The Sher Bagh was everything I hoped for and more: the tents, service, surroundings and location. I don't like Indian food so was not enamoured with dinner which always consisted of an Indian meal but my partner found it to be very good. I was kindly provided with pasta instead which was a great relief for me. The other meals, which were non-Indian, were wonderful. Loved the area where we ate breakfast and lunch out in the open but surrounded by tents and vegetation.
As for the tent, it was done in a style that I would call British colonial India with dark woods and a coziness that was extremely inviting. Air conditioning during the day was provided by a fan in our tent which I found perfectly fine. Returning to the tent after dinner, everything was ready for a good night's sleep. Exterior door flaps were untied, mosquito netting was in place around the bed area (I should also mention that malaria pills are adviseable for Ranthambore Park ), a hot water bottle was warming up the bed (it gets quite chilly at night in March), and a heater was going. The bathroom was a good size and had a good shower with robes provided for afterwards.
During the day, when not on safari, I would sit on the small verandah of our tent which had a table and two chairs and contemplate the surroundings which were lush and well cared for- both the tame and the wilder parts. I loved walking around the grounds, birdwatching. Lots and lots of birds just around the camp.There was also a langur monkey that would sit up in the same tree every morning near the tents. Don't worry. He or she never came down.
There are not many tents and so there is a fair amount of privacy. The tents are situated in the form of a crescent with good spacing between them. In the evenings, everyone gathered, on chairs in a circle around a fire, for a drink with the assistant manager, Alessandra, and the manager,Yusuf Ansari, a writer and historian, and also very involved in the ongoing conservation work in Ranthambore Park. (Any questions you have about the history of India or conservation efforts, Yusuf is the man to ask. ) When guests were ready to eat, out came small tables on which a colorful Indian meal was placed for each guest.
The service is absolutely perfect. Alessandra, the asistant manager, was amazing. When I mentionned that I was looking for a certain book on Birds in India, she took the information and next thing I knew, she had contacted a bookstore in New Delhi and arranged for me to pick the book up upon our return to Delhi. When I did visit the bookstore (a good one at Khan Market in Delhi), I also picked up a book about Sonia Gandhi written by Yusuf, the manager. All I can say is, you would be hard-pressed to find a more exceptional team than these two.
As for the safaris, the park is very close by and the landscape in the park is quite varied. There are many birds and animals so that if you don't see a tiger, you still come away very satisfied. I should mention, however, that in March, you come back from safaris covered in the park's fine red dirt. Also, you have to dress warmly in the morning as it really is chilly, despite having a hot water bottle under your bum. I wore a hat and down vest and was not sorry. It does eventually warm up and by the afternoon, it was very hot.
On the safaris, if a tiger is spotted, the guide lets all the other guides know so that the tiger may end up surrounded by a circle of jeeps and cantors ( which seat approx. 16 people). Note also that once you've booked your seat, it can't be changed. The park (in accordance with government requirements) is very strict as to who enters the park.
There is also a pool at the Sher Bagh which looked really nice, but I didn't have time to try it. Note that two safaris a day can keep you pretty busy.
To sum it up, given the chance, I would return to the Sher Bagh in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sher Bagh is the perfect place for those looking for the ultimate in authentic Indian jungle camps. The camp neighbours the Ranthambore National Park and offers a panoramic view of the scenic valley. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sher Bagh Hotel Sawai Madhopur
- Sher Bagh India/Sawai Madhopur