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Lavina Solanki
Our elephant Safari was at 6:15am from Bagori range (Western zone). It was a magnificent experience. We got a closer view of the animals and also got a chance to see a baby rhino grazing along with it's mother. Also there was this cute little baby elephant we saw at the entrance of the Bagori zone, literally running behind it's mother trying to catch up her speed. It was a beautiful cold morning, with fog all around and chirping birds in the background.After breakfast we visited the famous Orchid Botanical Park at Kohora. The park had a varied range of orchid plants with beautiful colours and magical properties. We also experienced the Assamese folk dance performed by professionals called Bihu.Post lunch we visited Agoratoli range (Eastern zone), the best zone according to me. It was close to a river bank and had plenty of birds and many animals around. We were nearly attacked by a rhino here. Lucky for us the rhino charged bt choose to back off mid way. This zone has so many birds to witness you'd loose count and names of. It was an incredible experience to watch the sun set in this zone. It was the most green and animal populated zones of all. This was our last Safari in KNP for that trip.The next day early morning (3:30am to be more precise) we were all set to embark our journey to another beautiful state of the North East- Meghalaya.
Rashmi Sarma
The calmness of the night was overwhelming and was spent chatting near bonfire. It was 2am when I finally returned to my room but was not sleepy at all. As instructed I got ready by 4:30am in the morning for elephant safari. There are like three shifts for the safari, about 1 hour each. I took the earliest one. Kohora region was completely packed. So the resort arranged my safari in Bagori region along with transport. It took about 15-20 min to reach there. It was shivering cold,dark and completely foggy. I sipped some tea and had some Assamese coconut laddoos from a nearby stall. The dawn cracked and the morning light came visible,although the foggy curtain was still hugging the earth.After about 1 km walk into the entrance of jungle and climbing a high platform ,finally I got into a giant elephant. The mahout rode her,slowly and steadily she (her name was Malati) took us into the jungle along with numerous other safari elephants. It was a completely different experience from the jeep safari. Jeep safari felt safe and less scary. But venturing into small muddy trails with no sign of definite roads, branches slapping faces and tilting of the elephant sides was really scary but amazing. After sometime through grasslands,trees and marshes I spotted a mommy rhino with her baby. It wasnt late till I spotted a crash of rhinos grazing. Although not allowed to get close to them because of safety reasons, on request, the mahout took us as near as possible. The innocence in their eyes and the tranquility with which they were grazing along with their young ones would touch everyone. Illegal Poaching and regular floods has lead to decrease in their population with only few remaining. Although I couldn't spot tigers as they were much deeper in the forest and time was limited. We spent some more time spotting herds of deer, wild hen, boars. As we returned to the entrance, I thanked the mahout and patted malati for the amazing safari.After grabbing some food, I took a stroll in the nearby tea estate where the horizon seemed lost in greenery,as if green was the only pellet left when god made that place.With a heavy hearted parting words with hotel owner and other tourists, I took a bus to Guwahati from kohora with happy memory of Kaziranga, that will always be carved into my heart with a smile.