Monday, 16 November 2015

Sighting Wild Life - Jungle Safaris at Kabini, Nagarhole Reserve, Karnataka

Recently, we decided to drive to Kabini, stay there for a day or two, and enjoy the jungle safaris. We opted for one jungle jeep safari and one boat safari; both were excellent. In this blog, I shall share photos of wild life that we saw in both these safaris but will narrate only about jeep safari. In the following blog-post, I shall share photos of birds and narrate about boat safari. Thanks in advance for viewing and reading!

We went on the evening jeep safari; we were transferred from our resort to the Jungle Lodge Resort, and from there the jeep safari began. The jeeps are in good condition. The guide, Mr. Soma, and the driver, Mr. Lokesh, were knowledgeable about the Kabini/Nagarhole Reserve. Our jeep had mixed crowd - professional photographers with their huge lenses occupied prime seats, and amateur photographers and everyone else took other seats.  

When the safari started, the guide spoke about the reserve and about having sighted leopards and tigers in the recent previous safaris. We were all enthusiastic about sighting these cats. As the jeep moved deeper into the forest, we were greeted by elephants, boars, spotted deers, monkeys, languars, gaurs, and so on. 

Saw a lot of birds but sadly the driver/guide don't stop, mainly, because everyone wants to see the wild cats! I spotted a jungle owlet and asked the driver to stop for a photo. Saw plum headed parakeets, kingfishers, and other birds; but couldn't click a photo nor stop to appreciate the beauty. 

As we headed deeper, everyone got restless, and each jeep that passed by indicated that they hadn't sighted the wild cats. The driver of our jeep went to most of the waterholes in anticipation of sighting of the cats but no luck. That morning they sighted two leopards with a kill, sitting on a tree; the driver drove past that tree as well; no luck. 

And then the driver received a phone call from another driver informing about the leopard sitting on the very same tree. Oh, what joy! He drove the jeep at great speed; thought we were flying inside the forest reserve. When we went to the spot, there was already a jeep positioned at the best angle, filled with pro photographers, clicking away to glory. We were able to get only a glimpse of the far-away leopard. 

People without a zoom lens/binoculars weren't lucky; they had difficulty in spotting the leopard. The guide offered his binoculars to whoever wanted it. I must add this tip - when you are on a safari, please get your own binoculars. Similar concept to packing-using your toothbrush vs borrowing from other travelers. Firstly, it's never good to ask someone else's equipment. Honestly. Secondly, not all guides have good quality binoculars or the binoculars maybe worn out. Thirdly, learn to use your eyes; try spotting using your eyes, and then use whatever equipment.

If you are a pro photographer, please click one or two photos, and then give way to the others in the jeep to see the wild life. Come on, you are a pro/expert; means that you don't need to click 100-1000 photos of the same subject! Remember that others too have paid for the safari. Otherwise, please talk to Jungle Lodge Resorts to arrange for a separate jeep. 

When on such safaris, please adhere to the rules/guidelines. Never ever get down from the jeep or climb the top of the jeep. Always respect the guide/driver, and listen to them. Your one stupid move can be unsafe for everyone. Don't mimic wild animals or irritate them. We saw vehicles that had stopped inside the reserve. One or two vehicles honked! 

All right, enough said. Here are photo collages of the wild animals that we saw during our jeep and boat safaris. ENJOY!

Leopard, wild boar, elephants, spotted deer, samba deep, monkey, languar, gaur, crocodile, and mongoose