Dera Amer situated behind the hills of the famous Amer Fort is the ideal location for outdoor recreational and adventure activities in very close proximity to the city of Jaipur. The Camp is located at the foothills of the Aravali Range and surrounded by the wilderness of a reserved forest with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets housing the local villagers occupied by farming on the their fields bordering a pretty lake.
A local Rajput family who themselves reside in the area organize elephant interaction, horse and camel safaris in the jungle using their beautiful home and camp as base as well as getting the guests to interact with the local farmers in the village. Ideal natural environment for the resident elephants and camels who are part of the happy Dera Amer family responsible for protecting several hundred hectares of indigenous Aravali Forest land.
The camp also provides meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner or just high tea of excellent quality and variety in a personalised environment and are fully equipped to cater to any number of people efficiently-majority of the ingredients are fresh and grown organically on the farm, while the elaborate bar serves the most exotic cocktails in a rustic yet luxurious atmosphere.
A wonderful day of leisure in the comfort of an exclusive and personalised environment and beautiful setting.
The Jungle of Salwara - Kukas
Teeming with wild-life, the thickly forested Aravali Hills of Salwara-Kukas were for long a part of a much favored Royal Hunting Preserve around the historic Amer Fort of Jaipur. From King Edward VII to Sir Pratap of Jodhpur; many great Princes set up camp here in the hunt for the magnificent Kukas Tiger...legend has it, amongst the biggest and fiercest in all India.
Only 22 Kms from Jaipur's bustling City-Centre, the hills are still thickly wooded and rich in flora and fauna and bird-life; and, due in no small measure to the far-sighted efforts of Singh family, are now enjoying a come-back of a myriad hues..
The forests are back; the grass-lands are back; the wilderness is back... The Tiger's throne has been taken by the Leopard, who leads a host of smaller predators like the Caracal, Jungle Cat, Jackal and Fox. The Birds are back; from the Siberian Ruby Throat to the Paradise Flycatchers to the Marshal's Iora. Above all; at dusk, as the sun goes down over the medieval temple on the hill; or at night, under a glorious full moon...that indescribable jungle feeling, that thrill - fear and excitement in equal measure - has returned to this magnificent valley.
A few years ago the Singh family brought some elephants out for a picnic to a particularly picturesque spot on the family estate. The grand experiment never looked back; today the quietly elegant 'Dera Amer' has become synonymous with the great Pachyderm. From Living with the Elephants – “True Glamping”, Elephant interaction, Jeep Safari, Horse Safari, Camel Safari, the Dera (Camp) provides the most spectacular of settings for Man to get to know; and indeed, to learn, from the wisest and gentlest beast of them of all...
Dera Amer-The Concept:
Dera Amer is an organisation run by a family who have converted their 160 acre land into a wilderness camp, surrounded by the Nahargarh National Park the family because of their love for nature, wildlife and animals has resisted the temptation for several real estate development options and instead chosen to protect the wilderness and their adopted animals.
The elephants, camels, cows at the camp are closest to their natural habitat and tread on soft ground, the large agricultural fields provide the food for the animals as well much needed exercise in a healthy environment.
We would be really happy if the animals were sent back to the wild where they belong however these animals are now used to human company and their support, human interaction is essential for the animals since they have lived since birth with humans and at Dera Amer we ensure time with elephants in a healthy and humane manner and in an environment closest to their natural habitat.
At Dera Amer, we have a commitment to our animals, our workforce, the local environment and its community. Promoting responsible tourism we operate with an eco-sensitive mind set. From organic farming practices, including the implementation of solar panelled water pumps and drip irrigation, to our social responsibilities and empowering the local communities, Dera Amer is resolute in creating a positive impact on the environment around us.
Our Social Responsibility
Our staff are all from villages surrounding our camp, and some have been with us since its inception, providing direct and indirect income to the local communities. Dera Amer also funds the nearby junior school, providing computers, stationary, and books, ensuring a brighter future for their families.
Animal Welfare: The very essence of Dera Amer. Our elephants and camels are adopted from Amer Fort and rescued from a life of hard labour. The only time you will ever see a restraint on Laxmi or Rangmala, our resident elephants, is during a visit from the vet! Otherwise, they live in harmony at the camp accompanied by their mahout.
(Ensuring our animals live in a natural environment for them – rather than the bustling streets of Jaipur. – Is this your comment? Which text does it relate to? It relates to the concept of the camp. You may or may not use it but hope you understand what we mean to convey? Understand, just wondering where you would like to input it – here? Suggesting including it in the “Our Vision” para?)
Organic Farming: Maintained by local villagers and camp staff Dera Amer’s expanding vegetable plot is entirely organic. Free from pesticides it is harvested using traditional farming techniques, solar panelled water pumps and drip irrigation. We call them good karma greens.
Seasonal Menu: Nothing tastes better than farm fresh, organic dishes, and all our meals are both. Whether sourced from our own neighbouring farm, or the local market, our seasonal menus are prepared daily by our kitchen team, trained by international chefs. Dine on Gajar Matar right from our vegetable plot, and fresh rotis straight from the tandoor. Not only does this ensure a low carbon footprint, but also the, tastiest farm-fresh ingredients for our guests.
Water Conservation: Using two solar-powered water pumps we are able to harness enough natural basin water to keep our lawns green and our vegetables growing. Responsible water consumption is of the utmost importance in the desert state of Rajasthan, and for that reason, Dera Amer does not have a swimming pool.
Dera Amer: The Story
Acquiring 180 acres of largely neglected scrubland in 1981, the Singh family made a commitment to returning the Saluwar Forest back to its former days as a favourite hunting ground of The Maharaja of Jaipur. The concept behind Dera Amer was never about profits, and despite being approached by several developers to turn the plot into something more lucrative, the Singh family remained resolute in the protection and preservation of the local environment. Beginning by adopting elephants, over 30 years later, Dera Amer is a sanctuary for animals: both domestic and wild, and the perfect spot for visitors who wish to escape the city.
Our vision at Dera Amer is simple. We aim to maintain an area of preserved wilderness and natural beauty whilst creating a sanctuary for animals to live and for humans to enjoy. To provide an alternative hospitality experience in Jaipur, and for travellers to see first hand a more agricultural way of living. But most of all, we aim to have a positive effect on the environment and the local communities around us, all the while ensuring our animals live in a natural environment for them – rather than the bustling streets of Jaipur. It may not be a lofty ambition, but it is one that we remain resolute in up keeping. For now and forever.
Adopted from Amer Fort after her mahout passed away, Laxmi joined the camp in 2006. Several hands taller than her dearest friend Rangmala, she really is a gentle giant, but certainly the more intelligent of the two. Our resident chatterbox, give her a wave and she’ll almost certainly trumpet you a friendly “Hello!” back. Although catch her during the afternoon hours and she’s more likely to be having a siesta in the shade.
Also adopted from Amer Fort, Rangmala joined the camp a little later in 2009, though she and Laxmi have been inseparable ever since. Not exactly a morning person, the only way to get Rangmala out of bed is with a long, cool shower: when she is in her element! Spraying, splashing, rolling, and cavorting, you will seldom see such an enormous animal quite so animated. The more playful of the two, Rangmala will be your friend for life after a banana (or ten)!
Sonu & Johnny
Joining the camp in 2014 from neighbouring villages, Sonu and Johnny enjoy a much more relaxed existence than most camels in Rajasthan. When not taking guests to the local villages, they enjoy long naps in the shade or wandering around the campgrounds in search of their favourite snack, acacia.
Midday excursions will not be available at Dera Amer between 15th April – 31st July, however morning and evening excursions are available throughout the year.