TOFTigers Wildlife Tourism Awards 2016 - Shortlisted Nominees

The Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Award for Best Wildlife Guide of the Year 2016

(The Award includes a prize of INR 15,000)
Sponsored by Taj Safaris

  Vinod Gulab, Kolara, Tadoba, Maharashtra
  Mr. Radhika Prasad Omre, Panna, MP

International Wildlife Tour Operator of the Year 2016

  Natural World Safaris, UK
  Exodus Travels, London UK
  Audley Travel, Oxford UK
  On The Go Tours, London UK

Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2016

(carries INR 25,000 prize)
Sponsored by Indian Wildlife Experiences

  Surya Ramachandran, Singinawa Lodge, Kanha MP
  Mittal Gala - Khem Vilas, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
  Naresh Singh, Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh, MP
  Jitaram Choudhary, Barahi Lodge, Chitwan
  Dipu Sasi , Meghauli Serai, Chitwan, Nepal
  Dhan Bahadur Tamang, Tiger Tops Chitwan, Nepal
  Prabhir Patel, Pench Jungle Camp, Pench, MP

The John Wakefield Memorial Award for Most Inspirational Eco Lodge of the Year 2016

  Aahana The Corbett Wilderness (Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand)
  Reni Pani Lodge (Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh)
  Singinawa Jungle Lodge (Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh)
  Kanha Earth Lodge (Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh)
  Flame Of The Forest Safari Lodge (Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh)
  The Oberoi Vanyavilas (Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajashtan)
  Infinity Resorts (Kaziranga National Park, Assam)
  Pashan Garh (Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh)
  Barahi Jungle Lodge (Chitwan National Park, Nepal)

Visitor Friendly Wildlife Destination of the Year 2016

(also carries a prize INR 75,000 worth of kit or equipment to be used in tiger protection/conservation)
Sponsored by Trans India Holidays

  Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
  Kali Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
  Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Wildlife and Tourism Initiative of the Year 2016

(carries a prize of INR 50,000 towards equipment/services for the benefit of the destination/community)

  Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, Mussorie, Utterakhand
  Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  Fringe Ford, Waynaad, Kerala
  Tiger Tops Elephant Camp, Chitwan, nepal

Wildlife Promotion Company of the Year 2016

  WildNest Travel & Photography, Ghaziabad, UP
  Indian Wildlife Travel Experts (Purequest), Noida, Delhi
  Travel Inn, Delhi
  Indian Wildlife Experience (IWX), Delhi
  Abercrombie & Kent India, Delhi

Wildlife Tourism Related Community Initiative of the Year 2016

(The Award includes a prize of INR 25,000)
Sponsored by Pugmarks Eco Tours, Pune, Maharashtra

  Flame of the Forest Lodge – Kanha , MP
  Pakke Jungle Camp - Help Tourism, Arunachal Pradesh
  Tiger Tribes & Conservation Wildlands, Pench MP

Up and Coming Excellence for Nature Award 2016

Sponsored by

  Mela Kothi - Chambal Safari Lodge, Chambal, Uttar Pradesh
  Red Earth Resort Kabini, Karnataka
  Vanghat Lodge, Corbett, Uttarakhand

The Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Award for Wildlife Guide of the Year 2014 (carries INR 20,000 prize)

Sponsored by Indian Wildlife Experiences (IWX)

Hemraj Meena, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
Ramesh Suyal, Corbett, Uttarakhand
Raghuvendra Sharma, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Hari Prasad, Satpura, Madhya Pradesh

Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2014 (carries INR 25,000 prize)

Sponsored by Mysteries of India

David Raju, Forsyth Lodge, Satpura, Madhya Pradesh
Raj Kishore Upadhayay, Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Venkatesh Kolappa, Orange County, Kabini, Nagarhole, Karnataka
Rajan Gurung, Shergarh, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh
Kaustabh Thomare, Baghvan, Pench, Madhya Pradesh
Naresh Singh, Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Abdul Rehman, Jim's Jungle Retreat, Corbett, Uttarakhand
Ram Din Mahato, Karnali Lodge, Bardia, Nepal

