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Old 16th September 2011, 17:30   #1
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Default Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Its been over 4 months since my trip to the Kanha/Pench/Tadoba jungles in April with Pozu and Elly . (Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes). Even though I did some trips to forests around Bangalore through these months, the urge to tour the MP jungles again is building up. We couldn't visit Bandhavgarh during my last visit and I always wanted to go there, little did I know that I'd be left wanting to do the trip within this year!.

So last week, I began thinking about the idea and look at potential dates and bookings etc. The parks in MP are closed every year through the monsoons and open only in mid-October. On checking the MP Tourism website, it mentioned that the parks will open on October 16th...that's the date I said! The first day first safari thought at Bandhavgarh got me thinking more. Now given that the parks are closed for a good 3 months, I'm assuming that the animal movements should be at ease compared to other times of the year when there is a quite a bit of human movement inside the forest. I'm hoping this may help us get some good quality of sightings as well. In the end, whether the sightings are many or few, the sheer idea of entering into the park on the first day of opening is exciting enough for me. Wildlife sightings are always a matter of chance and you should never go with a plan in mind to avoid disappointment!

Next up was to plan the logistics and figure out the itinerary and costs etc. Apparently, the MP govt has revised the safari rates for the B'garh Tala zone along with the Kisli-Kanha zone which are the two major attractions for all visitors. But that isn't going to deter the people who visit these places for sure, it may just cut down the leisure tourists who are okay with visiting the other zones in these forests as well. Given the large areas of forests in MP and the fact that a lot of it is open as the tourism zone, I'd say all the zones have enough to offer. However, these two zones are particularly popular due to the sightings recorded and the stay options etc.

A quick spreadsheet helped in planning the schedule and approximate costs. It turns out to be a bit more expensive than my last trip if two people were to do it, however the economies of scale will come into play if there are more participants in the game.

Here's an overview of the itinerary:
Oct 14 - Leave Bangalore early morning and reach Nagpur
Oct 15 - Reach B'garh late evening
Oct 16 - Stay at B'garh (morning & evening safari)
Oct 17 - Stay at B'garh (morning & evening safari)
Oct 18 - Stay at B'garh (morning & evening safari)
Oct 19 - Drive to Kanha for the afternoon safari (All parks closed on Wed mornings)
Oct 20 - Stay at Kanha (morning & evening safari)
Oct 21 - Morning safari at Kanha and then drive to Pench for evening safari
Oct 22 - Stay at Pench (morning & evening safari)
Oct 23 - Leave early morning and reach B'lore by night

Total 6 drives in B'garh, 3/4 drives in Kanha, 3 in Pench = more than 48 hours in the wild. I'm also open to the idea of spending all the time at B'garh instead of hopping to 3 different parks.

The team is the same as last time. So, I will have Pozu (she'll be 22 month's by then), Elly who has agreed to join in again and my trusted Safari to take us around. However, this time I'm also looking for some additional participants so that we can share costs and the overall expense becomes more reasonable.

With three seats taken already, it leaves an option to add 2 more folks to the gang and we'll be all set to finalize bookings etc. I'm also okay with just one more person in the group, it would mean more space in the car while travelling and also in the gypsy during the safari. But that would mean that we'll need a triple sharing accommodation everywhere to keep economies of scale. Again, I'm okay if you're okay with it!

Here's what I'm looking for
  • Pls let me know if you're interested or anyone you know might be interested in joining us for this trip and we can discuss the details. You can email me at amolpol at wildzests dot com or keep in touch through my FB page at WildZests.com | Facebook.
  • I'm primarily looking for individuals from Bangalore who can join us so that the costs are evenly shared etc. It also helps with us meeting prior to the trip to discuss things in person.
  • If there are others who would want to coincide their trip with ours, you're most welcome. It's always great to meet other fellow T-BHP'ians!
  • Also, if anyone konws of cheap and decent quality stay options at B'garh/Kanha/Pench, that info would be appreciated as well.
Some things to know beforehand about this trip:
  • We're both photographers and this is going to be an expedition of sorts for us. We're not really bothered of creature comforts for ourselves, but I will need to make sure that my daughter isn't inconvenienced too much.
  • Alcohol is best avoided through the trip, we wouldn't really want to go so far to enjoy nature with intoxicated brains. Also, I'd be happy to help someone quit smoking through these days.
  • The objective of this trip is to make some good documentary images of the wildlife in these places and it won't be focused only on the tiger. I've mentioned it earlier as well, the reason to choose tiger reserves for my trips is only because of the rich bio-diversity it has to offer!
  • This is not a commercial venture, Elly and/or me are not intending to make money out of this. All expenses will be well documented and all the cost details will be shared. He's an expert at keeping accounts and we've done trips together for years now!
  • The stay bookings are planned at the MP Tourism jungle lodges which are quite nice for the ambience/food etc. However, they are not exactly luxury resorts and neither do we expect them to be. I'm also open to explore cheaper options provided they're good enough for a baby to be with us (cleanliness & hygiene).
  • We'd love to have fellow photographers join us, but we won't turn down an enthusiast who wants to just experience the wildnerness with a pair of binoculars. All we need is that the person must have respect and interest for wildlife.
  • The to and fro drives will be enduring as we'll cover more than 1100kms to/from Nagpur/Pench without too many breaks. I'd do all the driving and so the others will get to rest through the journey. You will be assured that you're in safe hands with me behind the wheel.
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Old 17th September 2011, 13:11   #2
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

I wish I could be a part of this Amol. This was my thought in 2010 when I did Ranthambhore in the first week of October. My itinerary was from 3rd to 6th Oct,'10.

