Over the two years that travel has played peekaboo with the world, the team at Jehan Numa Wilderness has been busy creating innovative ways for guests to experience the spectacular nature of Satpura.
Horseback riding through the wilderness at the critically acclaimed Reni Pani Jungle Lodge in Satpura, exclusive sightings of big cats and the next butterfly ecosystem at the newly opened Bori Safari Lodge, or the scenic boat ride which runs through the forests to connect the two lodges – guests can now explore parts of Satpura’s landscape that were not easily accessible before.
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge needs no introduction to wildlife enthusiasts. Sleek, intimate and luxuriously earthy, the exquisitely designed, conservation and wildlife-focused lodge is widely known for the incredible offerings of Satpura National Park and the pristine nature that surrounds it. A pioneer of responsible tourism in the region, Reni Pani was one of the first to successfully introduce non-motorized land and water safaris, as well as ‘under the star’ canvas experiences in the park. In addition to being ecological, these activities allow a more immersive experience of the forest and all its elements.
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Committed to preserving the country’s wildlife heritage and involving local communities in the fold of tourism by providing them with alternative livelihoods, Aly Rashid, Director and CEO of Jehan Numa Wilderness and his team have helped put Satpura on the map of Indian travels.
Towards this effort, Jehan Numa Wilderness opened the contemporary and rustic Bori Safari Lodge nearly two years ago. The 8-bedroom lodge is the first of its kind in the lesser-known Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and has already earned a rave reputation for its spectacular big cat and mammal sightings. Part of the larger Satpura Tiger Reserve and away from the crowds, the sanctuary is a thriving tiger landscape in the region.
Expressing the exclusivity Bori Sanctuary safaris offer, Aly says, “In the most popular game parks in India, there are usually a number of jeeps on a sighting. But at Bori there is exclusivity. The forest here is extremely raw and unexplored. Big game sightings of leopard, tiger, sloth bear and wild dog are very good, and it’s a great place to see classic central Indian birds like the crested eagle, Malabar pied hornbill , the sirkeer malkoha, different species of owls and more. Night game drives are great for leopard and sloth bear as well as spotting rarely seen nocturnal species like the Indian Palm Civet, Lesser Indian Civet, Indian Crested Porcupine and Jungle Cat.
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In addition, one can even go on a safari between the lodges. Traveling between lodges is unlike any other. There are no long car journeys or boring train journeys. The journey between the lodges is either a full-day safari transfer or a serene 2-hour boat ride over magnificent views of the striking landscape, complete with some bird-like sightings. Explaining this in more detail, Aly adds, “Opting for a safari transfer from Reni Pani to Bori Safari or vice versa means driving into Satpura Tiger Reserve through one of the gates for an early morning game drive, a break for lunch and some rest at the Forest Rest House in Churna, and out the other gate to the lodge you are moving to. It can also be done on a two-person boat ride, making it a unique transfer experience for customers.”
With the two lodges, Reni Pani and Bori Safari, travelers can explore the full range of Satpura experiences.
While Reni Pani showcases the pristine wilderness of Satpura Forest, including a diverse range of activities with many sightings of sloth bears, leopards, Malabar giant squirrels, and more, Bori Sanctuary, totally preserved, is an absolute delight for observing big cats and mammals. Both game drives are great for bird watching with many rare species. “We also offer anthropological excursions in the Satpura region to Pachmarhi for a glimpse of rural life here. Combining the two lodges, Reni Pani and Bori Safari, into one itinerary will give guests a holistic understanding of the region, allow for multiple nature-based experiences and a rare chance to see all the icons of Central India, including know the tiger, the leopard, the sloth bear, African wild dog, gaur and Malabar giant squirrel in the same landscape”, thinks Aly.
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A quick note on Jehan Numa Wilderness’s constant and admirable efforts to preserve the natural environment of the region: the team painstakingly creates an ecosystem for the butterflies in a carefully selected area at Bori Safari Lodge. The Bori Safari team planted native trees on which caterpillars currently feed and nectar trees on which adult butterflies can thrive. The butterfly ecosystem will be fully developed by October for guests to explore. Satpura Tiger Reserve is home to over 50 species of butterflies – relevant to the pollination process, just like bees.
Owned and managed by the founding family of Bhopal, the Jehan Numa Hotel Group consists of four distinctive luxury hotels: Jehan Numa Palace and Jehan Numa Retreat in Bhopal, the critically acclaimed Reni Pani Jungle Lodge in Satpura , and the recently launched Bori Safari. Lodge located next to Bori Wildlife Sanctuary. Known for their subtle sophistication and conscious hospitality, the hotels offer guests unique experiences and tastes of this region, which attract the attention of history, culture and wildlife enthusiasts. The group also offers wildlife expeditions in the Himalayan regions of Ladakh and Singalila National Park under its Jehan Numa Expeditions division. Carrying a legacy of working for the well-being of the community and caring for the environment, the Rashid family is dedicated to conservation and sustainability.