Camp Corbett celebrates its quarter century or silver anniversary this month. It was in early 1987 that Ome and Suman Anand set up camp on their land near Choti Haldwani. The tents were set amidst an expanse of lantana scrub and grass, next to an orchard of lemon and guava trees. Camping in 1987 was quite adventurous. Tigers and leopards prowled through the scrub and grass at night on their quest for food. Lone bull elephants were a frequent hazard and on one occasion trashed a temporary kucha hut.
Since those early days, the tented camp has grown to 12 comfortable cottages, plus the thatched dining room, with the picturesque thatched "rondavel" as a centrepiece of the Camp.
The surrounding lantana and grass scrub is still there, together with many trees of all kinds, and provides a refuge for a herd of chithal and several sambhar and kakar which wander in from the surrounding forest at night. Elephants still pass through on their traditional migration route from the sal forest to the nearby Baur River, and happily, tigers and leopards stilll prowl the adjacent sal forest and riverbed. Many of the 367 recorded birds can be seen within the Camp grounds, including Leothrix, Rubythroat, Niltava, Slaty Woodpecker, Great Hornbill and numerous others.
1. Camp Corbett, March 1987. Tigers and leopards would prowl behind our tents at night.
2. Camp Corbett, 2012. Suman Anand, co-founder, owner and manager, in front of the dining room
Photographs by Chris Salt. (c) all rights reserved