Jan 2020

Hosted by two of Karnataka’s Outstanding PUG rated properties, Dhole’s Den and Evolve Back , Ritu Makhija, Sustainability manager and Head Auditor, Pradeep Dadlani, ran two lodge sustainability workshops titled  ‘Driving the change’ in Bandipur and in Kabini near Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in January attended by nearly 30 lodge owners and managers.

The half day long show round and presentations workshop, covered all the critical elements of lodging good practice, including water use, harvesting and waste,  energy use and efficiency measures, habitat restoration, staff welfare and community relations to name a few, but highlighting what each lodge does so well.

The first workshop was held at the Dholes Den in Bandipur, a boutique, eco-friendly and luxurious homestay located close to Bandipur national park. Its owners, Karthik Davey and his wife, Ingrid have actually turned a barren patch of land into a  lush green paradise, incorporating many sustainable initiatives  in just over a decade, all of which were showcased to the attendants.  With only 5 rooms, they have used a solar hybrid grid which is further complemented by decentralised solar energy units and many other clever and innovative initiatives to drive down their footprint on their land.

The second workshop was help in Kabini at The Evolve Back Kuraba Safari Lodge, a special family run business. The owner’s philosophy is to incorporate the spirit of the land into its properties, and in Kabini it finds its expression in the Kadu Kuruba tribal community, with architecture and design depicted in the same spirit. The property was started in 1992 and has since transformed the lives of the countless people in the local vicinity. Staff turnover is very low, as they gain many incentives along with their remuneration, like a horticulture team which grows various fruits and vegetables on the property, so whatever they grow they keep the money with them, with Evolve Back buying it from them too. They have set out examples of award winning practices (see here) which has brought real prosperity to their neighbours.

TOFTigers wishes to thank  Dhole’s Den in Bandipur and Evolve Back Kabini in Kabini for their hospitality and opening up their extraordinary operations to scrutiny and inspection for others to learn from.