Nagarhole National Park – Blog

Having spent a good deal of time in the National Parks of Northern and Central India I was excited, on my last trip, to see what the parks of the South could offer. We had booked in to the first of them, Nagarhole, for three nights after sightseeing in Mysore. I am very pleased to say we were not disappointed!              

Situated in Karnataka, and a half day drive from Mysore, the park ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri hills and south towards Kerala state. The park covers 643 km2 (248 sq mi) located to the north-west of Bandipur National Park. The Kabini reservoir separates the two parks.

The recommended accommodation is excellent and runs twice daily jeep safaris to view wildlife. Boat safaris are also available on the Kabini Resevoir.

All meals are provided and the food is very good and there is plenty of it. The Viceroy’s house in the ground is a beautiful building that houses a bar and also a cinema room where wildlife films are shown most nights

 

 

Nagarhole provided exceptional tiger and leopard sightings as well as a good range of other wildlife including elephant, giant Malibar squirrel, deer and birds. In the three days we had three leopard sightings and around six tiger sightings which was exceptional and well beyond our expectations.

The safari vehicles are good with nine seats in three rows which offer everyone a good view. Normally there are two people on each row which offers plenty of space.

The boat trip is also worth doing and provides excellent views of birds and also elephants and other animals grazing on the grassland at the edge of the reservoir.

Overall, Nagarhole is highly recommended and should be included in your itinerary. It is close to Bangalore so it will tend to get very busy at weekends and during holidays so avoid these if you can. The wildlife viewing is excellent as is the accommodation.

Interested In visiting Nagarhole

Find out more:

Explore India

Kanha National Park

Kipling's Jungle Book Inspiration

The largest national park in central India, and said to be the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s jungle book, Kanha is a gem and a must visit if you like wildlife.

The park has a wonderful range of Flora and Fauna and plenty of very affordable, yet high class accommodation, in the vicinity. I visited for four days in February, which is an excellent time to go, and had wonderful sightings of tigers but many other things as well.

Our group traveled from Bandhavgarh, leaving in the early morning, traveling through the wonderful rural landscape of central India. The journey itself is really interesting, and should be relished, as you travel through small villages and witness traditional farming methods.

The drive from Katni to Kanha

Invalid Displayed Gallery

 We were warmly greeted at our lodge and shown to our rooms for some recuperation time before lunch and an afternoon game drive.

We were introduced to our driver, who was to be with us for the whole of our stay, before setting off for the park gates.

Waiting At the park Gates
Waiting At the park Gates for the afternoon game drive

Kanha’s landscape is a mix of quite dense forest and open meadows with small lakes and reservoirs. The open landscape allows the deer population to flourish and the water is critical to the survival of the barasingha, a sub species of the swamp deer, which only exists in this park. It is an amazing animal to view as it spends a lot of its time in the water grazing, sometimes only the top, of its back is visible.

Barasingha In their element

Invalid Displayed Gallery

The morning game drive starts before dawn so you are woken with a very early cup of tea before you make your way to your Gypsy to head off to the park. Breakfast is packed to be consumed in a rest area in the park later.

Picnic Breakfast
Picnic Breakfast

The rest areas provide a very pleasant place to stop for a meal but the viewing of animals need not stop. Birds, in particular, can be viewed whilst having a meal break.

Bird watching in the park rest areas
Bird watching in the park rest areas

Bird watching in the park rest areas
Bird watching in the park rest areas - Red Naped Ibis

Tigers are, of course, the big prize in the parks but there were other wonderful sights that people, including the guides, seemed to ignore. A good example occurred when we were waiting on a road, hoping a tiger might come our way, and above us was this Oriental Honey Buzzard having a really good go at a bee hive. It was fascinating to watch and it seems that the bees had no defense against this bird. It appeared to be completely untroubled by the bees so it was not clear if he was being stung at all.

All Muscle
All Muscle

Tiger sightings in Kanha were excellent, as you would expect. I was aware that male tigers can weigh over three hundred kilograms but up to this point of the trip I had not witnessed a really big animal. That all changed when this fellow walked down the road towards us. As you can see he is immense. It was more the thickness of his legs and the diameter of his torso that impressed me rather than his overall length or height. This was a male of seven years old in his prime and on the war path. We were told that he was after a younger male who had been with a tigress. The game guide feared for the safety of the young tiger!

I will write a further blog on Kanha including an account and video of a tigress hunting a barasingha and her foal. See also my write up on Bandhavgarh

Kanha Tiger Reserve Accommodation

The recommended accommodation is about two miles from the park gate and is set in its own, extensive, grounds in which organic fruit and vegetables are grown for the restaurant. It is well worth having a tour of the gardens which the hosts are proud to provide for you. There is a very good swimming pool for a cool off in the heat of the day.

The accommodation is very comfortable with excellent food and great service. If you are interested in learning a bit more about Indian cookery the chefs are happy to give you a lesson.

Local tours can be arranged to, for example, the local villages or to go bird watching in the buffer zone.

If you are interested in visiting visit Explore India for more details