This visit was actually a surprise planned by krish for me as personally I have never experienced a nature camp or even anything relatively close. We decided to take a cab to the National Park which was known as Bannerghatta National Park. It was close to 2 hours of drive from our place(old madras road). We started our drive at around 9.am on 12th June 2014.
This park was founded in 1971 and was declared a national park in 1974, and later in 2002 a portion of the park became a biological reserve. It’s known to be a very famous tourist destination and consists of a Zoo, a pet corner, an animal rescue center, a butterfly enclosure, an aquarium, a snake house and a safari park.
At around noon we reached the park and the cab driver asked us to get down at the entrance of the park, as the visitors vehicles were not allowed. We did get down and the watchman at the park guided us to walk inside, even the walk path also looked like a jungle and after 10 minutes of walk, we were received by the Jungle Resort staff and we were directed to our hut which was our place of stay for the next coming 24 hours. The hut which were also known or called as the Swiss tents by the Jungle camp staff, gave a feel of actual jungle stay; the huts were made of bamboo and inside the huts it was like any other room with general amenities provided, outside every tent there was a net slide.
We were told by the staff to assemble at the lunch area by 13.30, and listening to this we were more than excited as our taste buds now needed a relishing experience, the in house restaurant served food that looked more or less like home made food, the menu was not very wide spread, but was pretty decent and had dal, rice, chicken curry, veg pulav, roti’s raita, curd and some fryums. The crowd there was very limited, may be around 5 families were at the camp for a holiday.
After that appetizing lunch, we made our way to our rooms, it was around 14.30 pm and the staff told us that the Safari ride was planned to start at 1600 hours, I had no clue what a safari ride would be like, as it was not a familiar activity to me, well after that exciting news we walked back to our tents and rested for a while. It was 15.45 when the staff knocked our doors and asked us to make our way to the Safari buses or Mini Vans that was waiting for everyone to get in and were at the entrance of the zoo, it was pretty close by to our Tents, we got into the vans and the wild life Safari ride Started. The entrance of the Jungle was a big gate as tall as 20 Ft or may be more, and the van travelled throughout the green and dense forests, after a while we did start seeing the animals and the first in the list were deers and black bucks, they were enjoying the sunny afternoon and were grazing the grass away to glory.
We moved on and the next on the safari visit list were the cute assemblage of elephants, they were in all age group, male, female and baby elephants, all of them were busy taking a afternoon or rather a early evening shower at the ponds nearby them, the van did stop for us to click pictures, after clicking some convincing amount of pictures the van started for us to experience our next animal visit, this time it wasn't an animal but a dangerous aquatic reptile which were the crocodiles, to our good luck we were able to spot a few of the croc’s in the pond, and they were just floating in the water ,some of them were lying on the ground, the sight was a little scary to me ,but was it was fun capturing the Croc’s. After this it was now time to visit the dangerous bears, now the entrance to visit all these animals was separate and quite tall too. We made our way to the tall and huge gates, which were constructed based on the severity of the danger that could be caused to the human beings or to animals through each other.
As we entered the bears section of the park, we could figure out the dangerous bears walking all over their territory and were lost in their own world, we saw quite a few of them and were told by the driver of the Van that the Jungle had a total of 75 bears available and were happily living, after capturing them and their dangerous nails that could pierce into a human being, it was now time to visit the Tigers. We entered the entrance that cleared our way to visit the Tigers, to my surprise and with the information the driver gave us, there were the Bengal Tigers and as well as the White Tigers, they were close to 40 in number not visible for us to count though, but it made me visually content to see the wonderful creation of god .The van stopped for quite a long time for us to click pictures and it looked like we were in a zoo and the tigers came to visit the human being, because we were in a van and they were left open, and the way they were looking at us, it looked like the humans were available for exhibition . The sight was the most impressive as both the White and Bengal tigers were walking side by side and sipping water. They were at least 11 ft tall and around 350 kgs(according to the driver of the van), all I could see were that they were humongous. After clicking a few pictures , the driver told us that the next visit which was of the King of the Jungle’ The Lions’ was the last safari visit, all of us in the van did become sad, but thanked the van driver to help us experience this jaw -dropping safari. We then entered the territory of the king of the jungle and were surprised to see that most of the lions were fast asleep; the driver told us that the lions & lioness were approximately 35 in number. After a bit of struggle, we did figure out the king and lioness awake and enjoying the evening breeze, it made me happy as I could capture some good pictures. After this we made our way out of the Jungle and all I had in my mind were these amazing creatures created by God. The bus driver told us that we could visit the Zoo which also has a butterfly park, we did enter the zoo and as soon as we entered we saw some beautiful white peacocks. It suddenly started drizzling and all we wanted to see was the peacocks dance, to our surprise they slowly started opening there feather’s. But was closing again, we waited for half an hour to see the dance but to our bad luck, we could not see it, It started raining very heavily and with a great difficulty we reached back to our van, and we were slightly drenched.
