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marcox

south india

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marcox

i like to share some information and pictures from my last trip to south india. Since I was travelling alone, I tried to find some budget friendly options to enjoy the divers wildlife there.

 

I arrived at Bangalore airport and took the direct bus to mysore, where I was relaxing for 2 days. Then I took a driver to drive me 2.5h to my first wildlife destination, which was a homestay on a coffeplantation just a 5 min drive away from nagarhole national park. They have have connection which JLR who provides the jeep safaris at nagerhole np. The good thing is, they will pick you up for the safaris and also drop you at spiceglade. And the safari seat costs you like 20usd per safari. So I could do like 12 safaris (2 per day) without ruining myself.

 

Spiceglade

They have just 3 nice rooms and offer a package with food for like 30usd per person. And there`s a ton of birdlife.

 

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Safaris nagarhole np

Usually JLR offers a jeep (9 seater) safari if they have at least 4 bookings for a safari. If they have bigger groups they switch to use a canter which has more seats. All my 12 drives were in the jeep. Overall it was a good experience beside some family who brought like 3 kids with them without booking a seat or a family who always wanted to go to a waterhole bc it`s they only place where you can see a tiger according to them :-). Beside this I meet lots of cool pppl from over whe world in my safaris. 

Since there`s only 1 Jeep and 1 Bus going into the np from this gate / side you like 2-4 other vehicles in your safari, which is good for the experience compared to tadoba np for example. But makes finding rare wildlife more difficult since there aren`t many cars out there, who can share sightings.

 

Concerning wildlife I was kind of unlucky to spot any cats for the first 6-7 safaris. But managed to see a lot of other wilife like 2 sloth bears and tons of elephants and missed tiger and leopards by minutes like 3 times.DSC07182.jpg.2fac23fc3c4a1ebc28a59e65ffadc81c.jpgDSC07161.JPG.398510fdac457616975f2c841fcf07ac.JPGDSC07140.JPG.b86cec18b4c2a5e6301242c89ec26bcb.JPGDSC07069.JPG.bfc55fa73b3ca67a08ba04bfee909c02.JPGtesta.jpg.787f60aa3a03745576014a3bd4bc412a.jpg

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We also managed to get some cats to. On a very foggy morning drive our guide just shouted tiger. But nobody saw her, as she went directly in the lantana bushes. But after waiting some minutes we were lucky as she came out sitting in the open for us.

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And there was also a leopard, who also just went inside bushes as we approached. At least he waited a moment and looked back.

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A 45min drive away from spiceglade was my next destination jungle retreat wayanad. I allready made a tripreport from my previous visits.

Anyway I managed to see lots of wildlife like peacocks, deers and even elephants in the evening. While doing a short walk with the naturalist we found tiger scratch marks and scat right on the property. Maybe thats the reason they where not so happy when I took a short walk at the road in front of the property :-).

 

There`s a female tigress around the place, who hat 3 subadult cubs. Whily growing up the cubs were staring to mark the territory:

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Since the property is right in the protected area you can go for some nightdrives going to an other place and find some wildlife on the road. Usually we saw like 2-5 elephants, some mouse deer, porcupines and civet cats.

 

 

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Well the last night drive was kind a special. First we found a heard of 12(!) elephants at the road incl. some very young ones. We could enjoy the sighting quite some time, since they were happy feeding around the road. At the end of the drive just rigt in front of the property we decided to drive 5min more, since I spend allready lots of time there without seeing a tiger... And there she was. Like 300 meters away from the property just a few meters beside the road. She was very calm just looking at us from the grass while laying down. The pictures are from the video I took. Sorry about the quality.

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After a few minutes she decided to get up and get ready to cross the road just in front of our car. I was so ready the picture and film it with my phone and cam, when a other car came and she went back inside forest. Kind a bad luck in a moment of great luck or so.

