The Kanha Jungle Lodge, tucked off the main road near the Mukki gate entrance to Kanha Reserve and very near the river, is a remarkable family-run lodge, where even the 7 year old son is a knowledgable wildlife guide. The personal warm welcome and constant presence/attention of the family were complemented by the other attentive staff. One day the father drove our jeep round with the son as a 'game spotter' and we learnt an enormous amount more than usual about the reserve and the wildlife. When we left after four days we felt we were leaving friends.
The lush grounds are gorgeous, with a flying squirrel as entertainment every evening and a welcome fire pit on the terrace. The food (buffet lunch and dinner) is quite stunning and varied every day, with cookery classes offered (at least to tour groups), while drinks and nibbles were offered on return from safaris. Some semi-European style dishes were offered to fellow travellers who could not eat spices, but basically this was Indian family/regional cuisine at its best. Packed breakfasts to eat in the Reserve were similarly varied and delicious. Supplies of cold Kingfisher beer were topped up in a shopping expedition to town when they realised we were about to drink them dry.
Beside the outside terrace for lunch and tiffin, the open sided rondavel has casual seating and wildlife books to peruse, a small bar (open 24/24 if you have the energy) and the restaurant area for dinner, as well as both fixed and mobile wood fires.
Accommodation is in a row of simple rooms with twin beds, albeit both small double bed size. The major problem (in a period of unusual severe cold) was lack of heating in the rooms and lack of hot water in the mornings - the water is heated only at lunch time and during the 'cocktail hour' but then runs out again later in the evening. Hot water bottles were put in the beds during dinner (and issued on departure to the reserve early mornings) and were essential. The usual hot towels were issued on return.
The small shop has a wonderful range of ethically sourced and attractive local handicrafts/souvenirs, books and useful fleeces and scarves/pashminas, all at very affordable prices.
All in all, it was an extremely pleasant and memorable - even unique - experience.
I cannot comment on the price since it was part of a package tour.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kanha Jungle Lodge. Access: • Jabalpur Airport (200 Km) • Nagpur Airport (270 Km) • Gondia Railway Station (125 Km) • Bandhavgarh (280 Km)Located at Mukki (in Balaghat District) amidst the Sal forests, the lodge is about one kilometer from Kanha National Park’s Mukki entrance. The Lodge has 18 spacious double–bed rooms and two independent deluxe cottages, overlooking the lush green forest. A spacious thatched dining room serving home cooked Indian food and Continental cuisines, becomes the center point of activities like lectures, star gazing and cookery classes. Kanha Jungle Lodge provides a professional resident naturalist, an extensive library with wildlife books and magazine. Laundry services and recreational activities are also available – Jungle safaris in open 4x4 vehicles, bird watching nature or village walks, elephant baths by the river and visits to the weekly market, village or schools. Tribal dances and bar-be-que dinners around a campfire are some of the surprises in store for you! ... more less
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