Corbett National Park for Diwali brought about a series of firsts:
First safari of the season
First elephants of the season (6)
First snake of the season (1, rat)
First barking deer of the season (1)
First tigers of the season (2)
My first stay at the nearby Vanghat (Hopefully the first of many) , on the banks of the Ramgangar also brought about a series of seasonal firsts:
A 2km trek into a lodge (1)
Digital detox (3 days of heaven)
Bamboo raft (4, fun)
Jungle treks (2, half day, invigorating)
Tiger pug mark in fresh wild elephant dung whilst trekking (1 – exciting!)
Waterfalls (3, mesmerising)
River swims (oh yes we did! 1 – refreshing!)
New to me species of birds (many)
And, my first Campfire of the season………
Possibly with an Old Monk (How many? No comment).
Vanghat is one of the few truly remaining reminders of what a visit to the jungles must have been like in the time of Jim Corbett himself. The only way to reach is by a 2km trek with 4 river crossings to negotiate, 1 by stepping stones, 1 bridge, 1 bamboo raft, 1 walking of the plank. The joy of being in a remote location, the omnipresent sound of the river, nature’s natural de stress, to be able to walk through the forest, the sounds of an agitated barking deer a frequent reminder of the proximity of a predator, and being able to swim in the crystal clear waters of an unpolluted river is a combination that is such a rare privilege these days.
Don’t expect luxury, this is no frills, simple yet comfortable accommodation, good food, lovely staff, an orchestra of birds and a porcupine or two and an extraordinary location,. A place for the true nature lover who values the simplicity of jungle living.