Treehouse in Taznania, lake manyara safari

Hi, I’m Misha. Welcome to my luxury wilderness travel blog.

I seek out intimate luxury travel experiences that provide guests with a deep connection to nature. Whether it be a wilderness lodge, wildlife safari, guest ranch, or farm stay, I will show you the best that each outdoor-focused destination has to offer.

Trip to North India

Aman-i-khas: Luxury Tiger Safari Camp in India

Hot off the press from Aman-i-Khas in Rajasthan, India

Aman-i-Khas is a ten-tent luxury safari camp on the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park. It is nestled within a brush forest near the village of Sawai Madhopur. The main attraction in the area is the Bengal Tiger, but there is also a wide array of other wildlife including crocodiles, leopards, jackals, Sambar deer, peacocks, and around 300 species of birds. In addition to the safaris, Aman-i-Khas offers multiple unique excursions that include a trip to Ranthambore Fort, sunset camel rides,  and tours of the local village.

tent interior

Getting There

Getting there: My husband and I made the trek to Aman-i-Khas from Agra by train. (This can also be done via New Delhi.) I had heard horror stories of the trains in India so I was definitely a bit apprehensive. Luckily, Aman-i-Khas sent a batman (personal butler) out to meet us at the train station to accompany us on our journey. He helped us with our bags and made sure we got on the right train. He set us up in a first class air-conditioned semi-private room (max 4 people) where a Scottish couple was sitting. Our batman whipped out a beautifully patterned Indian blanket and laid it out over the sofa for us to sit on. It seemed the couple sitting across from us were wondering why they didn’t get a pretty fabric to sit on. Then our butler came back and pulled out a small folding table. He set out two cold water bottles, a container of freshly baked banana bread and cookies, and gave us hot towels to clean our hands. I overheard the woman sitting across from us quietly ask her husband why they had not been set up so nicely. I thought to myself, “because you made the mistake of not booking with Aman.” Aman Resorts never miss a detail, no matter how small it may be. So when the choice came to book at Aman or the competing 5 star resort – I knew my choice.

Most of Rajasthan is a very different world than what us Western hemisphere folks are used to, and the train ride through the small villages of the countryside gave us some perspective of this. It felt like I had stepped into a time warp – taken back hundreds of years. Many places were without electricity, or even running water, and people cooked their meals in homemade clay ovens, powered by burning cow dung. Animals roamed the streets in large numbers while local villagers sat around arranged piles of burning trash – trying to warm their brittle hands. Bedazzled camels carried small loads of cargo, with patterns painted on their faces and colorful netting over their backs. Unlike America’s Starbucks-obsessed society, coffee in Rajasthan is a distant luxury that is mostly replaced with tea. The men seem to stand around enjoying this tea while the women do most of the physical work. We were surprised when our guide told us that many of the Rajasthani men were, for the most part, lazy. We caught a glimpse of this as the women were seen doing all of the roadwork, and carrying heavy loads on top of their heads. I found it very interesting that as poor as these people were, all of the women looked so vibrant and beautiful in their pressed saris and braided hairdos. A totally refreshing and spiritual vibration radiates from Rajasthan’s landscapes. Something you can’t understand until you visit for yourself.

Aman-i-Khas

I’ve heard Aman-i-Khas referred to as the most luxurious camping in the world. While I cannot disagree with this, the kind of luxury we experienced was not a flashy, pretentious type of luxury. It was a minimalistic, organic, and authentic kind of luxury. Aman Resorts always seem to be more focused on the experience than anything else – and they do an unmatched job at that. The property here is not impeccably manicured with flashy decorations as one might expect from “the most luxurious camping in the world”. It is arranged in a well-thought-out and intimate setting within a natural brush forest. Each air-conditioned tent (there are 10) is far enough apart to ensure each guest has plenty of privacy. Tents are designed to echo Mughal Pavilions with cotton drapes separating the sleeping, dressing, and bathing areas.

A stroll through the property reveals a library and gift shop tent, a dining tent, and an outdoor dining terrace. A large square-shaped sofa is set around the main fire pit with little lanterns strewn throughout. This is the main area where guests can mingle with a sunset cocktail and enjoy the occasional wildlife viewing. I was able to witness some large deer roaming through the grounds, as well as two resident crocodiles, whom dwelled down by the property’s lake. Small lantern-lit pathways lead guests to the tented spa, gardens, and a contemporary style pool.

