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Soukous

Birding in Goa - November 2020

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Treepol

@Soukous I have been following this link with great interest and am definitely interested in the full trip - all the birding thats on offer and also Nagarhole. However, like others its a long way away and for now I am a definite maybe. I will PM you this morning.

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Soukous

Hi @Carol Rushton

 

Great to hear from you. As mentioned in the bit you quoted, the guide is booked for Goa although I have not yet done anything about accommodation.

I have not booked the Nagarhole/Kabini excursion yet either. I will be going, and hope to have Madame Soukous joining me, but am waiting on others to let me know their intentions. At this stage I am flexible about whether we visit Nagarhole before or after Goa. 

Seeing melanistic leopard is the goal, but as I am sure you appreciate, it is not guaranteed.

 

 

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Soukous
Posted (edited)

Kabini accommodation...

 

My preferred accommodation at Kabini is Kaav Safari Lodge, however, if we stay there we have practically no chance of getting an exclusive jeep for our game drives in Nagarhole. ( there is a bit of chat on this earlier on in this thread)

 

So, after lengthy discussions with my colleagues in India I am proposing that we consider staying at Kabini River Lodge, which is government owned & run.

https://www.skywaytour.com/jungle-lodges/kabini-river-lodge

 

We would then hire our own guide/naturalist for the game drives. 

If we have a group of 6 people, plus 1 guide, it would mean we can fill almost all the seats in the jeep (which takes 7-8 people) and even if they insist on squeezing another person in with us we should be able to control where we go and what we stop for.

 

I propose that we visit Kabini first, commencing on 01 November (accommodation at Kabini is cheaper on weekdays and less crowded) and then move on to Goa a week later. Given that the Goa section is likely to be more relaxing and have more comfortable accommodation and better food.

 

If this is acceptable, we would commence a 14 night trip in Bengaluru on 01 November, ending on 15 Nov in Goa.

 

This is my current circulation list for this thread, just let me know if I've missed you off or if you'd like to be added

 

@Galana , @Dave Williams, @xelas, @janzin @kittykat23uk, @Galago, @ElaineAust, @Zarek Cockar @Treepol, @Carol Rushton

Edited by Soukous

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kittykat23uk
Regarding bird fair. Doesn't look like I can get there this year, as the lift I was hoping to get hasn't materialised. It's  probably for the best (stops me being tempted!) Have fun those of you who are going!
 

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Soukous
22 minutes ago, kittykat23uk said:
Regarding bird fair. Doesn't look like I can get there this year, as the lift I was hoping to get hasn't materialised. It's  probably for the best (stops me being tempted!) Have fun those of you who are going!
 

 

shame :(

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Galago

@kittykat23uk Sorry we won't be able to meet up at Birdfair :(

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kittykat23uk

Thanks both. It's just a major faff to get there by train and no one I know is going from Norwich... 

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Dave Williams
18 minutes ago, kittykat23uk said:

Thanks both. It's just a major faff to get there by train and no one I know is going from Norwich... 

 

Have a go on the Heater Skelter instead and let us know what it's like!!

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Galago

Isn't that a bit early? My understanding is that SE monsoon will still be happening in the south, or at least the end of it.

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Soukous
10 hours ago, Galago said:

Isn't that a bit early? My understanding is that SE monsoon will still be happening in the south, or at least the end of it.

 

I have been assured it is not an issue, but I will check again. :wacko:

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Galago

Oops I meant SW monsoon!

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Galago

In fact I think the SE monsoon is heading for Rutland Water this weekend #TakeWelliesToBirdfair :rolleyes:

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Soukous
11 hours ago, Galago said:

Isn't that a bit early? My understanding is that SE monsoon will still be happening in the south, or at least the end of it.

 

I know it is no guarantee of clement weather, but we have a party of UK photographers going to Nagarhole early in November 2019, together with other tiger reserves. Their target is cats and they have chosen to travel at this time.

 

My partner is escorting clients in India from the last week of October, commencing in Rajasthan and ending in Goa in early November.

 

I myself am escorting a client through Rajasthan for the first 2 weeks of November.

 

In all cases the advice we have been given is that the rains will be finished.

 

One of the key reasons for choosing November to travel is that it is a prime time for birding.

Big cats are a lot more active at this time of year as they spend a lot of time patrolling their territories renewing their scent parking.

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Galago

Sounds good. Thanks @Soukous 

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Soukous

I am now able to present an updated itinerary and costs.

 

Nagarhole / Kabini & Fringe Ford plus Goa birding - 14 nights

 

image.png.47ee66a77e9d6e7cdef901f6c2185985.png

 

For this 14 night itinerary , based on a group of 6 people, the costs would be as follows:

 

Nagarhole & Fringe Ford - 7 nights - GBP1,243 twin share, GBP280 single supplement. This cost includes the hire of a private naturalist for our time in Nagarhole.

Flight Mysore to Goa - GBP50 (at time of writing)

Goa Birding (Accommodation, guide & transport) - 7 nights - GBP456 twin share, GBP344 singe supplement

 

That gives a total cost for the 14 night itinerary of GBP1,699 twin share, GBP2,325 single room basis

 

>>>

 

By coincidence, over the weekend at BirdFair I attended a presentation by Wildlife Worldwide for their tour to Nagahole.

