Kabini Safari in the recent days has entertained the wildlife crazy folks with sightings of Black Panthers, Tigers, Leopards, and herds of the gentle beasts (I mean Elephants, if you didn’t know by now)along with deer, wild dogs, Indian Gaur also known as bison, barking deer, peacocks etc. There is a common saying in the jungle that “For every big cat we see four would have seen us!” Unlike the zoo where animals are caged for your pleasure, you really need to deserve to spot a wild cat in the jungle.
The safari at Kabini operates in two modes like the rest of us – The weekday mode and the weekend mode! During the weekday the Safari is twice a day, once in the wee hours of the morning between 6:30 AM to 9:00 AM and at dusk between 3:30 PM and 6:00 PM. During the weekend the safari runs in 4 schedules i.e., the first between 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM , the second between 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM and the evening ones run between 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM and 4:30PM to 6:00 PM.
There are 3 modes of transportations.
Boat Safari: This is arranged by Jungle Lodges and Resorts(JLR). And the rates are included with the room tariff if you are staying at The Jungle Lodges. Many other resorts also offer boat safari. But all these resorts go through JLR.
Jeep Safari: This is also arranged by JLR and follows the same protocols mentioned in the boat safari section.
Canter (Minibus): This facility is offered by the government as well as Jungles Lodges, or any resort you stay at, who again go through JLR.
Link to book Kabini Safari Online: https://tickets.nagaraholetigerreserve.com/safariDetails/3/Kakanakote%20(Kabini)
Options available and damage to pockets!
Many resorts in Kabini offer safari bookings. It is convenient if you are booking your safari seats through the resort you are staying at. And the duration is also better in this case. The drivers are determined to try and get you a decent sighting, as they are usually tipped well by satisfied customers if they’re shown any wild cat or elephants than just galloping deer. However, I must warn you that the prices for safari if you book through the resorts are exorbitant and start from INR 2000+taxes per person and are dependent on the resort you are staying at (based on how talented they are at looting you) and the season.
You could also choose to book the safari from the government forest office at Dammanakatte. The rates are around INR 450- INR 600 per person. If you have made up your mind to do this because of the difference in the pricing, hold on. While the pricing seems normal in this option, it has its challenges. During the peak season (i.e., summer and winter) you’d have to go stand in a long queue at least an hour prior to the safari start time to buy your safari tickets. And during the weekends, even an hour’s time is not sufficient. And after all the toiling you need to have prayed hard to all the deities you can remember, to get a driver for your canter who has enough patience to take you through the right routes and stop and bring your attention to any 4 legged creature. I am telling this from personal experience, that I had a better knowledge and an eye for at least the pug marks, if not its owner.
As the drivers are obligated to wrap up the safari exactly at the stipulated timings, my suggestion is you go during the weekdays. There is good news for those going through the forest office, as the forest department has recently brought back the online booking for Kabini Safari rides and you can do so here. Do not blame me if they take this down when you are checking this.
Find more details on Kabini, its history, places to stay etc here. Oh! You’re welcome 🙂