Treehouse in Satpura

Denwa Backwater Escape – An Oasis in the Jungle!

A premium jungle lodge by Pugdundee Safaris which caters to the inner child of almost everyone who loves wildlife and everything related to it. A sanctuary for wildlife lovers, Denwa Backwater Escape exceeds all expectation that one can have from an eco-lodge that revolves around wildlife and national parks. Satpura National Park/ Satpura Tiger Reserve is the biggest park in Central India in terms of area and is famous for the conservation of wildlife in its purest form. A spectacular drive off the highway into the buffer zone of Satpura gives a sense of being in a remote location with superlative luxury.

Central India Wildlife

Source: Ozzy

Here’s a review of Denwa Backwater Escape:

Location of Denwa Backwater Escape:

Denwa Lodge Satpura

Source: Ozzy

Located right on the bank of Denwa River, opposite the Satpura National Park (core area) Denwa Backwater Escape could not be better placed. Even though the core area is opposite the lodge, it is very much in the buffer zone of the national park. The eco-lodge is built on 10 acres of forested land out of which only 20 percent has been used up as the lodge, the rest still remains as a forest. The lodge offers spectacular views of the Denwa River, grasslands and Pachmarhi hills from each room. There are a total of 8 cottages and a tree-house that is divided into 2 separate units.

Rooms at Denwa Backwater Escape:

Since there are only a handful of rooms at Denwa Backwater Escape, the designers and architect made sure that every aspect of these rooms is aesthetically pleasing while being comfortable.

Cottages:

Luxury Cottages Denwa Backwater Escape

Source: Ozzy

                                                                               Cottages in Denwa Backwater Escape

Each cottage comprises of a king size bed along with a couch and a writing desk that has been built with refurbished materials sourced locally. The bathroom is big and spacious with separate areas for WC, shower and washbasins. Each and every cottage comes with its private balcony and a terrace and boasts of the Denwa river view. The terrace offers 360-degree views of the surrounding and is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy watching the flora and fauna around.

Tree-house:

Treehouse in Satpura

Source: Ozzy

                                                                  The Treehouse at Denwa Backwater Escape

The tree-house at Denwa Backwater Escape is something totally different and quite astonishing. Perched on top of stilts and supported by a couple of massive trees, the two tree-house units did make us feel like children again. The tree-house is made up of just two basic materials – wood and glass.

Denwa Backwater Escape Satpura

Source: Ozzy

                                                                            Wood & Glass adorn the treehouse

Refurbished wood makes for an eclectic look and feels while the glass (windows) gives a wonderful view of the river along with grasslands that are filled with a variety of plants and animals. Much importance has been given to make sure that everything is eco-friendly while being luxurious.

Luxury Living in Satpura National Park

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                                Comfort in Jungle

The comfortable bed with nets all around does seem like a bit from the movies but is quite practical (to keep mosquitoes & insects out). The sprawling bathroom features washbasin and shower with hot and cold water which in itself is a luxury in a forest.

Experience Denwa Backwater Escape

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                     Magnificent Mornings

The massive balcony feature wooden recliners where one can sit and look out on to the open grounds for hours at end and spot the wildlife around from wild boars to jungle cat to various species of birds.

Luxury tree house India

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                         Balcony with a view

Amenities at Denwa Backwater Escape:

All rooms are fitted with air-conditioning as summer temperatures can exceed a skin burning 44 degree Celsius. Since Pugdundee Safaris has a policy of not using plastic bottles instead they provide guests at check in with a steel bottle that can be filled from the water-filter as and when required. They also have a couple of jugs filled with water in the rooms every day to make sure that guests are adequately hydrated. Rooms feature tea/coffee making facilities along with delectable cookies which are made in-house. Toiletries in the bathroom are sourced from Soultree who specialize in natural and herbal products.

The swimming pool which is nestled among Mahua trees and wild vegetation is quite peaceful and makes for a great spot to relax and chill.

Relaxation at Denwa Backwater Escape

Source: Ozzy

                                                                  Swimming Pool surrounded by Mahua Trees

Dining at Denwa Backwater Escape:

As the morning safari (game drives) usually lasts a good hour beyond the breakfast hours, packaged breakfasts are prepared and loaded onto the jeeps early in the morning. Breakfast is then laid out inside the forest on top a hill surrounded by water. It is something which is really hard to pen down and best experienced first-hand.

Pugdundee Safaris Satpura

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                   Breakfast with a view

Lunch and dinner are usually served in the main dining hall (restaurant) with a menu designed by the chefs daily. They always make sure to keep the preferences of the guests in their mind while creating menus for the day.