Interestingly, they simply fly into Bengaluru, visit Nagarhole and then fly home again. Their 10 day programme, with 7 nights in Kabini River Lodge and 1 night in Bengaluru sells for GBP3,289, with a single supplement of GBP595.

 

I therefor thought it might be useful to offer a comparison by omitting Fringe Ford and staying longer in Nagarhole ...

Nagarhole / Kabini plus Goa birding - 13 nights

image.png.a19d07c334198516e72e7a525a36309b.png

 

For this 13 night itinerary, based on a group of 6 people, the costs would be as follows:

Nagarhole - 6 nights - GBP1,279 twin share, GBP310 single supplement. This cost includes the hire of a private naturalist for our time in Nagarhole.

Flight Mysore to Goa - GBP50 (at time of writing)

Goa Birding (Accommodation, guide & transport) - 7 nights - GBP456 twin share, GBP344 singe supplement

 

That gives a total cost for the 13 night itinerary of GBP1,735 twin share, GBP2,391 single room basis

 

OK, the Wildlife Worldwide price includes flights from the UK and my costs do not, but given that flights are available for less than GBP600, I think our itinerary stacks up pretty well.  It is both longer and substantially cheaper.

 

So there you have it; 3 choices.  

Goa birding - 7 nights from 08 Nov 2020 to 15 Nov 2020

Nagarhole & Fringe Ford plus Goa birding - 14 nights from 01 Nov 2020 to 15 Nov 2020

Nagarhole plus Goa birding - 13 nights from 02 Nov 2020 to 15 Nov 2020.

 

@xelas, @ElaineAust, @Galago, @Galana, @janzin, @kittykat23uk, @Treepol, @Zarek Cockar, @Dave Williams, @Carol Rushton

Edited by Soukous

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kittykat23uk

Although I really can't commit at this stage as the possibility of my joining you very much depends on what I end up doing in February next year, the 13 day version that includes the longer stay at Nagarhole definitely is the one that appeals the most to me. :)

 

all the best

 

Jo 

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Treepol

@Soukous thank you so much for the work you have done on these itineraries and also for including 3  options. Like @kittykat23uk its a long way out for me, however my preference is for the 13 night Kabini and Goa option without Fringe Ford.

 

Do we have a chance at tigers in Kabini or will the melanistic leopard searches be in an area not usually frequented by tigers?

 

Is Wildlfower Lodge still the accommodation for Goa? I checked the Lodge online and the reviews on TA were good - the onsite restaurant seems to please most guests.When would you require a deposit and how much would that be?

 

 

 

 

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ElaineAust

Hi again @Soukous. It appears that most STers would prefer the longer trip that includes Kabini.  Not wanting to miss out I am happy to go with this option as the guest numbers are very limited.

@Treepol, maybe we can meet up Melbourne and fly out from there?  I am completely lost at the moment regarding flights to India and will need to do some serious research.  Meanwhile Mozambique this November beckons.

Elaine

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Treepol

@ElaineAust it would be great to meet up, lets see if we can make it happen. I think the best connections will be with Air Lanka, Singapore Airlines were a bit more cmbersome. However, now that we are starting in Bangalore this may improve connection options. 

 

I will email my agent again and let you know what she says.

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ElaineAust

Thanks @Treepol.  Air Lanka was not even on my long list.  I was mainly looking at Air India and Cathay.  

Cheers

Elaine

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Soukous

@ElaineAust @Treepol

 

Thanks for your prompt responses, it makes planning so much easier.

If the consensus is to do the 13 day trip and omit Fringe Ford I am very happy with that.

Nagarhole is a very good park @Treepol and has a good population of tigers which are seen on a regular basis, so I would certainly expect us to see them when we are there.

No need for deposits yet, although once you are definite that you'd like to come along I can at least start booking some accommodation.

As far as rooming is concerned, would you both want single rooms or are you happy to share?

 

 

 

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Treepol

@Soukous single for me please, although I am happy to share a villa (like Wildflower Lodge in Goa) if there are two separate bedrooms and en suites.

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Dave Williams

I'm definitely not interested in the Nagarhole section as my o/h wouldn't want to go. We are also in favour of hotel accommodation in Goa where it's closer to restaurants, shops etc and there will be people around during the day when she is left alone while I'm out with my camera. The numbers you need at Nagarhole might not be compatible to the numbers the Goa guide can accommodate if Goa only extras are added plus my intention of taking a package tour (if indeed we head to Goa) and the likelihood that I will miss the first day or two of the birding trip if not the whole week if they don't start flying until the 14th November leaves me thinking that it's best to discount my interest altogether. I'm booked in to Goa mid November this year so I can test the water in one or two spots and let you know how I get on!

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Soukous

Thanks @Dave Williams good to know

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Soukous
1 hour ago, Treepol said:

@Soukous single for me please, although I am happy to share a villa (like Wildflower Lodge in Goa) if there are two separate bedrooms and en suites.

 

noted

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