Yes, you can go leopard spotting in India. And in luxury. Baroque Travel finds out all about glamping in India at the spectacular Jawai Leopard Camp
This luxury tented camp is located in the wilderness outside of Jawai Bandh, a few hours’ drive from either Jodphur or Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It’s the only safari camp in the area, and offers just nine double tents and a family suite, making it very exclusive and luxurious.
The luxury tents are very modern, decorated in red, black and white, the colors of the local Rabari herdsmen’s outfits which are notable for their striking red turbans. Beautiful black and white photographs of leopards and shepherds decorate every space, including the two open-sided communal tents where guests relax and dine overlooking the Aravalli hills. Guests’ accommodation is a short walk from the main area, and when it’s dark they are escorted to their tents by staff with lanterns.
Accommodation is comfortable and luxe, with a spacious sleeping area and a private veranda as well as plush en suite bathrooms with free-standing double basins, large shower and ablutions… truly stylish glamping facilities.
The highlight of a stay at Jawai is game viewing. Guests are taken on safari drives twice daily to spot leopards, including a pre-dawn drive which includes spectacular sunrises and hopefully sightings of the big cats. Late afternoon game drives start at 5.30pm, and often includes sundowners at sunset. Both drives offer sightings of other animals, too, such as monkeys and a plethora of birds including pretty peacocks.
In between game drives, guests enjoy relaxing, and plenty of food, including hearty breakfasts, leisurely lunches and afternoon teas, with dinner served al fresco under the stars after a drink around the camp fire. Meals are a mix of modern and traditional Northern Indian fare, with vegetables fresh from the chef’s vegetable garden, meat from local farmers and fish caught in a nearby lake.
Other activities include various spa treatments and massages at the spa and swimming in the lodge’s sparkling pool. If you wish to spend a day exploring, there’s the Ranakpur temple complex nearby as well as the Kumbhlalgarh fort further away.