Conservation & Community at Banjaar Tola
At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.
At every &Beyond lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
A Remarkable Discovery
David Raju, one of our expert naturalists at Banjaar Tola Tented Camp, has made an extraordinary discovery in Kanha National Park. He spotted what turned out to be a new population of the near extinct large billed reed warbler – an elusive bird that had not been seen in the area for 139 years! Other possible warbler species were eliminated thanks to the 13 photographs and several field observations provided by David. This is perhaps the fifth or sixth time in history that this warbler has been recorded, and only the second time in the field (others all netted). Head naturalist, Sarath Champati, said “It’s such a proud moment for us! Well done David, you showed the true qualities of a naturalist.”
Banjaar Tola Gives Back
The team at Banjaar Tola Tented Camp has pledged to take 1 350 children from the neighbouring community’s 12 middle schools on Conservation Lessons in Kanha National Park. On a recent lesson, 50 learners were introduced to the wonders of the Indian jungle on an informative game drive with expert &Beyond naturalists. After an exciting drive, during which the group was lucky enough to see a tiger, the students returned to Banjaar Tola for a healthy snack followed by an eco-lesson with naturalist Ashish. Thanks to the Banjaar Tola family for helping to make a meaningful difference.
Banjaar Tola Leaving a Light Footprint
Banjaar Tola Tented Camp has been designed with a light footprint so as to protect the surrounding riverine environment. The tented suites, which open onto private decks overlooking the river, are set on raised structures supported at only seven points on the ground, allowing natural growth and drainage under all of the buildings. This building methodology dramatically reduced the impact on the environment, compared to the conventional use of concrete and brick. A responsible solution to cooling the tents was also employed. Instead of electrical units, the tents were designed with double layers of canvas with insulation materials and air gaps to keep them cool. To warm the tents in winter, hot water destined for the bathrooms is piped under the insulated bamboo floor. The environmentally-friendly air conditioning system uses a reversible cycle to efficiently deliver both cooling and heating. Banjaar Tola has been designed to maximise the positive impacts on the local environment with a minimum ecological footprint, combined with the ultimate contemporary design.
For the love of bees…
In partnership with the Forest Department, the team at Banjaar Tola Tented Camp has undertaken a project aimed at providing training to local “honey hunters” to educate them about eco-friendly ways to harvest honey. The traditional methods of collecting honey result in the destruction of wild rock bee colonies; however, with the help of Banjaar Tola naturalists, the hunters are learning how to collect high quality honey without harming the bees. The conservation of these bee colonies is important, as they are major pollinators in the wild.