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Old 9th February 2013, 20:18   #1
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Default Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

How to start 2013? New a real good trip to begin. So the hunt for a drive and a getaway was on, loads of suggestions but nothing was exciting enough to say let's go on the highway.

then it stuck, why not get away from this chaos concert jungle and into the real jungle. Brains lit up and choice was bandipur, kabini or nagarohole, very next minute bandipur was ruled out as no open jeeps but a caged 22 seater bus where animals can view humans in a caged bus.

So the choice was between Kabini and Nagarohole, and somehow everyone agreed that Kabini would be a good choice for the weekend and it turned out to be the best decision as it gave us 2 memories that will stay forever.

By the way, this was a day's trip of four friends and a Verna on-route to kabini.

Now, for the plan, Leave bangalore and reach Orange County Resort by 5.45 AM so that we can get into the boat and reach the other side of the forest and get the best open jeep and be at the gate and enter the forest at 6.00 AM.

So, the grand master plan was set and 4 guys and a verna left Bangalore on last Saturday early morning at 1.00 AM sharp on a mission. Mission to catch a boat before it got away.

Now, I wont get into the route map to kabini from Bangalore as its been mention in many threads here and all I can say is, till HD Kote the roads are good, but post that till you reach Orange County Resort you can find some thing call road and after that its just driving on the moon experience. 25 kms stretch up to the resort gate was driven under 10kmph.

At this point of time, We had made up good ground thanks to very less traffic on the highway and the clock showed 5.10AM and a sign board said Orange County Resort 25 kms ahead. Well, we had almost made it but as the saying goes, It's not the overall distance but the last 20 kms that really counts and It did count.

5.15 AM and the discussions were H.R.Policies(Dont ask why this came up ) and news channels (Again, I have no clue who brought this up at that hour) then something magical happened, one the left side there were these huge trees and on to the right side, sugarcane fields. I had just flipped to high beam and noticed 2 glowing eyes(Not Red glowing but glowing to the car's headlight ) and I broke the on-going conversation that there is a nice local wildlife at this hour up head and its a nice dog.

Everyone started to laugh and as we got closer the car became totally silent as if we have reach the interesting bit of the movie's climax scene, The dog was a full grown male leopard and he just crossed the road and stood at the the other side looking at us, growling as if he did not like us turning the car and parking it sideways to look at him with high beam. Now there is excitement and total disbelief amongst us that how can we get so lucky at this hour to get to see a big cat in this place and then when all are just looking at him, The humble GPS from my friends iphone say's, in 500 mts take right turn.. We were confused whether to laugh or keep our focus on the leopard ahead and at the same time he had enough of us and turned around and vanished into the sugarcane filed.

after we soaked in the awesome sight we burst out laughing on the mr.gps and continued on to resort now all hate towards the bad road had gone as it gave us wonderful sight and we kept looking as we drove on hoping to spot a tiger(Too much expectations yield nothing) and ended up at the resort bang on time, 5.45 AM where a open canter was ready to leave with the few guests towards the waiting boat.

Kabini reservoir has dried up at an alarming rate and the boat man told us that this was a very bad sight and was worried that in next 6 months its going to go still worst.

Well, This is enough long talk till now and let the pictures do the talking as we have still the second magical thing in store

First set, from the resort to the forest with sun rise.

P.S. this marks my 666th post

-Sajan.

As we stepped out of the boat towards the safari jeep this sight greeted us at 6.00AM
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Early morning view of kabini, water level is very low.
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Made it in time at the gates with other jeeps ready to disturb the peaceful jungle
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Once the gates opened, the mad rush began and all I could think of was the song, bhag d.k.bose, bhag d.k.bose........
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This was worth all the drive
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Sun slowly rises on the kabini
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Water level is a worry here as the sun rise starts to give out the reality check
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Reflection
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The jungle slowly comes in its natural color.
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Its just so peaceful and quite with only the sounds of the morning birds.
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Last edited by GTO : 11th February 2013 at 12:25. Reason: Only 2 smileys per post please
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Old 9th February 2013, 20:32   #2
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

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Originally Posted by sajands View Post
Once the gates opened, the mad rush began and all I could think of was the song, bag b.k.bose, bag b.k.bose........
Lovely writeup!

Just a small point...it was "bhag DK Bose"..and if you know hindi like a northerner, you'll know why!!
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Old 9th February 2013, 20:36   #3
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Lovely writeup!

Just a small point...it was "bhag DK Bose"..and if you know hindi like a northerner, you'll know why!!
Thanks neel, made the correction my hindi is bit bad

-Sajan
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Old 9th February 2013, 21:17   #4
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Now that we finally made it in and now with the sun showing us the much needed light, it was time to track the big guns. The morning darshan of the leopard was still fresh and dil maange more and we put some pressure on the guide and the driver to find us something wow!! to which they said its just luck by chance.

With our fingers crossed we moved ahead in hope to sight a one of the big cats. We were greeted by the usual suspects, wild boars, Monkeys, Langur's and the beautiful sights and sounds of the forest.

Well, this is enough for now and let the pictures take over as the build up to the next part starts soon......

-Sajan

Its a much needed reminder that we need to respect the laws of jungle.
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We were the first to wake him up from his good sleep.
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Path into the jungle.
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They got busy with breakfast, fruit berries on the tree
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If I were to pull his tail, will he fall or scream???
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Gaint Malabar Squirrel with his morning exercise.
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We drove on in hope to find the one of the big cats.
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Spotted deers.
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That's Bandipur on the other side.
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Old 10th February 2013, 00:23   #5
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Few more clicks as we kept exploring the jungle in hope to spot something special without even a clue on what was in store around the next bend.

