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Sunderbans Jungle Camp

The Sunderbans' fragile mangrove eco-system is threatened by biotic pressure, and man-animal conflicts regularly occur. To support conservation efforts and create alternative livelihood measures a tourism model project named Sunderbans Jungle Camp was initiated. In 2007, the Camp was a finalist of the “Tourism for Tomorrow Award” in the Investor in People category, designated by World Travel and Tourism Council.

The Camp is located at Bali Island, 24 Parganas South, West Bengal, India, in immediate vicinity to the Sunderbans Nationalpark area.

The Sunderbans are a network of waterways and islands in the vast river delta formed by Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Around the settlements on the inhabited islands, the landscape is characterised by agriculture and fishery activities. The uninhabited areas contain dense impenetrable mangrove forest pervaded by creeks and rivers.

The climate of the region is humid with average temperature ranging from 20°C to 34°C. Best time to visit is from mid-September until mid-March. The Monsoon season is from mid-June until mid-September, and heavy storms can occur in May and October  and November.

Big portions of the Sunderbans are protected by the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve, Nationalpark, Biosphere Reserve, and Reserve Forest.

The Camp consists of six well-equipped bungalows and a dining hall in ethnic style. Overlooking the pond, a fisherman's deck invites guests to enjoy the silent atmosphere. A Nature Interpretation Center provides deeper insight into the ecosystem and its stories. The Camp has dedicated boats for river cruises and transport.

18 permanent local staff cater for the guests well-being. Trained guides are available for Nationalpark excursions and villages walks, and for country boat excursions fishermen are hired from the near-by villages.

The Sunderbans are a paradise for seafood lovers. Crabs, prawns, and fish are purchased out of the fishermen's net. Fresh vegetables, fruits and bio-organic rice are always on the table, when the cook introduces you to the fantastic taste of the authentic Bengali cuisine.

In the evenings be introduced to Bonobibi, the Jungle Goddess. Dukhe Yathra, the story of a small boy being exposed to the wilderness of the Sunderbans, is a colorful spectacle performed by a group of local villagers. The tradition of this theatre play was almost lost until the Camp offered an opportunity for this valuable part of the Sunderbans' culture to revive.

To keep your memory of the Sunderbans remain longer we advise you to carry some Modhu, the famous mangrove honey.

The Jungle Camp supports a number of social development programmes. Regularly, a medical treatment camp is organised for the islanders. Book and garment banks have been installed, and an evening school was erected. Moreover, several monitoring studies have been initiated, such as on Climate Change, Lesser Cats, and Migratory Water Fowls.

Bali Nature and Wildlife Conservation Society, West Bengal Forest Department, WWF India West Bengal Office, Wildlife Protection Society of India, Bali Eco-Development Committee are cooperation partners of the Jungle Camp.

If you are interested in experiencing the Sunderbans, please click here.

For more information about the Social Development and Conservation Programmes click here.

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center provides a detailed description about the ecosystem.