TOFT 2012 Awards - Shortlisted Nominees

The Awards are an industry supported initiative intended to highlight the important work that is being done in India using tourism to support tiger and forest conservation.

The Award Categories for 2012 are:

Best International Tour operator for Wildlife of the Year 2012

SHORTLISTED:

Sawadee Reizen, Netherlands

For 30 years Sawadee Reizen has specialised in active and adventurous group journeys.
Our travel programme contains more than 100 unique tours to destinations around Europe, the Middle-East and North-Africa, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Central- and South-America, and North-America. We travel in small groups, have competent tour leaders and offer unique and balanced routes in which we go further than just the familiar highlights. We travel with inspiration and respect for nature, environment and local people with their customs. Therefore we cooperate with several organisations. Together with the World Wildlife Fund, for instance, we have developed tourism projects aimed at protecting the environment. Beside this we want to ensure that local people, guides and hotel owners benefit from our visits, so we can always return with a peaceful mind. That is what makes travelling great!

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Natural World Safaris, UK

At Natural World Safaris, we advise and guide the individuals who travel with us, taking them deep into extraordinary landscapes to experience wonders of the natural world. Our focus differs from other operators. Working as a team of highly knowledgeable experts, we pride ourselves on handcrafting only the finest holidays to suit the needs of our clients, taking the essential concepts of a safari and translating these into all the itineraries we design.

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Cox and Kings, UK

Cox & Kings, founded in 1758, is the longest established travel company in the world and its roots remain firmly where it started; in the Indian Subcontinent. Today, Cox & Kings specialises in escorted group and tailor-made private journeys, focusing on the culture, history and wildlife of the region. Cox & Kings' India programme features various opportunities for viewing tigers, including its dedicated wildlife tour called "In Search of the Bengal Tiger". For more information about Cox & Kings and its tours please call 020 7873 5000 or visit www.coxandkings.co.uk .

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Best Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2012

Award sponsored by Tiger Nation

SHORTLISTED:

Shukra Kumal (Ken River Lodge, Panna)

Head naturalist at Ken River Lodge, Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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Ratna Singh (Taj Safaris , Madhya Pradesh)

Head naturalist at Taj Safaris Lodges. (Banjaar Tola) Madhya Pradesh

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David Raju (Forsyth Lodge, Satpura)

Head naturalist at Forsyth Lodge in Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh

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Rajesh Bhatt (Jim’s Jungle Lodge, Corbett)

Head naturalist at Jim’s Jungle camp, Corbett, Utterakhand

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Best Tourist Related Community Initiative of the Year 2012

SHORTLISTED:

Prakratik Society (Ranthambhore)

The Prakratik Society is an environmental and social Non-governmental Organization working around Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, India, one of the world’s best known tiger preserves.

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Shakti Himalayas (Utterakhand, Sikkim and Ladakh)

Minimizing our negative impact on the culturally and ecologically sensitive areas where we work is a central tenet of Shakti’s philosophy.

As well as making a direct contribution ourselves, we encourage our guests to support our approach and values whilst staying with us.

We believe that, in this way, we can all support each other in securing the future of these sublime regions and their inhabitants. Shakti’s positive contribution to the local communities, environment and economy are carefully considered and implemented. Here are some of the ways in which we work.

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Best Wildlife Promotion Company of the Year 2012

SHORTLISTED:

Travel Inn

Travel Inn recognises that they have a responsibility to ensure the long term sustainability of the environment. Signing up to TOFT is part of that responsibility. Travel Inn has formalised a policy on responsible tourism and continuously improves its procedures to ensure the benefits of tourism are filtered to all concerned; the local population, their businesses, our clients, and the destinations.

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Royal Expeditions

Royal Expeditions are founder members of TOFT India. We are fully aware that the environment in our part of the world is fragile, undse pressure and many people are very poor. We care deeply about the local people and the environment and are committed to responsible tourism principles. We patronize locally owned and PUG certified ecolodges using local staff, employ local people and promoting local arts & crafts.

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Eastbound Tours

As a company policy we contribute to various organizations and NGO’s working for the welfare of those lesser privileged than ourselves. Our support for wildlife conservation is effected through our roles within TOFT and our support of their efforts to support and effect more sustainable nature tourism within India.

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AndBeyond India

AndBeyond's social and conservation principles, as well as our model of responsible luxury adventure travel, is as valid in India as it is in Africa. We believe that it is essential for the communities surrounding India's Parks to receive viable benefits through sustainable and responsible tourism development, in order to preserve India's beautiful wilderness areas and natural treasures such as the rare Bengal Tiger. We support TOFT's objectives.