-Sajan

Early boar gets the juicy grass
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Deer heard
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-deerheard.jpg

Lone Bison
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-lone-bison.jpg

Bison's and a lone peacock
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-bison-group.jpg

One last look...
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-gaur.jpg
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Old 10th February 2013, 00:30   #6
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

Amazing run and a stand-off with a leopard !
But surely the water levels are alarmingly low. By peak summer, its going to be real bad.
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Old 10th February 2013, 02:43   #7
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

Nice Writeup, amazing captures, by any chance did you click any picture of leopard? Waiting for more updates, pics and yes guessing of what could be your second surprise, if its the striper, then you are lucky.

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Old 10th February 2013, 12:28   #8
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

Well written account of you enjoyable and interesting experiences with good pictures we well, Thanks for sharing
Water level being so low is worrying, we need to definitely do more to protect & rejevunate nature's beauties.
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Old 10th February 2013, 16:25   #9
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

Thanks NPV, joshuakeys and ampere, there is still more to show and tell. Kabini reservoir is also been used by Bangalore city and thanks to no rains, people there are worried about the water level in the soon to come summer and all wild animals depend on the reservoir on a daily basics.

I just hope that there is good rains soon enough, at this rate we were told by the forest officials that if the water level keeps going down then they might cancel the boat safaris :(

-Sajan
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Old 10th February 2013, 21:50   #10
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Now for the bit that well, almost everyone has been waiting for. What was in store after the turn.

The second magical moment began to unfold now.......

As we kept moving and listing to the forest, We got news of a bison that had died due to a battle with another bison and tigers had got a much wanted free lunch/dinner and early morning breakfast so we rushed to the spot and there laid a half eaten carcass of the bison and the smell of the rotten flesh was in the air, now the question was which big cat had claimed this as its catch of the day as they never let their sights off the kill and this kill laid there unprotected as it seems, but we were wrong. We waited there for few minutes and then the magic happened, this big cat was sleeping next to the carcass well camouflaged with its surroundings and he got up to show that this belonged to him to him and wanted us to leave as he was unhappy and wanted total privacy as it was just not us alone we were joined by 3 other jeeps so there were too many eyes on one big cat. Now, which big cat am I speaking off... Let the pics do the talking and treat yourself to this guy.

Later we were joined by an forest guard who i dont think loved wearing uniforms and came to check on the camera traps, he was kind enough to show us the pics that it had managed to take in the night.

-Sajan

The half eaten carcass of the bison
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-kill.jpg

Who dares to disturb my sleep, please welcome the super cool Tiger
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-kill-1.jpg

That's it, too many people around, I am going back to sleep
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-kill-2.jpg

We were not the only ones who got the news, many followed and the tiger got bit edgy and decided to sleep
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-all.jpg

The camera trap that was set next to the kill
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-camtrap.jpg

Forest guard checking the camera if the batteries were good and how many pics had it clicked
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-camperson.jpg

Pic shows two tigers having a quite dinner post 10.00PM
Answered the call of the wild - Kabini-camtrap-1.jpg
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Old 11th February 2013, 01:23   #11
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Default re: Answered the call of the wild - Kabini

Bit curious about the camera that's been installed, Does it record the Video or does it takes the snaps, Because i have seen similar cameras installed in one of the forests Down here in south India, Since then this question remained in my mind. Sajands you have been Lucky to check out the camera & also the Snaps/Video that it captured. Thanks for sharing
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Old 11th February 2013, 11:09   #12
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Bit curious about the camera that's been installed, Does it record the Video or does it takes the snaps, Because i have seen similar cameras installed in one of the forests Down here in south India, Since then this question remained in my mind. Sajands you have been Lucky to check out the camera & also the Snaps/Video that it captured. Thanks for sharing
Thanks joshuakeys,

The camera is a normal point and shoot nikon, not enable or configured for taking short clips as the amount of batteries used were huge, It had close to 15 AA size batteries in it or maybe they just wanted pictures of how many tigers or other wild cats came towards the kill and hence they kept this camera trap.

-Sajan
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Old 11th February 2013, 11:39   #13
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Now, I wont get into the route map to kabini from Bangalore as its been mention in many threads here and all I can say is, till HD Kote the roads are good, but post that till you reach Orange County Resort you can find some thing call road and after that its just driving on the moon experience. 25 kms stretch up to the resort gate was driven under 10kmph.
Sorry to go OT, but do you have pictures of this 'road.'
The last time I'd been on this route was years ago and my Maruti 800 had taken quite a hit. Wondering how you did it in your Verna. I'd like to see if there is any improvement.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:08   #14
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Sorry to go OT, but do you have pictures of this 'road.'
The last time I'd been on this route was years ago and my Maruti 800 had taken quite a hit. Wondering how you did it in your Verna. I'd like to see if there is any improvement.
Sorry sanjaykk, could not click any pics as we were on a race to get into the resort by 5.30AM but the road is very good until you reach 20 kms close to kabini that's where the bad road starts.

Verna somehow transformed into an off-roader for that bad stretch and you have no choice but to drive in 1st gear under 15 kmph.

@ 500ContyCruiser, Thanks. Yeah the water level is very low and in today's TOI i guess second page there is an article on the same. The trees are cut by the forest department as a method called controlling forest fire and they burn certain areas which are prone for forest fires so that in case of a fire then it will not have any ground to spread across, the tress that they cut down are old tress which they feel can contribute to the fire.

I just hope that there are good rains soon before the harsh summer comes in.

-Sajan

Last edited by sajands : 11th February 2013 at 12:14.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:20   #15
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Really cool trip. But sad to see the amount of deforestation in there. Doe they take any steps to grow more trees in the place where is was cut?
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