Temple Tiger Jungle Lodge
Temple Tiger Jungle Lodge Reviews
Temple Tiger Lodge, Chitwan, Nepal Mar 16, 2009
We chose Temple Tiger after reading that the food was really bad at Gaida Lodge but ironically, after lunch at Temple Tiger one day last week I came down with sickness and.. the other thing... for 12 hours solid. Not that solid is a word I could have used at the time. Still, no one else in my group of 8 got sick and the staff were most apologetic when it happened. They made sure I had food sent to my room (apples and a sandwich) and one member got me a dissolveable tablet to settle my stomach. Credit to them for knowing what to do!
The only thing I missed out on by being sick was an early morning jungle safari on elephant back, which was a shame because the mist and wild boars looked incredible in my friend's photos! The safari I did get to take, at 3pm the previous day, was great, although no tigers were on show, unfortunately. We did see tiger paw prints on our nature walk though!
At dinner time, the staff let us sit around the dining room camp fire (indoors, out of the December cold) until way past bedtime, delivering us bottle after bottle of red wine as we played chirades. How nice to be away from TV, computers and mobile phones. There's only power in the lodge for a couple of hours a night, but you won't really miss it with the sounds of nature all around and they provide torches and lanterns for if you need to get up in the night (as I did, during those fateful 12 hours of making friends with the toilet).
A couple of gripes. No hot water. This is nothing new in Nepal but we were promised hot water in the early hours and only a few of us managed luke warm showers during our 2 night stay. Personally I washed in the sink cos the shower was too [--] cold!
The other minor annoyance is that the tour guides weren't really very good at offering up information on our nature walks or safaris. There are all manner of trees, medicinal plants, wildlife and foliage in the beautiful jungles of Chitwan, but every tour (with the exception of a brief note about termite mounds) was conducted in silence. Even the river cruise. This was peaceful and eerie - crocodiles sat on the banks just feet away, but still, the silence could have been broken by a whisper of an explanation about some kind of culture or reason, or history behind what we were seeing. All in all we didn't feel as though we had the complete jungle experience because not only did we fail to see many animals (they're hidden well in Chitwan it seems) but we didn't learn much about anything else there either.
The camp offers an evening slide show with a few explanations but it wasn't great to be honest.
Still, all in all, if you're looking for a stay in the jungle, you'll definitely do it well at Temple Tiger. Don't expect any form of luxury - there's no heating in the huts and our beds were all damp from the morning dew, plus our "triple rooms" were just doubles with an extra mattress put on the flooor. But the staff are efficient, persistant at getting you up early for those unmissable safaris - "tea, coffee madam? It's 5am!" and the viewing platform above the swamp is great for whiling away that free time, trying to spot the rhinos bathing amongst the crocodiles. The baby resident elephant (just 45 days old when we visited) is adorable!
Just be careful what you eat.
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