KABINI Never Disappoints
Salil Sharma & Vikas Sharma
The Kabini/Kapila is one of the major tributaries of the river Cauvery in Karnataka and the Kabini forest reserve is the named after it which happens to be the most popular wildlife destination of South India. It comes under the Nagarhole National Park
located in Kodagu district and Mysore. The Kabini wildlife sanctuary is spread over 55acres & includes dense forest, lakes, steep valleys & streams. It is also considered as an ornithologist’s paradise. Kabini is a favourite haunt of wildlife enthusiast and
photographers as it provides sightings of animals that are usually elusive in other areas. It has a healthy population of tigers, elephants, gaurs & wild dogs. But the shadow of beauty of the melanistic leopard or Black Panther is a rare sight indeed. The
best time to visit Kabini is from September to mid June.
Streak Throated Woodpecker
We were lucky enough to see the Black Panther or Kariya (Black)as it is called localy on the very first day of the safari. Its beauty was breath taking. Rarely visible, it was sighted by fellow travelers of a jeep while crossing their path. It made its
way through dense bushes and climbed the branches of a tree sitting there for a good time.
According to the data analysis by a nature travel company, Wild Trails, has revealed that maximum sighting of the Black Panther at Kabini Forest is during a full moon day or a new moon day. Its suggested that the Black Panther is active in the dark. 61
sightings of the Black Panther have been recorded in the previous year, out of which 42 were on or around full moon day.
According to Rudyard Kipling’s THE JUNGLE BOOK the famous character of the BAGIRA was sitting in front of our eyes and its beauty cannot be described in words.
Elephants & Gaurs are in numbers roaming in the entire reserve. Wild dogs /Dholes were seen as a couple looking for a hunt. Normally they move in a pack but when seen as a pair they are away for mating & hunt alone which is though a difficult task. On
the same day in the evening we were taken to Kabini Backwaters where elephants & Gaurs welcomed us at the gate of the zone itself. Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Malabar Flying Squirrel, Hanuman Langoor, Stripe necked Mongoose & Tortoise were spotted. As we were
running short of time, our naturalist Prasanna Gowda (Kabini River Lodge) & driver thought of one last round in a hope to see something else, As soon as we were about to exit the park/reserve, our driver got a call that a tiger has been spotted on the road
side. In minutes we were at the place which was hijacked by jeeps & canters queuing up for one sight of the national animal, the Tiger. Ours was also supposed to be the first glance and yes it was roaring in the bushes on the road side and marking its boundary
looking at the enthusiastic viewers & the cameramen whose lenses were only zoomed at it. What a majestic Animal ? We were happy elated almost speechless unable to control facial expressions as it was our first tiger sighting.
Few Bird species were also located Brown Fish Owl & Streak Throated Woodpecker were the Lifers. We were staying a the Kabini River Lodge which is the only lodge to provide with a jeep safari, other hotels & resorts have facility only for canters/buses.
Malabar Flying Squirrel
2.Indian Pond Heron
5.Open Billed Stork
6.Black shouldered Kite
8.Indian White backed Vulture
9. Crested Hawk Eagle
10.Crested Serpent Eagle
11.Grey Jungle Fowl
13.Common Button Quail
14.Rose Ringed Parakeet
16.Brown Fish Owl
17.Lesser Pied Kingfisher
18.White Breasted Kingfisher
21.Indian Grey Hornbill
22.Lesser Golden back Woodpecker
26.Southern Hill Myna
27.Grey Headed Starling
30.Red Vented Bulbul
31.Green Bee Eater
35.White Rumped Needle Tailed Swift
Salil Sharma & Vikas Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com
They visited Kabini on 8th & 9th June 2019