Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Angul, Nov 9: In a first, visitors to Satkosia Tiger reserve, spread in an area of 988.30 km² in Angul district of Odisha can now enjoy camping and boating facilities by the forest department.
Mahanadi forest division in Satkosia Tiger Reserve has now launched Kerala type boating and luxury camp facilities topped with food and camp fire experience for the visitors here.
Tourists can after a great boating experience, stay back and enjoy the forest night life in luxurious camping environs. Food will be served sitting around a campfire, with the visitors enjoying the clear starlit sky.
This initiative by the forest division was flagged off by Forest minister Bikram Kesari Arukh, yesterday ,who visited the spot and praised this unique effort. Angul Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Anup Kumar Nayak with other officials was also present in the function.
Satkosia, has a unique gorge ecosystem and derives its name from ‘sat’ (seven) and ‘kosh’ (two miles), which equals 14 miles or a 21 km gorge through which the river Mahanadi flows. This region forms the link between the forest species of central and south India.
In the first phase, two licensed boats have been arranged for boating purposes; each boat can accomodate 8 passengers. There will be different rates for boating expeditiondepending upon the time, for a 45 minute boat ride Rs 150 will be charged, while a half-an-hour ride will cost Rs 100,. Mahanadi Forest department DFO Anshu Pragyan Das said.
In the 30 minute ride the visitors will be allowed to sit and enjoy the scenery, while in the Rs 150 package they will be served with tea and biscuits. Life jackets will be provided to all passengers in the boat. An eco guide will accompany each party during the boating expedition. The guide will provide information about the natural beauty and animals they will pass by and will also enrich the tourists’ knowledge about the ecological treasures of Satkosia. The guide will also tell them about the useful medicinal plants and trees around Mahanadi, she added.
Satkosia Sand Resorts will build three luxurious tents, which will have all modern facilities available in them; a 24 hour stay in the tent will cost Rs 1500. By staying in these tents, the wildlife lovers will get an experience of living along the forest animals but within the comfort of their homes. The the sounds and noises of the forests all around them is sure to thrill them.
The bookings can be made in the Satkosia website for the great weekend getaway from December 6th this year.
This is not all; adding to the thrilling experience is the special dinner one can enjoy with friends and family around the campfire. The food will be varied and the campers will be able to enjoy servings of vegetarian as well as non vegetarian food.
The tent will have 3 kilometres of trekking track around it and it will be further surrounded by a bamboo fence to provide protection from the wild life, such as tigers, crocodile, alligators.