Jamtara consists of 12 luxury tents in a secluded glade near Pench National Park. The decor of the lodge harks back to the era of colonial safaris, with polished hardwood floors and hand-crafted wooden furniture.
The tents are spacious, light and airy, with an en-suite bathroom. All have private verandas facing the riverbed where you'll see a variety of wildlife. This is the perfect place to unwind between safaris. The lodge has an outdoor pool and sundeck, too. There's a large central, open-sided room with dining and sitting areas, though many meals are served outside. Sundowners are usually enjoyed around the fire pit by the large banyan tree.
The lodge is just a 2-minute drive from the entrance to Pench National Park, making it an ideal base for wildlife viewing. You can take drives in the park looking out for the many species of deer, jungle cat, leopard and, if lucky, tiger. You'll also have the opportunity to take guided walks in the vicinity of the lodge. The bird life is prolific. Jamtara village is nearby and guides are happy to accompany you on a visit, observing everyday life in a remote, rural community where life is governed by the changing seasons.
One of the features that makes Jamtara Lodge so special is the star beds. These have been set up in selected locations, where, on a high platform you'll find a comfy bed and basic bathroom facilities for your night beneath the stars. It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the bush environment, listening to the sounds of nature around you, safe in the knowledge that your guard is not far away.
Open: Jamtara Lodge is open all year apart from the rainy season, June to September. It first opened at the beginning of 2014.
Location: Jamtara Lodge is on the edge of the village of the same name and within a couple of minutes drive of Pench National Park. It is about a 4-hour drive from both Jabalpur and Nagpur airports. The nearest train station is at Chindwara, a 90-minute drive away.
Rooms: The lodge has 12 tented rooms, set on wooden decks and with canvas walls and roofs. They are surprisingly spacious, with ample room for storage and furniture including full length mirrors and large writing desks. Artwork and local textiles add touches of colour. The en-suite bathrooms are equally light and roomy, with large windows and running water. To the front of each tent is a shaded terrace, with a table and chairs.
Activities: The lodge offers safaris in Pench National Park. As the park is un-fenced the wildlife viewing is equally good around the lodge and you can go for guided nature and bird watching walks here. A visit to the local village, also called Jamtara, is a great way to witness daily life in this remote part of the country and you are always be assured of a warm welcome. The lodge can arrange an overnight stay in a star bed, set up on a high platform, complete with basic bathroom amenities, allowing you to spend a night under the stars. A guard is on hand throughout. This is a popular option and needs to be requested and booked in advance.
Facilities: The main are of the lodge is a large open-sided room with a long dining table, leather sofas and chairs and a selection of reading material. This area leads out to a fire pit by a huge banyan tree, a preferred spot for sundowners. There is plenty of outside space for al fresco meals. The outdoor pool is perfect for a refreshing swim.
Dining: Meals are taken communally. The food is of a consistently high standard and includes regional fare.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome, though there will be age limits on activities.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is no internet access.
"Lovely lodge with excellent food. Star Bed is a must do. We would suggest booking in advance as not much point in using it and then having to get up at 5 a.m. for a game drive. Game drives are fairly full on. 5.45-11.30 in the morning and 2.45-7.00 in the afternoon. Saw tigers twice but both from a distance."