“An authentic, luxurious tented jungle camp, perfect for game viewing and spotting the lucky tiger”
Each air-conditioned tent has a veranda with dark wood and leather camping chairs. A bamboo blind door leads through to comfortable wooden beds be-decked with plump cushions and white cotton. Bedside tables are adorned with old-style lanterns, providing a warm night time glow, and a jar of citronella oil wards off mozzies. The Luxury Tents are stylish and relaxing, especially after tramping around the surrounding scrubland. In one corner is a writing desk (where you can easily picture a colonial gentleman dashing off a hunting epistle to the wife), topped with a folder of local information and The Jungle Book (a bespoke safari tick list of locals species). The bigger Pukka Sahib Suite and Royal Suite are even more tempting, with private gardens and fun extras. The former has an alfresco Jacuzzi and shower, the later has a beautiful pool overlooking the open grounds. Even the ensuite bathrooms are surprisingly swish, with sunken stone hot-water showers and copper fitted basins. During turndown service, the mosquito net is lowered and hot water bottles are left in the bed - a welcome surprise on a chilly night. And, despite the canvas walls, sound doesn’t carry as much as you’d think; we slept very well.
The food at Sher Bagh is absolutely fantastic - some Indian, some Western, all bursting 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 coming one after another, each with a different dish. To start, utterly delicious creamy tomato gazpacho. A selection of mains included parmesan-topped spinach tart, mozzarella and tomato canapés, and salad. All fruit and veg is grown in the on-site organic garden. 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 around the campfire. Guests arrive at dusk for aperitifs (spirits, cocktails or beers) and nibbles - perhaps tandoori chicken or crisp mini samosas. A local band provides entertainment as you chat with other guests. 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.
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.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All tents can hold an extra bed for children aged 12 and under; families with children over 12 should book a separate tent. Parents with babies will need to bring their own travel cot and mosquito net.
Babysitting is available by arrangement, so you may be able to arrange a tiger-spotting trip without the little ones.
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.
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.