Experiences at Forsyth

Experiences at Forsyth

Naturalist curated experiences

One of the few naturalist-run lodges in the Country, Forsyth Lodge is not just a Lodge, but the people that make it.

The Lodge is a fulcrum between the guest experiences and conservation through community engagement. The story goes, Forsyth was built by one of India’s eminent naturalists who designed the Satpura tourism model with the forest department to focus on non-motorized experiences.

River Denwa acts as a natural barrier to the core area of Satpura, thus the vehicle safaris are limited in their number. It makes it exclusive and many a times quieter to experience the Tiger reserve and track down and watch your favorite animal or bird.

We have been regularly guarding the Denwa mudflats with some of the fishermen who now have trained with us to become passionate canoe guides. The guards patrol when the migration is at the peak to protect the nestlings from cattle and feral dogs from adjoining villages.

Naturalist curated experiences

One of the few naturalist-run lodges in the Country, Forsyth Lodge is not just a Lodge, but the people that make it.

The Lodge is a fulcrum between the guest experiences and conservation through community engagement. The story goes, Forsyth was built by one of India’s eminent naturalists who designed the Satpura tourism model with the forest department to focus on non-motorized experiences.

River Denwa acts as a natural barrier to the core area of Satpura, thus the vehicle safaris are limited in their number. It makes it exclusive and many a times quieter to experience the Tiger reserve and track down and watch your favorite animal or bird.

We have been regularly guarding the Denwa mudflats with some of the fishermen who now have trained with us to become passionate canoe guides. The guards patrol when the migration is at the peak to protect the nestlings from cattle and feral dogs from adjoining villages.

Walking safaris

Best Experience – Morning sunrise till it gets hot
Summer Timing – 0600Hrs up to 0900Hrs
Winter Timing – 0700Hrs up to 1130Hrs
Group size – Minimum 3 guests with Naturalist and Forest Guide

Walking is a pace where we can perceive the jungle at its best. Very few Tiger reserves in India permit us to walk, and Forsyth is the original walking safari lodge in the region. Apart from the walking safari we offer in the core area, we take pride in our expertise to guide during the walking safaris in the vast jungles of the Satpura ranges. One of our favorites is the Forsyth Trail with its camping and hiking on the same path that Capt. Forsyth rode on horseback to discover the heights of Pachmarhi.

This is the only Tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh which allows walking safari in the core area and gives an experience of interpreting the tracks and signs of large animals and small creatures alike. The naturalists can point out insects, plants, birds and that are usually missed on a jeep.

The naturalist drives you to the Denwa river in a lodge jeep and then the you are taken across the Denwa river by motorized boat to the designated walking trails in the core area of the park. The terrain is gradual, undulating and sometimes through the bush and off the beaten track. The forest guide is armed with a Bear horn, pepper spray and a staff for safety against the Sloth bears.

Children below the age of 12 are not allowed for the walking safari for safety reasons

Canoe safaris

Best experience – January to March. Early morning or late evening.
Timings – Early morning or evening for 2-3 hours. Can be done even on
Wednesday’s when the core area is closed.
Group Size – 2-3 Guests with Naturalist and Canoe Guide

Canoe safari is a great opportunity to watch birds and crocodiles on the river and go into creeks of the backwater to watch different birds, both waders and forest dwelling, without the sound of a motor. While the canoe guide usually paddles but the guests can also take up the oar if they want some exercise.

This requires a sense of balance in order to not overturn the canoe.

Children below 10 and adults who cannot sit for too long are advised against the canoe safari.

Buffer zone camping

Best experience – November to mid-March
Accommodation – Twin/double Luxury tent.
Group size – We can arrange 1-8 tents on request for a minimum of 1 night.

The mobile glamping setups are arranged in complete seclusion in the buffer zone of the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
The mobile luxury camp setups are provided with regular beds with dry toilet and bath tents on a sharing basis between two tents. A neutralist, forest guide and a kitchen and housekeeping team remains at the camp to make the camp completely self-sufficient and safe for the guests.

The camping experiences comprise of full-day walks, cycling, camera-trapping, stargazing and night photography. Naturalists and guides also take the guest for night drives around the campsite during the stay. Breakfasts, packed lunches and bush dinners under the sky are arranged for the guests at the camp.

