A flight from Delhi to Bhopal got us there early in the morning. It was my first trip to Bhopal. I was pleasantly surprised with whatever part of the city I saw. Arriving early in the morning helped too! We stopped for a sumptuous breakfast at the Jehan Numa Palace. Situated close to the lake area in Bhopal, it’s windows; corridors and rooms reflect a glorious past.
The drive from Bhopal to the Reni Pani Lodge at Satpura was interspersed with plenty of halts to spot a Black-shouldered Kite juvenile, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Coppersmith Barbet and Indian Silverbill. We managed to even see a Pied Kingfisher in action!
The terrain along the route is quite picturesque. Golden fields of wheat merge into undulating forestland. Winding our way through the dry forest we arrive to a warm welcome at the lodge. Reni Pani gets its name from the Reni shrub found in abundance in the area and “Pani” is attributed to a stream that runs through the property. The lodge has spacious, comfortable and tastefully done up cottages. The open-air shower is heavenly!! Siddharth, the in-house Naturalist, accompanied us through all our outings, which I think is a great initiative of the resort.
As the lodge is located in a forest area, there are plenty of birds to see without even leaving the premises! There are bird-baths placed at various places which are very popular with the birds! We saw the beautiful Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher Female, Oriental White-eye, Tailor bird, Spotted Dove, Woodshrike, Parakeets, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, White-browed Fantail, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and our first sighting of the Golden-fronted Leafbird. Another thoughtful feature of the lodge is to provide the guests with a small booklet detailing the flora and fauna found in the Satpura area.
Satpura National Park covers an area of about 500 sq.kms. It is an interesting natural park, where one can do Safari rides, canoe on the river and walk the forest.