People of India Project: Mickey Desai

I’d been in touch with Mickey for years and kept promising to visit his lodge in Gujarat but something always seemed to get in the way of my plans. However, it was time to make a concerted effort, he promised me wolves, it was my achiles heel. The opportunity to stay at a wonderful lodge with the chance of siting wolves for my 50th birthday was an opportunity I would not miss come hell or high water. It was great to meet Mickey finally, the lodge was even more wonderful than I had expected and then, as a bonus, I managed to persuade him to join my People of India Project.

  1. Who you are (naturally!)

Mickey Desai: Visionary – Persistent – Foodie.

  1. What inspired you to create Blackbuck Lodge?

A fondness for wildlife and a care for the environment together with a desire to be able to offer a wildlife lodge in Gujarat with world class ambience, food and experiences.

  1. An anecdote which epitomizes your India?

No anecdote as such, but it’s infinitely varied food, festivities and culture.

  1. One thing that you can’t live without? 

My cigars……..

  1. One thing that you hate?


  1. If you could change one thing about India what would it be?

It’s population control!

  1. Who is your greatest inspiration?

Sir David Attenborough.

  1. What is your favourite quote?

Live and let live.

  1. I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?

That technology has penetrated into rural india in a big way and women empowerment!

  1. What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?

Water shortages, forest degradation, population density and climate change.

  1. Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?

Africa (again)……

  1. What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?

The Congo.

  1. Book or Movie?


  1. Just for fun! I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?

Poha! You can’t go wrong!

  1. In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year-old self?

I wish I had a vision to open more environment friendly  jungle lodges much much earlier, as these things do take a lot of time and energy.


Mikey is the owner of the fabulous truly a little piece of Africa in India, and for those of you who are wondering, yes, I did get to see wolves for my 50th birthday as well as Jungle Cat, Hyenas, Indian Fox and of course Blackbuck, this is the Blackbuck National Park afterall!





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