Wilderness camps in deep woods – Jungle Sarai
About Wilderness Camps
MPEDB is planning to open up remote forests of Madhya Pradesh for nature lovers. It will provide camping facilities to the ecotourists visiting these areas and the existing infrastructure of FRH / IH will be used for this scheme.
The outcomes of this scheme will be manifolds. Primarily renovation, up-gradation, and maintenance of the selected FRH / IH will be focused upon. Providing unique experience to the eco-tourists (hard-core nature lovers) who will be given opportunity to live with nature will generate awareness amongst public. And this scheme by way of more but regulated activities, increased movement of visitors and staff in remote forests will enhance protection and conservation.
The sites or destinations have been selected based on the pristine locations, uniqueness, and potential of the site for ecotourism activities. About 25 identified destinations having good present infrastructure are being developed in the first phase. The FRH / IH have been selected in consultation with field officers. A review of present conditions of the FRH/IH on the sites has been done in consultation with field officers and site visits. The FRH / IH have been divided in four categories – bad, ordinary, good, and very good. The good infrastructure will require comparatively less investment and therefore is taken up in the first phase of development.
The scheme is being implemented departmentally, basically through the existing chowkidars. The Chowkidars of the FRH / IH have been provided with required training and facilities for conducting the activities. Booking of the FRH/IH will be done through online booking portal developed by MP Online. The administrative control of booking will be with the DFOs; DFOs will have the power to block the rooms as and when required. Renovation/ Beautification of the FRH / IH have been taken up by the EDB in a uniform manner for all the destinations identified. An amount of Rs 50000/- per FRH / IH has been released. Total Rs 1.86 crores has been spent by EDB on construction / renovation of FRH / IH.
The facilities provided by the EBD will include boarding, lodging, tenting, activities, etc as per the requirements of the tourists. For unique facilities, the uniform, linen-wares, crockery and cutlery are being designed and developed by the MP Hastshilp and Hathkargha Vikas Nigam. The activities will include nature trails, trekking, cycling, angling, birding, adventure sports, etc as per the specifics of the destination.
Tariff as decided by the board in consultation with the forest department officials is Rs 2000/night (2 persons) with additional charges of Rs 500/ for one minor. This tariff will include the boarding and lodging charges (inclusive of 3 meals, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner for two persons). EDB has developed various training modules to train the local people in the area to take up positions of guides, hospitality, house-keeping, cooks, camp management, front-desk etc.
Other potential rest houses will be open up as Jungle Sarai in the second phase and as per the response to the scheme. Additional activities and different nature based tourism models can be incorporated as per the demand and response of the tourists.