Masterchef food by Pugdundee Safaris

Source: Ozzy

                                                                   Dining Hall at Denwa Backwater Escape

The main dining hall has an option of indoor or outdoor dining; both of them with a view of course. An alternative to the main dining hall is the area by the pool where drinks and snacks are served in the evenings.

Denwa Eco Lodge

Source: Ozzy

                                                Furniture made of refurbished materials by the pool

Food at Denwa Backwater Escape is delectable and gorgeous at the same time. Most of the dishes that are doled out have been specifically curated by Vijaylakshmi who has been a finalist in the Indian Masterchef competition. So it is kind of really difficult not to love the food. The perfect assortment of freshly sourced ingredients which aromatic flavours made us believe that we were in a Michelin restaurant rather than an eco-lodge in a  jungle.

Source: Ozzy

                                                    Amazing food at Denwa Backwater Escape

The servers took extra care of us and made sure that we were filled to the brim with each meal.

Service at Denwa Backwater Escape:

The moment we arrived at Denwa Backwater Escape, we knew that we were in for a treat as smiling faces greeted us with a traditional welcome and a spectacularly refreshing drink (made of lemongrass). The service of the staff from management to the naturalists and everyone in between has been remarkable even though 70% of them being from the local region itself. It is quite amazing to see and feel the excitement that these people exude towards their guests with an everlasting smile.

Luxury Eco Lodge Satpura

Source: Ozzy

All Smiles at Denwa Backwater Escape

A special mention goes out to Karan(Dai), Mohan, Harendra, Swanand, Raju, Ramakant, Manoj(chef), Prakash and everybody else who made it a memorable experience of a lifetime.

Experiences at Denwa Backwater Escape:

Since Pugdundee Safaris was conceptualised by nature and wildlife lovers, they understand the need to experience wildlife like no one else. Hence, they curate a few unique activities which are sure to mesmerize anyone and everyone alike.

A few of these activities are:

Jungle Walk:

Satpura Tiger Reserve is the only National Park in Central India where one is allowed to walk inside the core area with the help of a forest department anointed guard and a naturalist (Harendra Sahu) from Denwa Backwater Escape.

Once in a lifetime Satpura

Source: Ozzy

        Jungle Walk guided by Harendra Sahu & Hari Singh

We experienced the morning walk that starts after daybreak with a boat ride to cross the Denwa river and takes anywhere between 3 hours to 4 hours to cover around 7 kilometres in Peliya zone. A plethora of species can be viewed on foot albeit maintaining a safe distance.

Wildlife Experience in Denwa Backwater Escape

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                       Jungle Walk Breakfast

We saw various animals such as Indian Langurs, Deer, Wild Boar, etc. however the highlight of the walk was definitely the little beings such as Butterflies, Spiders, Ants and various insects which are generally missed during a jeep safari.

Satpura Wildlife Lodge

Source: Ozzy

                                                      Highlight of Jungle Walk

Although there were certain signs of big animals such as Sloth Bear and Leopard being around, we did not see them. The excitement of just knowing that they were around was enough.

The walk culminates with another boat ride back to the civilization but the memory will live on forever.

Affordable stay Satpura

Source: Ozzy

                                             Boat Ride after Jungle Walk with ever smiling Harendra Sahu

Experience level: 11/10

Jeep Safari:

As we were accommodated in Denwa Backwater Escape which is about a 5-minute drive from the Madhai Gate of Satpura National Park,  it was quite convenient for us to be one of the first ones to reach the gate and enter the park.

Game Drives Satpura National Park

Source: Ozzy

                                                                           Jo always wants to be first one for Safaris

The safari starts with a boat ride onto the core area (different from the walk area) followed by a jeep ride of a lifetime which includes a forest department guide and a naturalist (Swanand Deshpande) from the lodge. Morning safaris start at daybreak (around 6 AM or sunrise) and culminate at 11 AM. Afternoon safaris usually start around 2:30 PM and winds up by sunset (around 5:45 PM).

Pugdundee Safaris

Source: Ozzy

                                                                        Gaur – The Biggest in Cow Family!

Since the area is a massive one the sighting of animals can be quite vivid. Although we did not manage to see any big cats or bears we did see a plethora of birds along with a very interesting and naughty Elephant calf (1 1/2 months old). The highlight of morning safari is the breakfast area which was quite a surprise. We being nature and wildlife lovers did not mind one bit that we had no sightings as we were extremely happy being in the jungle.

Experience Pugdundee Safaris

Source: Ozzy

                                                                       Breakfast spot in Satpura Tiger Reserve!

