If you are enchanted by elephants, you will love Kabini! The Kabini forest reserve derives its name from the river kabini and is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in the Karnataka state of South India.
This forest of tropical and deciduous trees is home to diverse species of flora and fauna. Spread over 55 acres, it consists of steep valleys, dense woods and water bodies. The backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are rich in wildlife, especially in April and May, when the water recedes, forming huge grassy meadows that attract herds of elephants. The Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 6000 elephants, a treat for animal lovers who gather here to witness the ‘largest congregation of Asiatic elephants in the world!’
Kabini is rated as one of the best places globally, for sighting of the majestic tiger, the elusive leopard, wild dogs (dhole) and elephants. About 250 avian species are also found in this area, including grey-headed fish eagles, ospreys, great cormorants, malabar pied hornbill, malabar lark, malabar trogon, indian pitta, etc. Langurs, chital, sambar, bison, sloth bear, python and crocodiles are other inhabitants of this forest reserve.
Attractions: Jeep safaris, luxury hotels and boutique bush camps, animal sighting, coracle and boat rides, bullock cart rides, bird watching, guided nature walks, barbeque dinners, bonfires and tribal village visits apart from a lazy holiday to read or just unwind in the lap of nature. Shopping: Pick up local produce and honey from some of the villages on your way to Kabini.
Accessibility: Easily accessible by road, 210 Kms from Bangalore and also from the neighboring state of Kerala.
Best time to visit: All year round. Best prospects for wildlife sighting are from April to June.