Nature driven escapes always fascinate me and I am more than happy to be in the lap of nature at any given day. For me it works the best to de-clutter myself and restore my inner peace. So though I have vowed to travel slowly this year, an invitation from Kohka Wilderness Camp held me to alter my plans a bit for varied reasons. Firstly because it was after really long that #TravelPals were available to travel together at the same time and also that I haven’t been to Pench National Park before. And having heard about its unique bio-diversity, fascinating dry, deciduous forests, the picturesque grasslands and the sparkling river, I was certain that I had to be here someday. After all, who doesn’t want to visit a land which inspired Rudyard Kipling to visualise his most famous work. Remember one of our most favorite toons of all time- Jungle Book?
So grabbing the opportunity, I was looking forward to experience the wilderness of nature at Kohka Wilderness Camp as we reached this property later in the night. The staff was already waiting for us at the gate with the drinks and we were shortly greeted by Mr. Sourabh Ghosh, the co-owner of Kohka as we were allotted the rooms soon after. Surprisingly, there were no guests at the property, giving we four another reason to rejoice as we had the whole of Kohka to ourselves 😉
A chit chat session over the bonfire followed during the night and I am sharing my reasons of what really appealed me about Kohka and why I would encourage you to also make a visit here
The Location, Feel, Rooms and Bamboo Shower of Kohka
Honestly, I disapprove of the properties built within the vicinity of a jungle and yet will give you a feel of staying in a city based luxury hotel. Rather I prefer properties which would make me feel closer to the nature as that is the reason why I opted to stay within a jungle at the first place.
With more and more hotels hitting the jungles, Kohka came as a welcome change. Rugged feel and yet taking care of all the basic necessity for a comfortable stay, Kohka Wilderness justifies eco-tourism where a property has been built at the minimal risk to its surroundings.
Rather they support and used eco friendly products to keep the property nature friendly. A look around the property and you can guess how thoughtfully it has been constructed
I was pleasantly surprised to see the beds which have been lifted using cement with comfortable mattress, thereby reducing the usage of woods.
The body and hair shampoos have been locally procured, made without any chemical usage. Another interesting thing was the shower which has been made of a bamboo instead of installing the otherwise steel showers. I wasn’t too sure of its pressure initially but the shower works just like the regular ones. This needs repairing or replacement every 3 months though but for Kohka it’s important to use environment friendly products rather than anything else
Kohka encourages you to drink the filtered tap water rather than the bottled one. There are no gysers in the room since the property largely works on Solar Panel
The Inspiring Stories of The Owners
Dreamers always inspire me and I genuinely respect people who believe in taking a leap of faith and define their own paths. Having given up a well paid PR career of 8 years, I know it is not easy to live on an undefined path but nothing feels more satisfying when things starts moving your way. The story of these two is somewhat similar. Sourabh was working in Poland as a chef and was doing well when he took an impulsive decision to do something for the land where he grew. Sanjay, the 2nd co-founder of Kohka, on the other hand quit his senior position in financial banking sector to serve the community here. Having met during a photography tour in 2009, Kohka officially came into existence in 2011
Meeting Mr. D
Mr. D certainly requires a special mention precisely because D is the adorable Labardor of Kohka, greeting the guests with much love but I am not quite fond of the dogs and so told my friends to keep him away from me.
But today, he is one of the reasons that I miss my stay in Kohka for he certainly changed my perspective for dogs. Well, it changed atleast for him
Eat Healthy. Live Healthy
Kohka not only ensures a healthy stay but they also believe in healthy eating because anything that is cooked here are either homegrown or procured locally, including spices. I had one of the best Masala Tea here.
Giving back to the Society through Kohka Foundation
While Sourabh is largely responsible for the development of the property, Sanjay keeps himself busy by serving the community for which he started the Kohka Foundation to help educate students attending secondary schools in the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh.
They also started a computer science program that caters to 555 students in total and the reason the efforts of the foundation is exclusively focused on secondary school education because that’s where most of the village kids drop-out. The foundation goal is to help these kids in developing few basic knowledge which they can’t get access to otherwise
This goes without saying that I found Kohka a great place to try few Yoga moves. Have a look
Jungle and Village Walks
There are local village walks which can be done. I did one in the pottery village and loved the experience totally.
Sunset captured during the evening Jungle Walk
During the migrating season, Kohka is actually a birding paradise attracting around 100 of different bird species everyday.
You really don’t need to go out to spot anything, though me and Abhinav decided to spot birds during an evening lake walk at the back of the resort
Indulge in Leisure activities or enjoy the Me time: There is no television in the room though there is a common area where one can indulge in reading, gaming and also watch television. I totally support the idea though
Hospitality: Last but not the least the warmth and the ever smiling faces of the staff makes sure that you leave Kohka with best of experiences
How to Reach Kohka Wilderness Camp
By Rail: Pipardahi & Matradham Halt Rail Way Station are the very nearby railway stations to Kohka. However Nagpur Rail Way Station is major railway station from where it will take around 3 hours to reach the property
By Airport: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport from where you can hire taxi or ask the resort to arrange for a cab.
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