The forests of Karnataka are home to some of the most vibrant eco-systems on the planet. From migratory birds that land on the winter wetlands to predators that prowl the thick mountain jungles, wildlife enthusiasts will have their hands full trying to keep track of the different species here. The dry winter season also makes it easier to explore as the temperatures are milder and animals converge closer to the main waterholes. With the easy availability of self-driven cars (rentals), one can plan a trip at any time. Here are some of the best places for wildlife spotting near Bangalore.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Located in Mandya District around 135 kms from Bangalore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a haven for bird enthusiasts. The good roads and relatively short drive make this a perfect day trip destination. The riverine landscape and wetlands provide habitat to hundreds of species â€“ most prominent amongst them are the painted stork, common spoonbill, river tern, and spot-billed pelican. The river islands and surrounding forests are also home to crocodiles, civets, and bonnet macaques.
For those who want to explore some of the cultural landmarks in the area, Srirangapatna is a wonderful place to take a detour to. Visitors can admire the architecture of the fort and temples while also learning about Tipu Sultan, the famous warrior king whose last battle was fought here.
Nagarhole National Park
Coorg has always been an interesting destination because of its distinctive cuisine and culture. It is also known for its pristine wilderness areas and the Nagarhole National Park is one of the most celebrated tiger reserves in the country. 240 kms away from Bangalore, Nagarhole would be a good weekend trip so one has enough time to go for the morning and evening safaris. Winter is a good time for wildlife spotting and coracle rides are another attraction at the park.
Dubare Elephant Camp
When in Coorg, all wildlife enthusiasts must visit Dubare Elephant Camp. Located on the banks of the gushing Kaveri River, Dubare is where the elephants that parade Mysoreâ€™s festivals are kept. A lot of these gentle pachyderms were part of the brutal timber industry but since its ban now live here in retirement. One can enjoy elephant rides at the camp or explore the streams and river banks with a fishing rod. River rafting and trekking are other popular activities that visitors can enjoy at Dubare.
Why Self Drive
More and more people are choosing self drive cars in Bangalore for their leisure and business trips. A rental allows complete freedom â€“ the driver gets to choose the route and make changes and there is total privacy. App-based platforms like Zoomcar have made life much easier for those who want an uncompromised travel experience. Cars can be booked immediately and for any length of time. One gets to drive the latest models of hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs that are available in the market so rentals are becoming a favourite for automobile enthusiasts too. 24/7 on-road support is a much-appreciated assurance that even car owners cannot boast.