Sunday, 29 January 2017

Yet Again ! Nagarahole 2017

Flying Malabar Squirrel

Kabini as a winter wonderland was a stark contrast from the lush green paradise I had experienced earlier. Nothing better than foggy mornings and chilly late afternoons to get lost in nature and sight our four legged friends. The back drop of dry twigs and leaves of all colours make for good pictorial memories. And most of our friends obliged for our cameras. But It’s going to be tough summer for them as the water is scarce right in the month of January. Hope they are going to be alright!

The elusive black panther remained elusive to our disappointment but we did get a  brief sighting of the Indian Leopard. And of course our other friends, the Indian gaur with its young ones, the flying Malabar squirrel putting up a show for us, the many water birds, all of it just made it another wonderful holiday in a green paradise.

Indian leopard

 little Egret


Asian Elephants

Indian Gaur

Mom and baby Gaur

Blue faced Malkoha


January 2017
Kabini, Karnataka

The Travel Connection: Of all the paths you take in your life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir
Tip: Respect the wild

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Kere Hopping in Mysore district

And it was yet again the time for our yearly pilgrimage to pray that we have a wonderful year travelling as much as we can. This time around we got greedy and decided to grab as much as possible. So whilst the majority of Bangalore crowd went bar hopping till wee hours, we woke up before sunrise on the first day of the year 2017 and went Kere Hopping!!

Kere for the non kannadigas translates to lake. And the first stop over was the Linghambudhi Kere At Mysore. A temporary home to migrant birds, it was a sight every bird watcher dreams of. Make sure that you cover all the sides of the lakes including the bund road to sight as many birds as possible.

Yellow wagtail

Common Kingfisher

Northern Shoveler Male and female

Some of the birds we spotted included
Yellow wagtail
Indian Silver bill
Clamorous Reed warbler
Common iora
Common Kingfisher
Purple sunbird
Black headed ibis
Wood sandpiper.
Black winged stilt
barn swallow
Rosy starling
Red napped Ibis
little ringed plover
Spot billed pelican
Eurasian coot
Pond heron
Northern Shoveler

Picnic lunches are the best option when one wants to kere hop. The clean air, perfect weather, good company and sight of our feathered friends  can make even the simplest lunches worth every bite. It was already early afternoon by the time we started to the next lake. we did not have much hope as it was an odd time for bird watching. But we were not disappointment at Kannali Kere Mandya. After spotting glossy ibis, grey heron spot billed duck and few others in a lily swamp we headed to our next pit stop.

Glossy Ibis

Barn Swallow

Sooley kere was a perfect place to take a leisurely walk along its bund. Though it was late afternoon we had the company of few birds. We promised ourselves we would return to this place someday and enjoy its sight early in the morning. A perfect end to our short trip away from home doing what we love. Here is to more such wonderful trips!!

January 2017
Mysore district Karnataka
The Travel Connection: Practice makes perfect
Tip: Explore all possible accessible locations around the lakes.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Maasai Mara 1.32° S, 35.19° E 5300 ft

Lioness and her cub

The "spotted" land , a dream for every wild life enthusiast, become a reality thanks to my two friends! The gentle rolling grasslands interrupted by the lone acacia tree, marked by the shadow of the clouds and spots of the scrubs stretches to an area of 37,3000 acres. what a pleasure it was to explore this nirvana.

Budget travellers that we are, we drove into this heaven of a place. But the ride to paradise was hell. For political reason , the budget traveller has to endure an extremely 2 hour bumpy ride. One is most likely to find a mini van or a cruiser stranded with a puncture. But the amazing experience for us Indians was the camaraderie between the drivers irrespective of the tour operator. Help is offered immediately however little possible. Wish it was so across our country.

As one approaches the resort that one will call home for next few hours or days as the case maybe, one can notice something unique to Kenya. Along with the name of the resort, the co-ordinates of the location is prominently displayed. A unique way to announce that one has arrived. We were staying 2 nights at Mara Sarova tented camp. Another luxury resort with all the perks  but so little time. It was unfortunate that we stayed at some of the best luxury resorts across Kenya but we had so little time to enjoy them. Early morning and late afternoon safaris can take its toll if  done for a couple of days. We were left with little energy at the end of the holiday. But Sarova 's hospitality was unparalleled. The amazing food with south African wine, the evening entertainment with the Mara tribe and of course the vips of the Mara regions, its animals made it a wonderful place.

 The spirit of Maasai Mara is the migration. The migration is an adventure not to be missed. It is considered the eighth " New wonder of the world" and is a natural spectacle like no other.For once the 4 legged animals were in more number than the two legged ones. Being surrounded by what seems like an infinite number of wildebeest and zebras grazing or watching wildebeest follow one another in a disciplined line that stretched for a kilometer or more gives nothing but goose bumps

Spot the lone wildebeest!


The Lone Wildebeest and Zebra  separated from herd most likely died in sometime

The elephants of Mara

The Masai Giraffe

Few Zebras among the millions that migrate through Maasai Mara

African Ostrich - male

Cape Buffalo

The lioness, lioness and more lioness with their cubs

The life line of this area is the River Mara. A bustling lively hangout for the residents of Mara. This is were the action takes place. Millions of wildebeest but thousands fall victim to the Nile crocodile. The wildebeest start " building " by river as seen below. But one cannot predict their behaviour. As we patiently waited, hundreds of wildebeest turned around and marched away to another location along the river.We followed them and waited for some more time. At one point our driver rushed towards another location only to miss the crossing by another small group. We could see the last few wildebeest crossing. What a disappointment! The spectacle we were so looking forward too was missed by a whisker of a hair. Maybe some day i will return to this Continent and catch the migration again.

Kenya is not only an destination for the game drives but also some interesting shopping. As we had a local friend with us, we could venture into markets not frequented by the local. Drive a good bargain and your home could soon turn into a jungle themed home.

Kenya turned out to be a wonderful holiday with some amazing company. Here's to many more such lovely holidays that will leave us with everlasting memories.

August 2016
Maasai Mara National Park Kenya
The Travel Connection: Sometimes things don't work out as planned and that is OK

Yet Again ! Nagarahole 2017

Flying Malabar Squirrel Kabini as a winter wonderland was a stark contrast from the lush green paradise I had experienced earli...