Lakshmi Sharath on Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Indian backpacker and ace travel blogger, Lakshmi Sharath’s (www.lakshmisharath.com) journey into the wild is one to take note off. Crossing into the Kerala border from Coorg, Karnataka, she claims her visit to Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala was in her words, “Girdled by mountains [and] covered with dense forests.”
On a mission to chase a spotted tiger, as well as to score a glimpse of elephants, Lakshmi set out in a jeep in perfect weather that beautifully lit the jungle accompanied by the sweet melody of bird song. This might not be the safari for you, if you’re out to encounter the showstoppers of the wild. However, if you’re content witnessing streams filled with kingfishers, branches bustling with parakeets, watching a white-bellied woodpecker playing hide-and-seek, a dark and dusky crested serpent eagle, an oriental honey buzzard and other phenomenal winged creatures—you’ve hit the right spot.
Sheila Diwan on Satpura Tiger Reserve
Wildlife enthusiast Sheila Diwan, shares with us some gems from her recent visit to the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
Christening the sanctuary as a bird lover’s paradise, Sheila was lucky enough to spot river terns, storks, egrets, peregrine falcon (fastest bird in the world—which travels 350 km/hr. while hunting), parakeets, woodpeckers, nightjars, Indian rollers and owls.
Not to mention the leopards, sloth bears, palm civets, jungle cats, wild boars, spotted deer, monkeys and a wide variety of trees and insects.
Highly praising their accommodation, Sheila stayed in a beautiful and rustic lodge with luxury amenities called the Reni Pani Jungle Lodge.
She says, “The staff were well trained and the park naturalists associated with the hotel were extremely knowledgeable.”
As the owners live on the property and are very much part of the daily activities of the guests, “it is superbly run.”
If you’re looking for that perfect adventurous holiday immersed in the heart of nature, this one comes highly recommend from a source you can’t battle with.
What she particularly loved was the sheer number of activities available and the chance to spend the weekend amidst a pristine setting.
When asked what about a wildlife safari gives her an adrenaline rush, she responded, “Being one with nature makes you realise how beautiful our planet is and how all of us need to contribute to keeping it that way.”
A hat, sunglasses, binoculars, sun block, absolutely no brightly coloured clothes and something warm are Sheila’s essentials.
Her next stop? Tadoba for its amazing Tiger sightings.
Manasi Rawalgaonkar on the Jim Corbett Park
Our Editor and Social Media Head, Manasi visited the Jim Corbett Park. On Manasi’s trip she was lucky enough to spot a barking deer, a heard of wild elephants, a cobra , a bear and her cub and a fleeting glimpse of a pair of leopards.
Manasi went on a day long safari which included an elephant ride and tracking pugmarks.
If planning a trip, she recommends the Aahana Eco Friendly Resort or Jim’s Jungle and Corbett Riverside Resort.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, the weather is brilliant and the park is huge—there is a lot to explore,” she says.
Manasi recommends carrying light clothes, a flash-light, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and hopefully enough luck to come across the elusive tiger.
Next on her lust list is the Kruger National Park and Tanzania.