After lunch, we were already lost in enjoying the nature. Beautiful scenery around the Gol Ghar dining hall included river view, huge trees that were giving us the cool and fresh breeze and a view of river bank on the other side of the river which looked as if it was an island virtually. It was already 4pm when the guide came and asked us to get ready for the forest safari. At that point of time, still most of us were busy in clicking a bunch of photos. As per the directions of the staff over there, we assembled at a point for further instructions by the staff about forest safari, do’s and dont’s etc., Our group of 24 people were split into 3 smaller groups to fit into the vehicles for jungle safari. We travelled through a couple of villages and got into the road that we had taken a couple of hours back before breaking into the actual Jungle roads. No more asphalted roads after that check point which prohibits unauthorized entry into the forest.
Our guide Basil had a sound knowledge of the jungle including all minute details of flora and fauna of Nagara Hole Reserved forest. We got to know that he was a science graduate in botany and he served for Karnataka governments forest department at Dandeli Wild life Sanctuary before getting transferred to Kabini just 3 months back. We were able to identify Teak, Yellow teak, rose wood, Matti, Honne, Nandi and eucalyptus trees by the end of this safari. While going through the forest, we spotted a number of deer groups. Each of the group had atleast 15 deers while the largest group must have had around 150 deers. These groups consisted of Spotted Deers and Samba deers. Apart from that we saw a couple of dancing peacocks, langoors, a couple of Elephant groups busy in filling their ever hungry mammoth stomachs. Elephants group included a number of Tuskers [Male elephants] with long tusks, while the smaller baby elephants were following their parents. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see any leopart or tiger. However, the chirping sound of the birds made us feel about what we miss the most in our city life. Rain started drizzling in drops as we progressed inside the forest and it was a great experience for sure.
Then in the evening we got settled down in our cottages. We were allocated 5 cottages facing the river and whole of Maharaja Bunglow rooms were reserved for us. Usually these Maharaja Bunglows will be reserved for VIP’s. We all got refreshed and assembled for a movie on wild life shot in and around Nagara Hole forest area. Then it was the time for dinner and the food was way beyond our expectations in terms of variety and taste. We all enjoyed the rest of the evening at bonifire. Our play masters had a number of games planned and enjoyed every moment of it to the max. Around 11pm, we all started our way back towards the rooms. I slipped on to bed while many still continued to roam around and to chit chat for some more time.
Next day, early morning we all got ready for a boat cruise though the river and it started around 7 am after morning coffee. This boat travel was another memorable event of the stay there. We were able to spot a number of birds including great black woodpecker, the Indian Pitta and the green imperial pigeon. Some other species found are dove, parakeet, bulbul, bee-eater, hornbill, peacock, woodpecker and species of eagles. Again we got disappointed as we couldn’t spot crocodile. This boat cruise lasted for about a little over couple of hours. Breakfast was on cards after that boat ride, which was delicious with a wide variety of eatables that I had not anticipated for sure. By 10:30am we checked out our rooms and started playing in the grass with a number of games again till 12pm before we started our journey back to city life.
I missed my Canon SD630 since my cousin Praveen took it with him for his US visit. You can see some of the pictures captured by Pranesh here. I will link to others photos as and when they get a to upload to flickr. That was surely an amazing experience to stay close to nature and I would surely take my family along to the same place sometime soon.