I have heard a lot about series of wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, I was slightly skeptical of the feasibility of going to them with a family, especially with few months old kid. This skepticism was given the usually dismal facilities and condition of anything that the country provides today in the garb of naturist vacations…
However, my company came up with an idea of offsite meeting at Kabini at Cicada resorts .Its a wonderful resort and the sunset and sunrise are your clocks here and the whistling of the wind or the water flowing by is music. The glory of nature is on full display.
To cut the long story short, I discovered that Kabini Cicada resorts, at the south of Nagarhole National Park, was one of the top 5 wildlife resorts in the world, voted by a prominent British travel guide.
We started at 7.30 AM in morning from our office in two buses and picked team members at various stops till Total Mall on Mysore road. We had all the possible fun during our bus journey.
After driving for almost 2 hours (due to pick ups at various points) and crossing Ramnagram on the way we stopped at Kamath for breakfast. By the team we reached Kamath whole team was hungry as they starved from night for kamanth’s food and in my opinion it’s a must stop point to try out breakfast buffet at Kamath.
After having our breakfast removing all the dullness of getting up early and regaining some energy for the next 4 hour drive we started from Kamath
Driving about 5 hrs from Bangalore, and 1.5 hrs from Mysore, I was pleasantly surprised by the following:
1. The super smooth roads to the resort except for the last few stretches.
2. World class directional signs all throughout the journey, even in the remote wild.
3. The remoteness of the lodge and the genuineness of all claims in the website
4. The amount of wildlife we encountered even on the highway leading to the resort (Can you imagine there is a national highway right through the forest, with no streetlights, and elephant/tiger country on both sides)
When we reached the resort, we found that my cottage was the nearest to the river, and what a place it was! Neither words nor pictures can describe it. We strained to hear a sound other than natural ones. The silence was stunning, so were the views and the pristine surroundings. You will receive Airtel mobile signal but bit week.
A day at the Cicada river lodge includes everything. Yes everything! Bed tea, meals, safaris, entertainment, cruises… What more can you pack in a day?
I won’t go into the details of our schedule, because that would spoil the surprise.
However after finishing our lunch we went to cottage for some rest as we have to assemble in afternoon for Jungle Safari and the other group went for River safari.
We saw the following in our safaris:
1. leapard waiting in the trees to pounce upon a herd of deer
2. hundreds of elephants – including a huge bull who decided not to like us and charged
3. crocs lazing on the river banks
4. massive gaur
5. ugly and dangerous wild dog chasing a bull gaur – In the royal years, killing and mounting a wild dog in ones drawing room was the ultimate proof of your hunting skills
6. Bear, deer and monkeys.
Apart from this, the scenery and greenery was breathtaking. The evenings were dreamlike, it drizzled and dawn was like a castle in the sky.
We came back and had some tea coffee. I must say cooks and staff at café are very generous and always ready to help you and provide you with the best of the food (something which are not in menu even).
After that we relaxed a bit and get ready for evening barbeque. We had a nice bonfire in evening and enjoyed dine and wine in natural environment with some barbeque and quality drinks.
After drinking and eating in barbeque there was hardly any place left for dinner but dinner was so mouthwatering that you cannot resist yourself and to surprise I had enough that evening. Food was outstanding with a combination of veg and non veg dishes. Dessert was quite good too.
After finish food I was not able to walk even till my cottage and took battery operated car to reach my Cottage. Some of the team members stayed there and enjoyed relaxing some enjoyed swimming in night till late. I opted for some nice sleep as all have to get up early morning for River Safari and another batch for Jungle Safari who been to river safari last evening.
I would ask everyone to ensure that even though you would feel extremely lazy and want to just relaxed in Swimming pool , DO NOT MISS ANY OF THEIR ACTIVITIES, including the kayoing .
The best season is March – May, but early June’s also perfect, as we discovered. However apart from rain one can visit there any time to enjoy nice hospitality in resort and to relax and enjoy nature with family and friends.
We started back late afternoon after having lunch and stopped at Café Coffee day while coming back and reached 10:00 PM to Bangalore (last drop).
It was a nice experience and better than my Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp Journey as one has lot many things to do in Kabini resorts.