This and any other place in western ghats is a piece of heaven you can see on Earth. What is better than heaven is when the mighty monsoon pays a visit to the heaven. I visited Kabini during the monsoons, if I consider the official date of onset of monsoon. But during the whole day it never rained when we were there in the national park.
We entered the park through a gate. How does it sound to enter through a gate to a forest? What have we done to the nature and this earth? The whole forest is covered within a solar powered fence and a pit which will keep the animals from getting close to the fence. I was not sure if it was for saving animals from humans or for saving humans from animals.
When I say to people I visited Nagarhole, the first question people shoot is, Did you have any sightings? They don’t even want to know if I saw any deer or peacocks. People are only interested in Tigers. I was wondering why is that? Is it because tigers are rare or is it because of the violence it can inflict on any other beings. There is more to any forest than a predator at the top of the food chain.
I was able to smell the freshness of the forests after the pre-monsoon showers. The whole place was green and the sky so blue. Wherever one turned their eyes the place was beautiful. We spotted wild dogs, langurs, peacocks, woodpeckers, roosters, common mynas, pigeons, parrots, wild pigs, dove and a tiger too at almost the end of the safari.
Spotting the tiger was a funny incident. There were more than five or six vans parked in a single place. That is just a sign of tiger in the forest. When my van gets closer to the scene people started pointing to the bush and saying Oh see here it is. All I remember was the story “The emperor’s new clothes”. I gave up trying to spot the tiger in the bush and started doubting my vision. I was thinking if I should get my eyes checked again. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, I had a glimpse of the beast when it was walking away from all the commotion we tourists have created. It felt like the tiger was saying “Fuck off guys, Let me have some privacy.”
Most of the people in the safari van did miss the details of the forest when all they were looking for was a tiger. The forest had an old national highway within it. Now the road is closed for public and nature is slowly eating up this highway. Natures job would have been easier if the safari vans didn’t use these roads daily.
I was curious seeing OFC lines signs along the road. I was wondering if the road is closed does that also mean that they have migrated the lines to the new road. Might be they did, else they might have to dig the lines in the future causing trouble to the nature and to the humans.
One of the saddest things I noticed in the forest is the man made clearing made in the forest to get electricity lines across the forest. Such a sad sight. One was able to watch the forest, hear its sound and feel its smell through this safari. But this experience is not even close to getting lost in the forest, walking barefoot feeling the sound and watching the wilderness grow in you. Safari is such an excuse to do all these. The safari vans were designed well. There were cushions in the window for one to rest their hands. But I wish I had a chance like Nan Shepherd to explore the forest walking.
The trip also had an awesome sunrise and an even awesome off road experience in the backwaters of the Kabini river.