A few kilometres out of Dhaka, right after the Gazipur Chowrasta in Gojariapara, and tucked beyond a patch of trees of the famed “Shalban” of the Modhupur tract, is The Basecamp; an ideal place to humour the adventurer that we all have inside of us in what can be called the first “outdoor activity camp” in Bangladesh.
Often in the noisy hustle of Dhaka, we get bogged down by the caged and exhausting city life and we yearn for a breather. A bit of fresh air, a place to unleash the inner child full of excitement and energy, and a touch of unspoiled nature. That's where Basecamp becomes a destination of choice.
The first advantage is its proximity to the main city, as you can reach it some half hour after leaving the limits of Dhaka. The service can include pick and drop option by a coaster suitable for your group size too. The first thing you notice upon entering the premises is how neatly organised it looks and how seamlessly the structures blend into their surroundings—all the structures i.e. the main bungalow building and the outdoor living spaces like tents and nature rooms seem to be in perfect harmony.
If you peer a bit harder into the trees, your heart might skip a beat on finding something to remind of the free days of hanging on monkey bars in your childhood. A whole patch of trees towards the rim of the enclosure is kitted out for tree based activities, where you can happily break a sweat balancing and jumping from one hanging log to another, only to come to another set of rope or planks challenges, like the chimp swing or monkey pass. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back to finish it all since you have to be quite fit to have done it. Of course, safety is paramount and qualified trainers will be right by you, watching every step, and making sure your safety harness is working properly, making it quite easy to attempt for even the novices.
Once off the trees, and if still full of energy, you can skip to the ground activities. Feel a bit rough and tough crawling under a network of ropes, just like the wire trenches that the commando movies
show. The activities include the 'division wall', the 'rope and tyre walks', 'hop and jump' and 'rope trench'.
If it feels like that's enough activity to get you warmed up, next you can jump under the “rain shower”, an outdoor shower space designed to mimic rain under a cool canopy of trees. Or head straight into the cool waters of the swimming pool right next to it, shrouded yet open, with a drinks bar to boot. Take a taste of the holiday islands while sipping a vibrant looking soft drink or mocktail on the poolside, with all the colours of a sunrise in your glass.
“We have tried to somewhat meet the demand for a summer or winter camp, which we don't have here, with plenty of physical activities,” says Tamzid Siddiq Spondon, the managing director of Basecamp.
“We, the directors here, are from various backgrounds, but are all passionate travellers and have a preference for adventure,” he added. “Many of our young people, children and young executives alike, have become constricted by the city life, averse to adventure and often left unable to face life's challenges due to the unfit state of their overall being. We wanted to change that.”
“We want them to instigate their inner strength, to 'unleash their inner tiger',” he added.
A small example is the flying fox, a zipline activity where you wear a harness and slide down a rope from a platform high up a tall sturdy tree. This might not be daunting at all for the toughened adventurers, but for people who do not fare well with heights, or free falls, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore the fear and perhaps conquer it. Also, these activities can foster wonderful teambuilding, like the human foosball, where the teams have to move in tandem and maintain harmony to be able to play successfully and have fun too. They also offer archery and forest walk, where you can listen to birdsongs with a special amplifier headphone. If you stay for a little longer, the day can very well begin with a morning meditation.
“We have also started the 'Thousand Miles Club', to promote adventure and conservation activity among today's youth. We organise adventure tours of different intensities through it.”
“Also, we are currently taking registrations for a 100 km walk, to make a group of just 30 people, to promote the longest unbroken natural beach that is Cox's Bazar, in joint effort with the government's tourism board.”
“It's called 'The Longest Walk', and is scheduled for March 18 to 20th,” Tamzid added.
So what next for Basecamp? Tamzid said they are currently exploring options to open similar activity based camps in perhaps Srimangal and Cox's Bazar, to give their patrons a taste of different adventures and sports.
With such a wonderful concept such as 'basecamp' to launch the adventurer within you, why wait any longer?