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Old 20th January 2023, 12:37   #1
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Weekend trip to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve - Kabini River with my parents

Why did we decide to go to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve?

We wanted to see tigers, especially in the wild. We saw a lot of YouTubers going to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve and spotting Tigers.
We wanted to see wildcats in the wild too. I never watched Tigers in the wild, and we all were excited to see them in the wild. It's also beautiful to relax and stay around greenery for a few days. We decided to start on a Friday.
Kabini is around 14 hours from Hyderabad, which is hard to reach even if we start at the earliest possible hour because entry to that area is prohibited for tourists post 18:00 hours till the following day 5 'O' Clock.

DAY 1: HYD to BLR

We started on a Friday morning at 6:00, and it was a smooth getaway to Bangalore as the roads were good. We reached Bangalore around 15:30. We stopped for breakfast and lunch. We maintained a slow place cause there was nothing to do after getting to our hotel in the Bangalore outskirts apart from relaxing for the remaining hours. My dad and I shared the wheel throughout the trip.

We decided to halt at the Bangalore outskirts to avoid the city's traffic and take an early turn towards Mysore the next day. We stayed in Signature Resort Devanahalli. After reaching the resort, I took a dip in a swimming pool and headed to dinner. We slept early, around 22:00.

DAY 2: Devanahalli to Nagarahole Tiger Reserve

We woke up at 6:30, got ready in an hour and had an early buffet breakfast. We started at 7:30. My dad started the morning journey to Kabini. He struggled for some time to get used to Octavia because it's been long since he hadn't driven this car. I was constantly reading maps and trying to find shortcuts to avoid traffic.

On our way, the car key lost recognition. We were closing to Mysore.
As my dad kept driving, I searched for Skoda showrooms to get the key repaired. I called the Skoda showroom in Mysore and explained my situation. They were happy to help us out, and we didn't switch off the car when we took breaks and switched the wheel. I drove to the showroom, and they opened up the keys. I replaced them with lousy-quality batteries before, and water also went into the key. They repaired the key in 15 minutes, we thanked the staff and resumed our journey. We planned to have lunch in Mysore, but this repair took place and then we planned to drive to Kabini and try to reach there by lunchtime in Reganta Springs.

A well-maintained Padmini picture driven by an old couple
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A click of my Octavia around lush green surroundings.
Weekend trip to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve - Kabini River with my parents-10.jpg

We had dry fruits on the go, reached Reganta Springs around 14:30 and had a late lunch.

Picture of an old age elephant when we entered Nagarhole forest.
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After lunch, my mom and I took bicycles and headed inside the remote villages, where we got to see beautiful farms and tree houses in those farms built to spot animals entering the farms. Afterwards, we both cycled for some time. We went to the reception and booked safari for the next day. Reganta Springs has a tie-up with Jungle Lodges and Resorts. The next day we had to wake up at 4:30 for a boat safari.

We met a staff member in our resort who walked us through the town that evening. We walked into Kerala, which was 100m close to our resort, and we were in Kerala at 19:00. My mom, dad and the staff member had some tea, and I had a couple of Banana chips made from the local banana trees. We were talking to the staff member, and he was telling us about the smuggling cases of elephant tusks in the past years. He briefly explained about Kuruba tribs in the village as they were invited to our resort that night to showcase their dance and skit performance.

Picture of the tribal performance that night:
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This was Day 2 in Nagarhole Tiger reserve. After the program, I had dinner and played 8 ball with a fellow tourist for some time, and then I slept as I had to wake up early the following day.

Day 3: Boat Safari and Land Safari

In the morning, we chose to go on a boat safari. I woke up around 4:30, and we needed to report to the camper van by 5:00. Safari was arranged by Jungle Lodges and Resorts. It was one hour drive from our resort to that resort. Sadly, the last night, it rained hard. We were told by the guide that there is very little chance of spotting wildcats. The boat safari started at 6:00 and ended around 8:30. We saw various birds and couldn't spot any elephants, crocodiles or Tigers. We got very little sleep the last night. Dad and I fell asleep in the middle of the boat ride journey cause it went off so dull after a point in time. We woke up towards the ferry ride's end and were told there was no prominent spotting of any wildcat or crocodile.

