Best nature Camps in Odisha
Similipal Nature Camp
Similipal nature camps are set up within close proximity of Similipal reserve area in the district of Mayurbhanj Odisha. It is famous as a reserve for tigers and Asiatic elephants. This national park is one of the most breath taking nature reserves in India with deep forests, grassy meadows and stunning waterfalls. Wild animals like Tigers, Elephants, Indian Bison, Chausingha, Leopards etc. can be easily seen here. Not only the wildlife, but you can also experience the unique traditions and culture of the primitive forest-dwelling tribes here. This is an added attraction for the visitors.
Accomodations are available at Jamuani, Ramtirtha, Gurguria and Kumari. The most preferred accommodation types are the AC and NON-AC luxurious Swiss tents and the Eco friendly cottages.
There are number of trekking routes which leads to beautiful waterfalls nearby like Barehipani, Joranda, Sitakund-Deokund. These waterfalls are are to treat to eyes when they are at full glory in monsoon.
Other than trekking, you can also engage yourself in Bird watching, camping and stargazing. Various types of wild animals, reptiles, birds, flora and founa found here will surely thrill you.
When in Similipal, you can visit nearby attractions like Devkund. There is a beautiful waterfall here along with an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Ambikainan. Other places of attractions are Sitakund, Gurguria and Barehipani waterfalls.
Best Time to Visit:
This reserve is open for tourists from 1st November to 15th June. November to early March is a perfect time to see the wildlife. One can see a swirling cover of mist over the hills during the winters. During monsoon the rivers and waterfalls are at their full glory.
Bhitarkanika Nature Camp
Bhitarkanika nature camps are yet another most sought tourist spots in Odisha. These nature camps have been set up amidst the beautiful surroundings of Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. This is also the second Ramsar site of the sate after Chilka. Hence it’s international importance can be well understood. Not only that, it is famous as the “Mini Amazon of India”. Several creeks and canals from rivers like Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra and Pathsala forms an amazing network of waterways here. Moreover this sanctuary houses several verities of wild animals including the saltwater crocodile, black ibis, Indian python and many more,
Swiss tents and cottages have been set up at various locations and are mostly taken care by local village people. These people may not be trained and experienced on hosipatility, however they know how to take care of their guests. Also you may not find a long menu, however you will definitely get fresh home cooked and tasty local cuisine. You have to give it a try to experience the freshness of the food as mostly cooked with local freshly available ingredients. However we can assure you that, you will not miss the modern gadgets like AC, WiFi, TV or some times even mobile signals.
Boat ride through the network of waterways is the most thrilling experience one can have at Bhitarkanika. If lucky, you may see few huge saltwater crocodiles taking sunbath. However it is advisable to book your boat beforehand, else it may be tough to arrange one. Nature tracking and bird watching are other activities that one can do when here.
Gahiramatha marine sanctuary lies to the east of Bhitarkanika national park. Undoubtedly it is one of the most important places that can added in the itinerary. It is the nesting place of the Olive ridley turtles. If you are here around January or February, make sure to give it a visit. It is a mesmerizing site to watch lakhs of turtles heading towards the shore to lay eggs.
Best Time to Visit:
Best time to visit this place is the summer’s and the winter’s where in this park is at its apex beauty. Also there is a very high possibility of witnessing wildlife during these seasons.
Daringbadi Nature Camp
List of best nature camps in Odisha is incomplete without the mention of this place. Daringbadi, widely known as the “Kashmir of Odisha” is a small hill station in the Kandhamala district of Odisha. Also it is the only place in Odisha which witness snowfall during the peak winter season. Thick pine forests, amazing wild life, beautiful hill slopes covered with coffee, black pepper and turmeric gardens welcomes tourists from all over the country. It is truly a perfect gift from nature to the state of Odisha. Moreover this place is a perfect combination for Cultural, Nature and Tribal tourism. Here one can peep into the life and culture of ancient tribal group like “Kutia Kondhas”. Daringbadi credits it’s name to a British officer “Daring Sahib” from the British era in Odisha. A stay here for a few days can surely calm down your mind and provide peace to soul.
Eco cottages in true tribal style have been set up on Hill top for the visiting guests. These cottages give a true flavor and experience of tribal culture to the residing guests. People from local communities are in charge of these cottages. Hence one can also expect true flavors of local Odiya cuisine during the stay. Enjoy some music around the bon-fire or star gazing at night can be an wonderful experience at this camp site.
Being a hilly areas, there are beautiful trekking trails all around. Hence do not miss the opportunity to trek around and enjoy the beauty of the nature. A visit to the local coffee or black pepper garden is a must include in your itinerary. Also one can plan to visit the series of waterfalls nearby which are a nature’s bless to this place.
Daringbadi is a land of beautiful waterfalls. Few of the popular ones are the Daringbadi waterfall, Putudi waterfall, Dadubaba waterfall and Ludu waterfall. Make sure to keep these beautiful and serene waterfalls in your visit plan to this place. Another famous attraction is the Belghar Sanctuary and is at a distance of mere 50 Kms from Daringbadi. This sanctuary is home to long tusked elephants along with wide variety of flora and fauna exclusive to this place. Also, several wooden bungalows from the British period add to the attraction of this place.
