Kabini jungle lodges and resorts is ~4.5 hours’ drive from Bangalore. It’s around 200 kms from Bangalore. Kabini is located in Karapura village on the back waters of the Kabini Dam. The sprawling premises are very aesthetically set with a plethora of interesting wildlife & photographs that delights the eyes. Besides the many species of trees, we also see few mammals, birds, butterflies, spiders, ants and chameleons.
Kabini is one of the ideal place for a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Far from the city hustle bustle, tensions etc… It’s perfect break from routine. It’s one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka. Easy accessibility, lush green landscape and fantastic sightings of large herds of deer’s & birds makes Kabini a must-see destination.
After checking in, we went in for lunch and were told the evening safari was leaving at 3.30 pm. We were all humming with energy and set for safari. Forest office is just few mins drive from resort. It’s quiet road flanked by plantation on both side as we reach the main gate. From here we enter forest through mud roads. Safari zone is divided into two virtual Zones, A (Core Zone) & B (Back Water Zone), to better manage the safari vehicle load. You can visit one zone per safari. We went into B Zone.
We drove straight to the backwaters through the forest mud road. Our driver Prakash took the vehicle on the dry tracks to the edge of the water body. Kabini backwaters is a treasure trove of wildlife. You don’t have to move from here anywhere and still see all wild animals! Initially we spotted Barking deer, spotted deer, sambar deer, Gaur and its baby, Crested Hawk Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Langurs, woodpeckers, Hoope’s and Mongoose.
Driving in the forests and looking for elusive tiger/lepord is exciting as well as frustrating. We have been on many safaris in famed national parks in India, sometimes we were disappointed and sometimes happy. Tiger/Leopard sighting is always luck. Our driver stopped the vehicle and asked us to look at a bush. “Do you see a tiger?” He asks us. Yes. We could see a tiger sleeping behind the bush. We wait for the guy to get up, but he doesn’t. We thought not to disturb his sleep after waiting for couple of minutes and moved.
Awesome weather, picturesque location, dark skies, lush green meadows, large herd of spotted deer’s of all sizes, made the sight breathtaking and memorable.
We spent our evening in the resort using all the facilities they had. Playing with kids in kid zone, playing outdoor games like football with kids, watching over Kabini from banks. We ended the day with dinner and spending some time near bonfire and playing TT near Golghar.
On the day 2, we covered ZONE A in both morning and evening Safari. We could not get a single sighting of the cat, but we spotted birds, and other endemic wildlife. Core zone was almost empty with no Elephants. We spotted a pack of Wild dogs and them chasing a deer for hunt. It was a thrilling view. Post that we saw Mongoose, Several birds, Peacocks,Jungle Foul, Langur’s, Deer’s and Gaur’s.
Our kids were happy looking into all these, so we came back satisfied. We played for some time in the backwaters and sometime in Kid Zone. Post that we had our breakfast and checked out.
We were not satisfied with our one day in forest, so we took the evening canter Safari from Kakanakote entry. Its same as Jungle lodges but way cheaper. In here we saw Wild dogs pack again. We saw a tiger/leopard footprint and heard the panicked warning called from the “barking deer & Langur” and tried to track them but had no luck.
Kabini has everything a wildlife enthusiast aspire for. Its one of the most diverse wildlife. Lovely forests. Amazing wildlife from common langurs to the big cats. Huge population of birds. Beautiful backwaters of Kabini reservoir. Enthusiastic naturalists who knows the jungle at the back of their thumbs! Excellent choices for stay. All these things make Kabini as one of the sought-after destination in the country.
This entire weekend in Kabini was relaxing. I will definitely be heading back again next year some time. It’s a premium trip, but if you are a nature lover worth it.
More about Kabini Jungle Lodges and Resorts
Reach: Its 80 kms from Mysore and 200 kms from Bangalore. Frequent buses are available only till H.D Kote. Post that number of govt/Private buses reaching kabini JLR is limited with specific timings.Its better to hire a vehicle as the public transport to reach this place is very less
Kakanakote Normal safari Timing, Duration & Cost
Canter safari Morning – 6.30 AM, 7.30 AM & 8.30 AM
Afternoon – 3.30 PM, 4.30 PM & 5.30 PM (Depending upon the availability of canters and total number of tourist. Its 1.5 hours on weekend and 2.5 hours on weekday)
Cost – Rs 550 per person per safari on weekday and ~350 on weekend. Around 25 members in one canter
Jungle Lodges & Resort safari Timing, Duration & Cost
This is the one we had opted.
Safari Morning- 6.30 AM to 9.30 AM
Afternoon – 3.30 PM to 6.30 PM
Tariff – 9000+ Tax per person for tented accommodation as of 2020 Mar. (This includes 1-night stay, All meals for 1 day and 2 safari cost). Camera entry extra (500 Per SLR/ Per safari)
Private resorts – There are several private resorts available close by. Pick yours. Orange county and Serai waterfront may have tie up’s with Karnataka JLR for safaris.Check with them earlier. Red Earth, Bison Safari lodge, Water woods are located on the banks of the backwaters with nice view of Kabini backwaters.
Best season to visit – Kabini is open throughout the year, However, for sighting, summers is best as animals tend to move around in search of food, water or shade. The rainy season also has a charm as the rains bring out the forest’s beauty at its best!
Rooms: You have rooms, Maharaja cottage, tents and viceroy cottages. Check tariff and availability in JLR Website.
- Dress for comfort. Do avoid bright colours and stick to muted shades of green, black, grey and brown. The more you meld with the background, the better.
- Keep your voice low during safari and avoid scaring wild life
- Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Avoid smoking – anything can start a forest fire.
- Don’t wear Deodorant/Perfume. Odour will unease wildlife and spotting chances become less.
- I strongly recommend you going on weekdays for a quiet and less hurried experience.
- Boat safari may not happen during summers if the water level is low.