The Base Camp Bangladesh, an outdoor activity camp just 14 kms outside Dhaka city in Gazipur brings you close to the environment. The Base Camp offers a wide range of activities such as On-tree and ground challenges, zip lines (Flying Fox), Off-road cycling track, archery, forest trekking, swimming pool and accommodations as those as if living in the wild. That’s right, getting to live in tents! The Camp also has a bungalow to accommodate people in rooms.
The answer to that question is simple, The Base Camp management cares for the environment. I decided to do an two day one night trip at the Camp. I reached the camp almost during lunch and was taken aback to see a wonderful flat field surrounded by high trees and no proper reception to greet the guests. It was dis-orientating at first cause normal protocol would be to find a reception area and ask someone where do I check-in? But that was the beauty of it, it was not a typical design. The entire campus is somewhat artificially-made or it seemed like it, with trees being placed at exact locations however there are other parts of the Camp which would indicate that they were natural and untouched.
The entire camp is surrounded by trash cans, every few feet to ensure that you do not litter and pollute the area. There are people constantly cleaning the place so that it does not affect the environment. The water used in the swimming pool is not chlorinated rather fresh ground water is pumped every day into the pool. Most of the nature has been used to create the outdoor activities making sure not to damage any of the environment around it. At night, they have used least amount of lighting just enough to see the Camp area and the lights are pointed downwards as not to create light pollution for the birds in the trees.
So far from my walk through out the camp, there is not much electricity usage, other than inside the bungalow, washroom area and peripheral lighting. There is no electric connection inside the tents however they have keep a common electric connection if you need to charge your phone or any electronic device. Overall, the electricity consumption is a minimum and the demand is a bit more at night but not much during the day, so if I was to consider the carbon footprint produced from it, it would not be much and hence making it quite an environmental-friendly camp. Although they do not promote themselves to be environment-friendly, so far from my observations, they strive to protect the environment.
Other than the camp itself, other things such as the visiting cards and the Camp’s House Rule pamphlet seem to be made from recycled paper and also shows that the office management is keen on protecting the environment. What makes it different from other eco-resorts around Bangladesh? You have the chance to actually do some exciting and fun activities.
Other than the environment aspects of the Camp, let’s look into the other services.
Food and Service
The food menu is very rich and cooked very nicely. The regular Bengali food, is cooked such that you seem you only have this when you are eating outside. As expected, there is barbeque at night. Throughout the trip, the hosts of the camp treated me with great care and made me feel special. So I have no complains about service.
I cannot say much about the activities such as ground challenges, archery, flying fox etc since I did not go there for that, but from what I have seen, its going to be fun if you go in large groups. The swimming pool is appropriate if
you just want to sit and relax in it unless you plan on doing some laps, better look into another pool. There are bicycles for you to ride and they have one just for the girls/ladies. I have seen guys riding it however I am told, the hosts plan on painting that bike “Pink”. You have the opportunity to go on a boat ride at their designated pond. There is flat surface for playing badminton. Lastly of course with a moderate size playing field, you can play cricket, football, etc. For any activity they have proper safety gear and trained people who know how to use them.
During the night, there is not much to do other than walk, talk with people, play board games or just lie down on the grass and look up at the night sky. It can be the best thing one can do to spend the time considering the hectic time and schedule we all face in Dhaka city.
For me, the best part was the tents, which I took as accommodation for the night and it just brings you closer to nature. The tents are very homely and big for two people. They use white clean sheets and are well maintained.
If you are someone who sleeps with two pillows, ask beforehand if they provide extra pillows or else get one from home. It will be best if you go during November to March, the temperature will be cool and do not forget to carry Odomos. if you are someone who is not much of a deep sleeper, your sleep will break at 4 in the morning cause of the birds.They sure know how to wake up someone in the morning.
I have not stayed in the bungalow, so cannot review how good or bad that it. The common washrooms are separate for both male and female and are clean and well maintained.
If you plan on going there, always take a large group, in that case, the Camp hosts might reserve it only for you. Definitely go and do the activities, should be exciting. Also if you are a hippy and want to try the outdoor style living, definitely worth the shot. Overall, had a wonderful experience!