Best Time to Visit:
Weather here is pleasant all round the year. However nothing better than visiting this place during the winters when this place is on the top of its apex beauty.
Satkosia Nature Camp
Looking for an extra ordinary off-beat destination for your next vacation? No need to look further, as we bring you the best off-beat destination in Odisha. Welcome to the Satkosia tiger reserve and nature camp!. Mahanadi river, the longest river of the state starts its Journey from Chattisgarh and enters Odisha through its western boarder. It forces its journey through high hill rages of the Eastern ghat creating one of the most scenic gorges in India. “Satkosia” derives its name from the old local measurement unit “sat-kos or 7 kos” which is equivalent to 22 kilometres and this gorge is 22 kilometres in length. Lately this destination is gaining huge popularity among locals as well as visiting tourists for its amazing scenic beauty. The best viewpoint of this Gorge is at “Tikarpada” which is at a distance of about 130 Kms from Bhubaneswar. Here the depth of the gorge is about 12 meters (40 feet)
Accommodation options are available for tourists at various places at Satkosia gorge which are run by the Eco-tourism department and forest department of Odisha. One of the best places to stay is at the “Tikarpada nature camp”. which overlooks the gorge. It is on the northern part of the gorge. Whereas on the southern side “Satkosia sand resort” at Badmul is the best option. Also you can opt for camping in tents on the sandbars at Chhotkei, Bhaghamunda forest, Tarava, and Baliput. No doubt, these are one of the most beautiful nature camps in Odisha.
Not long ago, dense forest covering these hills housed several wild animals including tigers and elephants. However it’s hard to spot these animals now. But this part of the river still houses crocodiles and Gharials in large numbers. One can visit the “Gharial research and conservation center” operating since 1975 at this place. Moreover, sighting of Gharials and crocodiles is quite common here, although large animals are rarely seen. Hence a boat ride in this part of the river can be quite exciting and adventures. Subject to approval of prior permission, one can also go trekking through some parts of the jungle. Also stargazing at one of these beautiful nature camps can be a never to forget experience.
There are several places of attraction within close proximity of Satkosia. “Puranakote hilltop” is a beautiful scenic place at about 15-20 Mins drive from Tikarapada. Also nearby are the Kuanria dam and Kanitlo Nilamadhaba temple which are one of the most popular picnic spots in Odisha.
Best Time to Visit:
The best way to get to Satkoshia gorge is from Anugul which is at a distance of 130 Kms from Bhubaneswar. One can reach Tikarpada from Anugul Via Pampasar forest gate. However to reach Badamul, One has to take the route via Nayagarh which is at a distance of 90 Kms from Bhubaneswar. Private vehicle can be booked from any of these places or one can even opt for public transport which is quite easily available. Best time to visit this place is between November to March.
Mandasaru Nature Camp
The mandasaru nature camp has lately become one of the most sought nature camps in Odisha because of its sheer natural beauty. It lies only at a distance of 4 Kms from Phulbani town and is in the eastern part of Kandhamal District of Odisha. Mandasaru is probably the last kept secret wildernesses of Odisha and is famous as the “Silent Valley”. Moreover, it stretches in 15 Kms with 22 hills in a row with Saashimaha Manda Hill being the highest peak (3280 feet above sea level). Frequent weather changes, mesmerizing beauty and rich biodiversity of this gorge adds to the beauty of this place. Also this place houses several perennial and non-perennial waterfalls and are a major tourist attraction of this place.
The Mandasaru Nature Camp was initially a day tourism Centre under OFSDP. However, looking at its success, night staying facilities were developed. Since then it has become one of the best nature camps in Odisha. Here a group of 19 women manage the facility and are a part of the Mandasaru ETG. This group is responsible for providing room services, catering services and also guide services. The menu available here is as per local availability. Hence one can enjoy fresh and delicious homely food every time. It can be a lifetime experience staying at the ecotourism resort in the midst of the jungle and hearing the jungle sound throughout the night. To top it up, watching the sun rise in the valley along with the magnificent view of the gorge will definitely refresh your mind and soul.
Small trekking tracks are available for trekking enthusiasts. Stargazing and bonfire are a few of the other things to do at this place.
Daringbadi “The kashmir of Odisha” is only at a distance of 33 Kms from Mandasaru. Hence can definitely be added to your itinerary. Bjanjanagar is at a distance of 75 Kms where one can visit the famous Bhanjanagar dam and the 65 square kilometer Bhanjanagar Lake. One can also visit the KALIAMBA FOREST which is at a distance of only 45 Kms. The major attraction of this forest is the treehouse lying deep within the forest perched on a giant Ficus Tree.
Best time to visit:
Mandasaru can be given a visit round the year. However, winters are the best time to visit when this place is at the top of its natural beauty.