Diphlu River Lodge
Kaziranga National Park, India
Diphlu River Lodge overlooks the Kaziranga National Park in Assam in north-east India. With just 12 cottages, Diphlu provides an intimate lodge from which to explore Kaziranga’s diverse wildlife on either a jeep or elephant safari.
At a Glance
Diphlu River Lodge is the best lodge in Kaziranga and an ideal bolthole from which to explore the park
All cottages are on stilts and have amazing views over the Diphlu River or local paddy fields
Many other interesting activities to do such as dolphin safaris on the Brahmaputra to visiting local villages and exploring tea gardens
You really feel you are in a remote corner of India, the local people love to welcome you to the area
Diplihu River Lodge is located in Kaziranga National Park, one of the less-known wildlife parks in India. Covering some 430 square kilometers and set within the flood plain of the legendry Brahmaputra River, it has the largest population of rhino in India, and also is home to a sizable population of wild elephant.
You can expect to find these extensive grasslands leading to a multitude of interconnecting streams and small lakes making the park exceptionally beautiful and remarkably different to the other parks in Central India. It is also renowned for its birdlife, with over 400 species resident in the park.
Diphlu River Lodge is quite simply the only place to stay in the area, and is around a 20-minute drive to the park gates. Head out on a early morning and evening safari in search of some incredible wildlife. There is the possibility of some tiger sightings, but they are pretty rare due to the long grass that the park is famous for. If you want to fill up the day, you can visit an Assam tea garden, a local village and get a glimpse into local tribal life or take a tour of a rubber plantation. All in all, you can easily spend three nights in Kaziranga.
The best way to access Kaziranga is to fly to Guwahati which is the most connected airport and has flights from Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangkok followed by a four hour drive to the lodge. If you are flying from Calcutta, there are flights to Jorhat and Tezpur, which are much closer to Kaziranga in terms of the final transfer time, being only one or two hours away. Some guests like to combine with a river cruise down the Brahmaputra, a visit to Bhutan or Sikkim.
The Lodge itself is elegantly designed and surrounds a central ‘Machan’ which means ‘jungle platform’ and houses the dining and sitting area as well as a delightful veranda from where you can sip a leisurely sundowner after an evening game drive. There are views over the Diphlu River or verdant paddy fields beyond. There is a central lotus pond, which is wonderfully lit up by lanterns at night. Near the entrance to the lodge you find the ‘Hilltop’ where barbeques and dance performances take place and you can opt for picnics down by the river bank.
There are 12 air-conditioned thatched cottages in total, all perched on stilts with private balconies. There are four which look out over the river which we suggest opting for, and there are four semi-detached cottages if you are traveling with the family. The interiors are welcoming, using a blend of local bamboo and wooden fixtures and fittings. Don’t expect all the mod-cons such as a TV, but there is a small writing desk to write up your adventures on safari, a small mini-bar and an en-suite bathroom. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and given how far off the beaten track you are in India, the rooms are more than suitable for a few days on safari. They offer nice little touches in the winter such as putting a hot water bottle in your bed before you return from dinner. What we love is their tea selection: brew fresh aromatic loose Assam tea before moving out to your private veranda and slumping into your traditional cane chair overlooking the river beyond. You will just smile at how lucky you have been to consider this lesser known corner of India.
Meals are taken in the main Machan, and the cuisine varies between continental, north Indian and local dishes. Diphlu Lodge grows its own rice, mustard and vegetables on site. They take their eco-policies seriously, and many of the staff are drawn from the local community.
There are 12 cottages, with eight individual cottages and four semi-detached cottages. They use natural materials such as bamboo and local wood. All cottages are thatched and air-conditioned. They feature a writing desk, mini-bar and a small fridge. Bathrooms are en-suite and feature a dressing area, power shower, fitted wardrobe and safe (note no bathtubs). The cottages open out onto a veranda featuring cane chairs. Four of the cottages overlook the river which carries a small supplement in price.
The lodge has a main Machan at the center of the property overlooking a lotus pond. This houses an air-conditioned sitting and dining area and opens out onto two verandas. The larger veranda has a high thatched ceiling and overlooks the Diphlu River and Kazaranga National Park. The second overlooks paddy fields and is ideal for breakfast. The Machan has a small TV Room and library. Other than that you can wander to the Hilltop where barbeques are served along with local tribal dance performances. Picnic lunches can be provided down by the river bank. There is also a small outdoor coffee area.
Game drives are included in the room cost and generally consist of morning elephant safaris and afternoon jeep drives in Kazaranga National Park. Other than the tiger and rhino, the park has a wealth of mammals on offer including the capped langur, hoolock gibbon, leopard, sloth bear, Ganges dolphin, otter, wild boar, water buffalo, gaur, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer and Barking deer. The bird life on offer is superb with over 400 species on offer, including black-necked stork, lesser adjutant stork, Pallas's fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, Bengal florican, swamp partridge, grey peacock-pheasant, great pied hornbill, green imperial pigeon, silver-breasted broadbill and Jerdon's bushchat. If reptiles are your interest then you can possibly see the Assam roofed turtle, water monitor, Indian python, common cobra and king cobra. Other than that the lodge can arrange visits to local villages, elephant bathing, a rubber plantation walk and visits to an Assam tea garden.
Location & Directions
Kaziranga National Park, India
Diphlu Lodge is located close to Kazaranga National Park (which takes around 20-minutes to get to from the lodge) in Assam in north-east India.
When to go
Assam has three main seasons- Summer, Monsoon, and Winter. Summer runs from March until May, when it is hot and humid with temperatures touching 38-40°C. The monsoon season starts in June and lasts until September or early October. Winter usually begins in November and runs through until February. You’ll find the weather is very pleasant, making the best time to visit Assam from October until March.