Wouldn’t you like your child to discover how it is to gaze at a star-studded sky? Or plunge into the depths of a forest’s silence, be lulled into sleep by bird-calls and awake to the sparkling freshness of the dew on fragrant flowers? And then come back and show you how it was, in pictures?
In a world increasingly alienated from its own roots, an early introduction to the wonders of nature can have a long-lasting positive effect. Toehold invites children and young nature-lovers between 10 and 16 to make that start and experience the great outdoors like never before, on this special Wildlife Photography weekend-Camp for Kids at the BRT Tiger Reserve.
- Two nights and three days in quintessential K.Gudi wilderness Camp
- A fascinating experience in South Eastern mystical mountain ranges
- A great holiday in the lap of Nature
- A treasure of photography learning
- A whale of a time with a friendly, patient and helpful Camp Skipper
- A riveting expedition that is sure to have them asking for more
At the confluence of the Eastern and Western Ghats lies the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve – more popularly known as B.R.Hills – as a melting pot of both ecosystems. Named after the Rangaswamy temple that crowns a whitish rock at the zenith of the sanctuary, this ecological hotspot is a veritable treasure-trove of floral, faunal and cultural affluence, marked by the nature-worshipping Soliga tribe.
A critical wildlife-corridor, the hills, ridges and grasslands of BRT Tiger Reserve support an impressive variety of life in their mystical folds, with over 25 mammalian species in residence. And aided by two full open-jeep safaris into its heart, this special Camp is bound to open your child’s eyes to its untold wonders.
It is in these magical environs that the mysteries of nature will unfurl before your child’s impressionable eyes, while the magic of the forest works its charm. In beholding a diminutive barking deer in glee, regarding a mighty gaur in awe, admiring the elegance of an elephant, counting the colours on a peacock, catching the ultimate glimpse of a regal leopard or tiger, or simply revelling in the sounds of the jungle or the sight of a sunset, your child will open up to the purity of an untamed world.
Serving as a base for exploration of all the verdure is a camp that looks and feels like a vignette from a fairy tale. Located at K.Gudi (short for Khyatadevarayagudi), the site of a Soliga temple thick in the midst of the primeval forest, with little separating the quaint tents from the wilderness, it is an ideal creche for your child to fall in love with nature.
Meanwhile, with ace naturalist and photographer Harsha Narasimhamurthy at the helm of juvenile affairs, your child will be in the best possible hands. With tremendous experience in guiding kids, bottomless wells of energy and a riotous sense of humour as his chief tools, Harsha is bound to keep your child enthralled when the wildlife is not, so they feel at home and are left asking for more!
The Biligiriranga Tiger reserve in the far south of the state is truly an enchanting destination in its own sense. Nestled somewhere in the heart of BRT tiger reserve is the K.Gudi Wilderness Camp which was once the hunting grounds for the Mysore Maharajas is now a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and naturalists. The place boasts of a rich species of flaura and fauna through the 540km2 spread of its diverse vegetation.
At K Gudi, one can indulge and experience the sheer joy of watching and appreciating the beauty of nature in close quarters. The place welcomes you throughout the year. K.Gudi is home to Beautiful Bird species, large bovines like Indian gaurs, asiatic elephants, sloth bears, leopards and ever elusive leopards and tigers providing ample opportunities to understand their behaviour and photograph them in their natural habitat.
22 April 2019, Monday
We gather at our Jayanagar, Bangalore office at 6:00 a.m. and depart with the green brigade, proceeding to be enchanted on our much-awaited Camp.
After check-in and a scrumptious lunch, Skipper will introduce participants to the art and science of wildlife photography. There will also be a brief on the wildlife found in the area before the group departs on an evening jungle safari in the park, where we explore the wildlife hotspots and keep our eyes peeled for surprises.
We return to the resort at dusk, after enjoying the many sights, sounds and smells of the forest. Over bonfire and dinner we get to know one another better and discuss the unique experience of the safari.
In the evening the children enjoy a session of entertainment followed by a presentation on wildlife photography. Then it is time to treat the tastebuds to some scrumptious dinner before retiring for the night.
