My friend Visu was traveling to Mysore with his mother to his sisters place and he calls me at the last moment and he calls me to come over to Mysore so that we can go on a long drive into the nature. So I pack my bags and go to Mysore and we leave the city after breakfast and coffee at his sister’s place. The original plan was to go the Nagarhole forest at Kutta side but then on checking up we were told that the solitary Jungle Lodges jeep safari on that side has been stopped because of monsoon rains and hence we decided to go to Kabini backwaters side and try our luck as walking customer at JLR Kabini. As luck would favor we were able to get accommodation for 2 nights at JLR Kabini and then first two safari’s we did not see any predators but sighted other animals such as Elephants, deers, langurs and few birds.
Third safari also was dull for about an hour for the forest was still with no movements of animals being heard. We then reached a place from where we could see a shape of an elephant far off nearly a mile away and on zooming in to check we saw that it was another safari vehicle parked with all photographers taking images of an animal on the tree and so off we went at a fast pace to that spot and to our amazement saw the animal in question was indeed the Black Panther on the tree branch. We were able to get few decent pictures of the same. Now the other vehicle while maneuvering for better angle of the Black Panther broke down as the clutch wire got cut and the drama began there with people trying to start the vehicle so that they can go back to the resort, but then even after pushing the vehicle downhill to start it would not start. As the safari timing was nearing closing time it was decided to abandon the vehicle there itself and all the guests from that vehicle transferred to our vehicle and we drove back… 17 persons in the jeep which normally carries 8 …. Black panther sighting had pacified most of the guest so all adjusted by traveling standing J. Read here about my earlier sighting of this beautiful animal Here
Fourth safari on the day out check out we were quite lucky to spot the sub adult male tiger that had just separated from its mother and female sibling. Two other vehicles crossed us and went ahead of the waterhole without any pause and we also similarly were moving out and i noticed yellow mushrooms. Our vehicle had stopped to talk to the forest department official who had come the opposite way and after he had left i asked our driver to reverse so that i could take images of the mushrooms. After few moments we started moving out and suddenly our driver stops and says Tiger tiger... and we see this magnificent animal lying down in the open raising its head now and then.
After checking out from JLR Kabini we drove down to Masinagudi and stayed at Glanton resort which is just before Sigur bridge while you get down the Kalhati road from Ooty. The high light of this place was that we had a huge tusker just in front of the room. From Masinagudi we drove back towards Mysore and while we reached Bandipur we decided to spend one night at JLR Bandipur. As this is off season there we were able to get 25% discount and we were the only guest at the resort and during the Safari time we met another regular who had just checked in… so the entire resort had just three of us for the night.
Both the safari’s we had no sighting of the tigers or leopards however we were able to see Spot bellied eagle owl.. an extremely rare bird and is considered equivalent to 10 tiger sighting, wolf snake and elephant right on top of the mountain along with its calf.
Trip without any agenda ended on 28th afternoon and my friend dropped me off at the Railway station for me to catch the Shatabdi Express back to Chennai.