TRIP TO KABINI - A WEEKEND GETAWAY FROM BANGALORE !!
Hi Friends ,
Today for a change no recipe posts. But a post to share my memories of " Trip to Kabini". Kabini is one of the ideal place for a weekend getaway from Bangalore .Far from the city hustle bustle,tensions....perfect break from the routine. Its one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka . Easy accessibility,lush green landscape and fantastic sightings of large herds of elephants ,makes Kabini a must see destination.
We had been hearing a lot about this place but somehow haden't got a chance to visit it.So this year, during kids summer vacation we just thought how about visiting Kabini ? I love travelling but hate doing so in summers. But when i started making my research about the place, JLR's website has mentioned summer is the best time to visit Kabini JLR. Hmm.. No more thinking .. a trip to kabini on April 26th 2014, was finalized. We all were super excited about this trip as it would be our first wildlife trip. Read on to know more.....
Where did we stay ?
When i googled for staying options in Kabini , i discovered a choice of Jungle stays. There are many popular resorts like Orange County,Serai,JLR Kabini River Lodge,Red Earth etc. Almost all are expensive when compared to Indian standards.For safari, all private resorts have to rely on the vehicle arranged by Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd only as no other vehicle has the permission to enter jungle. And hence, we decided that its better to stay in Kabini River Lodge - govt authorized one ,which is maintained by Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) Ltd.We did all our booking online through the official site. Here is the link : www.skywaytour.com ; Tel: ++91-80-22111401
Accommodations in Kabini is full most of the time. So its advisable to plan prior and book in advance. Kabini has tourists all round the year. But best months to visit are between October to May.
Distance and Route From Bangalore ; Road: 220 km from Bangalore and takes approx 5 hours by road.
Our Travel Story Begins......
Since my parents stay in Mysore, we planned to take a halt there previous evening and start to Kabini the next day. From Mysore , kabini is about 80 kms.
Next day morning, we started our journey, from Mysore at 9.30 AM and planned to reach jungle lodges and resorts around 11.30 AM. Check in time is 12.00 PM and check out at11 AM.
Road throughout the journey was good.There are proper sign boards and locals to help you. But The last 10 kms leading to the resort was in really a very bad shape. Some construction work was going on. It takes so much time to cover that stretch.
It was almost 11.15 AM when we reached the reception of Jungle Lodges. The first glimpse of the property was so wonderful. The british era architecture in the midst of the jungle ....
After our registration ,resort manager explained about the place and itinerary for next 2 days.There is a set package which includes a buffet lunch, dinner, breakfast,a boat safari in the evening and a jeep safari in the morning.
Later we were directed to our room.Room was very bright ,well ventilated ,clean and spacious.High ceilings,wooden flooring again left a heritage touch.Kids were little disappointed that there was no TV. But thank god, at least there was electricity and mobile network.For entertainment they have a common library which has many books,a PC to browse and few board games for kids. However , we didn't use any of it.
We were told that lunch would be served to all from 1 PM at "Gol Ghar". So after freshening a bit we headed out of our room to explore the property.
The kids were already excited as they were expecting they will see animals here n there as in zoo.
“Gol Ghar” was just a short walk from our room. A good spread of buffer lunch was already arranged ,it was like a self service restaurant .Food was really good, lot options for vegetarians too.We had a nice meal.Took rest till 3pm.
Nearly around 3.30 pm, it was time for our first safari of this trip.That evening, we set out for our boat safari.This Boat Safari is same as Jeep Safari but this time we take river way rather road. Once in the boat, all of us were given a life jacket to wear .With cool breeze and little drizzle striking us.. weather was awesome. We remembered the scotching summer of Bangalore !!uff...
Our boat glided into the forest area (Nagarhole side) .What a beauty it was ...we were totally transfixed with its beauty...submerged remains of once mighty trees,with birds and animals grazing away in the backdrop,lush green grass...it was an amazing ..
We saw a ton of birds the first day.. yes tons of it actually.Its an absolute delight for people who love bird watching. Spotted few animals too.
I had never seen elephants grazing peacefully – so many of them, with deer in the background...the whole atmosphere made me fall in love with this place immediately.
At one place we saw a live attack of wild dogs on a heard of deer .. we watched in awe with pin drop silence !!! This was a scene right out of national geographic – just that I was watching it live – Awesome moment !! Thank god .. before the kill happened.. elephants sued the wild dogs away...
At one place which is territory of one big tiger and cubs, we waited for about 10min with pin drop silence on boat. Our bad luck tiger didn't turn up near to water.Our almost 3 hours of Safari came to an end and we came back to our room by 7pm.What a relaxing boat and happening ride it was...
A documentary is shown every evening at 7.45 PM. After the documentary, we had a sumptuous dinner and then headed straight to our beds .It was time to call our Day 1 an End...
The next morning we rose bright and as early as 5.30 AM to go on another safari at 6 AM.Had tea and with all the expectation and excitement started off this time in jeep.We had prepared ourselves that sighting animals is purely matter of luck.We will be patient and try to enjoy max.
The forest was so beautiful, people who like scenic beauty in natural surroundings would fall in love right away.We were told after rainy season, forest looks more beautiful with lush green everywhere. The atmosphere was so peaceful with insects and animals making noise in between.
As we moved into the forest ,we were greeted by a group of spotted deers. Entering further, we spotted many birds and heards of deer and monkeys everywhere.
Suddenly,our guide became alert. He was quick to identify the alarming signals langur was giving.That was an indication predator was some where close. But despite searching for two and half hours, none of the three jeeps could spot any of the beasts in any route.All that we saw were elephants,a herd of the Indian goar, wild boars and a lots of deer different variety(Spotted, Sambar, etc.), malabar squirrels, bison ,peacock...
The guide was thinking of calling an end and suddenly... Wow !! what did we see ??!! A leopard resting on a tree. It was so well camouflaged that we could spot it with great difficulty. I couldn't capture it well with my cameras too. I felt che..if only i had better lens....
We returned back to the lodge around 9:15AM with great satisfaction for having spotted many wild animals.Headed for buffet breakfast at gol ghar straight away.It was really nice with lot of options again.
After breakfast we had some free time. Kids wanted to play for sometime in the play area.We too had some fun along with them climbing tree house playing in the nets etc.
We resumed our journey back to Mysore around 11:00 AM.On the way we decided to visit Kabini dams..From jungle lodges, we reached the dam within 30 mins.I think the distance was 20 + kms .
Kabini dam is built across River Kabini (Kapila) near H D Kote near Mysore. It is usually the first dam to get filled in Karnataka.Since it was April, water level was not much.
Kids enjoyed playing there for sometime in the backwaters.
All in all, our time at Kabini was beautiful, peaceful and a real treat.It was a very relaxing and we all were very happy with our first wildlife trip.
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