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Old 11th September 2014, 14:38   #31
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Default Re: Bangalore - Thirunelli - Bandipur Trip : Forests & Fire

Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Ankan, well written travelogue and some really good snaps. Quite informative.

I am planning Bandipur visit in near future. A few questions:
1. Safari arranged by Forest Dept is by a bus, is it? Are there Gypsy/Jeep options by Forest Dept?

2. The bandipur website talks about Jungle Lodges and Resort and they having their private vehicles for safari. Any idea how far is any accommodation option provided by Jungle Lodges? Any idea about their pricing?

3. Are personal vehicles allowed on Safari by paying a proper fee and hiring a guide?

Thanks in advance
1. There are few Swaraj-Mazda/Eicher buses for forest safari as well as 1 gypsy & 1 bolero (both open-top). They call it jeep-safari. You need to book jeep safari a couple of hours prior as they are much in demand (for a 3-00 PM slot, better to book a jeep at 1-00 PM). Bus safari tickets are available online but my suggestion is to book on the spot to get good seats. Booking can be done in the booking counter at the forest office campus.

2. JLR is at a few KM from the forest dept office; after crossing forest dept area, you need to take a left. There are a few good resorts in that vicinity like Club Mahindra, Mayflower, Serai etc. Apart from forest dept vehicles and govt safari vehicles, only JLR is authorized to conduct safari inside Bandipur forest. Vehicles of other resorts are not authorized for safari. My observation is: Guests from these resorts are provided with vehicles (by their resort) to reach forest dept office and then guests need to book safari tickets. JLR guests are privileged with their own safari jeep from resort. Its an open-top jeep with the rear seat height increased for better viewing of the surroundings. JLR pricing info is available in their website.

3. Personal safari vehicles are prohibited to enter core forest area. In my recent trips to Bandipur-Mudumalai forests(specially in TN section), I have noticed local private safari jeeps advertising 'deep forest safari' and 'night safari'. Please do not fall for these words. Either these guys will ply multiple times to & from Masinagudi in the ooty road (& not in 'deop jungle'). Or these guys will take you inside jungle completely illegally. I was offered a night safari experience for 4000/- last year which I denied. Please stick to forest dept organized safari only. This is also valid for Mudumalai safari.

Have a happy trip!

Last edited by ankan.m.blr : 11th September 2014 at 14:49.
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