Saturday, April 6, 2013

First Guest In Wild Trak Lodge

The first guest to stay in Wild Trak Lodge has arrived. Gaz Davies from England has come to stay at Wild Trak Lodge as a volunteer, to assist with the development of the lodge. So far Gaz has been here 6 days, in that time he all ready has had a close encounter with a wild elephant which wandered very close to the lodge in the night time and also had a close encounter with a tiger which can be seen in this link.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Striped Hyena Tracks Found Towards Ghutti

A jeep drive towards Ghutti Post last month (December 2012) proved to be very rewarding. The footprints of a Leopard, a male and female tiger, and those of a Striped Hyena were all found on the same jeep track, and all quite fresh. The Striped Hyena is extremely rare in Bardia and it was a pleasure to
find it's footprints. I will now endevour to see one! You can see from the satellite map the jeep track in blue, and the marked spot where the hyena tracks were found.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Beginings: The Building of Wild Trak Lodge

We Mark Out And Measure Our First Cottage
Digging The Footings For The First Cottage
When I first arrived in Asia in 2006, I had never even thought of coming to Nepal. Luckily while traveling round India I bumped into a British guy called Neil who informed me that while he was in Nepal he was able to walk in a jungle that had tigers, elephants and rhino. I made a decision right then and there that I was going to go to Nepal. I had tried to visit some of the National Parks of India, but it was monsoon time and all the national parks were closed and it was, as I found out, very difficult to obtain permission to enter these parks at this time of year. So with my decision made to visit Nepal I headed towards Banbassa (the West border of India/Nepal) and crossed over the border by horse and cart to Mahendrenagar. From here I caught a bus to Anbassa, the gateway to Bardia National Park. 
On my original visit to Bardia I stayed two weeks, going into the jungle almost every day. I was amazed, the jungle was absolutely teaming with wildlife, and being able to walk around on foot to experience it was absolutely fantastic, totally unlike the jeep safari’s that I had been on in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. At the end of the two weeks I was sure that at some point in the future I would return.
Cutting Up Reclaimed Wood
 I did indeed return, each time gaining more knowledge of the country and gaining in confidence that at some point in the future I would try to set up a project in Bardia with my friend Sitaram, my guide in the jungle on my first visit.
After many years of planning to create a project in Bardia, finally, in April 2012 I came with the definite intention  of building a guest house in Bardia from which could run jungle adventure’s from. 
Inside The First Cottage
At first, the project started slowly, planning in detail exactly what I was going to build and where we were going to build it. Once an outline of this had been devised then came the hard struggle of collecting materials to build it. Even though we are situated right next to the jungle, as it is a protected national park, wood is quite difficult to obtain, and I was going to need quite a substantial amount to build my cottages. Over many months of searching we finally found a local family who were selling their house (or in actual fact, the materials that their house was made from) so that they could build a new house. This house contained nearly all the wood we needed to construct our cottages, and with the bricks which Sitaram and his family had made a few years before we were ready to start.

The Grass In The Foreground Will Then Thatch The Roofs
With a team of local tradesmen, we started work on the cottages in September 2012. Work then set of at a tremendous pace, and now in January 2013 the rooms are nearing completion.

John Sparshatt