Camping In Satkosia, The First Trip Being Held On October 1st, Will Now Be A Regular Event For Nature Lovers!

City Lights: Travel

Nature lovers often crave and seek that connection with Mother Nature. Trekking, camping under the stars, organic food and opportunity to explore is what most look forward to doing away from the madding crowd and the concrete jungles. It is amazing how such activities can rejuvenate the mundane lives.

On October 1, a group of 40 nature lovers got an opportunity to experience the wild forests of Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Badmul. In order to promote eco-tourism, the first Satkosia camping under the stars was organised by Mahandi Wildlife Division in association with Detour Odisha which was supported by Tourism Department. The trip that will be a regular event now is actually a part of a nature education program, where everytime a new batch of campers would get an opportunity to explore Satkosia that would include people from different walks of life.

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

The journey started from Bhubaneswar early in the morning of October 1 and it took the campers barely two hours to cover 110 km distance to reach the venue in Satkosia. Giving a brief orientation where campers were informed about the reserve and why it is getting popular among people, Divisional Forest Officer (Mahanadi division) Anshu Pragya Das said, “Satkosia is now a favourite destination among those who love to explore nature and wildlife and among photographers and campers. It has become a number one destination and we are trying our best to attract as much nature lovers as possible and educate them about the conservation of natural resources.”

A delicious lunch cooked by the villagers was the other attraction of the day when all the campers gathered and excitedly waited for their turns to come. The sweet taste of fish curry prepared from freshly caught fish from the region was the best part of the lunch.

After relishing the delicious lunch, all the campers headed towards the camp, where an amazing view of the campsite welcomed everyone. Walking amidst the dense forest was a first time experience for some of the campers but it did not bother them much as the forest rangers were sharing many interesting stories.

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

For Sakunatala Dash, a young girl in her early 20’s camping under the stars and walking on the trails of forest was a new experience altogether. Overwhelmed with the whole experience, she said, “I have never been to such night camping, I am glad that I got an opportunity to experience such an amazing trip. It will always remain fresh in my mind and I hope it will motivate me to attend more such adventurous camps.”

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

When asked about what she loved most about the trip, she took no time to reply that it was the trekking and the experience of sleeping inside the camping tents! “Though I couldn’t see any wild animals but walking through the jungles and trying to find pug marks of animals was a great experience,” she said.

Wildlife photographer Debasis Mahapatra, who also attended the camp, shared that the whole experience was very exciting for him. “I am extremely glad that I got the opportunity to join this education program as we hardly get time from our busy life to encounter with nature. I am very much happy with the camp. The exciting part for me was the tent stay for a night on sandbank, where on one side was the gigantic Mahanadi river and on the other side a dense forest” said Debasis.

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

There was a time when heavy downpour with thunder and lightning forced all the campers to run inside their respective tents, but the hospitality of the forest guards touched the heart of everyone. Despite heavy rainfall, they reached the campers holding an umbrella with cardamom flavoured hot tea and ‘pakodas’!

“The food provided to us was soul satisfying. The service rendered to us was beyond any class. Despite heavy downpour, the way, the rangers reached every tent with evening snacks and tea was really touching. I think I have fallen in love with the place and its people. Just 110 km away from Bhubaneswar, I had never thought about visiting this place, but now I will plan another trip soon," said Debasis.

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

Requesting forest department and DFO to increase the duration of the interaction sessions, he further said, “The duration of the interaction class should be of one hour and should include audio and visual to inform people about the local habitat, animals and its people.”

Picture Courtesy: Debasis Mahapatra

Overwhelmed with the response received during the first camp, Kartik Aruda of Detour Odisha said, "The first trip response was really amazing. The energy and enthusiasm among the campers to learn more about the reserve and explore it was the best part. To make it more interactive and full of fun, we are planning more activities for the campers so that they get more involved during the whole trip."

Feature and Banner Image Courtesy: Subrat, Panoramio