Things To Do at the Safari Land Resorts (And How We Spent the Night in the Jungle)
We did not expect that our stay at the Safari Land Resorts was more than just about staying in a tree house. Well, we knew about the guided safari tour, but there were more surprises when we arrived. A gorgeous peacock and a flock of ducks (and their adorable ducklings) welcomed us at the gate. The owner of this place is a very interesting person, who has been officially requested by forest officials to shoot a man-eating tiger last year. Anyway, so today I’d like to talk about what one can do at the Safari Land Resorts besides running up and down the tree house or watching out for spiders.
The resort is owned and managed by Muslims, so the food they serve is halal. And they prepare the meals in their own kitchen. I almost cried out of joy because ever since we left Hyderabad a few days ago, we had practically become vegetarians (primarily because we weren’t comfortable eating meat in Ooty). And besides, people around us ate only dosas. Regardless of which restaurant we went to, people ordered dosa. Breakfast: dosa. Lunch: dosa. Snack: dosa. Dinner: dosa. And I’m sure they ate dosas in their homes too. Well, to be honest, not everyone had dosas, because people like myself ordered vegetable fried rice or eggs and toast. But still, there was this insane need to eat only dosas.
So when you book yourself a tree house in the resort (or a cottage for that matter, but where’s the fun in that?), the package usually includes meals and tea. The dining area is very nice and clean. They have provided soaps and clean towels too. And the staff is courteous. The food is served buffet style, but soft drink isn’t included and you have to pay extra should you crave for one.
But food is really good. Except for the chicken curry because the coconut gravy was too strong for my taste.
They do not serve alcohol. Do not bother bringing your own because drinking is prohibited within the resort.
Those wooden swings on tree branches! I sat in all of them – there were around five or six all over the resort – and had my picture taken at each swing. Masood, however, enjoyed the hammock the most.
So you can just lay there, listen to the birds chirping and the leaves rustling. A chipmunk or two ran about us, and a monkey was swinging on a branch nearby. It was one the most peaceful moments of our lives.
Located not too far away from the tree house is a place where one could watch some TV (a cricket match was on when we were there, but who watches television in the jungle?) and play board games. Masood and I played chess. The picture taken below shows the scenario a few minutes before I lost the game.
There were other board games too, plus one can play badminton and table tennis as well. I think I also saw a ball and bat.
Every night, there’s a bonfire. And everyone staying at the resort is invited to sit around, introduce themselves, etc. However on the night that we stayed at the resort, the few people that were there preferred to watch the cricket match, leaving only Masood and myself by the fire. So we sat and chatted until a staff walked up to us and told us that dinner was ready. I think it was also nice that it was only the two of us then. It made the evening quiet and romantic.
After dinner, we were informed that we need to show up at the gate at six in the morning for the safari drive. So we returned to our tree house by nine, took a warm shower and prepared to sleep early. But we couldn’t sleep with the windows wide open, so Masood put the blinds down and drew the curtains. Everything looked nice and pretty until we turned the lights off.
I can not imagine how Masood could sleep knowing that right behind the tree house, only a delicate barbed wire fence separated us from the wild! I could hear everything in the dark: the crickets chirping, the mosquitoes buzzing outside the net, the leaves on the trees, the breeze, some hissing sound, something jumping on our roof, something walking on the ground below us, and then later during the night, I even heard elephant trumpets!
I didn’t know when I fell asleep, but I spent the entire night facing the window – just in case.