Pachmarhi extension

Best Experience – mid-October to mid-March. Long weekends and religious holidays are best avoided.
Group Size – 2 to 4 Guests per naturalist with a Local Forest Guide

Full-day excursion or overnight stays.
The entire trip is planned and executed by the lodge naturalist and includes arranging of the itinerary, food, stay and even transfers to and from the lodge. Depending on the interests and physical capability of the guests the naturalist decides on the itinerary and points to cover for the full day or overnight excursion.

Multiple day excursions possible for day long walks, short hikes, birding walks, cave visits, viewpoints. Best season for Pachmarhi exploration is from 15th October onwards till mid-March, avoiding long weekends and religious holidays as it can get very crowded.

Chances of sighting flora that is incredibly unique due to the higher altitude as well as soil diversity in the Pachmarhi area. Pachmarhi is also a great place to see butterflies as well as higher altitude birds like the black crested bulbul.

Forsyth trail

Best experience – Mid-November to mid-March
Group size – Minimum a couple or 2 adults on twin sharing. Up to 6 guests per Naturalist

A hundred and fifty years ago in the 1850’s, Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancer wandered along a path that is now known as the Forsyth trail. We can still walk in his footsteps and be awed by the same natural beauty that captivated him. Hiking and camping on this same passage that led him through the rugged ravines and lush forests on his way to the discovery of Pachmarhi – the virgin hill station of Central India.

2 or 3 nights uphill or downhill camping itinerary

Boat safaris

Best Experience – Morning or evening for 1- or 2-hours basis availability. Starts half an hour after sunrise and can be done until sunset. Usually boating is best experienced up to February and March based on water levels.
Timings – Throughout the day basis water level in the Denwa depending on monsoons. The boating activity is allowed even on Wednesdays when the park core is closed.
Group Size – Up to 6-7 Guests and Naturalist, Boat Guide and a Boat operator

In the beginning of the season, in October, the boat safari allows to explore further across the backwater and creeks of the Denwa and Sonbhadra rivers system to get a different perspective of the Satpura landscape and animals on the edges of the rivers.

Boat safari is recommended for wetland birdwatching. As the water recedes the mudflats appearing in the backwaters are a great place to watch local and migratory wading and nesting birds. In the afternoons you mightnsee Crocodiles basking on the mudflats and herbivores and larger mammals are also chanced upon on the green pastures created with the receding waterline.

Jeep safaris

Best Experience – October to March – Morning and Evening | Mid-March to June – Morning drives recommended
Timings – AM session – Sunrise to 1130Hrs | PM session – 1500Hrs to Sunset
Forsyth lodge is just 10 minutes from the park entrance and the entry time of the park varies basis the sunrise in the morning.
All core zone jeep safaris in the Satpura Tiger Reserve need the guests to cross the Denwa river in a motorboat before entering the park at the Madhai entrance.
Group Size – 4 Guests with Naturalist, Forest Guide and Driver

Jeep safari in Satpura Tiger Reserve is a very exclusive experience as there are fewer jeeps, just 18-20, that enter the park in the morning and afternoon session. There are a lot of times when you might not see any other jeep around at a sighting giving you an opportunity to watch animal behavior in the most natural manner.

Every drive in the core area starts with a boat ride across the Denwa river adding to the safari experience. Once inside the park, the jeep can go anywhere in the park as there is no zoning system. If the guest is taking multiple drives, the naturalist can take them to different locations to cover the different habitats of the park and new sights and scenes like a 13th century temple ruin or a high point on the mountain at Chutki Dev or even rock painting sites which will take you back centuries in human history.

A packed breakfast is carried for the morning safaris and guests are allowed to get off the vehicle at designated breakfast points during the 5-6 Hour drive in the morning and about 2-3Hour drive in the evening.

Churna full day jeep drive

Best Experience – November to Mid-March
Timings – Two consecutive sessions. Starts with the AM session and ends at sundown
Group Size – 4 Guests with Naturalist, Forest Guide and Driver

In case you are interested in covering different areas of the park, you could make a prior booking of two consecutive jeep drives and stay within the forest throughout the day. This gives you the opportunity to drive up to the South-west part of the park to Churna Forest Rest House. Driving across the landscape within the jungle also gives an opportunity to drive through varied landscape and habitats to increase the chances of seeing Tigers and other predators moving across the different ranges of the park. The lunch is served at the forest guest house with some accompaniments from the lodge. The smoky flavoured simple food at the FRH will take you back in history when Churna was frequented by the British forest officers who set it up as one of the oldest forest reserves of India.