It was around 17.30 in evening when we got back to our rooms and were hungry for some snacks, the staff did pay visit to check if we wanted to order some snacks and coffee, when enquired about what snacks were available, he mentioned chicken wings and Mirchi bajji, we ordered both the items along with 2 cups of coffee. Both the items were delicious and the brewing coffee tasted delectable.
After the evening snacks, it was time for us to visit the video room and we were told there was some kind of small movie on Jungle Life that would be shown to the visitors, well like always me and Krish wanted to see what was in store for us, we reached the video room which was very nearby , the video room looked more or less like a conference room with a long center table and chairs around it, after everyone assembled in the room the movie started, basically the movie was all about the Jungle and the cycle every year that the animals go through, what I could see was the different seasons in the Jungle like summer, winter, Monsoon and the difficulties animal go through for their survival, it was to do with the weather conditions like in summers the forests would dry and create a life threatening situations for all the animals as there would be scarcity of water, in some cases food as well, as the major part of the forests animals were herbivorous animals, many animals would die in this season also sometimes the forests would catch fire due to the scorching heat, next shown was monsoon where due to heavy rains, enough water and trees would be available and would keep all the animals happy, next would be winter and the condition remains the same and the cycle continued. This movie lasted for an hour and after the movie was the time for dinner and the time was around 20.30 p.m.
The dinner place that was set up looked beyond my expectation, it was a camp fire that was set up and the chairs were set up around the camp fire, we were given some aerated drinks to relish and then was the time to savor on some scrumptious dinner. The menu was again a simple one and pretty much the same as the lunch was, instead of dal it was Rasam and also some coriander soup added in the menu. After the dinner which finished around 2100 hours, we decided to spend some more time around the camp fire, we sat for an hour around the campfire and at about 2300 hours we decided to head back to our room and call it a day. After all that activities we did all day, we definitely were tired and wanted to crash as soon as possible.
As per what the itinerary was given to us, the next day morning was to start with coffee and then a trekking in the jungle. We decided to skip the trekking as we could not get up that early. At around 08.00 am which was the 13th June, we decided go and check what was available for breakfast.
We reached the in-house restaurant and to our surprise the breakfast spread was a bit more then what we have expected. The menu had idli-sambar, dosa, upma, bread toast, omelette , tea, coffee and juice.
After having that mouthwatering breakfast it was now time for us leave this nature’s paradise and return to our homes. At around 11 am we got our cab and we bid goodbye to the Jungle Camp Staff and thanked them for their hospitality which was more then what we expected.
Now is the amazing part of my blog post that is rating my experience.
Food : 4.5/5
Hygiene : 3/5
Hospitality : 3/5
Ambience : 4/5
Location : 4/5
Weather : 3.5/5
Price of the non ac swiss tent is Rs.4500/- which includes lunch, breakfast , dinner, safari ride, zoo visit and butterfly park visit, trekking or the morning walk in the Jungle. Snacks are not a part of the itinerary, but the prices are reasonable.
Bannerghatta Jungle Resort is a must visit place for travelers who love nature and would love to visit the wild life, food tastes more or less tastes like homemade food. This place is way from the city of Bangalore and has calm and quiet environment, visiting this place would give one a lot of relaxation and peace of mind and definitely a good break that is needed from the busy working schedules.
Do not feed the deers roaming around your lodges with our food (Chips,Chocolates,biscuits etc..).
Do not make loud noises as you will scare away the deers.
Do not tease the monkeys you will spot a lot of them around you during your stay.
Do not wear bright color dresses during the safari.
Do not forget to carry winter wear in winters as the temperature drops suddenly.