At the heart of a wilderness where leopards roam free, lies Jawai
Suján’s Jawai Camp is nestled overlooking the expanse of the Jawai wilderness – in the mystical landscape of the Pali district between Jodhpur and Udaipur – where nomadic red-turbaned Rabari herdsmen and white-bearded temple priests are as much a part of the earth’s tales as the mysterious leopards who roam wild and free.
Staying true to its goals for conservation but without compromising on comfort or luxury, Jawai features 10 stunning tents and a scattering of discreetly located areas to unwind. Designed by the owners, Anjali and Jaisal Singh, Jawai combines subtle opulence with abundant adventure. Each tent at the camp features a bathroom with powerful hot showers and a private deck that offers spectacular views of the dramatic surrounding wilderness, while the use of local stone, stainless steel, leather and stylish black-and-white wildlife photographs bring an understated and elegant feeling to the camp. The appealing furnishings are perfectly complemented by a collection of hand-crafted decorative artefacts from celebrated artist and designer Michael Aram whose artisan collection taps into the rich metalworking traditions of Indian craftsmen.
Guests at Jawai can enjoy succulent dishes – created using organically-grown produce from its own Kitchen Garden – in the inviting dining tent. To make one’s stay truly extraordinary, patrons can however also take advantage of the spectacular private dining sites offered by Jawai. We would struggle to come up with a more thrilling private dining setting than a granite kopje overlooking the expanse of the Jawai wilderness, while breakfasts in the bush, picnics in the wild and lake-side lunches are also guaranteed to be memorable experiences.
Leopards – regarded as the sacred guardians of the many ancient temples dotted across the landscape – obviously are Jawai’s predominant attraction and an estimated population of 30 to 50 of these majestic felines has always ranged across this region. In order to optimise the experience and the chance to encounter these beautiful creatures, the morning Game Drive starts before the sun is up, using a fleet of customised 4×4 jeeps with knowledgeable, passionate driver-trackers and naturalists on board. Guests are also likely to see nilgai antelopes, wolves, crocodiles, sloth bears, wild boar, langurs and in excess of 100 bird species, including the stunningly elegant flamingos at Jawai Bandh Lake.
Even though in this part of India visitors might be suffering from fort and palace fatigue, the location of Jawai makes for easy and fast access to the airy citadels of Kumbalgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which definitely is worth a visit. For those still thirsting for monuments, the sculpted temples at Ranakpur are only an hour’s drive away. Two of Rajasthan’s most visited destinations; Udaipur and Jodhpur are equidistant from Jawai and also easily accessible by car.
Closer to the camp, the greater Jawai area is perfect for walking and ramblers are guaranteed to have a field day out. To relax and revitalise those muscles tired by long walks or excursions, guests can indulge at the Suján Spa. With its dramatic views and idyllic location, the Spa at Jawai is a perfect spot to unwind, relax and reinvigorate yourself choosing from a diverse menu of therapies.
Combining luxurious accommodation, stunning private dining options, specialised camp guides and an excellent location, Jawai is a most enjoyable place to see a wild leopard in India.