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“Superb Birding - Ideal for Chambal River”

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Chambal Safari Lodge
Ranked #4 of 191 Speciality Lodging in Agra
Certificate of Excellence
Tain, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
341 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
“Superb Birding - Ideal for Chambal River”
Reviewed 29 April 2016

Stayed here for 3 nights during our recent tour of Northern India. The lodge has extensive grounds and is situated well away from the main tourist areas and is therefore ideally suited for bird-watching. It's close proximity to the Chambal River also makes it the ideal place to stay for wildlife trips on the River Chambal, in particular to see Gharial, Mugger Crocodile and Indian River Dolphin. We managed to see all of them. Our river trips were arranged through the lodge. The accommodation is based in detached chalets spread throughout the grounds in separate glades with 4 chalets in each. No noise, very peaceful. The chalets are rustic but very well maintained and spotlessly clean, fresh drinking water (bottled) is provided daily free of charge. Although there's a warning re the possibility of power cuts, we only had a few short cuts during our stay. Meals are taken in the main reception - dining area or outside in the grounds. Breakfast for us was included, buffet style with hot food cooked freshly, omelette etc. Lunch and evening meals are served in the same area and are paid for separately, approximately 1000 rupees or £10 per person per meal, which to be honest was a bit expensive, but there's no alternative. Apart from one lunch we didn't bother for the next few days and only had dinner as we were out on the river or birding. There is intermittent free WiFi (dial up) at reception, but again to be honest it wasn't worth the effort. The lodge has resident wildlife guides (free) who will take you on nature walks and point out all the wildlife, very useful for the Night Walks during which we saw Palm Civet.In addition, instead of doing a second river trip we opted to do the Black Buck safari (recommended) A great place to stay for birding and the river wildlife. Highly Recommended.

Room Tip: Rooms are all the same, take a multi socket extension cable.
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  • Stayed February 2016, travelled with friends
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3 Thank Highland-Birder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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183 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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English first
Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2016

Chambal Safari Lodge is a little off the main track but is a little gem. Best known as a "birding sanctuary" the whole area and the sanctuary along the river is a perfect way to commence a wildlife trip to India. My guide was brilliant - he could spot and identify birds in the distance that I could only see with binoculars and ten times out of ten, he was correct - there are times when less than perfect expertise is preferred but he was good. The river safari was meant to be a couple of hours and turned into four or five and the wildlife was spectacular with gharial, marsh crocs, Indian skimmers, various turtles, various kingfishers, lesser whistling ducks and many many others. I disturbed a mongoose outside my cottage and a big tree adjacent was a roost for flying foxes. The accommodation wasnt 5 star but it was still very good with everything you need. The venue was quiet with the guests being there for one purpose only - nature watching - so everything else was secondary. Food was generally on a buffet basis but was very well prepared. Everything I had was good and was washed down with Masalla chai - what else would you drink in India ! The property is on its way back up having been a family residence for a number of generations until the mid 20th century - it hosted a major horse fayre back in the day but as that declined so did the property. It is now being renovated and looks good as a result. The staff are all locals which is good - another example of inward investment to help with the local community, something India should be proud of. My stay there was all too short but the memories and pictures are something to look back on fondly as this was wholly unexpected. There were several families there during my stay, each fully kitted with discrete blending clothing and camera - you could conclude that this is a serious wildlife destination by those in the know but it is a little less up itself than that - they aim to cover all levels from beginner to expert and do so without patronising you. Brilliant little gem, go and have a look.

Room Tip: All rooms are good but wear a mosquito net at night -
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  • Stayed March 2016, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank _steve_v_batchelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2016

The Chambal Safari Lodge is a oasis of peace in a beautiful forest location. Set amidst trees and shrubs, it consists of a central lodge and individual cabins located for maximum privacy. Abundant birdlife makes a walk in the vicinity a safari in itself!! The cabins are very comfortable and private, the food at the lodge was superb (lunch in the gardens a real bonus!) and the staff very efficient and obliging. It was a wonderful location to relax and regroup during our travels. The Lodge offers a variety of safari options; we did the trip on the beautiful Chambal River with a very knowledgeable and informative guide and were treated to sightings of numerous crocodiles, endangered gharial, blind river dolphin and species of birds. Superb.

  • Stayed March 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 April 2016

Our family of 2 adults and 3 children (9,11 and 14) spent an all but brief time at this lovely lodge which is two hours south of Agra. Suresh and the team provided a very warm and attentive welcome, accommodating us very generously in two interconnecting rooms which were perfect for us. The food at dinner was a variety of freshly cooked vegetarian dishes aswell as fish kebabs and a delicious chicken curry. Kids loved the banana cake with chocolate and the lime sodas were possibly one of the best we had on our trip.
One of the staff, Dipesh did a night walk with us which was good fun where we saw owls, hares, wild cats although gn the jackals which we tried hard to find remained elusive!
The River Safari on the protected Chambal River the next day was a true highlight. We saw countless birds ( Skylarks, Egrets, Herons, Sarus cranes and many more) in this serene and beautiful a part of the country as well as the Gharials, crocodiles and river Dolphins which kept the kids well entertained. Our guide Bachu Singh was phenomenal in his grasp of bird knowledge aswell as the history and social context of the area.
A little out of the way of the regular tourist trail and probably most fully enjoyed in the cooler months, Chambal is a slice of something different.

  • Stayed April 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
Helpful?
Thank Gunjit B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2016

A " must " for any avid road traveler , 70 Kms off Agar towards Firozabad is the gateway to the UP side of the Chambal ravines . Nested close to the ravines is this beautiful Lodge called " Mela Kothi " or the Chambal Safari Lodge , run by this wonderful couple " Anu & Ram " who moved away from their hectic city and corporate life to settle in this over 100 year old ancestral house . Spread over a large area with lush green covers makes this place an habitat for birds and wildlife . In our short stay we spotted over 30 species of birds and wildlife .
For your accommodation there are multiple cottages which are very tastefully done keeping in the sprit of the jungle with your own private backyards overlooking the forests . The rooms are very spacious and comfortable and can easily accommodate a family of four without the need of an extra bed . The meals were well done with multiple varieties and options to offer , even taking note of personal preference with respect to children and adults . The staff i was told was mostly locals were extremely helpful , courteous and well trained . We also went for the river safari which is managed by the team at the resort , with sightings of the Ghadials / Crocs and the river dolphins making the trip a memorable one . I must for your weekend getaways !

  • Stayed January 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Prasenjit B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chambal Safari Lodge

Property: Chambal Safari Lodge
Address: Mela Kothi Road, Agra 283104, India
Region: India > Uttar Pradesh > Agra District > Agra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 191 Speciality Lodging in Agra
Price range (per night): $99 - $198
Hotel Class:2 star — Chambal Safari Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family run eco-lodge nestling in 35 acres of reclaimed land. An oasis of peace, tranquility, and gracious hospitality. An opportunity to explore the Chambal Valley. River Safari for Gharials, Marsh crocodiles, Gangetic river dolphins, and Indian skimmers. Jeep safaris for Black-buck & Sarus cranes. Camel safari to Fort Ater, and excursions to the medieval temple complex at Bateshwar - site of the second largest animal fair in India (Sonepur in Bihar being the largest). Nature walks and village walks. ... more   less 

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