If you have a yearning to stay in a treehouse, Pench Tree Lodge is just the place for you. The 6 timber houses are built on stilts and stand 5 metres off the ground, discreetly screened by the foliage of Mahua trees. They are set well apart, so your privacy is ensured, as you rest within, cooled by air conditioning, and as you enjoy views from your private viewing deck. The treehouses are generously sized, have 4-poster beds draped with mosquito nets, facilities for making hot drinks and large bathrooms with full running water.
The lodge is a short drive from Pench National Park and while here you can take morning and afternoon jeep safaris in search of sambar deer, nilgai, gaur, nilgai, Indian wild dog, leopard and, of course, tiger. You can intersperse safaris with guided walks, village visits and cycling. All this activity is certain to build an appetite and the food at Pench Tree Lodge is of a high standard, using organic produce from the gardens. Dining takes place in the restaurant and outdoors on the terrace.
There is time to rest between activities, surveying the tranquil scene from your treehouse, relaxing on the main deck, enjoying boardgames and cooling off with a dip in the inviting pool. The lodge is particularly attractive after dark when lanterns are used to light the main areas and the pathways that lead back to each treehouse.
Open: Pench Tree Lodge is open from mid-October to June each year.
Location: The lodge is in Sarahiri village about a 20-minute drive from the Karmajhiri Gate of Pench National Park. It is set in 16 hectares of grounds. The nearest airports are Nagpur 150kms away and Jabalpur 190kms away, and the closest railway station is in Nagpur.
Rooms: There are 6 treehouses built on stilts some 5 metres high resting against Mahua trees, reached via a flight of stairs. Each bedroom has glass doors that open on to a private viewing deck. Inside there is a 4-poster bed with a mosquito net, an en-suite bathroom with round-the-clock hot and cold water and a selection of toiletries. All have tea and coffee making facilities, individual climate control and 55 square metres of space.
Activities: Twice daily jeep safaris in Pench National Park on all days except Wednesday when the park is closed. Other activities include guided nature walks, nocturnal walks, watching wildlife from hides and exploring by bike. You can join a guide on a walk or bike ride to and around a local village. You can tour and help maintain the lodge’s organic vegetable garden.
Facilities: The lodge has a restaurant, games room, outdoor swimming pool and terrace.
Dining: Meals can be eaten in the restaurant and also outdoors on the pool terrace. The morning safari includes breakfast, but if you opt to miss this you can have breakfast by the dam if you wish. Many of the vegetables are grown in the lodge’s organic garden. Cakes and biscuits are available before and after safaris.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Age restrictions apply to activities.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is no Wi-Fi internet access and no mobile phone reception.
Notes: Pench Tree Lodge does not accept payment by credit card.
"Everything about this lodge was fabulous. I imagine it will only get better as the grounds develop as you can clearly see it has just been built. The room was spacious and decorated to a high standard. The food was delicious, and plentiful. The location also has the benefit that you get to drive through local villages on the way to the park (seeing daily life). Our naturalist guide (Mahesh (spelling?)) while new to Pench was very experienced as a guide and this told in his approach and as a fellow photographer he understood the importance of being the correct side of an animal."