The call of the wild draws tourists to Kabini River Lodge

The call of the wild draws tourists to Kabini River Lodge

The call of the wild draws tourists to Kabini River Lodge

 Kabini River Lodge, which has been rated as one of the world’s best wildlife resorts, has recorded profits of Rs 10.62 crore in 2015-16 -- the highest since its inception.

The resort’s earnings make up a major part of the revenue earned by the state-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd (JLR). JLR recorded a turnover of Rs 54.23 crore (provisional) in 2015-16.

Little wonder that JLR has been promoting its ‘flagship’ property aggressively, which has tariffs ranging between Rs 12,000 and Rs 16,000 per person per day.

The property had recorded profits of Rs 4.66 crore in 2013-14, and Rs 8.03 crore in 2014-15. The footfall too has dramatically increased over the years. In 2013-14, the occupancy in Kabini was 17,111; in 2014-15 it was 18,836; and in 2015-16 it went up to 20,033. JLR’s total occupancy in 2015-16 was 82,853. Besides Kabini, Bandipur Safari Lodge (Rs 3.81 cr), Bheemeshwari Adventure Camp (Rs 2.23 cr) and River Tern Lodge (Rs 1.69 cr) too have recorded high profits among the 18 properties run by JLR in 2015-16.

JLR however hasn’t been as lucky with some of its other properties. While the Om Beach Resort has recorded losses of Rs 13.43 lakh, the Bheemghad Adventure Camp has recorded losses of Rs 10.95 lakh in 2015-16.

JLR Managing Director Vijay Sharma said that the Kabini property was most sought after, despite its high pricing, because of the opportunity it offers for spotting varied wildlife in their pristine, natural habitat. The 54-acre property is located on the fringes of Nagarhole National Park and on the banks of River Kabini.

Sharma said that efforts were on to improve the positioning of Om Beach and Bheemghad properties also. While the Om Beach property came under JLR’s possession a few months ago, Bheemghad was started over a year ago. Operations here were being streamlined, he added. JLR is targeting a revenue of Rs 55 crore this year.

Budget accommodation

Sharma said that this year, JLR’s focus has been on setting up budget-class accommodation in the name of Jungle Camps and Trails. As many as six affordable properties are being developed under this concept. While JLR has begun operations in the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, it hopes to start operations at Anejhari, Bhagavathi, Jogimatti, Seethanadi and Hemmagada in the next two months. The tariff here will be around Rs 2,000 per person.

The camps will have tented accommodation, and trekking will be the only primary activity. Sharma said that these camps are being taken over from the Forest department.