The Rainforest Retreat at Mojo Plantation is a unique project that combines eco-tourism with sustainable agriculture and environmental education. The site is home to an eco-lodge with six rooms, situated on a 25-acre certified organic farm in the tropical rainforests along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats in Coorg (Kodagu). The farm grows cardamom, coffee, pepper, vanilla, and other spices and fruits. The Rainforest Retreat caters to environmentally conscious travelers and naturalists looking for a unique stay in an idyllic setting. The regularly organize and host workshops, tours, and educational programs for students and special interest groups. They have been recognized as one of India’s leading sustainable tourism destinations and has received awards for their work.
All proceeds from the farm and retreat support the WAPRED Research Foundation (Worldwide Association for Preservation and Restoration of Ecological Diversity), an environmental NGO. Founded in 1997, WAPRED aims to promote ecological awareness and develop sustainable methods of agriculture in the Western Ghats. WAPRED continuously documents the biodiversity found on-site, as well as supports research on a variety of topics, including: the effect of agricultural methods on biodiversity, natural pest control, soil management, community development, sustainable development, and traditional farming practices such as panchkavya.
The Western Ghats, or Sahyādris, are a mountain range in western India and are considered one of the world’s top ten biological diversity hotspots and are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. With more than 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, and 179 amphibian species, the Western Ghats are truly a wonder. Typical sightings at the Rainforest Retreat include wild boars, barking deer, porcupines, civets, macaques, Atlas moths, squirrels, frogs, reptiles, and birds such as the Malabar grey hornbill, whistling thrush, kingfishers, and drongos. It is a prime bird-watching and trekking destination.
Mojo Plantation and the Rainforest Retreat were founded in 1994 by Dr. Sujata Goel and Dr. Anurag Goel. Their previous research experience in the fields of biological sciences includes botany, plant biochemistry, genetics, ecology, and molecular biology. They have extensive experience in India, Europe, and North America, providing them with unique insights into the local ecology and culture. With their extensive science backgrounds and international experience (India, Europe, North America), they are in a unique position to help design and supervise graduate and doctorate research projects, while also sharing about the local ecology and culture.
For more information about the Rainforest Retreat, Mojo Plantation, and WAPRED NGO, please visit their website.