While the menu options are limited, we found each meal to be fantastic. I later found out that Aman-i-Khas grows all of its own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in its beautiful organic garden, which made me enjoy the food even more. You can’t beat that kind of freshness.

All guests are assigned their very own batman (butler). Our batman arranged everything for us, and waited on us during all of our meals. He came with us on our excursions – to ensure our safety and to provide us with whatever we needed. Hot towels, snacks, water? We were covered. He also made sure to keep his distance to give us the perfect amount of privacy. On our last night, our butler set up a private dinner for us in the middle of the jungle. He just said he wanted to make dinner plans for us. He took us to where they had set up multiple clay ovens, a bar, fire pit, and a beautifully set table for two. There was a chef cooking authentic Indian food – the real way – and he taught us how to make naan bread. There had to have been at least a hundred lanterns hanging in the trees and on the ground. The lengths they went to – to provide an authentic and very special experience for us was almost unbelievable. Nowhere else will you ever see service like this.

Tiger Safari

We opted for the private safari with a driver and a naturalist and left the resort early in the morning while it was still dark. The drive into Ranthambore National Park had me feeling a bit like I was about to enter the gates of Jurassic Park, where carnage and mayhem were about to break loose. I know… I have a wild imagination and a fear of big cats. But they are so majestic and beautiful that I wanted to do it anyway.

Trip to North India

We were told over and over again that spotting a tiger is very rare, but if we were lucky enough we might see one. I only booked one safari and secretly hoped that we wouldn’t see one, due to my fear! Believe it or not, we had only been in the park for 30 minutes when a massive male tiger stood directly in the middle of the road, staring at us. What a wonderful thing – to be able to witness this marvelous creature, up close, in its natural habitat. After that, we ended up spotting multiple tigers within very close proximity and the safari and entire stay was an exhilarating success.

COMMENTS
  • EVH

    REPLY

    This looks awesome!! Trip of a lifetime.

    March 12, 2016
  • Patrick

    REPLY

    Wow! This is the exact type of place my wife and I have been looking for. We’ve been on African safaris multiple times but have been wanting to see the tigers in India. Thank you for bringing this wonderful tented camp to our attention. -Patrick

    March 12, 2016
  • Vanessa Vincent

    REPLY

    What a rich and beautiful experience. Truly breathtaking. Your descriptions and photos make me feel as if I’m there taking it all in with you. This is why travel exists!! A total dream come true. I can’t get enough of the tiger photos!

    March 12, 2016
  • Lily

    REPLY

    I would love to see the tigers!

    March 12, 2016
  • It looks peaceful and gorgeous there! I have to stay at Aman-i-khas sometime in my life! I have never even touched a camel. I can’t wait to ride one. The tiger photos you took are amazing! Your photography is so beautiful!!!! I love reading all your post!

    March 12, 2016
  • Lakshmi

    REPLY

    Of all the wonderful write-ups you’ve done, i think this is the most exhilirating! Thank you for being so thorough, from the organic garden, to the camels, monkeys & tigers, to the surprise fresh jungle cuisine!

    March 12, 2016
  • Anna Elbek

    REPLY

    This looks like heaven!! Wild animals, amazing food and luxury surprises around every corner!! I am putting this one on the bucket list?? Amazing video!! I felt like I was there.

    March 12, 2016
  • Matthew Latsha

    REPLY

    Wow Misha, our next trip to India will definitely be booked using only Aman Resorts due to seeing and hearing how you were treated!!!
    I loved how close you sat to your husband because of your fears. It looked like he was going to be pushed off the truck cuz you were so close, lol

    March 14, 2016
  • Sheila Martinson

    REPLY

    Hey Misha, your trip looks like it was amazing! I have a few questions, how many nights did you stay? Also did you book the safari and camel ride prior to your trip? I’m planning my own visit and I would love to visit Aman….actually I want to visit all the places you reviewed! But we are short on time and just need some advice on how long to book each location. Thanks!

    July 28, 2016
      • Sheila Martinson

        REPLY

        Thanks for the info! I hope we see a tiger too!

        August 12, 2016
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