park. Both are also walking encyclopedias of information on the park. Go to Kay for the tigers, there's little she doesn't know about them and Satyendra for the birds. For birds, forget the park!! Just take a quiet wander about the garden. Keep still, and the wildlife will come to you. Very comfortable room, great food and even better conversation at mealtimes. Unfortunately only saw one tiger in 12 drives, but 3 sloth bear encounters, an animal I did not see the last time I came, terrific!! Accompanied on all drives by Satyendra and/or Kay. This was totally unlike my drives in 2012. To be accompanied by 2 such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people is a dream. I may have seen more tigers in 2012, but learned very little about them and where they live. I have far more knowledge now. An oasis in a crazy world, I cannot recommend SKay's Camp enough!!

Room Tip: Ask for the room with solar heated hot water
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Bhalu2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Along with two long-term friends, I fulfilled a life-time ambition to see tigers in the wild by visiting Bandhavgarh National Park for a week in February 2014. Although there were options to stay in high-end lodges, we opted for the Skay's Camp homestay of Satyendra and Kay, based on personal recommendations and tripadvisor reviews. This turned out to be an inspired choice, with the simplicity of the lifestyle coupled with the boundless enthusiasm and knowledge of Satyendra and Kay contributing much to the overall experience. Having one or other of them in the jeep on each of our eleven game drives (five different tiger sightings), followed by lots of stories round the campfire or in the dining hall, made all the difference.
Accommodation and meals were basic but very comfortable, and in many ways, a nice change from the opulence of the 5-Star hotels of Delhi and Bombay. With Ravi the faithful houseboy doing wonders with tea and biscuits at all hours of the day, I can thoroughly recommend Skay's for an authentic experience of real India.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank A4DJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 March 2014

As we remarked in the guestbook, we had a great time off from our vacation in India during our stay at Skays camp in Tala village at Bandhavgarh. Satyendra and Kay really make an effort to ensure that your stay here is perfect, and it was. The rooms are comfortable, the atmosphere very relaxed. Both are really knowledgeable about the National Park (even more than the guides!) and that makes every trip in the park a good one (we were joined by Satyendra and Kay).
Lisa was very thankful for the great meals we had at Skays, because she doesn't like spicy/hot food and there was always an option that was not spicy. Further plus was that there were always a lot of vegetables (most from their own garden).
Absolute highlight of the trip was our tiger sighting on the first trip of which Kay made a great picture for bragging back home.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ErikenLisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

Travel in India is full of magical moments and overwhelming experiences, but it also takes a heavy toll on you. Skay's Camp is a pleasant, little oasis for recharging your batteries in beautiful, quiet surroundings. The place has an air of authenticity and unpretentiousness and is run by two competent, generous and knowledgable people, who care and have chosen to make a difference.

People come for the tiger, of course, and you could not stay at a better place. I spent 3 nights last November, went on 3 park drives accompanied by Kay and left again loaded with facts of the local fauna and flora in general - and tigers in particular. I saw only one lying down somewhere in the distance, but it really did not matter much. I just loved driving around, on the alert, all senses working. Hopefully, there will be a next time.

Everything was well organized, the food delicious, and I slept like a baby all through the night with my feet on the hot-water-bottle. Very recommendable.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jette01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Skay's Camp is perfect place to stay for its friendliness, hosts knowledge of the National Park and its inhabitants and their traits and habits. We had 7 drives whilst staying at the camp and Kay joined us on every drive to ensure we got the most out of every second with her knowledge of the environment, animals and the way the Park ran. Although the weather wasn't in our favour we were lucky enough to have 2 tiger sightings during our stay. However every drive was a delight, with sightings of all sorts or birds and mammals and we saw the park in rain, sun, fog and everything in between !
The accommodation is basic but everything you need including hot water bottles provided every night ! The real plus of the camp is Kay and Satyendra' s love of hosting, they joined us for every meal and by the camp fire every evening to mull over the days sightings and discuss a full range of subjects.
This camp is a real gem !

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Skay's Camp

Property: Skay's Camp
Address: H.NO. 129, P.O. Tala, Bandhavgarh National Park 484661, India
Region: India > Madhya Pradesh > Katni District > Bandhavgarh National Park
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Bandhavgarh National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is a simple home stay type accommodation where you share the jungle experience in a family atmosphere. Skay's Camp is run by Satyendra K Tiwari, Wildlife Photographer and Kathleen Mary Hassall, Wildlife Artist duo. ... more   less 

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