This was one destination I've been wanting to visit for YEARS, somehow kept putting it off from year to year until I finally decided This is it, has to happen, and went ahead and booked it :).
We left home at 5:45 am as I had estimated 6 hours to get to Kabini and allowing for a stop for breakfast I thought we would make it decently in time around the 12 pm check-in. It seems I overestimated the time quite a bit, as even with a 45 minute break and the unexpected stretch of bad roads we reached by 11 am!! Of course this meant the previous occupants of our rooms had not even checked-out yet :O !Though I knew this is a government run enterprise I did not expect the completely no-nonsense approach. The "check-in" was very basic, just involved giving them the reservation print-out (we had booked online and got a 5% discount), and we were directed to our rooms. Only on reaching them we found that they were not empty yet!! Generally hung around, tried out the hammock and so on until the rooms were vacated, then cleaned and we could go in and relax.
The rooms are nice, luxurious bathrooms, but no TV, no phone. Their concept is that there are some room "boys" allocated to a group of rooms and they are usually at a reachable distance so you can ask them if you need anything. In any case since the main activities involve safaris or boat rides you end up not spending much time in the room so their idea works out pretty well!After lunch and a rest and then tea/coffee at 3:30 it was time to leave for our jeep safari. Loved the construction of their vehicles in which each row of seats is at a different height so the view you enjoy from any seat is great!
On our Thekkady trip, literally the only animals we saw were monkeys, so when we saw our first langurs I was secretly going "Oh no not again!" in my head! But still, this monkey family had me wanting to get a good picture :).
We see the first deer - full excitement from me of course - clicking away - wondering why the jeep driver/guide is not slowing down so I can get a better shot - only to hear "Don't worry you'll see lots more deer!" and thinking "Hmmph!". By the end of the second day, I wouldn't even put on my camera to take another shot of deer, and thought back to this wise saying ;).
Just adding a few of my deer photos .. I really liked the ones where I got one looking straight at the camera..
Liked the "camouflagey" effect on this one.. it was amazing to see how they disappeared into the trees/grass but not usually in a hurry - they were used to us "tourists" obviously.
In my usual style (and to show off the photos properly!) this is turning into a part 1 of course ;). So just leaving you with a wild boar sighting - we saw just one of them on a total of 2 safaris so didn't seem to be too common an animal in the forest.
Uma, I do realize that some of our animal photos are eerily similar :). No leopards on our trip though, grrrr !