Our stay at Pench Tiger Home – a little extra than ordinary

It’s one thing to read about Monu Dubey’s passion for wildlife and absolutely another to see him in action! ‘Kam se kam paanch tiger toh dekh ke rahenge’, he quips, meaning we’re going to see AT LEAST five tigers! And boy, he means it!

Bakshi and I enjoying a breakfast break during one of our morning safaris
Monu in his element, tracking tigers through the dense forests of Pench NP

Pench Tiger Home is a small hideaway located just a 100-odd meters from the main Turiya Gate in Pench National Park. It’s a simple place with no bells and whistles that draws its allure from two key factors – its proximity to the forest and its generous hospitality. I have stayed there thrice and have always enjoyed deer sauntering through the high grass and even some insane alarm calls in the dead of night. When the animals weren’t there, there was the warmth and cordiality of the staff to pamper me in, quite literally, the middle of nowhere.

The cottage room facing the park, and surrounded by lush greens of the property

The property has around a dozen rooms including one tent house – all airy, big and clean! Typically every room comes with an additional single bed so it can easily accommodate a family with kids or your baggage spread if you are traveling alone. There is a sit-out too and for the rooms on the first-floor, there is a nice terrace where you can lay down and enjoy the inky sky. My favorite is the one with a balcony where I’ve spent so many evenings talking and laughing, looking at the photos from our last safari and planning for the next one!

Pench Tiger Home cottages
Two double beds for that extra space for family or camera equipment

Talking about food, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the meals at the restaurant, especially dinner! If there are enough guests at the property, they set up a nice buffet which is a mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian North Indian cuisine. Whatever you pick, the food is extremely delicious and if you want another vote on it, I was once accompanied by my Canadian friend and she still misses the paranthas! They are so good, she’d toss away the sandwiches for them! Oh, and they can cook snacks for you on order, even if you fancy a giant bowl of raita, just saying!

Oftentimes at dinner, you’ll catch Monu editing a tiger’s picture on his PC and it’ll make for a hearty discussion on how great the sighting was! If he’s in the mood, you can get him talking on Collarwali (aka Mataram) tigress and her cubs and all the juicy gossip around his escapades with them! And that’s the reason why there are few properties in the world I’ve enjoyed like I enjoyed this one.

Scrumptious breakfast prepared by PTH for the morning safaris
Monu SA
Award winning image by Monu for Santuary Asia 2015

Both the owners, Monu Dubey and Dr. Umesh Krishna are avid wildlifers and have so much to share on animal behavior, wildlife conservation and the amazing biodiversity of Pench. They are so grounded, you wouldn’t feel the length and breadth of achievements pinned in their names, but it’s only after a good chat with them that you understand the amazing goals they wish to achieve!

My heart is truly full with the service and hospitality from Pench Tiger Home! They went over and beyond our expectations to arrange all our safaris for both Turiya and Khursapaar and also accommodated our special requests for a nature trail and village visit even though it wasn’t on the menu, per se.

Trishool Male aka Monga Male inspecting his territory. Turiya Zone, Pench Tiger Reserve.

I recall the last night of our trip, as we sat by the bonfire (evening tradition at the property in winters) munching on fresh custard apples, Monu asked me how my experience had been and I just smiled! I’d seen so much more than just five tigers and I still can’t say whether it was the adrenaline charged safaris, reading a book in the balcony, devouring shahi tukdas after dinner or the 5 am wake up call – I just know I’m in love with this place in remote wilderness and I can’t wait to return!

Know before you go:

How to get there: 120 km/3 hr drive from the closest airport at Nagpur. Airport shuttle is available.

Languages: Hindi, Gondi (local dialect), basic English

Mobile Network and Internet: All popular networks work fine, Jio works best. You get wifi in the Restaurant.

ATMs: It is best to carry cash. Nearest ATM is at Khwasa main highway which is approximately 10 kms away. Payment at property can be made through bank transfer (No CCs accepted)

Essentials: They do have basic painkillers but carry your own medicines for lack of big pharmacies nearby. Throw in some odomos too.

Not for you if: You are a city slicker looking for crabtree & evelyn toiletries

Price: Double occupancy INR 3800, Triple occupancy INR 4800 inclusive of all 3 meals as of May, 2020 (safaris extra)

Bookings: Rajesh Katre +91-7987075340, Monu Dubey +91-9685770170

Mansi

10 thoughts on “Our stay at Pench Tiger Home – a little extra than ordinary”

  1. Such a wonderful article on a home stay. I never imagined this place as beautiful as expressed by author. Reminded me they say that “Beauty is in eyes of beholder”, but it’s void as Mansi have put it in such a wonderful way with simplicity. Beauty is simple and ease. Its a great pleasure to know how our guests feel, and we look forward to read more such articles on many Indian forests and your adventures in wildlife.

    Please keep writing more and more and share. Thanks, Umesh

  2. Me and my wife visited Pench Tiger Reserve in March and had the best safari experience in India (very close to African feel of safaris we went previously) and really enjoyed it thoroughly. Your blog reminded me of my trip!

    This is such a wonderful initiation by the wildlife lovers Rohin and Mansi to start the blog. This will defiently help people like me to get inspired and check Indian wildlife travel adventures and explore more and spread more the joy we felt. Cant wait for the park to open and we make our travel again after going through this blog!

  3. It was a great read and I have to admit that Pench is one of the most beautiful wildlife parks in north India. No wonder it’s inspired Jungle Book. Greatly laid out story and in good detail as well. It’s a park where you will easily find jackal going for leftovers. Easy to spot the Ship’s in action besides the finest in Leopards and Tigers.

  4. U either missed eating or mentioning the daal khichdi there!!!

    Monu n umesh bhai both r like family to me…

    Even i hv stayed at their property n trust me its a place to fall in love…

    Best wishes to both of u for the blog!!! 😋

  5. “Well…I must say girl, you have aroused curiosity with this pen down. Great Read and good calligraphic skills.

    Keep entertaining us with your experiences 👍👍

  6. It’s really an absolute delight to read your blog. All the very best for the future projects and keep the world updated with your experiences.

  7. Mansi, that was a splendid account; it’s tempting me to wanna visit this place. We don’t have tigers in Pakistan 🙁

  8. Amazed to see this wonderful place through ur pen…. eager to visit and experience this jungle safari…..keep updating abt these type of adventurous places ….. All the Best

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