Experience level: 9.5/10

Canoe Ride:

For the last afternoon of our stay, we were advised to enjoy a canoe ride on the Denwa river which is infested with freshwater crocodiles (herbivores) among others. As we embarked upon our canoes around 4:30 PM from the same spot where the boat ride into the core area starts, we knew we were in for a treat. Guiding us all through the ride was Denwa Backwater Escape’s naturalist Harendra Sahu along with the boatmen.

Relaxation in Satpura

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                  Canoe Ride on Denwa River

Handling an oar after a very long time felt really good as the afternoon water was quiet and serene. It felt amazing as we headed to the river banks to look for animals. We were able to spot a pack of six Wild Dogs from our canoes who were resting by the river after a fresh kill. Being able to spot uncommon birds was equally exciting as the pace was quite slow and nice. A sudden ruffle in the bank of one of the islets caught the boatmen’s’ attention and eventually found that it was a full-grown crocodile barely a few feet from our faces. The sunset over the Pachmarhi hills was quite a sight from the canoe as we came to the end of the ride. The end of the ride is quite a surprise (and we are not going to reveal it).

Experience level: 10/10

Dinner by the River:

Being within the vicinity of a river, Denwa Backwater Escape goes the extra mile to arrange for a special dinner under the stars. With a campfire to keep us warm and cosy, the dinner becomes extra special as we soaked in the sights of the surroundings.

Bush Dinner at Denwa Backwater Escape

Source: Ozzy

                                                                                       Dinner by the river

Just a trail of lanterns to guide us and grasslands all around it does feel like we ended up in a Rudyard Kipling novel. Delectable food accompanied with fine wine made sure that we were happy and content with the experience. Being from a city, these little gestures goes to show that a simple dinner by a river has become quite a luxury for us.

Experience level: 10/10

Other activities such as overnight camping in the core area, boat ride, buffer area drives, village visit, etc are also available for guests. We were a little short-changed on time to experience them all.

Thank you Denwa Backwater Escape for a memorable and unforgettable experience. To get the best experiences it is advisable to stay for at least 3 nights and enjoy Indian hospitality in a jungle like never before.

Booking Info –

Website – www.denwabackwaterescape.com

Phone – +91 124 257 0404 / +91 124 297 0497

Email – enquiry@pugdundeesafaris.com

Have you ever been to Denwa Backwater Escape or any other jungle lodge, do share your experience in the comments below? We would love to know about them.

NOTE: We were invited by Pugdundee Safaris to stay at Denwa Backwater Escape for 3 nights, however, the opinions stated above are completely our own.

10 Comments

  • Nina December 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    This place looks sooo nice! I might not want to leave my room! The stilted cabins are adorable, I’ve never stayed at a place like that. I love that pool too!

    Reply
    • Ozzy December 20, 2017 at 12:09 am

      Hi Nina, even I was stumped as I have never been in a treehouse accommodation before. The rustic woodwork and furnishings add to the warmth and charm of the place. It was too cold for me to take a dip in the pool though.

      Reply
  • Candy December 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Wow! This sounds like such an amazing escape from the city. I’ve never been to a jungle lodge and this one has amazing 360-degree views. I love accommodations with spectacular views. Looks like you also saw a ton of wildlife and enjoyed all of your fun excursions!

    Reply
    • Ozzy December 20, 2017 at 12:08 am

      Hey Candy, indeed the views are just spectacular. We did a lot of wildlife and thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. If you do like wildlife then you’ve got to head out to the jungles soon. 🙂
      Cheers!

      Reply
  • Francesca Murray December 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    The rooms at Denwa Backwater Escape look so comfy and luxurious! That pool is calling my name 😀 Also love that Pugdundee Safaris has a policy of not using plastic bottles. That is so important!

    Reply
    • Ozzy December 21, 2017 at 1:03 am

      Francesca, you must visit them as soon as possible. With many environmentally-friendly options such as not using plastic wherever possible is a great initiative. Apart from wildlife conservation, Pugdundee Safaris also give equal importance to the conservation of nature and environment. All it takes is a visit to experience these first hand for sure. Cheers!

      Reply
  • Shem Hooda December 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    This place looks like such a magical little escape in the jungle! I love woodsy lodges so I know I’d love to stay here. And I’m such a sucker for a good view 🙂

    Reply
    • Ozzy December 21, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Hi Shem, all it takes is one visit to Denwa Backwater Escape and you’d be hooked, I can promise you that!

      Reply
  • Mark December 21, 2017 at 5:29 am

    This place looks both unique and extremely comfortable. The close proximity to Satpura National Park is amazing. I would love to do the canoe ride down the river

    Reply
  • Laura December 21, 2017 at 6:36 am

    oOo this place looks so ideal. I love a good treehouse/peaceful getaway and secluded in the forest like this with the water is pretty much a dream for me. Yet another place to see once I make it over that way!!

    Reply

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