Wildlife and Tourism Initiative of the Year 2014 (carries a prize of INR 50,000 towards equipment/services for the benefit of the destination/community)

Sponsored by Singinawa Jungle Lodge

Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Pugdundee Walking Safaris
SAI Sanctuary, Karnataka

Wildlife Tourism Related Community Initiative of the Year 2014 (carries a prize of INR 50,000)

Sponsored by JungleSutra Wildlife Journeys by Creative Travel

Corbett Foundation, Corbett, Kaziranga, Kanha, Bandhavgarh
Dhonk, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
Singinawa Foundation, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh
Smiling Tusker Elephant Camp, Manas, Assam
Camp Hornbill, Corbett, Uttarakhand

International Wildlife Tour Operator of the Year 2014


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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All for Nature Travel, Netherlands

All for Nature B.V. is based in the Netherlands and offers journeys to people from the Benelux countries that care for nature. Travel with All for Nature in a small group of privileged travellers to projects on nature conservation. Enjoy the unspoiled nature and the wildlife that enriches her. Help save threatened species like the gorilla, tiger, orangutan or giant panda! Set up camera traps at jaguar research. Have lunch with Jane Goodall. Or help monitoring cheetahs during their yearly check-up.

All for Nature Travel combines sustainable tourism with nature conservation. All for Nature Consultancy advises companies and nature conservation projects on CSR and extra fundraising opportunities in order to achieve their goals.

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Wildlife Trails, UK

Specialising in exclusive tailor-made wildlife tours throughout India and beyond. Our private tours allow you to design your perfect trip, with the emphasis on quality time at the National Parks, rather than excessive travel and rushed itineraries. You will also be supporting the Tiger Trails Foundation.

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Tischler Reisen AG, Germany

The German tour operator Tischler Reisen specialises in tailor made programmes for individual guests and groups to Asia, Arabia, Australia and to the islands of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean up to round-the-world-tours.
Tischler Reisen offers a wide range of selected hotels, excursions and roundtrips to more than 40 countries in 7 destination catalogues.
One of Germany's most extensive India programmes is presented in the Tischler Reisen India Catalogue on more than 200 pages:
- Cultural Tours all over India (private or group tours)
- Special Interest Tours, e.g Tea-Excursions
- Luxury Trains, Cruises & Backwater Tours
- Ayurveda & Yoga
- Beach Holidays in Goa or Kerala
- Himalaya Tours & Combinations with Nepal and Bhutan
- Nature Experiences: India's National Parks

The team at Tischler Reisen is very proud to be the first German tour operator to be a member of the TOFTigers initiative. We are very happy to support this distinguished project.

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Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2014

Award sponsored by Mysteries of India


David Raju (Forsyth Lodge, Satpura)

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

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Raj Kishore Upadhayay (Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh)

Head naturalist at Mahua Kothi in Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

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Venkatesh Kolappa (Orange County, Kabini, Nagarhole)

Head naturalist at Orange County, Kabini, Nagarhole, Karnataka

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Rajan Gurung (Shergarh, Kanha)

Head naturalist at Shergarh, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

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Kaustabh Thomare (Baghvan, Pench)

Head naturalist at Baghvan, Pench, Madhya Pradesh

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Naresh Singh (Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh)

Head naturalist at Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

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Abdul Rehman (Jim

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

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Ram Din Mahato (Karnali Lodge, Bardia)

Head naturalist at Karnali Lodge, Bardia, Nepal

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The Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Award for Wildlife Guide of the Year 2014

Award sponsored by Indian Wildlife Experiences


Hemraj Meena

Park Guide - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

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Ramesh Suyal

Park Guide - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

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Raghuvendra Sharma

Park Guide - Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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Hari Prasad

Park Guide – Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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The John Wakefield Memorial Award for Most Inspirational Eco Lodge of the Year 2014


Orange County, Kabini, Nagarhole, Karnataka

Cleverly inspired in design by the Kadu Kuruba  Hadis, the  local tribal village homestead, this picturesque wilderness resort is bordered on two sides by the Kabini reservoir,  and overlooks the sweeping panoramic vista of this large dam to one of India’s finest tiger and elephant reserves Nagarhole on the opposite bank.  