Based on availability the guests could also stay overnight at this guest house and get a chance to witness the movement of wild animals in the night and even a rare encounter with a Flying Squirrel. A basic yet comfortable stay with just solar power adds to the charm of staying in the middle of this Indian jungle at night. Best time for overnight stay is from January till April considering the heat increasing during the stay as the season progresses.

Dusk and night drive

Best Experience – Throughout the season from October to June
Timing – 1530Hrs to half an hour after sunset or 1600Hrs to 2100Hrs
Group Size – 4-5 Guests with Naturalist and Forest Guide/Forest Guard

There are two buffer zone safari entrances called Sehra and Parsapani on the northern banks of the Denwa river and these are open for buffer safari drives in the morning or evening and even after dark. There are two sessions in the evening depending on whether the guests are interested in seeing animals in the fading light or experience the jungle in the cover of darkness.

The dusk drive allows for the guests to wait at waterholes for animals like leopards, bears, wild dogs and deer to come to the waterholes for a drink. Whereas the night drive gives the guests to spot the nocturnal behavior of animals under the night sky. The jeeps are equipped with low intensity lights for the naturalist and guide to spot the eye shine or smaller cats like the Rusty Spotted cat or the Jungle cat. Nocturnal animals like Civets, porcupines are also spotted on these drives and even birds like Thicknees, nightjars, owls. Occasionally, even Tigers and wolves are spotted in these areas.

FAQs

Is walking safe?

Walking is safe if you know what you are doing. Also, you must realise that walking is the only natural way of exploring the jungles. The original people of the land have been exploring the jungles on foot for decades now. The advent of motor vehicles has made us think that that is the natural way when it is clearly not.
Also, the guides and naturalists have been trained to take you on your walks and to tell you about all the necessary precautions that one needs to take while walking. They have also been trained in first-aid techniques.

What should we carry for a Safari holiday?

Some basic things to carry on a wildlife holiday are a good pair of binoculars, field guide, camera with extra batteries or battery charger, Sunglasses, cap and sunblock. If you are planning to walk, then a good pair of closed walking shoes is a must.

What is the clothing required for safari drives etc.?

We urge you to wear dull/earthy coloured clothes which are close to beige or khaki. For walking safari, it is necessary to wear socks and covered shoes.

  • Post Monsoon is October to November although it is mostly pleasant throughout the day. A light fleece will be required for the early mornings and nighttime. As there is a lot of insect activity it is advisable to carry an insect repellent on all your excursions and outdoor dining.
  • Winters set in from December to March and morning temperature ranges between 4-12°C and daytime temperatures rise to 20-30°C. So, it is better to wear multiple layers, which you can be taken off according to your comfort level. Buffs, gloves and earmuffs are a good addition in case you want your extremities to be nice and warm. We do provide blankets and hot water bottles during safaris to add to your comfort.
  • Summer months are from April end to June. Early mornings are pleasant and sometimes nippy but once the sun is out it gets hot fast. The temperature varies between 22-47oC. Full sleeve shirts, Cap/ Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen lotion is a must. Dust buffs are a good protection against the dust on drives.
Are there activities for Children?

Being a jungle lodge we prefer to engage children around nature. Our activities are aimed at children above the age of 10 when they have good hand eye coordination and can communicate and absorb without their parents being around. Our Junior Rangers Program has activities that are meant to spark the curiosity and interest of children around nature.

For safety reasons we avoid taking children below 10 years of age on walking safaris and canoe safaris.

Speak to our Naturalists
and plan your holiday

Whether you are interested in birds, plants, mammals, photography, trekking, camping or just want
to be in the middle of nature watching wildlife, our naturalists can help you develop an itinerary that
will make you just do what you like, in Satpura. Speak to them and leave the rest to them.

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All Rights Reserved © 2021 Forsyth Lodge

Quick Links

Home

Experiences

The Lodge

Enquiry

Offers

Blog

Contact

FAQ

Learn

The Forsyth Story

About Satpura

Our Initiatives

Follow Us

For Updates From Satpura And Our Jungle Lodge

For Lodge Directions

All Rights Reserved © 2021 Forsyth Lodge