Desert Coursers

Desert Coursers

Away from the city, surrounded by trees and then more trees; offering an eco-friendly stay while promoting wildlife and the local culture in Little Rann of Kutch - is Desert Coursers.
Starts from Rs 2000/ Night

Away from the city, surrounded by trees and then more trees; offering an eco-friendly stay while promoting wildlife and the local culture in Little Rann of Kutch - is Desert Coursers. This beautiful place, encompassing an array of local colors, with the green of trees attracting owls and peacocks, is a perfect getaway for some serenity. Desert Coursers was established in 1984 to provide wildlife aficionados access to the migratory birds that come, go and sometimes stay, and the wild Ass of Kutch. Run by the venerable, amicable Dhanraj Malik, who is a delightful host and company, this place sustains itself so it can give something back to the community: be it the school the host runs or the local villagers he employs for the tri-annual renovations.

Passing through shrubs on both sides, you arrive at Desert Coursers: the name of which is beautifully displayed in local mud and mirror work. The wildlife stay has beautifully incorporated local culture in its architecture and beautification.
The innumerable trees keep the place cool, and the only sweet interruption here is the sound of birds.
The place offers a comfortable stay in the form of round Kubas or bhungas, and rectangular mud houses.
Both forms of accommodation are houses made of mud, sand, and gobar, with attached western style bathrooms and provision for hot water and shower. The bathroom’s connected by a dressing area. All rooms are on a twin sharing basis, with two single beds that are connected in some rooms. They all come with the convenience of a study table and lamp. The little porch outside every room also has a swing where one can unwind.
As for the premises, they have a yoga and meditation level. The common dining area is beautiful, with its sofas, chairs, and tables made entirely of organic materials, covered in bright, local Kutchi embroidered cloth.
For guests who want a private safari, the charges are at ₹3500 per vehicle.
A group of 20 people can avail a 20% discount.

The day here starts with a breakfast buffet of either poha or Upma, with bread, butter and four types of jams, eggs, cornflakes and hot beverages along with fruits.
Every meal in the form of a buffet and offer a wide range of dishes. With 3 Sabzis to choose from every day, dal, rice, locally sourced pickles, papad, salad - you’re bound to eat a little extra as everything looks so yum!
The food leans away from spicy, though never compromising on taste.
Non-vegetarian food frequents the table, be it curry chicken or roasted!
Dinner sees similar items on the menu as lunch. And don’t forget to try the filling, healthy bajre ka rotla - extra crispy, if we may!
The vegetarian food is sourced from the neighboring villages and towns. About 70% of the food is procured directly from the producer.

Desert Coursers was started so wildlife enthusiasts and birders from all over the world could enjoy sighting the range of migratory birds on the Little Rann of Kutch, along with the famous Wild Ass here. The stay price is inclusive of a shared wildlife safari and is a highly rewarding experience whether you’re a birder or not. The magnificent birds you’ll see on the beautiful background nonetheless will repeatedly leave you speechless. It’s a very fruitful experience, made possible thanks to the years' long experience and expertise of the host and his team, who go through a lot of trouble and hours of scouring to ensure the guests see the bus they’ve traveled so far to see.
Apart from this, there is a myriad of things to do around, like visiting the local communities to watch or learn their ancient art of beading, embroidery, mud work and such.
Dinner on the Rann is highly recommended. If you’re fortunate enough to be here on a full moon night: the Rann is said to be bright enough for you to read a book!
Desert Coursers also has a lounge for yoga.
The family also owns some horses at a distance from the stay and visit this stable is a must!

Desert Coursers is located in a remote village near Zainabad. The closest airport and railway station Ahmedabad (100km), from where one can hire a small sedan car at the price of Rs.2800 – Rs.3000 for 4-5 people, or an Innova for Rs.3700.
A comfortable and economical option is to take a bus from Geeta Mandir, Ahmedabad to Dassada where guests are offered a free pickup.
One can also take the intra-state train journey from Kalupur, Ahmedabad to Viramgram station which is 45kms from Desert Coursers.
For guests coming via Bhuj, the drop location is MalwanChowkdi and pickup is available at a charge of Rs.800.

The goodness of being at Desert Coursers is amplified by your amicable host Dhanraj Malik who can swiftly go from a serious conversation to a lighthearted one. He ensures he interacts with every guest who wants his time. He was a mere child when his father’s employee taught him the skill of birding - and to this day, he personally looks after every safari to ascertain it’s a rewarding experience for the guests. He’s also socially and culturally sensitive and has spent a large part of his life giving back to society. Dhanraj sir diverts 60% of the money Desert Coursers makes towards the higher secondary school that was established by his father to cater to students from numerous neighboring villages. A portion of the income goes towards Akash Ganga, the NGO for destitute children started and sustained by the host.

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