 

From jungle reatreat i took a car to drive me 3hours to a beach close to Kannur to relax some days. Stayed at a great homestay called beach and bay at the beach. Where I could hear and see the sea right from my bed. 

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The surroundings around the homestay were great for birding, but i`m no that much into birds. I usually went for a walk after dinner hoping to find some snakes. Didn`t manage to find on. But got scare from a jungle cat which came running out of the dark behind me and found some porcupines.

 

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I even got scared at daytime from a porcupine who was chased by locals and came directly running at me.

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I saw dolphin 2 time right from the beach, but could`t get any pictures.

 

Since I wasn`t able to find snakes on my own, I was asking the host for some professional support. He was calling a friend of a friend, who was one of the local snake catcher, who promised to call him, if he has a job in the area. I was sure we will never hear from him. But he called the next day and told us, he will go to catch a cobra and we can meet him there. So the owner organised a transport for me and joined later there.

 

The experience was kind a unreal. We arrived in a suburb of kannur. Where a group of men were moving heavy stones, to help to find the cobra. it was like 35c and I was quite happy to stay in the shadow.

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The men were joking all the time and I`m glad no one got bitten or broke his feets...After3 0min or so someone saw the cobra for the first time, but they had to remove almost all stones until the snake guy could get a hold on the tail and finally catch her. At the end there was a crowd of like 50-70 ppl. After the snakes was safely catched the people started to realise the presence of a foreigner and I had quite some attention incl. the usual requests of pictures and all the question about my foreigner life :-) At the end me and my hosthad almost to force the snake catcher to take my 500rps, since he didn`t get any salary. Which was kind a suprise for me. Both doing it for free and not taking my tipp.

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At the end I stayed 2 more nights at the radisson mysore and enjoyed pizza and kebab at the nearby food court.

 

Now I`m home and observing the corona / covid situation since I plan to visit borneo in 2 weeks and allready 2 of my flights are cancled. Beside this Ì`m worried about the unrests around dehli since after borneo we wanted to visit keoladeo np, chambal sanctuary, tadoba and pench again. Thats why I went for budget trip instead sticking to more popular places like kabini.

 

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Edited by marcox
added some infos

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wilddog

What a great trip, sightings and photographs. On a Low budget too. Thanks for sharing

 

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TonyQ

A very enjoyable report, you had some great sightings.

Thank you for posting 

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JayRon

Looks like a great trip.. In a budget friendly way ;)  Thank you for posting .....

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Earthian

Seems you had a great time. Lovely photographs too. Thank you for sharing.

 

First time i have heard that one can do a night safari in Kabini. Maybe you were on  the outskirts ( Not on the National Park) and night drives are allowed there.

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marcox

Thanks for reading and your feedback. 

 

The safaris i did were not in kabini. They were at the kutta side of nagarhole. It`s a different gate and area of nagarhole np with different options for safaris etc.

 

The night drives were from jungle retreat wayanad and have nothing to do with kabini as the place is like 80km or so away from kabini. Jungle retreat wayanad is part of the wayanad wildlife sanctuary. There are quite a few different sanctuaries like wayanad or brahmagiri in this area with different options for safaris or trekking. Seems most people only know kabini... 

 

And it`s not any gov provided safari or similiar as we were just driving to the next town/village from there. What made the sighting even more "exciting" :-)

 

 

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xelas

Lower-end budget trips are always getting my attention. After going to India for the first time this November (Kabini and Goa), I might want to return for more, and your places would be just right for us (birds included). Thanks for this TR, and hopefully the COVID-19 will not disrupt too much your other travel plans.

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elefromoz

@marcox

On 2/28/2020 at 12:47 AM, marcox said:

While doing a short walk with the naturalist we found tiger scratch marks and scat right on the property. Maybe thats the reason they where not so happy when I took a short walk at the road in front of the property :-).

Indeed, what an adventure you had.  Cobras and Porcupines too, a great little report, thanks

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