Sher Bagh

Ranthambhore National Park, Ranthambhore N.P., India Book from Book from £313 per night

An authentic, luxurious tented jungle camp, perfect for game viewing and spotting the lucky tiger

It’s pretty hard to call it camping when you’re cocooned in a luxurious tent that’s modelled after 1920’s safari quarters complete with campaign style furniture and brass bathtubs. Unlike the colonial days, you won’t be shooting tigers - except with a camera - but everything else about Sher Bagh is designed to make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, and the camp’s location next to Ranthambhore National Park means you may well glimpse one of these glorious creatures during your stay.

The camp’s tented suites are hidden within trees, some with private walled gardens housing plunge pools and Jacuzzis. Inside, they’re filled with character: old-style lanterns by the emperor-sized beds, a writing desk complete with a ticklist of animals to spot, and bathrooms with rainwater showers and elegant copper fittings. Saunter over to the main lounge tent and you’ll find a host of fabulous tiger photos (all taken by owner Jaisal Singh or his wife Anjali), clusters of khaki safari hats and wooden walking sticks, and an open-sided Jungle Bar serving Bloody Marys before lunch and cigars afterwards. There's a lovely library with leather-bound books, chesterfield sofas and telescopes, a charming spa, and loungers scattered around the camp - in short, you've every opportunity to completely relax. It’s slightly tongue-in-cheek but genuinely fabulous. A must-visit.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • Utterly charming camp managers, and a wonderful atmosphere at night: a starry sky, pathways lit by fire torches and everyone sitting around the campfire
  • Decadently romantic tented suites (some with a Jacuzzi or private pool!)
  • Spectacular wildlife: the camp borders the national park and even tigers have been spotted nearby
  • A lovely swimming pool, great for families with older kids
  • Lots of excellent food! And spoiling extras like providing binoculars, and hot water bottles and blankets for early morning drives

Lows

  • It's a bit off the beaten track - the journey may be a bit long, but the destination is worth it
  • Expensive and the extras can really add up - we spent a small fortune on G&Ts
  • Tiger safaris need to be booked at least 6-8 weeks in advance...
  • ...And there's always the risk you won't see tigers, but the odds are better than they've been in years
  • We have yet to see the very latest additions and upgrades in person but they look fantastic

Best time to go

Weatherwise, the best time to visit is from October to March, although you're more likely to see tigers in May and June if you can take the heat (temperatures can soar to 40C+). November, December and January can bring cold mornings and evenings, with crisp, sunny days. The monsoon season lasts from July to the end of September, and the camp closes during August and September.

Our top tips

You'll need at least 2 nights here - enough time to do a couple of safari drives and enjoy the camp. Make sure you bring sturdy shoes, binoculars, your camera and a spare memory card (you'll need it if you see a tiger).

Great for...

Eco
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Safari Camp
  • 12 rooms
  • All meals included
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Each air-conditioned tented suite has a canopy-shrouded veranda with posh directors chairs, and additions such as a hatstand or day bed. Sliding doors open to vast four-poster beds be-decked with plump animal print cushions and white cotton; the pictures on the walls continue the tiger theme. Bedside tables are adorned with old-style lanterns, providing a warm night time glow, and a jar of citronella oil wards off mozzies.

Entry level Tented Jungle Suites have rattan floors and a writing desk topped with a folder of local information and The Jungle Book (a bespoke safari tick list of locals species). The Royal Sher Suite is perhaps the most romantic with its own private heated plunge pool and open-air shower and bathtub. The Family Machhli Suite has two kingsize bedrooms, each ensuite and each with their own veranda, and is set within a private walled garden, away from the main camp. Even more secluded is the magnificent Imperial Raj Bagh Suite, which has a private heated pool, a sweeping pool deck with an outdoor fireplace, and indoor and outdoor lounges as well as two ensuite bedrooms.

Ensuite bathrooms are swish with brass double-ended bathtubs, twin sinks and walk-in showers; larger suites are further embellished with open-air showers and tubs. During turndown service, the mosquito net is lowered and hot water bottles are left in the bed - a welcome surprise on a chilly night.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Mosquito net
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

The food at Sher Bagh is absolutely fantastic. The concept is Anglo-Indian Raj heritage meets jungle cooking using family recipes made with traditional methods including outdoor clay ovens, often in front of you. Ingredients are mostly home-grown from their own organic kitchen gardens, and they have their own dairy and poultry; what they can't supply themselves is locally sourced. No wonder it all bursts with flavour! And this isn’t a place you’ll go hungry: the food just keeps on coming...

For the 3-course lunch, tables are beautifully laid with white linen and silverware; waiters relentlessly bringing dish after delicious dish. To start, utterly delicious creamy tomato gazpacho. Mains included parmesan-topped spinach tart, mozzarella and tomato canapés, and salad. A rich cognac and chocolate mousse rounded things off - truly one of the best meals we had in Rajasthan.

