Unique stay experience: Dare5000 Nature Campz, Wayanad via Wandertrails!

We spent 2 nights, 1 day at a unique homestay somewhere deep in the forests of Wayanad, facilitated by WanderTrails, an aggregator of unique properties with great experiential values. The property, known as Dare 5000 Nature Campz, where 5000 refers to feets above mean sea level is located in a secluded location somewhere off Vythri, reachable only in a 4x4 vehicle. Regular bikes n cars need to be parked few kms before.
Dare 5000 nature camp is not the most luxurious place to stay. In fact rooms are pretty basic, old style, more than half a century old, built by the British to accommodate plantation workers/officials, modernized over time just enough to offer a decent stay. But what’s unique about Dare 5000 nature camp is its unique location. Within walking distance there’re waterfalls, view points, deep forests and lots of birds and insects. In monsoon, Dare5000 nature camp is lots more greener, occasional mist coverage makes the place feel so blissful.

Above: The bare basics room at Dare 5000 Nature Camp, Vythri, Wayanad
Below: View from restaurant area during a misty evening

We (myself, Vineet and Ami) walked all the way to city (around 5kms) from Dare 5000 nature camp on one morning. On our way, spotted several insects, lizards and creatures including a big spider, centipede, snail and so on. Below are some photos.

The spider: Almost a palm size and scary. Still managed to go close and click some pictures. Thankfully it didn’t move from its position or bite me.
The millipede: We spotted two of them. One on a tree bank, another on the road. If touched, these beautiful creatures are known to curl up. Totally harmless.
The yellow snail- known for their slow motion, snails look beautiful to some, scary to others, depending on how you see it.  Spotted two of these.


Armadillididae  : This fellow curls into a ball on sensing danger. Do watch the video at the end of post.

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Poisonous) Another hairy creature that curls up on touching. But these are dangerous-if they string, you will feel severe pain, followed by itching and swelling.
There were red ants, I couldn't focus properly with phone as they were fast moving. Watch the video

Plantations and Forest: Aricanut trees, coffee plantation and dozens of other fauna and flora all around. Rubber plantation is also common in Kerala though I didn't spot any around the homestay.



Waterfalls nearby

Pet cats: The camp has a cat and two kittens, which roam around freely consuming food given by guests and getting petted by anyone who cares to pick them up.


View from the hill:

Above photo clicked by Saakshi Rajat

Food- Puttu, Kadalakari

On one of the days, when we went to city, rest of the folks went to a waterfall nearby, which was reportedly amazing and much better than Tusharagiri. The path was leech infested and most suffered multiple bites all around their legs. Go prepared.

Dare 5000 nature camp also has some adventure activities like ziplining, rope wall etc. Due to rain these were non operational. There is a swing you can always use. I suggest they add a few hammocks too.

Cost of staying at Dare 5000 Nature camp in Wayanad:
Standard rate is about 4999 per night per room- includes stay & food for 2 people, one pickup & drop from highway or their parking lot. Guests can hop in for free if the Jeeps are going out for some other purpose. Additional exclusive trips will be charged extra. This is as told to me, please cross check for latest rates, inclusions and terms.

Can I drive myself if I have a vehicle?
If you don’t have a 4x4 enabled vehicle you can’t reach Dare 5000 nature camp. You will have to park at owner’s house at the bottom of the hill. If you’re coming by taxi, you can get dropped till Blue Mountain, another property 2 kms before Dare 5000. From here you can ask to be picked up in their 4x4 jeeps or if you dare, trek up.

If you have 4x4 vehicle and the guts to drive you can try your luck. I feel wider/longer vehicles like fortuner and endeavor might have tough time negotiating sharp turns, though not impossible. Thar or Bolero 4x4 jeeps or similar are best suited. If you’re determined to ride up to Dare 5000, do keep the owners informed, don’t go alone, go with some friends who can help and possibly with another SUV to help each other.

Few things to remember while planning your stay at Dare 5000 Nature Campz
  • Since the location is remote, plan well and take whatever you need for your stay. Coming back to city just to buy some stuff won’t be practical
  • Do communicate your needs n preferences to your host in advance (like if you needs lots of milk tea- ask them to procure extra milk etc). Despite their best efforts hosts may run out of stock of supplies. Communicate your needs n preferences to help them plan better. I asked owner why not rear some cows for milk- he said that is not possible due to wild animals. He said Cheetah was spotted twice near the campus- having cows or goats will attract more wild animals.
  • Electricity is not 24x7. Mobile signal weak. Go prepared with powerbanks. Be ready to soak in nature and don’t expect lots of luxuries deemed standard in cities.
  • In monsoon, leeches are  common everywhere. Be prepared.
  • Only 1 pickup & drop is included in package. Plan such that you don't need to come to city in between your stay. (Example- visit places you'd planned to visit first, then head to Nature camp, spend a day there without having to go back to city, then check out, return to your vehicle)
Dare 5000 Nature Campz in Wayanad is a showcase property on WanderTrails, an aggregator of properties that offer unique experiences. Unlike other hotel/homestay booking sites, WanderTrails do not list each and every hotel and homestay in town. They add a property on the platform only if it has something unique to offer- could be great food or unique location or opportunity to experience local culture and tradition up close and so on. Do check Wandertrails.com to book unique properties like Dare 5000 Nature campz all around the country
Note: Our biking trip to Wayanad and stay at Dare 5000 nature camp was organized by ScoutMytrip, OnnBikes and Wandertrails. But review and feedback are my own.

Watch a 4.5 min video on my experience at Dare5000 Nature Campz. All photos n videos were clicked with Honor 6X


Similar: Dandeli Jungle Camp * Herbal Nest Homestay, Sultan Bathery * Stone Lodges Wayanad *

10 comments:

  1. This place looks beautiful. Inwas looking for a similar rustic place to take my son out in the wild.

    Also Srinidhi, the ant going on the wire shot could have been shown with depth of field adjustment on your slr. Maybe next time :-)

    The place looks very nice with a waterfall and up high in the mountains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. No, I didn't have DSLR with me- all pics and videos were made with Honor 6X.

      Delete
  2. Looks like a great way to visit Wayanad! We love staying at such slightly 'organic-rustic' places as well...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing place. Thanks for the info's.
    Beautiful pics :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It definitely was an awesome place. Well written, Shrinidhi.

    ReplyDelete

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