First of all, we went in the wrong season (two weeks ago). Tigers were supposedly mating and therefore we weren’t able to see them (so told us the guide at Jim Corbett National Park very happily). I personally, think Corbett has handful of tigers left and the guide was conning us.
Either ways, I think off-season is also not a bad time to go Corbett. Tourist traffic is less and most importantly, you can avail great package for a short 3 day stay at some of the best resorts – like we did at the Corbett Woods Resort which is a pretty nice resort. In all, we paid Rs 6000 (USD 100) per person for a 3 day/ 2 night stay, all meals, taxes, one safari and one nature walk inclusive. The resort is semi-luxurious and offers tents and cottages both. It also has a medium size pool, a facility that most resorts in Corbett don’t have. It also has a mini playground for kids and a central hall for buffet and meals. The staff is nice and helpful but the cook steals the show completely – he really should be participating in Masterchef or some other culinary talent hunt. Just amazing. If you do go there, do ask him to make pepper-paneer (cottage cheese) or butter chicken for you. It’s finger licking good.
While the entire staff is good, a special note goes out to this young boy, Amit Negi – very helpful and prompt. Was always by our side! The location of the resort is pretty scenic too – the resort is located by the riverside and if you are upto a nature walk then the resort manager (who is also a guide) will take you for a nature walk deep into the jungle. Two of the people, we were traveling got chased by a crazy elephant during the nature walk and had their adrenalin pumping pretty high!
If you are the lazy type, then the staff can set up a table for you near the river and you can enjoy the view and check out small animals (mostly deer). Bonfires are not allowed in the season because the wood is wet and Forest Rangers don’t allow stacking up of wood. In terms of accommodation, we stayed in tents – they are nice, large tents with AC and a little seating area too. Bathrooms within the tent are cemented and proper – so no problem on that front. The resort is well cordoned and safety is not an issue. Room service is prompt and you can ask them to clean the room before leaving for your safari or outing.
The safari by itself is fun, guide explains a lot and you will get to see lot of wildlife including elephants, deer, monkeys, rare birds etc. If you are incredibly lucky, you will also get to see a tiger (I was the only person in the group who didn’t want to meet/ say hello to a Tiger!). Getting out of the safari jeep is not allowed and followed strictly until the tea-break point which comes mid-way in the safari.
Overall, the short stay was lots of fun and turned out to be light on pocket too. Snacks and tea at the resort are not expensive – but liquor is – so please carry your own liquor to keep expenses low. You will also need to book the resort in advance via their website because it seems fairly popular even in off-peak season. (http://www.corbettwoodsresort.com/)
Location is fairly simple from Delhi : Delhi – morabad – ramnagar (just before you enter the city of Ramnagar, you take a left turn to village Dhela and go about 12kms to reach the resort)
Pictures below – hope you like them.