Tour to Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

#1 Sep 20th, 2017, 02:00
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  • Harry05 is offline
#1
I am a bit in doubt about visiting Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. Anyone (recent) experiences with this? I am looking for a budget trip (something like two night/three day) with a (basic) private room and decent food, but from what I read/see am not shure about what to expect or it will be worth the money. What do you think? If yes, which trips/companies can you recommend? Other advice about this?

Thanks answering in advance,

Harry
#2 Sep 20th, 2017, 12:21
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#3 Nov 22nd, 2017, 13:10
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  • Popeye_1984 is offline
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Hi Harry,

Like you, even I will be embarking on my maiden trip to Sunderbans this winter. I have done some research on this and I believe it will be of help to you. But firstly, you should be very as what do you seek in a trip to any national parks around the country. Because if you, like many, are only going there to get the glimpse of elusive Bengal tiger, then you can go ahead and drop the idea of the trip. But if you are going with an open mind, then read on.

# Staying options: You have the option of staying in one of the few eco-resorts that have come up in Gosaba and Satjelia islands. The eco resorts normally offer package trips that comprise of pick up and drop facility from Kolkata, all meals, boat safari, pernits and fees, guides, taxes and in some cases, local cultural shows. The boat safaris will be sharrd by your family along with others, so privacy and tranquillity of the safari could be a concern if you have noisy co passengers. However, it can be costly as well with packages ranging from ₹4500 - ₹12000 per head. The resorts are minimal but quite clean and comfortable. They are built amidst local villages and also employ local villagers. You can have a feel of the authentic Bengal countryside there. You can find the names on the internet.
The second option of staying is at Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge. This is the only place that is located adjacent to the national park. You will have the real jungle feel over there. It is also next to the Sajnekhali watchtower and museum. The place itself is one of the sightseeing spots of Sundarban. It has almost 30 rooms, differentiated between ac, non-ac and suite. The charges for the same are ₹2500, ₹1800 & ₹3000 plus taxes. It is a basic arrangement with clean rooms and toilets. There is no electricity and the power comes from DG and solar. This place also houses a crocodile and turtle pond. It is also the place where the permits are issued and you can find cheaper boats for safari as well. As per my knowledge, the lodge staffs are courteous enough to help you out with any problem you face. You can book it online via https://www.wbtdcl.com/home/lodge_se...nationName=MjU

There is also provisions for staying on boats as well. But you need to enquire before hand as the boats are shared by others as well and you might also have to share your rooms with others. So privacy will be concern if you are travelling with family. Also keep in mind that the boats have common toilets and will not be clean at all. Food are cooked and served on board. Food will be a simple affair though fresh with local vegetables and fresh fish.

#Reaching: If you are taking package trips of tour operators or resorts, you will not have to worry about anything. If you are going by yourself, then these are your options:

>By train: Canning is the nearest railway station to the Sunderbans. There are many local trains that ply between Sealdah and Canning. You can get down at Canning and take a auto rickshaw or tata magic to Godkhali ferry. From there, you have to take a ferry to Gosaba or Stajelia islands. Will take around 15min to reach there. If you are staying at Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge, they provide free ferry facility to and from Gadkhali and will take around 1.5hrs. However, if you are on a day trip, there are numerous boats that you can hire from Gadkhali itself, though you need to take care of the permits by visiting Sajnekhali island.

> By Bus: Many buses ply from Science City/Ruby and Esplanade to Canning. After you reach Canning, you can take local conveyance to reach Gadkhali.

>By Car: If you are planning to visit there by personal vehicle, you have to park it in paid parking at Gadkhali. Locals are pretty helpful and will be able to guide you to the parking lot.

The entire journey of reaching Sunderbans is a tedious process and is going to take minimum 4-5 hrs depending on the road conditions and other issues. The road itself is a two lane one with few stretches of bad roads as well. But it is not horrible and the journey can be done by hatchbacks as well.

#Tour Operators: If you wish to go with tour operators from Kolkata, be sure to do research work extensively. There are lots of them in the market and you might not have a pleasant experience with most of them. But be sure of the fact that you have to share safari with other tourists as well if you are going with tour operators. A few good ones, that I've heard of, (no personal experience) are tour de sunderban, sunderban chalo, etc. You can loads of them on the internet.

I hope I've answered most of your queries. Do go to Sundarban with an open mind, as it is a gem of a place. Do remember that Sunderbans is the largest delta and mangrove forests in the world, hence it is unique in itself. Take a walk through the village, experience local culture, ask the locals about their day to day life, their encounters with the tiger, go for bird watching, and most importantly, go there to soak in the beautiful serenity and tranquillity of the majestic Sunderbans. It is double the worth of every penny you spend.

Cheers!!!!

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