I still remember the tense moments that had set us thinking… as stumbling upon maps and data sheets had revealed the possibility of the Chorla Ghats being put under scanner of development planners and timber lobbies with vested interests. That was two decades ago. It was a time when wildlife conservation was at its utmost low, a time when a group of silent nature lovers and die hard ecologists sat atop Lasni Temb, the highest peak and dreamt a dream. A dream called Wildernest.
We set forth our objective- to create a sustainable venture, which would conserve the forest biodiversity of this region and also bring to limelight the natural and cultural wealth of Goa’s Western Ghats. We set off to realize a dream where nature conservation would be centre stage and comforts would match international standards.
While we faced a world that accepted us with grace as well as caution, support came from all quarters at times when we needed it most. From forest officials, village elders and local NGO’s to architects and hospitality greats, we were offered unconditional support and guidance because the project was seen as one which would shape the path for eco-tourism in Goa.
As more than 200 men toiled for 4 years to create the dream project that had to harvest rainwater from a few kilometers away and generate our own power for over three years of operations.
There were misfortunes and dark days and our men braved them all with support from village communities that spanned the states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.The 5 villages Chorla, Keri, Surla, Kankumbi and Virdi from 3 different states have come together to support and sustain this project.
Social workers and environmentalists guided our principles and provided us field staff for operations, who continue to carry the flame of Wildernest to a new high, and prove that local communities too can run and operate a Nature resort of the highest calibre!
Our team put heart and soul to make Wildernest as a destination in itself and one that prides to work for nature conservation as a core concept.
The pandemic has tested our resolve once again and with a strong will and renewed vigor, Wildernest has opened its doors to guests to rediscover themselves in nature’s lap. Today, we support 300 families directly or otherwise and continue in its efforts to bring into limelight the need for sustainable conservation ventures in the Western Ghats of India.