Jawai is a luxury tented camp in rural Rajasthan where the way of life continues much as it has for generations, with nomadic herdsmen in the hills, cultivated fields, expansive grasslands, and the occasional glimpse of one of the leopards after which the camp is named.
All this makes Jawai Leopard Camp a perfect place to rest after busy sightseeing in the state's famous cities. It's just a 3 hour drive from both Jodhpur and Udaipur, so is easily accessed. It is also a good base from which to explore the beautiful Jain temples at Ranakpur and the rambling Kumbalgarh Fort. This is prime walking territory, whether you want a leisurely stroll or a more energetic hike, and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to take a walk with one of the local Rabari herdsman, to gain some insights into life here. The highlight for many, though, will be the chance to spot leopards on a 4x4 jeep ride with a naturalist and driver-tracker. Although not guaranteed the chances are very high and you should have your camera at the ready!
The stylish tents have cream coloured canvas walls and ceilings, modern art deco-style furniture and large private decks where you can take in panoramic views of the pastoral scenery. The royal suite is exceptional;ly spacious and has its own sundeck and pool.
The lounge tent is spacious, light and airy where an eclectic mix of artefacts adds character. Meals are eaten in the dining tent or outside in specially selected locations, enabling you to experience different aspects of this charming, rural location. If you have any tired or aching muscles you should take yourself to the SUJAN Spa where you'll have a broad range of therapies to choose between, leaving you refreshed and relaxed.
Open: Jawai Leopard Camp is open from September to the end of April. The camp first opened to guests in December 2013.
Location: The camp is set in the heart of the countryside in western Rajasthan, surrounded by granite hills, caves and rocky outcrops. It is the only property in the vicinity. The camp is roughly halfway between Udaipur and Jodhpur and can be easily reached by car from either city in about 3 hours. The nearest train station, Jawai Bandh, is a 20-minute drive from the camp.
Rooms: There are 9 large and well-furnished guest tents including 1 larger royal suite. All have modern bathrooms with powerful showers, and private decks with comfy chairs. They are kept cool by air conditioning in hot weather and warmed by heating in cooler months. The furniture has been specially made for the suites and has a sleek, Bauhaus look. Decoration includes eye-catching back and white prints of leopards. The royal suite provides double the space and has its own outside deck and heated pool and comes with a butler, a private jeep and driver.
Activities: As the name of the camp suggests, one of the main activities is leopard spotting. Drives in 4x4 jeeps with a guide and driver-tracker give you a good chance (75%) of seeing these big cats which are frequently sighted in the area. You might also see Indian wolf, antelope and sloth bear. Drives take place in the early morning and again in the late afternoon, and the vehicle is covered to shade you from the sun. This is a good location for bird watchers, with abundant birdlife on Jawai Bandh reservoir, including large numbers of flamingos, geese and cranes. You also have the chance to go on a walk with one of the local Rabari herdsmen, with their distinctive white robes and crimson turbans, to folow a guide on a hike in the hills and to explore independently by mountain bike. Special bird watching walks can be arranged, and yo can visit local villages. You cn take a ride a vintage jeep to watch the sunset. These activities are complimented by bush breakfasts and picnics. Trips to the nearby temples of Ranakpur and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kumbalgarh Fort can be organised. Yoga sessions and cookery classes are available.
Facilities: There is a choice of sitting areas around the camp, indoors and out, including a spacious lounge tent. In the evening the camp fire is lit and guests gather to share thoughts and stories over pre-dinner drinks, and later to stargaze. You can browse through books in the library and indulge in your chosen treatment in the SUJAN spa. Outside there is a deck and an infinity pool. Boutique selling high quality garments. The camp provides a free laundry service.
Dining: Meals can be eaten in the dining tent or at individual tables in the location of your choice. Many of the ingredients are grown in the organic garden. Dishes include Indian and international cuisine. Soft drinks, beer and house wine accompany meals and are included in the rates.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome, though there are age limits on certain activities.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access.
Notes: Jawai is a member of the Relais & Chateaux group.