Responsible Tourism

From the time Kipling Camp was established, over 30 years ago, the focus has been to support wildlife conservation and local community welfare. Apart from ensuring that guests have a comfortable and memorable experience, we support responsible tourism, conservation education, local employment and training, and assisting local communities. We are proud that all of Kipling Camp’s permanent staff are local residents including the assistant manager. Some of the staff have been there since the Camp was established in 1982.

When the property was purchased by the Wright family it was surrounded by protected wildlife habitat, but the land itself was farmland and almost bare of trees. It is now a magnificent forest with a cluster of cottages, natural pathways and a wildlife waterhole that has been carefully enlarged and contoured to make an effective water-harvesting source. The bulk of the property has been set-aside as a sanctuary for the wildlife and even in the severest droughts there is water for the animals. Throughout the day, animals can be seen around the camp; it is their home as well as our’s.

The six cottages and the Shamiana - the main sitting and dining area - are built in the local style of architecture using a minimum amount of cement. Each guest room has an en suite bathroom, and every cottage has a large verandah allowing excellent ventilation. When guests arrive at the Camp they are briefed on the code of conduct in the Camp and during safaris into the park. Wildlife films and informative talks are given in the evenings in our meeting hall, which is also used on occasion for conservation meetings and training programs.

There is broadband WiFi for guests, but otherwise the atmosphere is as it should be for a wildlife camp and even children brought up in a big city quickly get to love the place and to respect and explore the natural world around them. Our guests leave with a much better understanding of India's natural heritage and the local communities that live in this beautiful part of central India, and many of them return time and time again.

The Camp has three eco-friendly open wells on the property, and no bore wells. We have purposely not added a swimming pool, or a formal garden, televisions in each room or plastic water bottles. Solar lights are used to light up the pathways, CFL or LED bulbs in the rooms, and we have a state-of-the-art drinking water filter system. Only legally procured wood is used for campfires and cardboard and twigs are used to heat water. Solid waste is divided into degradable and non-biodegradable waste, and appropriately turned into manure or removed by waste collectors. Two or three times a year Kipling Camp runs a road cleaning program with the help of the staff.

Since 2005, Kipling Camp has been run as a not-for-profit. A core activity of the Camp is to support the local communities. Winter clothing and blankets are distributed to the local Baiga tribals, and we support specific needs and medical emergencies and help fund marriages and funerals. Local schools are provided with furniture, mats for the children, supplies and posters, and a football ground was built for the school in Morcha. Guests are encouraged to bring school supplies and clothes to give to the poorer children and adults in the area.

A local tribal cooperative, that the co-proprietor well-known tiger conservationist Belinda Wright helped establish, also performs tribal dances for the guests. The Baigas are justly proud of their cooperative, and they now give performances to a number of resorts, which enables them to earn a livelihood. Local Gond tribal artists are also assisted with art supplies and encouraged to exhibit their paintings and sculptures to sell them directly to visitors. This has proved to be very popular with the guests.

In collaboration with a national NGO, the Wildlife Protection Society of India, Kipling Camp assists in the implementation of a conservation awareness program in the many villages that fringe Kanha Tiger Reserve and the Pench-Kanha wildlife corridor. Wildlife films are screened from a specially equipped van using a rechargeable power system. The aim is to find solutions for the local communities on wildlife conflict issues, to inform them about government projects that they could benefit from - such as tiger cattle kill and crop damage compensations - and to give rewards for information on poaching and other illegal wildlife activities. The Camp provides free accommodation, meals and logistical support to the wildlife conservation field workers.

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