As the Climate suggests, it is raining at regular intervals in Kabini which has had a direct impact on occupancy at our resort. Yet there is a set of clienteles who visit our resort every three months to experience the Forest in all its colours. We are four Naturalists here at Kabini and are having the much awaited free time of the year when we can go for Nature-walks around the Resort all by ourselves. As a part of our Eco-Tourism Project, the staffs consist of 90% locales and accompany us on such Walks, helping us in noticing minute interesting features of Nature. They provide us with a first hand knowledge of the Local culture & history too. It's been long since we thought of putting up a write-up which will help our guests and nature enthusiasts to get some preliminary information of what they can look for while on a Nature-walk or Safari during this part of the year. This time we were able to put some words and pictures together which I would like to share with everybody.
Kabini or Kapila (as named by the Kurbas, the resident tribal people) is the same rain fed river that starts flowing from Kerala and joins the Cauvery somewhere near T.Narsipura in Karnataka. This river forms a physical boundary between the Bandipur National Park & Nagarhole National Park (both under the Project Tiger) of Karnataka. In 1974, the Kabini dam was built to check the flow of Kabini, stock the water and use the same for irrigation purposes during the Dry Season (from Jan end till the beginning of June). This had resulted in the formation of a reservoir which attracts the largest congregation of Asiatic Elephants along the banks of Kabini during the dry season. But our focus here is on the Monsoons when most National Parks in India are closed to tourists for Safaris. Thanks to the Forest Department of Karnataka for allowing the tourists to enter the National Park during this time of the year to experience a different kind of Safari with the Forest rejuvenating after the dry spell.
Rejuvenation of the Forest Flora includes the weeds too, which are the first ones to acquire every view line and fire lines all across the Park. They include the Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus), Lantana and Epotorium. As these weeds suppress the growth of natural grass, the herbivores face great difficulty while grazing.
Talking about Flora, the first tree that comes into our mind in this Dry deciduous forest is the Teak Tree (Tectona grandis) . The white flowers attract a whole variety of bees and intruders who collect the same for extracting a red dye.
The bees keep on looking for safe and robust spots to make new colonies and start the cycle afresh.
The orchids find the right moisture and temperature levels to bloom and propagate. Several other plants stay dormant during the dry season and sprout during this time to bloom and attract the insects to help in pollination.
Once the Flora develops, the faunal population can't wait any longer for propagation of their own species too. Mating calls from insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and much awaited, the birds, from a chorus all around the Reserve. The males work very hard to impress the females as quick as possible to be among the first ones for mating. Once the couples select each other, the next phase is even more tiring, that is finding a good shelter.
Nesting is an astonishing phenomenon among birds and each has their own style of doing it. The reason for selecting this particular season for mating and bringing up the young ones is obvious, first of all there is plenty of food and shelter close by, secondly the thick foliage helps in eluding and confusing the predators and lastly I think they know that the most disturbing factor is less around which is Man itself.
Therefore, one has to very careful while experiencing the above and make sure that they blend as much as possible with Nature to ensure that they do not disturb the same in a Natural Habitat.
For Adventure Enthusiasts, there's good news too. This is the time lose some calories while hitting the small waves of the Kabini with their best strokes on a Kayak. We operate Motor - Boat rides & Guided Trips to a Temple where one can find the aesthetic importance of the local culture. Here, at The Serai Kabini, we try to keep an optimum balance between Leisure & Wildlife Tourism while ensuring your full safety and proper gear so that you return with a smile.