Kabini, the mecca for all birdwatchers has a lot more to offer than just birds. You can also just come here for the Kabini River. Also known as Kapila, the Kabini river originates in Kerala and flows towards the Kaveri River. The Kabini River can also be accessed through the Nagarhole National Park. While you are at Kabini, you should also check out the Nagarhole National Park.
Spread over districts in Mysore and Coorg, it is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. It spans over 644 square kilometers and has two tourism zones. On the south-west side of this park is the Sunkadakatte Tourism Zone which includes the Kabini River.
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This is what is referred to as Kabini.
Resorts in Kabini often organize safaris and drives here. Tourism is limited to certain times of the day.
Kabini has a mix of moist deciduous forests as well as dry trees. This microhabitat is so popular for birdwatching that avid birders come down just to spot birds.
There are several roads here that allow tourists to enjoy all of Kabini. However, 30 meters on both sides are cleared to improve visibility and prevent mishaps in the evening. A large number of herbivores get attracted to the salt licks laid down by the Forest Department.
The backwaters of Kabini are an extremely popular spot for tourists. Extensive teak plantations cover the area. During the summer, this area resembles large grasslands of Africa. This is where Asiatic elephants come to hang out. Summer is also when the Mastigudi temple emerges from underwater. Driving is not permitted here as it can disturb the elephants but there are several viewpoints where one can stop the jeep and take pictures.
You could also visit the gorgeous Sunset Point that allows you to take a look at all of Kabini at once. You can also take a boat ride or visit Mastigudi, Niligiri Plantation or the Old M.M Road.
The tourism zone has several flowering trees and what drives hordes of people to come by is the Flame of the forest. This tree only flowers during January.
The month of February sees trees such as the Indian Coral Tree and the Red Silk Cotton tree flower. In March, you would see Cassia fistula or Indian Labumum with its beautiful yellow flowers. March and April also mean that the Padri tree starts flowering with its fragrant white flowers.
You could enjoy all of this a little more if you checked into jungle resorts Kabini has to offer and go on a safari. You could choose to do it on foot, vehicle, elephant, bike or coracle. There isn’t just one way to experience Kabini.
But, remember to never draw attention to yourself or wear loud colours that might disturb animals. In the dry season, boats are the best way to experience Kabini morning or evening. During this time, irrigation water is let out and the lakes dry up leaving the main river visible. This leads to the formation of several smaller islands and petrified trees that give the landscape a magical touch.
These islands are well-liked by elephants and crocodiles both.
The fresh grass is what gets the elephants excited about these islands and you can probably see elephants swimming across the river to get to these islands. Since no other herbivore can potentially access them, this becomes the solitary territory of elephants.
You can also go for a trek in the surrounding mountains in Kabini but be sure to follow all the guidelines to avoid any mishaps. If trekking is not your cup of tea, you can always take a nature walk. If you are extremely keen on birdwatching, take a night walk in Kabini with a guide expert in spotting wildlife at night.
Since Kabini has a lot to offer along with being so scenic, it draws a lot of crowds from all over the country and world. Along with birdwatching, Kabini is also a great place to discover fauna and flora that you did not know about making it the best wildlife destination.