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National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) is a 400km stretch of the river Chambal in northern India, with wide swathes of the ravines on both sides of the river, covering a total area of 1,235sqkms.

The Chambal Ravines form an incredible maze of intertwining mud cliffs, interspersed with tropical dry scrub forest. The rivers pristine condition is largely due to the fact that sacred texts name it as unholy; it is now one of the last remaining habitats of the Gangetic river dolphin.

NCS also provides protection for 1,200 gharials, a species previously decimated by poaching, and 300 marsh crocodiles, eight species of turtles, and smooth-coated otters. It boasts an impressive and rapidly increasing list of birds with over 290 species of resident and migratory birds, and is gaining something of a reputation as one of the most reliable places to see the Indian skimmer.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Gangetic river dolphin, gharial crocodile, Indian skimmer, marsh crocodile, smooth-coated otter
  • Where: Uttar Pradesh, India
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Chambal Safari Lodge

This family-owned heritage property is located on an extensive wooded estate, and originally provided accommodation for the annual cattle fair. Since its restoration as an eco-lodge, the main building houses two rooms, while there are eight independent twin-bedded cottages in the grounds.