WildZests: Kabini With The Gang - April 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kabini With The Gang - April 2014

It was almost a year since we went to Kabini with our gang of friends. We were  going to have Anish come down from Mumbai just to be a part of this trip, it was a first time since he returned to India that he was joining us on a trip. Going out with everyone together is always special, last time we were lucky to have awesome leopard sightings and we were hoping it'd happen again. More than us, it was the kids who get excited with the thought of going to Kabini.


We planned an early morning start from Bangalore so we could do a boat ride at Ranganathittu before proceeding towards Kabini. We reached Ranganathittu at about 7AM only to find out that the new ranger/warden has enforced the 8AM opening time and the boats would only be available post 8.30AM. Now who on earth got the idea of such a late start especially for bird sanctuary, it's not even worth discussing that here. This was beyond the normal migration season and most of the birds had returned back, the only ones left were the local migrants, some resident birds and ofcourse the crocodiles.



After a nice long breakfast at Kamats in Mysore we proceeded towards Kabini through the HD Kote road. Once at the resort, it was time for the kids to play around until it was time for the evening safari. It had been raining at Kabini for the past few days and with rain comes the risk of low animal movement in the jungle. We searched all through the forest but there was no sign of the cats anywhere. The whole place looked so calm and relaxed that there was no way one could avoid feeling lazy.

One of the things I have noticed over the past two years is that the elephant population coming to Kabini has reduced ever since the reservoir had almost dried up in 2013. Even though there was no problem in 2014, the elephants had not returned back and one could only find one or two gentle giants foraging on the fresh green grass along the edge of the backwaters. Hopefully they will return next season for a grand view of having 100 or more elephants in a single frame like it used to be.


Next day morning safari wasn't too different either, none of the jeeps had spotted any large predator. We had one more day to go and the situation wasn't going to be much different. The next two safaris also yielded similar results, no big cat, but just moving through the forest was an awesome experience. The dried up vegetation seemed like it was coming back to life with the non-seasonal showers and I'm sure even the animals were feeling a lot relieved of the heat.


After spending two awesome and memorable days, we were now headed back home and we were going directly to the airport to drop Anish for his flight back to Mumbai. Except for the lack of wild cat sightings, I think we all enjoyed having fun as a group after a really long time.

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