The trip starts from Priya Cinema near Deshopriyo Park in South Kolkata at 8 am in an AC Volvo which reaches the launch boarding point at Gothkhali near Gosaba in about one and a half hours depending on the traffic situation . Luggage is transferred under the supervision of Tiger Camp personnel and then the launch trip begins .
A mini packed breakfast is served on the bus and lunch is served in the resort . We stayed in the Executive Cottages and these are really clean and nice with basic toiletries considering that Sunderbans is a difficult habitat . The greenery is well maintained and with a cackle of geese and pea fowls in water bodies within the resort the rustic look only adds to the beauty of Tiger Camp .
Food is basically Bengali cuisine with fish for lunch and chicken at dinner besides vegetarian items and dessert. However if you inform them in advance regarding dietary concerns those are taken care of. The launch has very comfortable chairs and tea/coffee are served as required .
For those who prefer alcohol on board they have a bar on the boat which stocks beer and hard liquor – the resort also has a bar and the prices are surprisingly okay. On the first night there was a performance by local artists and with a blazing bonfire it was was very enjoyable.
The launch trips start early morning on the second and third day and a hearty breakfast is served in the launch, The cruise takes to you different watch towers as well as canopy walks and the Mangrove Interpretation center at Sajnekhali and the journey through the narrow creeks with mangroves and other different varieties of trees like Sundari ( from where I believe Sunderbans got its name ) Hogla , Hetal etc.
The launches are allowed in the Forest area are from 7 am to 4:30 pm and because of that the itenary is planned accordingly. For the senior citizens in our group it is quite difficult to board and get down from the launch especially in the low tide but the smiling staff were always there to help out.
On the second day after morning and afternoon launch trips to Dobanke and the Matla Sea Face from where you can take in amazing views of the sunset bordering the Bay of Bengal in the evening they organize a village walk in Dayapur and for city residents it is quite an education seeing the villages and the village folk going about their chores.
On the third day after a morning cruise to Sudhanyakhali you have an early lunch before finally boarding the launch for Gothkhali enroute Kolkata wherein you reach Priya Cinema around 5:30 pm.
While all the staff are wonderful a special mention of Ayan who was always around to help us for any kind of thing which we wanted either at the resort or at the launch. For those who want to carry back the remembrance of Tiger Camp there is a small souvenir shop in Tiger Camp and I would recommend the Sunderbans Honey
However if you are a typical tourist who will only go to the forest for only tiger spotting then Sunderbans is not the place for you . You have to soak in the magnificent beauty of the estuarine delta and the unique eco system where man and the tiger survive in the harshest of habitats .
Sunderbans is a bird watchers paradise with a huge variety especially the King Fisher family besides different kinds of species . In winters you do see huge crocs on the water edge soaking in the sun besides deer and wild boars .
Having been to Sunderbans number of times the closest I have come to the King of the Jungle is seeing fresh pug-marks on the mud flats which was in a different trip .
However the beauty of Sunderbans lies in the magnificent eco system which makes it an unique destination and a big thumbs up to the Tiger Camp team for their superb service . I would definitely recommend their 2N/3D itenary for a visit to the Sunderbans .
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