Lodge Setup - Nature is an extraordinaire magician, let the trees grow and grasslands spread afar. Let the forest decide which is weed and who is weak. Our lodges are mini eco systems, and we refrain from directing jungles to create landscapes. Each property has its resident birds and mammals and we are happily coexisting since foundation. We have supplemented the indigenous root stock with more local species creating a natural forest around our lodges. Most of our lodges are built in less than 5% of land area and no trees have been cut ever for clearing space for constructions.
Sustainable Construction Techniques – At all our lodges we have adopted sustainable construction techniques. We have included a lot of locally sourced construction material and waste wood. Most of our furniture has been handcrafted from old sleeper wood and old wood. Buildings sited around existing trees, natural ventilation, insulation, traditional construction material and local labour are few of the techniques used.
Local Staff – Our strength comes from our team, more than 70% of whom are from the nearby villages. Many young ones have grown with us to become managers, inspiring a brigade of fellow villagers. We regularly conduct trainings to enhance their skills and for capacity building. Many casual workers who joined us during construction are now an integral part of the team. The villagers are the true bastions of these forests and we all have united for a sustainable tomorrow. To conserve our wild spaces its important that the locals be a part of the emerging tourism industry and are not alienated.
What is your Luxury? The incompetency of the concrete jungles to provide fresh air, save time for sunsets, home beauty and the beast in the same way have given a way to what we call ‘luxury of the jungle’. Greenest views, freshest oxygen, calmest environs, humble hospitality and a dedicated naturalist is the kind of luxury that we offer beyond the creature comforts at our top rated eco lodges.
Promote Local Art and Craft – The interiors at all of our lodges are inspired and procured locally. Machines cannot replace the talent that has evolved over generations. These brilliant entrepreneurs shift to other ways of employment due to the dying interest of people in the homegrown unique. The local craftsmen get employment and their art reaches our lodges and many a homes from our souvenir shops.
Reduce Plastic: We work to replace plastic with environment healthy alternatives. We are quickly turning to eco friendly options of providing filtered water at all times rather than going for easy to avail packaged water bottles. Starting this season we have started offering stainless steel bottles which can be refilled anytime from the refueling station. A onetime use and throw plastic bottle takes around 450 years to completely degrade!
A Certified Eco Lodge – All our six properties have been certified with “Eco practices audits” by Travel operators for Tigers (TOFT). This independent organization conducts audit scrutinizing all areas from construction, resource utilization, waste disposal to development of local community and grants certificate approving the use of eco-friendly practices in lodge operations. Three of our lodges have achieved the highest Pug Audit –Outstanding.
Nature Guides and Naturalists: Each lodge has skilled local guides who possess time tested knowledge and are trained by modern conservationists during our yearly Naturalist training programs. They are well equipped to showcase country’s natural heritage with pride and detailed information. Conservation starts with a simple idea of sharing the importance of wild habitats and seeding the idea in our guests that they too can be ambassadors of our wildlife and natural heritage.
Food – We passionately opt for locally grown and sourced food. Not only is it fresher, it supports marginal farmers and local markets. At many of our lodges we have organic vegetable & herbs garden for fresh supplies. Our menus are craftly designed around local ingredients giving exotic foods a miss. Our menus also include a lot regional recipes. We try and minimize use of packaged and instant good items.
Guests - We engage with our guests regularly through presentations, resource materials and excursions, proudly sharing information about our natural heritage. We try and make guests into ambassador for conservation & wildlife as they can help spread the message far and wide. Many leisure holiday makers have been converted into serious wildlife’s visiting the parks regularly and contributing. Non vehicular activities – We actively promote activities like nature walk, village visits and cycling. Being on foot helps in observing nature closely. At Pugdundee we strive to deliver a holistic wildlife experience. We are pioneers of walking safaris with camping in Satpura Tiger reserve and the newly launched cycling through Kipling country, corridor forest between Pench and Kanha.