Pool side at Wayanad Wild
Pool side at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

This Retreat In The Jungle Is An Ode to Wayanad’s Wild Side

A trip to Wayanad Wild, CGH Earth is not just a getaway amidst verdant landscapes but also a lesson in understanding and appreciating wildlife better

How often can you spot a tiger on a highway jungle? Well, chances are zilch, but on a recent trip to Wayanad from Bengaluru, I had the rare fortune of seeing a tiger in the Bandipur jungle that is part of the route. And with a trip that started on such a bright note, I knew it was a precursor to something more memorable.

The Retreat

Blue mountain slop at Wayanad Wild
Blue mountain slop at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

Once we reach the parking lot, where a small reception is located, we shift to a four wheel jeep to complete the last 3.5 km leg of the journey which is a completely off road path. The rather bumpy journey however is quickly forgotten as we enter the gates of CGH Wayanad Wild that is set amidst an evergreen forest. A refreshing welcome drink with hints of ginger, tulsi, and honey does the trick apart from the surroundings swathed in all shades of green. The check in formalities at the beautifully done up reception is completed in a jiffy and we hop into an electrical vehicle that traverses the winding path that brings us to our beautiful room.

The Accommodation

Deluxe room with jacuzzi at Wayanad Wild
Deluxe room with jacuzzi at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

With three categories - Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Deluxe Room with Jacuzzi, there are only 33 properties that are spread across different parts of the property to give you privacy. The rooms themselves are expansive done up in hues of white, green, and brown and special mention must be made to the local Wayanadan coffee powder and French press coffee maker in the room. A small brochure tells me that Kerala is the second largest producer of coffee in India with Wayanad producing 90 percent of the coffee. You can also try the 'Podi Chaaya' - the local version of tea, and a small leaflet that tells you how to make the tea.

Delicious thali at Wayanad Wild
Delicious thali at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

The best part of the room however is the balcony that overlooks the forest. With some seating this is the place to enjoy the beauty of nature up close and personal. However, do remember to keep the doors and windows locked as this area has several monkeys. The rooms do not have televisions or air conditioning – both of which you will not miss. All meals are at the in house restaurant that serves local North Kerala and Wayanadan cuisine. Do try the thaali that is available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options with a selection of local dishes. Alcohol is not served here but you can check out the special mocktails and fresh juices that are served.

The Activities

Walking upstream at Wayanad Wild
Walking upstream at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

When you are at Wayanad Wild, you can be assured that there is never a dull moment. Start the day at 7.00 a.m. for an hour long walk called Woods and whistles, where you can spot many endemic birds like the Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Southern Hill Myna, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Crimson sunbird. This is also where you can always see the Malabar Giant Squirrels, Bonnet macaque, and if lucky, the Nilgiri Langur. If you are with kids, make sure they sign up for the Creek Expedition (for 5-12 year olds), an exclusive guided and educational tour led by the in-house naturalist to help them identify and learn about species like tadpoles, fishing spiders, dragonflies, and damselflies. Post lunch, you must sign up for Silent Sahyadri, a moderate hike that will take you through a small patch of evergreen forest, and a coffee plantation and reward you with magnificent views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges.

Bird watching at Wayanad Wild
Bird watching at Wayanad WildWayanad Wild

The retreat provides you with leech socks on all walks. Between 7.00 and 7.30 is an interesting session called 'Evening with the Naturalist’ where one of the in house naturalists speaks to you about Wayanad, including its people, cuisine, wildlife and much more. And post dinner is the night walk, 'Explore the Elusive', where nocturnal life can be seen. You can spot several species like the Malabar Gliding frog, Winged Gliding frog, Malabar Vine snake, Malabar Pit Viper, and more. A small facility includes board games, puzzles and more. A swimming pool is also on site. If you are looking for a refreshing break in the wild, look no further, Wayanad Wild, CGH Earth is the place to check into.

The Information

Location: Lakkidi, Kunnathidavaka, Kerala 673576

Accommodation: 33 rooms

Tariff: Starting from Rs. 12458 plus taxes (including breakfast + Lunch/Dinner and all experiences)

Contact: +91 80698 07579 / +91 75940 12555; Email: bookings@cghearth.com

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