Of mangoes and marsh crocs
Serious, hardcore naturalists and trekkers will be thrilled at the line-up of camps that the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has announced this year. These include trips to The Great Himalayan National Park, Gir National Park and Tadoba.
But we have our eyes set on something nearer. Powder-blue skies, colourful flowers, gleaming sunlight and shining under it ripe yellow mangoes! Summer heralds the arrival of mangoes as people willingly shell out their hard-earned money to gobble down this pulpy delight. How about camping at the land of the king of fruits while spotting crocodiles? For us it spells F-U-N! BNHS’ Nature’s Bounty Camp in Konkan promises to be an ecological and gastronomic adventure.
Enter Guhaghar, a coastal village in Ratnagiri with a clean sandy stretch for a kick-ass summer adventure. An expert from the BNHS team will help you spot Marsh Crocodiles, otters and colourful birds including the Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Pitta, Oriental Dwarf, Common and White-Throated Kingfisher. Alphonso mangoes will accompany all your meals, and the best part — after dinner on the last day, you get to eat as many mangoes as you like! Tempting enough to hazard a crocodile encounter in the Konkan’s marshes?
Log On To: www.bnhs.org
Rope trick with Veerappan?
The deadly dacoit was feared both for his ability to kill and for his appearance. The entire country’s police force was hot on his trail. This is your chance, to nab him and become the environmentalist hero of the country. Nature Trails believe there is no harm in indulging in a little imagination to add an adventurous streak to your camping trip this year. The organisers have created a treasure hunt for thrill seekers at their camp inside Durshet forest in Raigad district, which is open to 11 to 14-year-olds.
For those who wish to chill indoors, the site offers comfortable AC rooms. The four-day-trip includes activities including rappelling, laddering, valley crossing, wall climbing, trekking, swimming, outdoor games as well as a crash course in jungle survival techniques. Every day ends with a campfire. The highlight of the trip will be a treasure hunt to find Veerappan using jungle survival skills. The trip is scheduled for April 15 to 18 and April 18 to 21.
Adults can choose from longer trips including rafting down the Ganga. Sign up for this programme that lasts for eight adventure-soaked days. After an orientation and safety drill, the first 12 km journey will be to Shivpuri. The trip will also include bungee jumping, cliff jumping and body surfing. Their river runners are certified by the Uttarakhand Government and Indian Association of Professional Rafting Outfitters. The first batches will leave on April 6. These apart, there are over 30 other camping options to choose from.
Log On To: www.naturetrails.in
Call: 66557777 / 9223596515
Chills, thrills and spills
Tickets. Check. Hotel bookings. Check. Budget. Check. Travel plan. Check. Pet…? For pet owners, the worst part of taking a holiday is the thought of having to leave their pets behind. Nothing is worse than looking at a sulking mutt when your bags are packed and you’re ready to leave. Big Red Tent (BRT) solves your problem. Their campsite is pet-friendly and they happily accept canines on site since these folks have pets of their own as well. Rahil Mehta, proprietor of BRT ensures that campsite hosts Sarita and Shyam Nihalani’s pets are welcoming as far as their four-legged guests are concerned.
Their Kolad site is located on the banks of Kundalika River and is a three-and-a-half hour drive from the city. No network on locations assures that your phone won’t buzz you out of nature’s reverie and as for electricity, the site has kerosene and LED lamps. Romantic enough?
However, don’t let the obvious earthy vibe scare you. They have flush toilets and showers to save you from looking like a Survivor participant. Kundalika is the only all-year white water rafting location in India.
The 12-km stretch offers a thrilling three-hour spin everyday that begins at 8.30 am. They offer other facilities including kayaking and river crossing. To complete the camping experience, they promise a campfire and a barbeque session too. Do we hear woofs of agreement?
Log On To: www.bigredtent.in