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Best Wildlife/Tourism Initiative of the Year 2012

Award sponsored by Ultimate Travel Company

SHORTLISTED:

Pugdundee Safaris, Madhya Pradesh (Ken River Lodge)

The Conservation Cell of the Pugdundee Safaris was founded in 2009 with the sole mission of conserving areas that lay in between 5 important National Parks in Madhya Pradesh (Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and Satpura-Bori). These areas are Gaps that disconnect what other wise would have been a contiguous wild landscape that is vital for movement of animals. Because of the disconnected nature of the landscape and the resulting human disturbance in the area, vital populations of species like the Tigers, Gaur and Blackbuck have suffered severely and their dwindled populations are now restricted to a few isolated protected areas.

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The Great Himalayan Bird Count (ARCH), Utterakhand

Great Himalayan Bird count is organised jointly by an NGO , ARCH,Dehradun and Uttarakhand Forest dept. every year .Invitations are sent to all and only 120 Birders are eligible to participate in this programme.

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Wildernest, Goa

The Wildernest Nature Conservation Facility has been established at Chorla Ghats to facilitate research and long term monitoring of the Western Ghats of the Sahyadris region and their biodiversity and is an attempt to provide a platform for ecologists and wildlife biologists by way of fully equipped field station for this area.

The Nature Conservation Facility also attempts to raise awareness about the wildlife habitats of the Western Ghats in particular and the environment in general amongst the local communities and villages of the Mahadayi region and its surrounding areas.

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The Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Award for Best Wildlife Guide of the 2012

Award sponsored by Cox & Kings

SHORTLISTED:

Yadvendra Singh, Ranthambhore

Park Guide - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

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Vipul Jain, Ranthambhore

Park Guide - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

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Guru Prasad Yadav, Kanha

Park Guide - Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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Ajay Marskole, Pench

Park Guide – Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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The John Wakefield Memorial Award for most Inspirational Eco Lodge of the Year 2012

SHORTLISTED:

Dhole

Dhole's Den is an eco-friendly Lodge on the edge of the Bandipur National Park and winner of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2013.  The name is derived from the Dhole, the Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus), one of the most fascinating hunters in the Indian jungle with a complex and unique social hierarchy who inhabit the park in packs.  With a biodiversity garden and use of local trees and plants throughout, the site has been designed to minimise its impact on the environment.   Space, light and air are at the forefront of the lodge’s design combined with the use of locally sourced products for the interior design.   Guest rooms have large glass sliding doors offering panoramic and unhindered views of the landscape and the Niligiri Mountains.  Ever changing vistas and hues ranging from misty mornings, village scenery with cowherds passing by to golden sunsets are a treat to watch. 

We believe passionately in being a genuinely eco-friendly lodge with a minimum carbon-footprint as our goal.  Most of the Lodge’s energy is generated by a wind turbine and solar cells.  Hot water is produced through Solar Geysers.  Kitchen waste is turned into biogas.  Energy use is minimised through LED lighting.  Water use is minimised and replenished with rainwater harvesting.  Waste water is treated in reeds for reuse on the Lodge’s organic vegetable garden. 
 

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Chitvan Jungle Lodge

Spread over 14 acres, this is an all-suite luxury jungle resort, situated 3.5km from the Mukki gate at Kanha National Park. The resort shares one of its boundaries with the core area of the forest. Chitvan is the most discreet of the Jungle and Safari Lodges in India. It blends into the surrounding landscape, while providing a stunning viewpoint for observing the area's wealth of wildlife. The surrounding hills are wooded, and the open grassland in front is interspersed with Sal trees, whistling thorns, and some scrub. You will be captivated by this unspoiled corner of India's jungle.

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Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge

TigerTrails, a colonial style forest lodge which is situated in a small  forested valley, along the thickly clad hills of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve which is in the heart of the best game viewing area of Tadoba.

Along this western boundary of the Park, the Tadoba hills contours, to form the Chichghat valley where the TigerTrails Jungle Lodge Estate is located.

It is ringed on three sides by the Park forest and is adjacent to the Khutwanda gate, an exclusive entry point into Tadoba. To the south is the Irai lake, approx. 20 kms in length and forming the southwestern boundary of the Tiger Reserve.

