Kabini is a well known forest in southern India, approx. 220 kms south of Bangalore and 70 kms south of the famous historic city Mysore. Kabini nests on the Kapila (also called as Kabini) back waters providing abundant water supply throughout the year.
Kabini is known for sightings of the Big Cats which are Tigers, Leopards & Black Panther. Usually in any forest area in India, if Tigers are present in big number, leopards keep distance and are present in less numbers but Kabini is an exception. Kabini was once called the Leopard lair and it’s true even for today inspite of having a very good number of Tigers. Kabini is rich in Dholes do (Wild Dogs) and infact the predators that keep leopards away are Tigers and Dholes. Kabini is also know for Indian Elephants, and many other mammals and also very rich in Birds.
If you are from Bangalore or visiting Bangalore, Kabini is a must in your bucket list irrespective of whether you are big into wildlife or not. It’s like the African wildlife, which is on everyone’s bucket list.
Even though we have Bandipur, BRT, Dandeli, Bhadra forests which are pretty much equidistant from Bangalore, it’s kabini which stands out among them all as far as sightings are concerned. No wonder Kabini is so expensive 🙂
Safari at Kabini
To book a Safari at Kabini is very confusing to say the least. There is forest dept safari which is usually via Canter (big Van) and for 1.5 hours during weekdays and once in the morning and once in the afternoon and 1 hr during weekends but twice a session (twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon) but there is no online booking available yet (at the time of this writing which is Feb 2021) and you need to go approx 1 hr early to procure these tickets. Then there is Safari conducted by the Tourism Department for which you can’t buy tickets but are associated with your stay in the associated and partnered resorts. These safaris are mostly 3 hours – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They are conducted either in Canter or Jeep, Jeep is again reserved for a few resorts and a few accommodation types only but Jeep Safari in Kabini is the best and you should experience it once. (So Did I help explaining the safari or created more confusions? 🙂 )
Resorts at Kabini
Picking resort in Kabini is again full of confusion. Easier pick is to choose one that is based on category – either mid-range or budget or luxury. After this confusion starts. Do you want one which is on the banks of the rover Kabini/Kapila or away from the banks? Do you want one that is closer to the forest dept so that you can do the forest dept Safari or you want one closer to the Tourism Dept safari and do that? Or you want to pick a resort that will offer Jeep safari? More confusions right?
Kabini Sightings – when and what season is the best?
Fortunately an easier question to answer. Kabini is open round the year (unlike its central and northern counterparts which are closed during Monsoon and a few holidays like Holi etc.). Kabini is beautiful when it’s lush green which are June to End of Jan and October, November, December to Jan sightings are good but again sightings are good during summer months too but you get to see a really dry forest with almost no leaves and bare trees and may not be a great frame for your pictures. Also all sightings are recorded here and you can actually see and if a certain few days, sightings are good, you can plan a quick trip to Kabini and enjoy amazing sightings.
Kabini Package Booking
I feel best is to book your Kabini Package here which allows you to choose the package that fits your liking but also your budget and also your safari taste (whether canter or jeep) and also how many safaris including what type of resort along with sightings insights (like say Tiger was sighted “x” days in the last 7,14, or 28 days etc) and that way you can guess the probability of your sightings go to be,
Kabini is too good to be missed especially it should be on every Bangalorean’s bucket list. More over if you belong to that jet set traveler, you cant fly anywhere but instead just drive to Kabini which is hardly 5 hours drive on Bangalore-Mysore highway and also since these resorts will not be overcrowded, you can maintain required social distancing too.
If you have any queries, you can always catch me here.
Go Kabini as we all know Kabini Rocks!!
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