A sundowner in the cavernous palm roofed open air lounges or dinner in one of the two restaurants overlooking this glorious scene is an Indian ‘must do’ as the sun goes down across the lake. Alternatively take to a lantern lit boat for a truly romantic dinner for two before retiring to your sumptuous bedroom.

With so many activities to choose from it difficult to find the time for the infinity pool, the night walks, boat and coracle safaris, bike and bullock cart trips -  besides the escorted game drives into the park itself - so you may just have to come back again next year.

Children Policy:
Children of all ages are allowed, although it is requested guardians keep an eye on them at all times since this is a wilderness area.

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The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

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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Pashan Garh, Panna, Madhya Pradesh

Taj Safaris’ new jungle safari lodge comprises a cluster of stone cottages huddled atop a small hill, with magnificent views over the forest and a large nearby waterhole, which has been host to numerous tiger and resident antelope sightings.

This lodge draws inspiration from the dry-packed stone houses of the Panna region. These houses differ from other Madhya Pradesh styles, with dramatic roofs constructed from massive slabs of irregularly shaped slate. The guest areas celebrate Haveli design, with a spacious central courtyard. The interiors are a contemporary mix of chocolate linens, block-printed black silks, celadon cottons and cotton lace chandeliers. A strong motif throughout the lodge is the motif of the crocodile, which inhabits the nearby Ken River. Although the structures are rough, chunky and stony, the interiors are sleek and sexy.

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Kipling Camp, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

Kipling Camp was established in 1982 by conservationists Bob and Anne Wright. It was one of the first wildlife camps in India, and remains among the finest with attention given to every little detail. Our motto is “treading softly in the jungle”. Kipling is the perfect destination for those who wish to relax in idyllic surrounds and explore the remote forests and villages of Central India. It is also the home of Tara, the much-loved elephant who starred in Mark Shand’s best-selling book “Travels on my Elephant”. Tara loves to be bathed and scrubbed in the Banjar River by guests – an unforgettable experience !

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Kanha Earth Lodge, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

The Lodge is tucked in a forested area of 16 acres adjoining the buffer zone of Kanha in a small tribal hamlet. The lodge is set in deep jungles away from the tourism hub of Kanha yet close enough for an easy access to the Khatia/Kisli park gate, there is good opportunity to view variety of mammals and birds around the lodge itself. 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 Kanha has a reputation of being over crowded with lodges, we have no neighboring lodges or highways.

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Infinity Resort, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

The Infinity Resorts chain of wildlife resorts offers our guests the unique experience of being in the heart of Indian jungles, while enjoying all the creature comforts you experience from home. Nestled on a sloping hillock, amidst thick Mahua and Mango trees, bamboo and shrubs, Infinity Resorts is built on 24 acres of lush green forest and grassland adjacent to Kanha Tiger Reserve with its beautiful jungles made famous by Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.  Stay in a choice of spacious villas or luxury tents and enjoy our hospitality in the well equipped main plaza building and reception area which is sensitively designed to reflect the local tribal architecture.  Enjoy nature walks in our grounds and along the Jamunia river, relax in our pool or spa, visit a fascinating Tribal Museum and local villages, and keep your eyes open for Sher Khan and Baloo on safari.  In the evening, watch the picturesque sunset behind the Sarasdol Hill and nearby tribal villages and look out for wild boar, spotted deer (chital) and barking deer coming to graze after dusk.

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Mela Kothi - Chambal Safari Lodge, Chambal, Uttar Pradesh

Mela Kothi – The Chambal Safari Lodge is a family run oasis of tranquility, nestling in 35 sprawling acres of reclaimed woodland. It is a warm and welcoming haven for the eager explorer and weary traveller, alike.

