My sister brought the fam (her German husband Heimold and my super cute mixed-breed nephews Andre & Michel) for their annual India sojourn and cooked up an itinerary the likes of which only she is capable! London – Mumbai, Mumbai – Varanasi, Varanasi – Allahabad, Allahabad – Lucknow, Lucknow – Goa, Goa – Mumbai, Mumbai – Nagpur, Nagpur – Mumbai, Mumbai – London!!! (Don’t ask, she’s my OCD x 100,000 and I love her!)
So my mom and the hubster Nowshie, joined in for a weekend in Varanasi & Allahabad (yes, yes that blog is coming up next) and convinced them to come with us to the Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge in Tadoba too! This calls for a Snapchat celebration (aka getting in touch with my spirit animal!). #MissMaliniSnaps
I don’t know if you recall, but we visited another property by the same owners a couple years ago called the Treehouse Resort in Jaipur, which was awesome. So this was already looking promising :) As always, I think I’ll leave it to the pictures to do the talking and let you see a few of our favourite things!
But I will say this; I did NOT go in expecting to see FIVE wild tigers, in the flesh, and have the most incredible (and somewhat chilling) tiger sighting experience of my life. So if you do love those tigers and luxury accommodation in the great outdoors, then I’d highly recommend a visit to BFSL! #heykittykittykitty xoxo
Spread over 1,773 Sq. km., Tadoba-Andhari is the largest tiger reserve in Maharashtra. The Bamboo Safari Lodge is located on the edge of a lake about 90 minutes away from Nagpur airport…
The lodge boasts of 19 beautifully crafted villas, with gorgeous (and eco-friendly) architecture and indoor & outdoor showers, #alreadywinning (plus they left us little notes!)
Psst! You know what else is beautiful? Nowshad Rizwanullah‘s Instagram game! Every time we travel, he takes the most aesthetically planned scenic pictures and filters them up several notches – to awesome! Check it out and follow @nrizwanu #FTW!
My nephew Andre’s favourite part :) A sink that looks like a giant sea shell! Who doesn’t love sea shells?
The bathrooms had another treat too! My sis loved all the products by Kama Ayurveda including their conditioner to soften your sun-baked hair and moisturiser that smelt refreshing and was very soothing on the skin.
And how about that outdoor shower? Super refreshing in the blazing heat. Although they do ask that you do not use any soap or chemicals in the outdoor bath for eco reasons. Nice.
Every morning at 5:30am they sent us off with tea and cookies and welcomed us back with cold towels and nimbu paani! Nice touch :)
One of the best parts of any safari I feel is the open top ride. Isn’t it? You feel so “outdoorsy” lol. Plus I like the wind in my face (and tigers on the side, allow me to explain shortly**…!)
From jeeps to scorpios we had it all…
They even give you surgical masks to save you from eating dust on the ride! And this is how I styled my mask… LOL.
On all three of our safari’s we caught the most beautiful sunrise, sunset and scenic views of varying terrain. Some of us enjoyed the whole bouncing out of our seats experience in the back of the Scorpio just as much! (I’m looking at you Andre.)
Once in a while it’s important to take a deep breath and watch a sky like this…
Oh what’s a good Bison spotting without the jokes to match? So every time we saw one cross the street…
Yup. Every. Single. Time.
Now here’s an image that could be anybody’s college field-trip pic, right?! LOL.
Just look at these two… so cute :) every time one of these spotted dear ran by we were like “there goes Bambi!” and the wild boar was either Pumbaa from The Lion King, or something that got eaten at the end of every Asterix and Obelix comic book!
How do you not fall in love with a place that creates moments like these? <3 #FamilyTime
On day 1: We didn’t really know what to expect and were just enjoying the ride, hearing various guides exchanging info on tiger-spottings as we passed them on the roads. When we finally came upon THIS gorgeous creature camouflaged by the woods…
She was apparently waiting for her nearby cubs so was sitting in the green, super attentively, and when one of our two jeeps inched forward making a sound, she LEAPT out and roared like thunder in a split second that stopped my heart. (**Remember I was on HER side of the open top jeep!) She sprang across a little river that was dividing us, but just as quickly leapt back – but not before freezing us all in our tracks. The guides said she was just trying to scare us, not attack. Well then, mission accomplished madame. Tiger 1 : Tourists 0.
Heart attacks aside that was possibly the most incredible wild-life sighting I will have in my life and it’s imprinted on my brain forever now. I just wish one of us had also caught it on tape!
On day 2: We got a pretty long glimpse at another tiger and her two cubs down by the watering hole. It was at quite a distance so most of my pictures look like this! LOL.
On day 3: We had all but given up sighting any more tigers. After all 4 tigers in two days was not a bad track record considering the man to tiger ratio on the planet! But then, just as we were about to “pack up”, this happened!
This female tiger, got up from one shady spot under a tree, got a drink of water and then relocated to another shady spot under another tree. Apparently her usual beat. #Amaze
My mother insisted I put in a special mention about the buffet and hospitality which was seriously well done. And the super friendly staff made every effort to accommodate all our dining requests. Plus if you see this happy face… you know the food is on point!
Here’s everything else you need to know on their website www.bambooforest.in. Deffy check it out!
And this one’s from me, a little pro travel tip! Always take a pack of cards or game along for the ride. Comes in super handy and fun at meal times and it’s a really nice old-school bonding way to hang out with the fam. If you haven’t tried it yet, get Flettered!