Why Taj Safaris Is One Of The Best Hotels In Kanha
The excitement of visiting a new jungle is just as much as re visiting an old favourite. Last month I ended up in Bandhavgargh for the very first time and despite just two game drives, both ended up being successful and memorable. That feeling of not knowing what to expect from the jungle is always the best but I found that while leaving Bandhavgarh to drive to Kanha, a felt a very different type of thrill.
As I pulled through the gates of Banjaar Tola By Taj Safaris and saw familiar faces with wide grins eagerly waving in welcome, I felt like I’d come back home. It sounds so clichéd or over exaggerated but I really struggle to define that genuine feeling of coming back home. It goes to show you how impactful good hospitality and service can be because I first visited a year prior and the entire resort created such a lasting impression and sense of belonging after just a singular visit. It honestly is one of the best hotels in Kanha National Park.
The property is my favourite from the 4 Taj Safaris spread across Madhya Pradesh ( to be fair, I’ve only done 2 but it’s my top pick currently ). My luxurious room has a picturesque view of the Banjaar river right outside my balcony. A bathroom suite to rival any and far more decadent than anything at home and of course the warmth in the hospitality at everyone on the property, from the doorman to the general manager. These are just a few of the many things that make me feel welcome and so well looked after here.
It’s not just the resort I’m so blindingly partial to but Kanha as a jungle has a special place in my heart. It was the first ever jungle I visited, home to my first safari ride and also where I saw my very first tiger. It was all and everything I hadn’t expected and where I thought for the very first thing that I really had been missing out on an experience only the forest could give me.
Since that time ( 2008 actually ) I’ve been back to visit Kanha and she’s been rather difficult. She hasn’t been the kindest, I remember doing 7 safaris back to back and not a tiger in sight. Somehow she was always forgiven because the most time I spent on this mindless quest for big cats, the more she surprised me with just how gorgeous she actually is. She’s been ferocious with her rain but then she’s been the only jungle where I’ve always seen a pack of wild dogs ( on every single visit ) and home to my first sloth bear sighting. This time she made me work for it. Disgruntled from no tigers in the morning drive, I braved the rain in what can only be described as the most unflattering poncho, dealt with raindrops pelting at my face in frantic search to make the most of my last safari. With the amount of rain and not even a bird in sight, it would seem like the weather had decided to wash away any luck but as luck would have it, the rain stopped, the sun came out for a brief moment and then everything changed.
I ended up a stone’s throw away from the most beautiful majestic and I’m told feisty male tiger where I had the pleasure of hearing him roar, walk, eat grass, grunt and just basically be the gorgeous pussy cat that he is. At one point he was so close that the rest of my jeep started to panic but as my heart was ferociously pounding through my chest and my adrenaline pumping at it’s all time high, I just enjoyed having this beautiful beast right beside me.
This is probably the kind of euphoric thrill an addict feels after shooting up a little something something but my lord it is sheer bliss when you’re heart is in your mouth because a tiger is so close that I could stretch my hand out to pet it.
It took nearly the whole night for me to calm down because I just kept replaying the sequence of events in my head, thrilled to bits with my experience. It’s like everything came full circle. Kanha was kind to me that day. From being the jungle where I saw my first tiger, to the jungle where I had the BEST tiger experience.
This is a video I managed to put together that gives you a glimpse of what to expect from this magical jungle!
Disclaimer : I was hosted by Taj Safaris for my stay in Kanha but as always, thoughts, ideas and opinions are mine 🙂
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