Shergarh is the creation of naturalist Jehan Bhujwala and English wife Katie. It is a very exclusive camp, situated at the southern edge of Kanha National Park, close to Mukki gate. This region of Kanha is less busy than the main gate and Indian wildlife viewing can therefore be more rewarding in a quieter environment with just as much to see. The guides at Shergarh provide you with a highly personalised and specialised tiger safari.
Both Jehan and Katie are very environmentally aware and there is a strong emphasis on this in the way the camp is run. It is a delightful, small, intimate place and is everything that you would expect a dedicated wildlife camp to be. Everyone eats together in the main dining room or in the gardens, discussing the day's activities in the jungle. The atmosphere is one of calm and peace and it attracts committed wildlife gurus.
Accommodation comprises 6 cosy tents, with a mix of twins and doubles with space for an extra bed. They are well spread out in a small wooded area and each is very private. They have a front veranda with a cushioned deck and each has an attached bathroom with plenty of piping hot water for showers. The tents have locally-made baked mud tiles on the roof which help maintain a pleasant climate in both warm and cool months. Each tent has an air cooler and electricity (with generator back-up) for the warmer months and a heater and hot water bottle are provided in winter - it makes going to bed a very cosy experience!
As well as safaris you have opportunities to go for walks in the forest down to the Banjaar River, led by a guide from the lodge. Here you can watch for birds, butterflies and dragonflies and spend time soaking up the tranquil atmosphere. The walk can be extended further to areas where wild dog and even the occasional tiger has been seen. The lodge has bicycles and staff have created a map you can use to help you explore the countryside, travelling along lanes past rice fields and to local villages.
Open: Shergarh is open from 15th October to 15th May each year.
Location: The lodge is in woodland overlooking a lake adjoining Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve. The Mukki entrance gate to the park is 4kms from the lodge, just a 5-minute drive. The nearest airports are at Jabalpur, 180 kms and a 4-hour drive, Raipur, 200 kms and a 4.5-hour drive, and Nagpur, 260 kms and a 5.5-hour drive.
Rooms: There are 6 sturdy canvas walk-in tents, with a roomy bedroom, en-suite bathroom with his and hers hand basins, a shower and a separate toilet. Toiletries and hairdryers are provided. There are power points for charging batteries. Each tent has private veranda with a river view. In the colder months (December and January) heaters, thick duvets and hot water bottles are supplied, as are fans in warmer months.
Activities: There are 2 daily open-top jeep safaris. The morning safari lasts around 5 hours and includes breakfast, and the afternoon safari is up to 3 hours, returning to the camp in time for sundowners. There are currently no safaris on Wednesday afternoons. It is possible to arrange full day safaris using a photographer’s special licence, at extra charge. At the lodge you can take a walk in the forest where you should see birds, butterflies and dragonflies, or climb the hill behind the camp for views of the surrounding countryside. The lake is safe for swimming, and there is a small raft children can use. There are bikes, free for guest use, for exploring country lanes using a map prepared by staff at the lodge. Guides are available to take you to local villages and markets.
Facilities: The main house is set by the lake and is where guests congregate at meal and safari times. There's a bar, a library with wildlife booking and works of fiction, and a long, shaded veranda with sofas and coffee tables, and seating by the river. The campfire is lit in the evenings, and guests and hosts gather for drinks and conversation. You can buy local art books and paintings as souvenirs on site. There is a laundry service.
Dining: Breakfast is a generous spread of dishes, lunch tends to be a light meal such as a salad, and dinner is based on traditional Indian cuisine, though international dishes can be prepared if preferred. Dining venues include the main house, the open deck and in the garden, with most meals eaten as a group, providing time for group discussions.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is free WiFi internet access in the main house.
Notes: The lodge accepts cash (Indian Rupees, UK Sterling, US Dollars and Euros), but does not accept debit or credit cards or traveller's cheques.
The owners of Shergarh, Jehan and Katie Bhujwala, are committed nature lovers who have turned what was degraded farmland into a small eco-camp set in regenerated forest and grassland. Local materials and know-how have been incorporated into details like the handmade fired earth tiles that insulate the roofs of the tents, and toiletries made from 100% natural products and stored in reusable glass bottles. The whole camp has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment, and this thoughtful approach is carried through to such details as the energy-friendly water cooler and fans that cool tents in warmer months.
"Tented camp very pleasent. No toiletries or hairdryer. Good to be supplied with mosquito repllent. The hot water bottles were very welcome. Food was excellent and we felt comfortable eating everything, which wasn't the case in some places."