Bandipur was the destination of choice for a quick family getaway on one of the recent long weekends. Few reasons for the choice.
a) Was yearning for a wilderness experience
b) Had never been on a proper safari in Bandipur before. The only thing I remember was the 30min long Forest department safari which kind of finished in a blink. Only thing we saw was an Indian Grey mongoose which just so happened to come onto the jeep track.
c) With family, on a safari, seemed like a better way to experience the wilderness than say exploring by foot, so to speak.
And so it was to be, an outing to Bandipur.
Plan was to do the JLR safaris which are more focused and longer than the Forest department ones. However, didn’t want to stay in JLR, purely because of the steep cost. Went ahead with MC Resorts. A good place with great food and nice people.
Weather was quite iffy, very unpredictable. Rains were on the cards. Overall, didn’t look very promising ☹️
The safaris began reasonably well. We had some great sightings of elephants.
At one time, it was a big herd with many young ones. They gave us a good time along with the jitters, with their threats, mock charges and all 😀
Birding was decent with the regulars, the streak-throated woodpeckers, Brown fish owls, Crested serpent eagles and the Crested hawk eagle. The weather being quite cloudy with a drizzle every now and then, bird activity was quite limited too.
One lovely instance was a majestic Black eagle in hunting mode.
Did some birding around the resort as well. Spent some amazing time observing a lovely pair of tailorbirds indulged in getting their nest ready. The couple were working in tandem. The tailorbirds sew up two leaves on a branch with very delicate and soft plant fibres turning them into a beautiful cup like enclosure.
Here’s the skilled artist in action.
They were heading out one after the other and fetching the required nesting material, some soft, furry material ( not sure where they find those from :-) ) and stuffed their nest with them.
The immaculate work of these little birds was so fascinating to watch.
On the safari end though, the big cats remained elusive. Was getting quite a bit vexed. Having had no luck by the third safari, my hopes of seeing a big cat were dwindling. And as always the unpredictability of a safari came to the fore and it happened, finally!! A BIG CAT!!
We ended up at the place of the sighting a bit late and I was just kicking myself for sheer bad luck!! However, things were to turn around for the better. There she was, a beautiful tigress 🐅 walking across the thickets and stood there amidst the green, scanning around. It was for just about a few seconds before she disappeared into the bushes. Was a fabulous sighting!!
The beauty of the monsoon green adds so much to the scene.
The next safari, a tiger 🐅 again!! This time, a majestic male, resting on the grass close to the bushes. He seemed quite comfortable with our presence and would have given us ample time if not for another jeep driver who came and rammed his brakes. This disturbance was enough to make the king decide that he had had enough, get up and disappear into the thick undergrowth. I wasn’t complaining though. It was a wonderful sighting.
This was to be the penultimate safari of our trip. The last safari had nothing much to write home about with the rain playing spoil sport.
Soon, it was time to bid goodbye to Bandipur and head back home. It was a good break and some good memories to return back with as well.
Couple of things to mention about our place of stay - MC Resorts, I must admit that it was a great experience! All the needed arrangements were taken care of very well. Food was great. Thanks to Manju for all the support and also to Rudra who was always around in case we needed anything. Will surely be retuning to the place soon 😀
For better quality images please head here - https://photos.framesofnature.com/Travel/Bandipur-Sep-2022/