Not surprisingly, we had no room for the sandwiches provided during our safari trip 30 minutes later(!), but we did manage the moist lemon sponge and Darjeeling tea on our return; just the ticket.

Lantern-lit dinners are usually served under the stars on the dining terrace or around the campfire. Arrive at dusk for aperitifs (spirits, cocktails or beers) and nibbles - perhaps tandoori chicken or crisp mini samosas - while a local band provides entertainment. Or try the excellent cocktails in the atmospheric Jungle Bar.

The food is very good, a help-yourself Indian Thali: spicy mutton, cauliflower with coriander, black lentil daal, tangy homemade pickle. Naan and chapatti are baked in a clay oven, then authentically blackened on the camp fire. We lingered here for hours afterwards, sipping cognac and soaking up the safari vibe.

The buffet breakfast is served back in the dining tent and we were also treated to honey and brandy-laced porridge before our early morning safari.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Most come here to see Ranthambhore Park’s wild tigers (sadly not guaranteed although, promisingly, the population has doubled in recent years). Daily morning and afternoon safaris as well as half and full day drives can be booked through Sher Bagh (request in advance), along with binoculars, camera equipment and picnics
  • Even if you don’t see tigers, you’re bound to come across some fabulous wildlife. We spotted heaps of deer, peacocks, crocodiles, eagles, owls and monkeys
  • Hilltop Ranthambhore Fort (now a UNESCO World Heritage site) was built in 900AD by the Rajput rulers and later invaded by Akbar's army. A camp-arranged guide can talk you through its fascinating history on an enjoyable ramble, and the ramparts have wonderful views over the park and Lake Padam Talau
  • Birdwatchers have over 350 species of birds to look out for, and take Jeep expeditions to Soorwal Lake to view waders, ducks and various migratory species are offered. If you want something more active, camel rides can also be arranged
  • Walk to the nearby Dastkar Ranthambhore women's co-op and purchase handmade block-print textiles and garments. Proceeds go directly to the local community thus supporting sustainable tourism and keeping creative traditions alive
  • Back at camp, laze by the pool or indulge at the spa tent. Full-time male and female masseurs offer aromatherapy massages and clothed shoulder, hand and foot, or head massages
  • Informal Junglee cooking classes are available - just ask to join the kitchen staff for an afternoon and see how it's done!

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Camel rides
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Safaris
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wildlife

Kids

Popular with families, Sher Bagh is best for older kids (unless you have a rare breed that can quietly sit still for long enough to go on safari). That said, the expert staff are happy to keep kids busy with block-printing lessons and short drives around the camp boundaries. Up to two children below the age of 8 stay free of charge with their parents.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Machhli Suite is best for families as it has two bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom. All tents can hold an extra bed for children aged 12 and under; families with children over 12 should book a separate tent if the Machhli Suite is occupied.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement, so you may be able to arrange a tiger-spotting trip without the little ones.

Children's meals:

Food is available all day and nothing is too much trouble; if they don't like Indian food, grilled cheese sandwiches can be arranged, along with pretty much anything else. Everything from breakfast to afternoon tea offers variations on the theme to suit children.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Tiger-spotting safaris
  • Animal checklists
  • Swimming pool
  • Block-printing
  • Lounge with chess, board games and animal books
  • Viewing decks

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Camel rides
  • Ranthambhore Fort trips
  • Souvenir shopping at the local women's co-operative

Families Should Know:

There are of course hazards here, but 24-hour security means you don't need to worry about the surrounding wildlife. Bear in mind that you're a long way from an international airport. Sher Bagh is a 4-hour drive from Jaipur (or a 2-hour train journey, plus collection from the station). Mosquitoes are a pest.

Distances:

  • Airport: approx. 4 hours (Jaipur) / 6 hours (Agra)
  • Doctor: on call
  • Medical facilities: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Sher Bagh is set on the outskirts of Ranthambhore National Park, 13km from Sawai Madhopur, in Rajasthan, northern India. It's 180km from Jaipur and 350km from Agra (6 hours by car).

By Air:
Jaipur (180km) is the nearest airport. It's served by flights from most Indian cities, including Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay). There's also a private airstrip and helipad at Sawai Madhopur (14km); the camp can help you charter a plane or helicopter.

From the Airport
It's approximately a 3-hour drive from Jaipur airport to Ranthambhore. Our Tailormade Tour Operator can arrange a car and driver for the single journey or as part of a longer bespoke tour of Rajasthan.

By Train
There are daily trains from Jaipur to Sawai Madhopur (a 2-hour journey), as well as from Delhi (4 hours), Mumbai, Agra and Bharatpur (2.5 hours). The camp offers a free pick-up service from the station, which is a 20 minute drive from camp.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Rajasthan and getting around

Airports:

  • Jaipur 180.0 km JAI

Other:

  • Beach 900.0 km
  • Shops 13.0 km
  • Restaurant 13.0 km

Rates for Sher Bagh

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