What is the climate like in Satpura?
Satpura has a hot tropical climate, although it varies from region to region based on altitude. With temperatures ranging from 5-30 degrees centigrade, the winter spans between November and March. There is quite a variation in daytime and night-time temperatures with the difference being almost 15-20 degrees. Early mornings are cool and daytime sun is quite harsh making it warm and sunny throughout the winters. Summers last between April to July with the daytime temperatures reaching into the high forties with dry weather. Monsoons set in by July and last till September making October a good time for the start of the season.
What is the best time to visit Satpura?
Depending on your interest in the kind of activities and flora or fauna, Satpura is a good park to visit from October to June in the dry season. October is great season to see the entire forest lush after the monsoons and is a great time to visit the park for spotting butterflies, spiders, plants and insects. As the season progresses it becomes drier with the foliage progressively drying up for better sightings of the mammals and birds from November onwards. As the winter sets in by end of November the migratory birds start coming in and it’s a great time for birding from November to March. You can also do camping and Forsyth Trail between November and March owing to the winter weather. April onwards the undergrowth is really dried up and the hot weather makes it easier to spot the big mammals providing a good opportunity for photographers. Checkout our different activities and itineraries or speak to our naturalists to create a bespoke plan to suit your needs.
Will I be able to communicate with local people?
All our naturalists and forest guards can speak Hindi fluently. Our forest guards and drivers hail from local villages and may not be well versed in English or other foreign languages. However, our naturalists who are very fluent in English will accompany you on all your safaris and act as intermediaries should you require it.
Will I be able to stay in touch with outside world?
Satpura, like most forests in India, is off the grid and the network here is weak. This has always been a pleasant excuse to disconnect from the daily hustle but in case of an emergency, we will of course help you find a way to get connected.
Have any animals or snakes entered the property?
We make use of wild and natural fencing, and have a waterhole on the property. We are occasionally visited by the odd sambhar, wild boar or langur, and usually at night.
Can I decide my safaris when I reach the lodge?
Satpura National Park allows only 18 jeeps into the park at one time. There are 2 safaris scheduled per day. Morning safaris usually start at 5:30 AM, and the afternoon ones at 3:30 PM (timings change seasonally based on light – in winter the park opens later). Hence, it is advisable to book all your safaris in advance as they are likely to be fully booked when you reach the lodge. On an occasional visit there may be a safari available, but this is an extremely rare event and we would recommend against counting upon this.
Can you customize trips for us?
Yes, absolutely! We can customize your trip according to your requirements. It depends on several factors, the main ones being your purpose for the trip and your budget. We keep our packages flexible so our guests have the final say in how they wish to proceed with their bookings. For example, we have many guests who plan a 3-day trip with 7 safaris on the other hand, some who plan the same trip with 4 safaris. We are always here to help and make suggestions based on our experience. You can read more about our experiences here.
How are safaris conducted? Are they safe?
Safaris are conducted efficiently by the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. Only 12 jeeps are allowed to enter the park at one time. Local guides and drivers who are familiar with the forest and its surroundings will be your hosts in the forest, as well as a naturalist from Forsyth Lodge who will act as an intermediary. Safaris are conducted in an open topped jeep and are perfectly safe provided you follow the rules of the jungle.
Can a specific diet be provided to me on my trip?
Yes, we can cater to your requirements for specific kind of food. Please let us know about them while making your reservations and we will communicate this to the respective team.
Can I drink the regular water at the lodge?
Yes, we provide fresh, clean potable water.
Are the safaris child-friendly?
Yes, all the safaris are child-friendly. However, since we often have to sit still and be very quiet for long periods of time, it’s not fair to expect little kids to do that. For your children you can also explore our Junior Rangers Programme.
What should I wear on a safari?
As a very common saying goes, “He who would travel happily must travel light”. And we at Forsyth abide by this. We’ve helped answer the ‘what should I pack’ question by putting the basics into a small list for you.
- 2 thermal t shirts/ long sleeved t shirts
- 1 thick/ woolly sweater
- 1 regular sweater or hoodie
- 1 wind cheater which you can wear to cut the wind out, it gets freezing in the jungle
- 1 pair of gloves for the morning rides
- 1 woollen beanie to pull over your ears or 1 buff
- 1 heavy jacket
- 2 pairs of jeans/ thick pants
You can avoid most of these clothes during the summer months (April to June) but we strongly recommend against wearing sleeveless clothes in the jungle. The jeeps tend to go through narrow trails at times and the plants and bushes have underbrush/thorns.
Don’t forget your swimsuit so you can cool off between rides.
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.
Tips for better sighting?
It’s important to wear warm, natural colours when you’re in the jungle. Darker colours help you camouflage into the natural environment and hence, increase your odds. Bright colours make you more visible to animals and birds and reduce chances of sightings.
Where can I change currency?
Money exchange counters are available at all airports in India, as well as most hotels. We too, have the facility to exchange money at our lodge.
Can I use my credit card for payments?
Yes, we do accept credit card payments at the property.
Do I need a Visa to travel to India?
Yes, you will need a visa to visit India. You cannot apply for it on arrival and it is recommended that you contact your local Indian embassy or consulate when planning your trip.
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.
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.
Given the amount of land available at Forsyth’s (44 acres) why are the cottages not dispersed more widely?
We adhere to the responsible eco-tourism guideline of using about 10% of land for construction and allowing the balance to revert to wilderness. We also use live fencing around the property i.e. no barbed wire for better wildlife safety. It’s certainly pretty good as we have had bears (right outside the main building) and leopard pugmarks in the property. We have resident wild boars on the lodge grounds along with rusty spotted cats, jungle cats, spotted deer, Indian hare (Rufous tailed), monitor lizards, jackals and palm civets.
Is it safe to walk in the property? Sit or sleep out in the Machaan at night?
Yes, it is safe to walk on the pathways but its better to be accompanied by any of the staff for a walk in the wilder part of the property. In the night you should always carry a torch, so you do not step on anything unknowingly, this is also the best way to avoid getting bitten by snakes or Scorpions. Animals to venture within the property but they are all extremely shy and usually will stay away from us. We also avoid serving any food in the cottages to avoid mice and their reptilian predators.
Do animals come to the sit out?
No, except for Langurs which do jump on the cottage roofs and trees nearby, the other animals stay a safe distance away from us as they are more scared of us than we are of them.
Can we have a party or play music?
As a responsible jungle lodge, we follow the rules of the forest department and do not allow any recorded music within the property as it will disturb the serenity of the jungle atmosphere and the creatures around. Your most welcome to sing and play an instrument like the guitar, I am sure some of us will join in.
Can we have a campfire?
Yes, during the winter months we do provide campfires in outdoor sitting areas, but they must be monitored and managed so that the fire doesn’t spread to the surrounding grassland or forest even by accident.
The Forsyth Story