Address– Kameshwarjee Road, Raghunathpura 306126, India
How to get there: It is about 160 km long ride from Udaipur by road.
The name Bagheera has mainly become known because of the popular Indian children story ‘Jungle book’ but Bagheera is actually a South Asian name for Leopards. Bagheera’s camp is a semi-arid wildlife camp homestay. Operated by the community itself, it preserves the flora and fauna of the place that was previously decimated and overgrazed. The place is at the same distance from Udaipur as from Jodhpur and is perfect for travelers wanting to have an authentic Rajasthan cultural, rural and local experience in the wildlife. An eco holiday for lovers of nature experiencing it in the rawest and authentic form but in a safe and healthy way.
Room: Though there were a few luxurious tents (as much luxury as you can get in the total wild) as well, we chose to stay in a room. The suite we were given was lovely but got too hot because of limited A/C. it was okay to handle since we spent most of the time wandering out or in the Verandah anyway. The scenery of Aravalli hills was beautiful. Though the room was pretty basic in facilities, we spent most of our time on safari and exploring outdoors. And it’s not like anyone would visit the place to live in luxury, we went to experience the wild and that we got.
Camp Site: There are no fences or anything by the campsite, just huge granite rocks to protect from harsh winds. There is a playground right near the site and we played volleyball there and walked barefoot on mud, looking at the bamboo plantations. The money that they earn from travelers staying here is used to maintain the Leopard reserve and so you know you’re helping a good cause. It was so refreshing to meet Princess Padmaja and her team who cared so much about the environment. It is asked of the people to be responsible and recycle waste instead of throwing it.
Food and hospitality: The food prepared is all from Ayurvedic ingredients, totally organic and we sat with the cook while it was being cooked, taking in the aroma as well as learning the tricks. The food is completely vegetarian and plentiful and the whole experience of eating under the stars is inexplicably pleasing. Oh, and we had the best cup of tea, ever. The whole staff which mainly consists of local tribesmen and villagers including the cook was very warm and took such good care of us that we didn’t feel like leaving the place. They treated us more like family than paying guests.
What to do there:
There is a Jodhpur Hunting style Camping Safari that led us into the wild. They took us out in jeeps at dusk and we spotted leopards along with a leopardess with two cubs. It was such a magnificent sight. In the short safari that we had, we saw birds, desert fox, and crocodiles as well. Since we were more interested in bird watching, Princess Padmaja, our hostess stayed with us for hours enjoying the view. We were also invited to a local village and saw the special sunrise celebration at a local temple nearby. That had to be the highlight of the whole trip, a real memorable view.
Highlights: The tribal people with their fascinating knowledge and talks, along with their livestock would have to be the highlight of our stay at Bagheera’s. While the wildlife provided the necessary thrill, the bonfire and BBQ sessions gave us peace of mind and relaxation. Moreover, you can’t help but admire Princess Padmaja and her family’s efforts of protecting the place.
The overall experience of us staying at Bagheera’s camp was wonderful. The picturesque views, warm hospitality, fascinating shades of nature have made an unforgettable mark on our mind and it wouldn’t be possible without Bagheera’s camp. The stories we got to hear about the leopards and how the place came to be added to the experience all the more. This place has something for everyone, the thrill for an adventurer, the peace, and inspiration for a writer and the local cuisines that dance on taste buds for the foodie. We recommend it with all our heart. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your bookings to this unexplored gem in Jawai.