Karnataka is well endowed with tranquil mountain peaks, sparkling backwaters, luscious forests, and beautiful beaches, making it a popular holiday destination. Among the wide variety of exquisite locales to visit and explore there, Kabini would be one of the most prominent destinations. Hardly a 5-hour drive from Bangalore, Kabini is an incredible getaway spot for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Kabini forest Karnataka
Kabini is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, including some of the endangered ones. Ever seen a herd of elephants crossing the river? Or spotted a majestic leopard among the bushes? You can enjoy such awe-inspiring experiences and much more by going to the Nagarahole tiger reserve.
The Kabini forest provides shelter to elephants, leopards, panthers, monkeys, sloth bears, crocodiles, sambhar, bison, spotted deer, and multiple other species of wildlife.
Interested in knowing more about the rich wildlife of Kabini? Read our blog “Wildlife of Kabini: A spectacular array of fauna”!
With such spectacular wildlife, Kabini beckons us all to her beautiful forests, making us fall in love over and over again! Let us now browse through the options available to enjoy a magnificent Kabini Safari!
Options for a Kabini safari
Kabini Backwaters Forest Safari is an extremely popular experience conducted by the Karnataka Forest Department in Kabini River. There are various lodges and guest houses in the region through which you can enjoy a boat safari at Kabini as well. Going on a Kabini safari on a boat in the Kabini river would be the perfect way to admire the lush green surroundings, and nearby flora and fauna.
On the banks of the Kabini River, you may spot a herd of majestic Asiatic elephants peacefully bathing, feeding, and getting on with their lives. Amongst the plethora of wildlife present on the river banks, you may observe smooth-coated otters playing in the water, marsh crocodiles lazing on the banks, as well as a myriad of water birds dipping in and out of the water.
For a detailed overview of the beautiful birds of Kabini, read our blog, “Birds of Kabini”(upcoming). A boat safari would surely be one of the most innovative and exciting ways to explore Kabini and absorb its beauty. These safaris are operated by Jungle Lodges & Resorts (owned by the Karnataka government).
This is the most common and popular way to visit and explore the exceptionally beautiful and lavish forests of Kabini. You can make either a mini-bus or jeep Kabini safari booking to reach the heart of the forest, and take a look at the wilderness from up-close. By going on such a safari, you may get the opportunity to spot various wild animals like tigers, leopards, elephants, and sambar deer, as well as birds like a peacock and crested hawk-eagle.
This jungle safari is controlled by government authorities. Hence, you have to follow certain terms and conditions when going on this Kabini safari. Below are the various vehicle options you can find for the jungle safari. It is important that you carefully check out the details of each of them, and then opt to book the one that perfectly suits your requirements and budget.
Jeep safaris are operated by Jungle Lodges & Resorts. Kabini jeep safari booking can be made through the resorts you are staying in if they are associated with the forest department. Your resort booking can get you a place on this safari, and its expenses are generally included in the tariff itself.
26-seater mini-bus (canter) safaris
Operated by the Forest Department, these budget-friendly safaris are an ideal choice for people enjoying their trip with a large group of friends or family members. The mini-bus safari runs twice each day, and these Kabini safari timings are from 6.30 a.m. to 9.00 a.m., and again in the afternoon from 3.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m on weekdays and the weekends, there are 4 safaris conducted at 6.00 a.m to 7.30 a.m, 7.30 a.m to 9.00 a.m and 3.00 p.m to 4.30 p.m, 4:30 p.m to 6.00 p.m later on in the day.
Its tickets have to be purchased from the Forest Department booking counter present at the Nagarhole National Park or can be booked online. These counters open about 30 minutes before the start of the safaris, and hence it is important to be on time to make the bookings.
The Nagarhole National Park has two distinctive safari zones- Zone A and Zone B. Zone B is close to the Kabini backwaters. The safari tours booked through Jungle Lodges & Resorts can cover only one of these zones at a time. While on the other hand, the Forest Department canter safaris enjoy unrestricted access to both of these zones.
Making Kabini jungle safari booking
The boat, as well as the vehicular Kabini jungle safari bookings, can easily be made through your resort if you are staying in one of the tourism department lodges. Read our blog “Top 5 Resorts in Kabini” to learn more about our favourite resorts in Kabini!
Alternatively, you can make your Kabini jungle safari (on a canter) by visiting the Dammanakatte Forest Department office in Antharasanthe. This office is located close to the Kabini forest gate. You shall need a valid government ID card to make your bookings from there.
While there are several private lodges and resorts present near the Kabini jungle, not all of them have permission to make safari bookings for their guests. Hence, it is important that you properly check out the details of the hotel you are booking your stay in.
Kabini jungle safari online booking
Quite recently, the Forest Department has launched an online booking facility for a Kabini safari at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve website (www.nagaraholetigerreserve.com). This Kabini jungle safari online booking facility comes as a huge boon for tourists.
For a long time, to book a canter safari, wildlife enthusiasts had to sometimes stand in a huge queue at Damanakatte. The online booking facility now allows people to avoid any long queues and enables them to make their bookings within just a few minutes. Additionally, as the early morning safari starts at 6.30 a.m., many tourists had to leave Mysore very early in the morning, to make their bookings in time for all these years. This problem is easily solved with the online booking facility.
Moreover, as you can make Kabini jungle safari online booking right from your home, you do not have to waste a single moment of the tour in standing in queues, and shall be able to enjoy your holidays optimally by engaging in diverse, exciting activities amidst the enthralling greenery and natural beauty of this wonderland of Karnataka.
Steps to make your booking:
- Visit the official website of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, which is
- Go to the booking section of the website
- Click on the ‘Book Rooms/Wildlife Safari’ option
- Log in to the website. If you do not have an account there, make a new one
- Provide relevant details as per the options present on your screens
- Select the date and timings of the Kabini safari as per your requirements
- Re-check all the details provided
- Proceed to make your payment
The same document number as entered on the website while making the online booking has to be produced at the time of the actual safari.
The diverse wildlife of Kabini offers extraordinary game viewing. The beauty of a Kabini safari is amplified because of the various available options. While the boat safari on the stunning backwaters gives an outer view of the forest, the jungle safaris take us into the depths of it. One can sight the spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat, on both the safaris.
Going on a Kabini safari would be an extremely thrilling and adventurous endeavor for any person. There is nothing better than being out in nature while having fresh air and wildlife as companions. So do not forget to make your safari bookings and plan a getaway to Kabini!