Six safaris in Ranthambhore and not a single sighting though I did get to see the rare male sloth bear. Just after the monsoons the forest was at its greenest, the waterholes deep inside the forest that normally get dry during summers were full till the brim. The animals had no reason to come out to the man made water-holes and becasue of the dense green cover, even if the cat was sitting 5 meters away, it would not have been visible.

However best luck to to you. I shall follow this thread keenly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
The first day first safari thought at Bandhavgarh got me thinking more. Now given that the parks are closed for a good 3 months, I'm assuming that the animal movements should be at ease compared to other times of the year when there is a quite a bit of human movement inside the forest. I'm hoping this may help us get some good quality of sightings as well.
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Old 17th September 2011, 23:30   #3
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Thanks GD Saab!

The forest will be green for sure, but I'm hoping that the forest dwellers would be kind enough to show up when I'm there. If not for me, I'm sure my daughter will have some of them come to see her for sure!

I can't push the plan out to November since I have another 2 week trip coming up in December. I needed to space my time offs at least by a month, can't be out of office every month for a week or more .

The situation remains the same almost everywhere in India after the monsoons, the thick shrubbery makes it difficult for spottings. But then, photographing animals in the greens is always special, I feel it shows them in a very happy mood!

I'm really hoping that the trip happens, but lets see on how things work out.

PS. Mods, pls move this thread back to the Travel Queries section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I wish I could be a part of this Amol. This was my thought in 2010 when I did Ranthambhore in the first week of October. My itinerary was from 3rd to 6th Oct,'10.

Six safaris in Ranthambhore and not a single sighting though I did get to see the rare male sloth bear. Just after the monsoons the forest was at its greenest, the waterholes deep inside the forest that normally get dry during summers were full till the brim. The animals had no reason to come out to the man made water-holes and becasue of the dense green cover, even if the cat was sitting 5 meters away, it would not have been visible.

However best luck to to you. I shall follow this thread keenly.

Last edited by amolpol : 17th September 2011 at 23:33. Reason: Added PS
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Old 18th September 2011, 19:51   #4
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Bangalore-Nagpur (1060km) in one day! Are you riding or driving?
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Old 18th September 2011, 23:31   #5
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I'm driving up in my safari, but my thread got moved to the bike forum for some reason.

BTW..Ive done 600kms nonstop on the bike a few times but 1100kms on the bike would mean ill have nothing left to feel saddle sore the next day
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Old 19th September 2011, 12:35   #6
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

1060km in one day with a 22 month baby will be tiring, as i see it you have already done this before and are quiet confident that there would not be any problem.

October is probably the right time to do with kids as the harsh winter wouldn't have crept in by that time. Last time December was extremely cold in Jabalpur and my daughter had some trouble.
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Old 21st September 2011, 00:03   #7
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
1060km in one day with a 22 month baby will be tiring, as i see it you have already done this before and are quiet confident that there would not be any problem.
Yup, I'm expecting this to be a non-issue. But there will be a contingency plan designed to cater for any emergencies as a standard measure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
October is probably the right time to do with kids as the harsh winter wouldn't have crept in by that time. Last time December was extremely cold in Jabalpur and my daughter had some trouble.
Actually, I am not very sure of the weather in October, I was assuming things to be quite warmer in October and that November would be a better bet instead. I would any day prefer November dates for the trip, but work schedule might not permit that
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Old 21st September 2011, 11:07   #8
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Very very bad idea. The park would be too green to catch tigers nicely.

IMLE - You see tigers best when its hot and the vegetation isnt too dense.

We went xmas 09 and bandhavgarh was really dense.

ofc, YMMV - best of luck on the tigers all the same!
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Old 7th October 2011, 15:32   #9
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Default Re: Bandhavgarh Post Monsoons - First Day First Ride! Wanna Join?

Dear Amol
A few friends are interested to join from Nagpur.
May I know who will be driving you in all the drives at bandhavgad and may I ask you to consider visiting Magdhi zone for atleast half of your drives?

I also second phamilyman's opinion about animal sightings not being that great at the very start. As I check the MPT website, I find that very few entries are left for the dates of your visit.

I am going over to Pench to catch the first day , first show action. I will report my findings on my thread.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
09960332228
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