The Mela Kothi is owned and managed by Ram Pratap and Anu, professionals who moved back to their ancestral farms in 1999 to work on their dream project. Established as a field camp in the late 1890s, the Mela Kothi and its stables were meticulously restored and rechristened the Chambal Safari Lodge. Committed to the sustainable use of natural resources, whilst showcasing the unique biodiversity and distinctive cultural heritage of the Chambal Valley, the team has managed to place the valley on the international responsible tourism map, to secure its continued protection.

The extensive grounds are home to over 198 species, such as palm civet cats, jungle cats, foxes, jungle hares, fruit bats, hedgehogs, nilgai and hyenas.

The Lodge undertakes and supports conservation, research and activism in the Chambal Valley.

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Reni Pani Lodge, Satpura, Madhya Pradesh

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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Forsyth Lodge, Satpura, Madhya Pradesh

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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Svasara Jungle Lodge, Tadoba-Andhari, Maharashtra

Svasara Jungle Lodge at Tadoba is a conservation-focused wilderness lodge offering wildlife enthusiasts an educational and immersive jungle holiday.  A convenient two hour drive of only 100 kilometres from the major city of Nagpur which has excellent air and rail connectivity, Svasara is set over ten acres at Kolara Gate near the Kolara tribal hamlet and bordering the beautiful Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Svasara, an old Sanskrit word, means a “nest” - a place of security, comfort and belonging that exists in harmony with nature.  Over the last year alone, the lodge has planted over a thousand jungle trees and plants, and has a nursery growing thousands more.  Lodge activities include jeep safaris, nature treks and conservation talks with expert naturalists.

“The Teakhouse” at Svasara is one the unique features of the lodge. It is a pavilion made of recycled old wood and other natural materials that encompasses Svasara’s Outdoor Dining in the Vegetable Garden, Open-Air Cinema & Conservation Centre, and an Outdoor Tandoor & Bonfire for evening settings.   Evenings at The Teakhouse typically start out under a spectacular starlit sky, with a bonfire lighting up the evening.  Dinner can be enjoyed here with the accompanied wonderful sound of chirping crickets.

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Visitor Friendly Wildlife Destination of the Year 2014

Award sponsored by Ashok Piramal Group


Satpura 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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Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

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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Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is arguably one of India’s most exciting Tiger reserves, a forest that used to be famous as a favourite of shikari’s or hunters. Dominated by teak forest and bamboo, it’s a rugged landscape comprising cliffs, caves, marshes, perennial lakes and boulder strewn streambeds that cater to a host of biodiversity, not least the Tiger, who are seen increasingly in its borders, but also many other endangered species including leopard, sloth bear, leopard cat, ratel and gaur.

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Wildlife and Tourism Initiative of the Year 2014


Pugdundee Walking Safaris

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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Wildlife Promotion Company of the Year 2014


Nature Wanderers

Nature Wanderers is India’s pioneering nature photography training organization that aims to spread awareness about environmental conservation through innovative means – primarily photography.

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Jungle Travels India

Jungle Travels India is conscious of its responsibilities towards the conservation of nature and part of our commitment is to screen and market responsible holidays. The other part of our commitment is to campaign for change in the tourism industry. We aim to help re-invent the tourism industry for the long-term benefit of local people, the environment, tourists and the tourism industry. The entire premise of our business is to market and distribute more responsible holidays, thereby creating more jobs and income for local people, and increased benefits for conservation, whilst at the same time minimising negative impacts on local environments and cultures.

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Indian Wildlife Experiences (IWX)

We believe in creating awareness among the masses about the various aspects of nature and wildlife. Once the people are convinced about their responsibilities towards protecting nature we redirect them towards their involvement in conservation projects. Currently we are focused on contributing to various nature conservation projects for various species in India. To create awareness we organise audio visual presentations in schools, educational institutes and commercial organisations. The organisation is also actively involved in “On field nature orientation programmes” like nature education camps for park guides and forest departments, and plastic collection drives in and inside and outside the protected areas.

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States listed above relate to the nominations and include the nearest park. Please note some parks span more than one state.