August 2010: Excellent photography and high production values combine to make this a “must have” book. It serves as an archive of wildlife conservation in Karnataka. The text champions the strategy of using eco-tourism to conserve nature: “The dilemma for us is to reconcile the principles of ecotourism, while being flexible enough to appreciate the fact that standards on ecotourism continue to develop.”
The idea of the book was supported by and to a large extent inspired by the late Papa John Wakefield (Sanctuary Vol. XXX No. 3, June 2010) and his uncompromising philosophy of what a true jungle retreat should be: “... a fine blend of comfort without cosseting: bed tea and biscuits served in the verandah of your block before the morning round, no TVs in the room, all meals in the iconic gol ghur where you meet everyone in the camp over a buffet, and no room service, loud music or boisterous parties.” The book is a visual treat, with works of some of India’s finest photographers featured. A large number of new entrants into the field of wildlife lodge management would do well to take a leaf out of the fading philosophy of giants such as Papa Wakefield who never forgot that the interests of the visitor and the lodge must always be subservient to those of the wild species they come from afar to experience.
Journeys with Jungle Lodges & Resorts
By Kunal Sharma and N.D. Tiwari
Published by Jungle Lodges and Resorts,
Hard cover, Full colour, 204 pages, Price not mentioned
Reviewed by Bittu Sahgal