Last November My company took us out for a 2day trip to Cicada-Kabini. It is some 210kms south of Bangalore by the backwaters of River Kabini. The drive will take close to 5-51/2 hours on Road and will take you through Maddur and Mysore. We started pretty early-close to 6 am and reached the Cicada Resort by 12.30pm, including a 45mins to 1 hour stop at Lokruchi Kamat for a heavy hearty breakfast.
Once we were at Kabini, we quickly refreshed ourselves and set out for a boat safari. You see the Kabini River runs between Bandipur and Nagarahole, two National Parks at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Advice given to us included not wearing bright colored clothes and making noise (its a different story the engine of the boat was making enough noise to raise the dead).
The boat ride was great, with the wind running through the hair, the sun on the horizon. And the national parks had everything from giant tuskars to barking deer, chital to herds of sambar deer. There are also the painted storks, herons and majestic eagles and vultures. We were also told if we were lucky we may able to spot tigers. But mainly Kabini is pachyderm palace-throw and a stone and it would hit an elephant.
What was surprising was the great number of tree stumps on the banks and protruding out of the water. Apparently this was the area that got submerged while building the dam.
By the time we had finished our round and were on the way back it started to drizzle. It was amazing to feel the wind rush on your face and spray from the river and the clouds, the boat going against a current which had suddenly changed direction.
That night we had a campfire where we discussed what we did beyond office.
Next day morning the enthusiastic souls went for cycling while yours truly(who happens to not know how to cycle) lolled around in a hammock listening to music. Soon it was time for jeep safari through Nagarhole National Park. We spotted large herds of deer which hung around by the side of the road dashing whatever little hopes we had a seeing any tigers or leopards. We had split into two groups for this safari and the other group was lucky enough to spot one..two..damn three tigers. Our guide wold receive some tip off on his walkie talkie and race to the spot only to find the tiger had bid good bye long ago. Considering Nagarhole claims to have the highest density of tigers this was very disappointing. Not to be outdone our guide told us the following words of wisdom “Even if you havent seen the tigers, I am sure they must have seen you”.(!!)
By 9 am we were back a the resort where we hung around using the facilities for another couple of hours. Then began the journey back.
Since I am not much of a photographer and possess a lowly Cybershot here are some world class pics from Kabini.
Also my desire to see tigers would only be fulfilled in January on a weekend trip to Bannerghatta wildlife park. They are majestic-the tigers. There is no other word for these awe inspiring creatures. And there are now just 1411 tigers left in India-I wonder if I ll ever see them again.