We reached Mysore (Mysuru) by Kaveri express by 7 AM and hired a cab outside for Masinagudi drop. We had very good breakfast @ Hotel Kamat Madhuvan just as we exit Mysore. We hiring a cab for one way, thought was a good idea. However, for the cost and experience we had, I suggest one to have a cab for pick-up drop both ways. Mysore cab drivers would ask you for a pick-up from Masinagudi as per your time and drop you back at Mysore. So, make a deal for two-way.
Started the drive towards Masinagudi and we had few stops on the way seeing beautiful Sunflower gardens and quick tea on the way. We had booked our Masinagudi package with InnTheWild - TripAdvisor "Certificate of Excellence" and "BRAVO Award" winner. One needs to reach Singara post and then give a call to the stay and they would pick-up and take you through coffee gardens on a 4x4 drive! The room tariff included Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (All buffets), pick-up/drop for Singara post, Welcome drink, 2 nature walks - very detailed and a night safari on jeep for wild sighting. We reached the place around noon and refreshed for lunch. The lunch was sumptuous and pretty good quality with soups, salads, main course (veg/non-veg) and desserts. After an excellent lunch we walked towards a pond, around 400m from the property and spent close to 90 minutes on enjoying the nature and relishing the photography skills. We returned back around 4 and got ready for the nature walk in to the forest. The place is part of the buffer zone on Elephant corridor and one can see lot of foot marks of different wild life. We felt the real forest by its colour, smell and silence. Amazing exxxperience...
Bandipur safaris are from morning 6:30AM-9:30AM and evenings 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The restrictions themselves spell out the heavy presence of wild life. We reached Bandipur by noon and had to negotiate with driver to stay put for the safari. And the safari was the best part of the tour !
The nature walk was guided by Mr.Siddharth, a naturalist of the cottage; he was knowledgeable enough to help you understand lot of things about the fauna and flora of the place.
We did understand the animal movement pattern and saw interesting things all along the nature walk. We returned back and had good tea and snacks and rested. Night safari started around 8 PM and we had sighting of deer and bisons (India gaur). The place had witnessed tiger, leopard and panther movements off-late and we had expectations to see more. Returned back to a great dinner and then rest!
We stayed in one the jungle shacks towards the end of the property and saw a bear 10 feet from our cottage around 5:45 am! This was the most amazing moment witnessing wildlife in close proximity. My instinct made me run into the cottage and close the door rather than photographing or a selfie! which would have been the meanest thing in that moment !! :)
However, in a few seconds, the bear ran away and we did manage to click a witness!
Time for morning jungle walk and cited interesting sounds of elephants, lots of birds and fresh food marks of Tiger and lots of bisons. We did walk through beautiful stretches of nature, mud, rocks and streams and saw Otters and plenty of butterflies! The fresh air and moisture was just amazing when you get out of city life.
Great breakfast and check-out. We decided to visit Bandipur. On the way to Bandipur, we cited lots of wild boars, deer, langurs and elephant.
We cited lots of deer, peacocks, rare eagles, bear, elephants and a leopard !! The safari is one hour trip and value is higher, if luck permits it, The weather was great, sunny and cool breeze with a slight drizzle all along. the weather was setting up so well, that soon we realized, the safari is going to be memorable. Leopard at 20 feet leads to only one thing - deep silence and freezing of limbs ! One has to just experience it! The big cat is just royally terrific ... and one can imagine nothing as one sees it AS IS !
After an amazing trip, returned to Mysore by 6 PM and got down at Mysore palace for viewing the lighting of the palace. Quick dinner at railway station and back to routines !!