The estate forest has numerous waterholes, which have observation machans overlooking them, provided to guests for undisturbed wildlife viewing. Since the forest starts from a few feet away, Tiger calls come creeping close. TigerTrails is a wild get-away, deep inside tiger country, where only a stripped shadow will prowl outside your window.  In the adjoining Tadoba Tiger Reserve forest containing parts of Tadoba and Mohurli range, the lodge initiated wildlife protection and conservation activities among the tribals and has shown remarkable results.  From 2 tigers being sighted 30 years ago; today more than 20 tiger sightings occur everyday in this patch of forest.  This is primarily due to stabilization in the prey and carnivore population.  Below attached shows a photo of  on of the Tigress coming for a drink to the Tiger Trails Estate Waterhole taken in May 2012.

The area is untouched by any kind of tourism or development and offers the discerning guest the guarantee of privacy, as well as lovely walks and hiking trails around the lodge. While most parks have a reputation of being over crowded with lodges, we have no neighboring lodges or highways.

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Singinawa Jungle Lodge

Singinawa is a Sherpa word which means ‘Protectors of the Sacred Forest’ and is the philosophy which guides Nanda and Latika Rana, the owners. Located on 55 acres of restored lands which once again attracts lots of wildlife and birdlife, Singinawa Jungle Lodge offers a chance to experience of the jungles of central India and then enjoy the comforts and hospitality of a world class lodge. The lodge offers the chance to not only learn about the tiger and its habitat from recognised experts but to also experience ecologically responsible lodge operations and gain insight into conservation at work that aims to benefit local communities and the Tiger Reserve.

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Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge is an exquisitely designed conservation and wildlife focused lodge. The Lodge features 12 cottages, a cozy common area and several luxurious and unique amenities. Reni Pani is located in a 30 acre forest typical of the Satpuras. With its sprawling meadow, meandering nullah and a rugged hill, Reni Pani gives their guests a real jungle experience. The owners, who stay at the lodge, are extremely particular about conserving not just Reni Pani's forest but also the areas and Park beyond. Results of this protection have already been seen, in just over a year of opening, many mammals and birds frequently visit the waterhole at the lodge and several amphibians have made it their home. As a camp, Reni Pani is adhering to setting very high standards in environmentally sensitive practices and it is our endeavor to pioneer a wildlife tourism model that is inclusive and beneficial, not just to the lodge, but to local communities, to conservation and our extraordinary environment at large.

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The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Nestling in the natural beauty of the wilds, The Oberoi Vanyavilas is India’s leading luxury jungle resort on the edge of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve.

The perfect base from which to explore the territory of the majestic tiger. Tiger sightings are most frequent during the months of May and June. While it is warm during the day, mornings and evenings are pleasant.

The resort setting is picture-perfect with a dramatic watercourse and sun-kissed private decks. The luxury tents with finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens are in perfect contrast to the ruggedness of the jungle.

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Orange County

Bordered on two sides by the Kabini River, Orange County, Kabini is a unique resort built in traditional tribal village style with palm thatched lodges. Providing wildlife and jungle adventures, an Ayurvedic spa, an infinity pool and great food, the resort’s stunning position close to Nagarhole and Bandipur National Parks translates into outstanding wildlife experiences and fascinating encounters with nature.

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Forsyth Lodge

A stylish and very comfortable dedicated wildlife lodge set in 44 acres of restored mixed forest. The cottages are arranged around a main lodge with indoor lounges and dining areas with fireplaces for the winter and large terraces for evenings and al fresco dinners as soon as the weather permits. The area used for all the accommodation is just over 5% of the total property. The balance is carefully restored jungle full of chital, wild boar, civets, hare, jungle and rusty spotted cats, a great diversity of birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians.  The lodge has an Outsanding Practice PUG Eco rating. 

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Mahua Kothi

The name Mahua Kothi draws its inspiration from one of India’s most beautiful trees, the Madhuca Indica, or as it is commonly known, the Mahua or butter tree. The Lodge, which has an Outstanding PUG Eco rating, is set in forty acres of grounds and is just twenty minutes from the Park entrance. The original kothi (homestead) has been beautifully renovated. Guest accommodation is in kutiyas (jungle village huts) built in the vernacular style of Central India, affectionately known as ‘MP (Madhya Pradesh) Chic’. Richly coloured, local textiles are used throughout. A luxurious base from which to explore the Park’s rich wildlife with trained naturalists, enjoy cultural activities and gaze at the stars.

 

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Visitor Friendly Wildlife Destination of the Year 2012

Award sponsored by idiscover

SHORTLISTED:

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national park in Northern India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, which is about 130 km from Jaipur. Being considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the Ranthambore National Park terrain is major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination.

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Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Pench National park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after Pench river, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara.Pench National Park, comprising of 758 SQ Kms, out of which a core area of 299 sq km is the national park and and remaining 464 sq km is the buffer area.

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