23 April, Tuesday
The break of dawn will be welcomed by an early wakeup call and steaming tea. After all, we have a date to keep with the animals of the jungle! Setting out in our open vehicle again, the children try to put to practice some of the photography tips they picked up the previous night, while soaking up all the amazing facts about the local wildlife supplied by the Skipper.
After hopefully a productive time wandering in the jungle, we return to camp, where an invigorating breakfast waits to whet our appetites. After fuelling up, we retreat to our tents to get fresh and recharge our batteries. Then, we take a walk in and around the lovely camp, watching and photographing birds, spiders and some creatures of the forest that are found only when one walks through it.
Lunch will be followed by a brief rest and then the evening safari. Late evenings are when cats are on the move, and we’ll fully hope to strike some feline fortune. Returning at dusk, we reinvigorate ourselves with a cup of tea and sit down with Skipper for another session of entertainment, fun and learning before dining and calling it a day in the comfort of our lovely safari-tents.
24 April 2019, Wednesday
The last morning inevitably arrives, and we rise early to complete the last safari, hoping for a fitting climax to an eventful time.
Upon our return we breakfast and then retreat to our tents to get fresh and pack our luggage. We check out at 11 a.m. and drive back to Bangalore, stopping en route for lunch, returning triumphantly as a green brigade, with the children bursting to share the tales of the trip with their loved ones.
- Per child on triple-sharing accommodation
- For two children on triple-sharing accommodation
- Per child on triple-sharing accommodation
- Triple-sharing accommodation in comfortable tents
- Road transfers from Toehold Office, Bangalore, to the destination and return
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
- Bottled water
- All safaris and entry fees
- Camera fees
- All applicable taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Airfare if any
- Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
- Insurance, laundry and phone calls
- Soft drinks
- Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
- 100% Camp fee in advance for confirmation
- 10% outside 30 days before the camp
- 25% between 29 and 22 days before the camp
- 50% between 21 and 15 days before the camp
- 75% between 14 and 8 days before the camp
- 100% within 7 days before the camp
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
Who should attend this Camp?
Anybody between 10 and 16 years of age is welcome to join the Camp. If your child is marginally outside the specified age-group, please talk to us to find out if we can accommodate them. There are no other eligibility criteria.
How many participants can be expected to attend?
Your child can expect a maximum of 10 other kids for company. The Camp strength has been kept down to ensure smooth running of the event and quality time with the Skipper for each kid.
What sort of accommodation can my child expect?
Accommodation will be in luxury tents in a well-furnished resort with all the basic amenities (electricity, running water, hot food etc) available. Each tent will be shared by three children.
By what mode will children explore the forest on this Camp?
Children will enjoy the wilderness in an open safari vehicle, but also by foot around the camp for birdwatching.
What about my child's safety during the event?
Your child’s safety is of paramount importance to us. The Skipper leading this Camp has been trained by Toehold on child protection; child behaviour and development; health and safety; activity programme delivery; and Toehold’s code of conduct, policies and procedures. The Skipper will accompany the children on all activities and the Camp will have at least one staff member qualified in administering First Aid, at all times.
What things should my child bring to this Camp?
- Water bottle
- Cap or hat
- Shoes and slippers/floaters
- Three sets of sober-coloured outdoor clothing, shorts, swimwear, night clothes and towel
- Toiletries and other personal essentials
- Notebook and pen or pencil
- Mosquito repellent
- Camera and binoculars (if possible)
How do I register my child/children?
Simply click on the ‘REGISTER NOW’ tab and fill out the form on the page and we’ll get back to you pronto.
Absolutely awesome! A very home-like and informal feeling. I made new friends and this camp sparked an interest in photography and wildlife.
The view from the room was just beautiful! Also, I really enjoyed waking up to the spotted deer feeding just outside the window and the lovely Nilgiri hills.
The camp was great fun! Skipper also taught us how to do time lapse photography and gave us a lot of knowledge on the wildlife. The leopard sighting was my favourite moment of the trip and I hope to come back and see more of them.