PENCH JUNGLE CAMP

Pench Jungle Camp is a small, 3 star lodge about 5 minutes from the main gate into Pench Tiger Reserve, in Madhya Pradesh, in central India.

It has tents or cottages, a small pool, a dining room, a small Ayurvedic massage centre, a rather neglected little library and a small conference room, which we didn’t actually see from inside.

The twin-bedded tents are air conditioned with a proper attached bathroom, and have a kettle, a little fridge, so all the amenities are there.

The hotel staff are friendly but there is an air of vagueness about the place. After 3 nights there, I am still unsure as to who the manager was.

I think affable vagueness is an accurate description of the hotel.

For example, on arriving, we found the remote for our air conditioner didn’t work nor did one of the plug points. The former problem was resolved straight away. The latter never was throughout our stay.

One day 2, one of our lights wasn’t working.  Call reception. No-one comes. Call reception again. “Oh, didn’t anyone go?”

That kind of vagueness.

Since we left each morning at 5.3o for our game drive, we took a packed breakfast with us.

Day 1 fine.

Day 2 fine.

Day 3, no breakfast.

That kind of vagueness.

Eventually, as is the way in India, about 3 hours later we crossed paths in the jungle with another vehicle from the lodge, and were given our breakfast boxes, which was fine.  But there was no fruit, no juice.

That kind of vagueness.

When we told he font desk on our return, the reaction was, ” Oh, do you want breakfast now?”

No apology, just an apparent lack of interest.

The waiters were, without exception, lovely and friendly and helpful and dynamic.

The man at the font desk sat stoically unsmiling, day after day.

On check out, I was handed a bill for Rs 6000 extra,  Rs1000 for every game drive : since I am not Indian, though a full-time resident here, I am deemed to be able to shell out extra  for each game drive (see my blog for more on this, and my quest to find out my rights as a resident, tax-paying PIO).

Even though these extras were charged by the park, not the hotel, since it was part of the package and therefore on my bill, had I been the hotel manager, I would have raised this problem with my client on day one, not left it until the last minute.  Sadly, it meant I left the lodge on a less than happy note.

By and large, though, a comfortable stay.

Our tent was blissfully cool, despite the searing heat outside.

Dinner in the garden was lovely.

Food a tad same-y.

But Pench Jungle Camp can safely be recommended for any visitor to the wonderful jungle.

Our tent

Below, the pool –  small, but perfectly adequate for cooling off between game drives

Lovely  –  dinner in the garden

Packed breakfast

And breakfast the day the wheels fell off the organisation – not as smartly presented and also rather thin on the ground

For rates and packages, check their website :  http://www.wildlife-camp-india.com/

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