The National Park which is open all year round
Unlike other famed Indian National Parks such as Kanha, Corbett and Ranthambore that are closed during the months of the monsoon (June, July, August and September), Kabini in Karnataka’s Nagarhole National Park remains open all year round. The Kabini weather changes across the seasons and with it, the decor and feel of the jungle vary as well. This allows visitors to travel to Kabini and explore its wildlands across the year and photographers to capture beautiful frames under different lighting, colour and weather conditions.
After a blazing summer that dries up the vegetation and leaves behind parched soil, the first signs of the Kabini monsoon are very welcome not just by the wild denizens of the jewelled reserve forest, but also by avid wildlife photographers and enthusiasts.
The Kabini monsoon
The very first showers of the 3-4 months long Kabini monsoon transform the forestscape from an arid, brown and scorched land to a lush and lively Eden, luring the likes of veteran photographers as well as first-time visitors. Any animal against the verdant background is a vivid sight to behold and a beautiful frame to capture!
“While one may see big cats more frequently in the summer months, I am a die-hard fan of seeing Kabini in monsoon and winter to witness the beauty of this landscape. The best time to go to Kabini is between June to February for me personally”Says Jayanth Sharma – an award-winning photographer and the CEO & Co-Founder at Toehold.
What animals can you spot in Kabini during the monsoon?
The monsoon months are months of rejuvenation for the dry deciduous forest. For many animals, this period, when the forest is at its greenest and provides an abundance of food, is an opportunity to stock up and make the most of it. Large herds of spotted deer are sighted grazing the pastures; their fawns frolicking around always under a few pairs of watchful eyes. Wild boars can be seen nursing their young. Sambar deer peacefully feed on the bountiful young grass shoots. Peacocks show off their dazzling plumage, elephants rejoice in water bodies and leopards sit idle on trees, taking shelter on a branch atop which is thick foliage. It is a gala time for Kabini’s wild inhabitants.
After the harsh summer months, the Kabini weather, appeased by the heavy showers, turns pleasant again. The entire forest comes alive and bustles once more!
The importance of monsoon in Kabini
During these rainy months, another wonderful phenomenon occurs. The Kabini river begins to swell and meander, connecting gushing rivulets and streams and breathing life across the jungle. The intricate network of streams and rivers is extremely crucial to the overall wellbeing of the Kabini ecosystem.
During the Kabini monsoon, going on a boat safari is a thrilling and pleasurable experience, while exploring the luxuriant forestscape on a game drive by gypsy and canter is an equally enchanting affair. To know more about the difference between the boat and jeep safari, read this blog. Wildlife in and around the Kabini backwaters flourishes. Nature’s spectacle is on full display!
Photography opportunities the Kabini monsoon provides
As the skies turn overcast, Kabini’s long sombre shadows make the scenery dramatic. The glorious orange coat of the charismatic tiger pops right out against the dense forest cover, allowing photographers the opportunity to make some amazing images. learn some tips offered by our expert skippers on our blog “Big Cat Photography – 10 Exclusive Tips to photograph Tigers, Leopards and other cats“
Solitary rays occasionally filter through the canopy adding a sense of mystery to the mystical jungles. Photographers yearn to capture the sparkling eyes of the leopard catching the glint of the dappled sunlight. The soft, diffused lighting also allows them to make some magical backlit and rim-lit compositions of deer with mature antlers or of the frisky langurs. One can also play and experiment with slower shutter speeds and motion blurs to make some creative photographs.
“I love the Kabini monsoons because they render the forest into a lush green habitat. Any subject against the green canopy stands out immediately and the vivid colours in the frame are simply outstanding. We can expect to see lots of elephants and Indian gaurs. Sloth bears become very active during the monsoon as a result of trees becoming soft and allowing them to claw into them easily and dig out termites. We have seen leopards perched on trees and tigers come out to scent mark their territory just after it stops raining. These are all the reasons why I love the Kabini monsoons and I would say that monsoon days are my favourite to work on!”States Harsha Narasimhamurthy, an award-winning photographer and our dear skipper at Toehold, on why he loves the monsoon in Kabini and what animals one can expect to photograph.
Kabini weather in the monsoon months
The Kabini monsoon usually starts in June and lasts until September. The Kabini weather in the monsoon ranges between 20°-34° C but on occasional days the wind causes a nip in the air. But, on most days the weather is pleasant and cool. The Kabini monsoon is a comfortable time to visit this incredible wild haven and watch wildlife thrive in its element!
The Kabini monsoon is a season of plenitude and prosperity. Every year, the monsoon ensures that the forest is revived and wildlife continues to thrive. This annual period of extravaganza is a vital period for wildlife and it also attracts several people to throng Kabini. Many wanderers have been left spellbound, drenched by the deluge of nature’s beauty! Why not be charmed by the Kabini monsoon this season?