We started right away back to our resort, and I got to sit in the passenger seat of that camper van. I initiated the conversation with the driver, who told me about his experiences watching wildcats crossing the road. He showed me a few videos on his phone, which he recorded when he was commuting on the forest roads, where the wildcats were crossing the road at night. They got permission to commute on the forest roads post-18:00 hour as they are locals and staff of the resorts. I was amazed to see those clips, and I wasn't willing to give up spotting a tiger especially.

We reached the hotel, had breakfast, and I played Pool for some time. Our land safari was scheduled at 14:00 hours post-lunch. We relaxed for a bit, and soon we had lunch and hopped into the camper van again.

Picture of the camper van
Weekend trip to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve - Kabini River with my parents-11.jpg

Our safari started at 15:00 hour from Jungle Lodges and Resorts on a bus. It rained hard for the first 30 minutes of the safari, and everyone's hopes were going down in spotting a tiger. As we progressed, we spotted Elephants, Sambar deer and loads of spotted deer. The guide told us that when it rains, the chance of spotting wildcats goes down cause they run into their shelter, and if they have cubs, they'll need to take care of them. Our driver got a call that someone had spotted a tiger. He turned back the vehicle and sped to the spot where the tiger had been seen. But we couldn't spot it. We had got binoculars too, and it wasn't anywhere near. The driver was putting all his efforts into spotting a tiger. It was getting dark, but he wasn't giving up on getting a tiger sighting. The other safari vehicles, which were going opposite, spotted a tiger. My parents and I were sitting in the back seat, and we got to site it easily compared to the other passengers.

The driver took a fast turn and got us to spot the tiger from a safe, clear distance which helped us see those stripes and its muscular figure. We were amazed to see it walk normally even though there were 6 vehicles with total passengers. She was ice cold. The guide said that it was a tigress. After the safari, we thanked the driver for showing us a tiger and responding quickly to the calls he got from other members when they spotted any wildcats. We got back in the camper van and soon reached our resort. The next day we planned to head back to Bangalore and then home day after day.
The tigress video link
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EUS...ew?usp=sharing

We 3 were hoping to look for this: it was worth traveling 900km change. It was about spotting a tiger and living in a forest area for a few days, seeing the culture of people living in these places, and appreciating how beautiful these places are.

Few pictures during the trip:
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DAY 4: Back home

We finished our breakfast. Checked out at 9:00. We started at 9:30 and were on our way to Bangalore's outskirts. We decided at Mysore to go home directly, around 12 hours away. We had lunch on the way. Dad drove from Kabini to Devanahalli.

I was helping him to get into shortcuts to cut down Bangalore traffic. Google maps showed red and around 1-hour change to reach Devanahalli on carplay. I separately opened maps on my phone and zoomed in all the time to get into shortcuts. We skipped 40 minutes of traffic by taking a bit of narrow road, clean route shortcuts, and we arrived at Devanahalli at 16:00, freshened up at a fuel station, and then I took the wheel. Bangalore traffic was insane that day. I was glad that I opened google maps from my phone, and then I found shortcuts by zooming into the streets.

The traffic on NH44 was less, and we crossed Ananthpur, Kia manufacturing plant, in 2 hours from Devanahalli. We had dinner at Food Pyramid 44 after entering Telangana state. We were 2 hours away, I cruised over 100kmph from Devanahalli, and we reached home at 23:50 hour. Dad and I drove 907km, a 14-hour, 20-minute journey. It was an 1800km weekend road trip. None of us were tired at all. As we were two drivers, it was a comfortable cruise from Kabini to home.

Stats of the car throughout the trip
The fuel economy was around 19 to 20kmpl during the whole trip on average. The rear brake pads had a life of about 2,500km before the trip. Octavia's rear brakes life ended by the end of the tour. They lasted over 1 lakh km. I made back-to-back road trips in this car.

Last edited by Aditya : 23rd January 2023 at 18:35. Reason: As requested
Driver 33 is offline   (24) Thanks
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