Karnataka forest department is inviting tourists to stay in the jungles without fear or anxiety under the watchful eyes of trained wardens.
Superlative facilities for lodging and safari have been put in place at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, which is not far away for people residing in north Kerala. With the lifting of COVID-19-triggered curbs in Karnataka, it is advisable to reserve your safari slots in advance as many travellers are flocking to the wildlife sanctuary.
People coming from Malappuram can reach the national park via Vazhikadavu, Tamil Nadu and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve after travelling 108km. One can start enjoying the pristine beauty of the forest cover after reaching Vazhikadavu, which is 56km away from Malappuram. After passing through the Nadukani ghat road, one has to take the Mysore road from Gudalur. Even the drive through the smooth Nadukani ghat road, which doesn’t have many hairpin curves, is an exhilarating experience.
The highpoint of the journey from Malappuram to Bandipur camp site is the 24km stretch that takes you through the Mudumalai and Bandipur tiger reserves. This stretch provides many vistas of wilderness and one can see deer and rabbits dawdling on the fringes of forest road. As per the restrictions imposed by the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka forest departments, tourists are not allowed to stop vehicles or take photographs of the wild animals while travelling on this road.
One has to pre-book lodging and safari through the website www.bandipurtigerreserve.co.in. The rate is quite affordable at Rs 1,600 per day for two persons and reservation can be done only for two days. The jungle safaris are scheduled daily in the morning and evening. A bus with a carrying capacity of 20 people will take you on jungle safari with a single ticket costing Rs 357. The jeep safari, which has more facilities, will cost Rs 3,442 for two persons and if the lady luck smiles on you, the chances of seeing tigers and other wild animals up close are pretty high.
Though the accommodation has limited facilities, it is safe as the forest department employees keep a close watch over the cottages. Each cottage has two rooms with a common living room and an enclosed patio. The cottages have interesting names such as ‘Vanasree’, ‘Kokila’, ‘Pappiha’ and ‘Vanarajini’. The ‘Vanasree’ cottage has five rooms and others have two rooms each. Besides cottages, dormitory facilities are also available, and the canteen attached to the camp site serves Karnataka cuisine.
Strictly follow the instructions of forest department officials to avoid risk.
Carry enough hard cash as other modes of payment won’t be possible due to network issues.
Fill up your vehicle with enough fuel.