Take a scenic boat trip down the Kabini River. You can spot elephants and other wildlife. © Raj Wildberry / Shutterstock
Take a Wildlife Boating Excursion
A group of 10 to 15 people will form in the hotel lounge to prepare for a late afternoon excursion on the Kabini River. First, enjoy a short information session that described the Nagarhole Sanctuary and the Kabini ecosystem. The expert guides will give some indication of what types of plant and animal life you are likely to see on your boat safari adventure.
Sunset in Kabini © Rohit C / Shutterstock
Boat Ride Duration – 2 hours and 45 minutes
Time – 6:30 AM to 9:30 am and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM (Afternoon safari included)
The boat safari adventure begins going upstream between the Bandipur National Park and the Nagarhole National Park. Then, your group travels downriver back to the resort.
So many glorious sites meet your eyes on the trip down the Kabini River. One of the favorites is the herds of Asian elephants walking along the banks and drinking from the river. Marsh crocodiles are another interesting thing to see. Their fearsome teeth might give you a scare, but do not worry. They cannot catch the boats. Other animals of note in this area along the river’s banks include guar or Indian bison, stripe-necked mongoose, bonnet macaque monkeys, smooth-coated river otters, spotted and sambar deer, and dozens of different species of water birds. The river draws them all near for food, water, and a place to congregate with their fellows.
A majestic elephant browses on the grass alongside the Kabini backwaters. © Chaithanya Krishnan / Shutterstock
Floating along the Kabini River in an open boat gives you a thrill like no other experience you can imagine. As you skim across the calm waters, you are surrounded by wild jungle views on both sides. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the water and wildlife that lives in this beautiful spot. The setting sun streaks across the water and dazzles your eyes. Near the shore, half-submerged stumps and driftwood emerge from the water to give Kabini a truly unique appearance.
Sambar deer graze on the grass under the trees in monsoon season in Kabini Forest, Karnataka, India © P.V.R.Murty / Shutterstock
For people who love watching birds, you cannot find a better spot than along the Kabini River. During the boat safari, not a moment goes by when you do not hear the calls of various bird species. Most common sightings include the little, intermediate, and great egrets, grey and purple herons, and cormorants everywhere. Various cormorant types include the Indian, great, and little subspecies. Lesser whistling ducks and kingfishers can also be viewed along the banks or in the water
Kingfisher perches on a branch in the Kabini forest waiting to catch his lunch. Karnataka, India © P.V.R.Murty / Shutterstock
The boat travels all the way down to the western end of the reservoir area, turns around, and brings you and other guests back to the resort. Before reaching it, the boat does stop at Mastigudi, a religiously-significant location that used to hold a Hindu temple. When the dam was put across the river and the reservoir waters rose, the temple became submerged. The stories surrounding its creation go back a very long time with many saying it was built by tribal people who lived before the modern age. The Hindu deity most worshipped in this area is Ganesh, the elephant god, and Mastiamma, a forest goddess. It seems very fitting that these two should be worshipped here above all others
Socotra Cormorant Wandering spreading his wings to the sun along the banks of the Kabini river, Karnataka, India © P.V.R.Murty / Shutterstock