Dandeli is a wild life sanctuary on the banks of River Kali. It is 100 kms from Karwar in Karnataka. Dense deciduous forests make this one of the richest wildlife habitats in the world. It is home to almost 200 species of birds and some rare wildlife such as the Black Panther, flying squirrel, flying snake and slender Loris. Jungle Lodges & Resorts runs “Kali Wilderness Camp” here. It is a great destination for Eco tourism, wild life and adventure sport enthusiasts. A weekend end experience here means a heady cocktail of adventure, nature and wild life.
Dandeli is a 100 KMs from Karwar and is well connected to Bangalore, Mumbai, Goa, Belgaum and Dharwad by road. The closest Airport is at Hubli, 75 KMs away.
Kali Wilderness Camp run by Jungle Lodges is a great place to stay. Contact no is 080-25597021.
The Bison Reserve at Dandeli is the key attraction. Jungle Lodges arranges for guided safari into the reserve. The entrance to the park is 12 km from the town, at the Kluge Nature Camp. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of the Black Panther. It’s far easier to spot Giant Iguana, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Sambar and Bison. Ornithologists throng here for a sighting of Great Indian Hornbill and the Malabar Pied Hornbill.
Syntheri Rock is a must visit. It’s a 300-feet tall monolithic granite sculpture designed by nature. As its deep inside the forest, you will need to take a jeep rode for an hour followed by walk. It’s a magnificent sight of Kaneri River gushing besides the rock.
A Coracle ride on River Kali is really exciting. The jungle lodges guides do a great job of not only maneuvering the coracles deftly but also talk about the river, the people living nearby, the marine life as well as the wild life in the area. Crocodiles abound in the river and its fun especially to watch the cute small crocodiles scamper away as the coracle approaches them. You can even spot the mounds where the females lay their eggs. The most interesting sight in the trip would be birds sitting inside the open mouth of some crocodiles! Its symbiotic relationship as the birds feed on bits of decaying meat that are lodged between the crocodiles' teeth providing a greatly-needed dentistry.
For adventure sport enthusiasts, Dandeli is a dream destination. The menu comprises white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking snorkeling and rock climbing. The Jungle Lodges team takes care of all the arrangements including experienced guides.
You can make a trip to Kavala Caves, about 25 kms from the town. It’s fun to climb a thousand steps and crawl through tunnels for a view of the naturally formed gigantic Shivlinga. Legend says that this Cave is an abode of Lord Shiva himself.
As in any wild life reserve, do not venture out on your own. Taking a jeep safari is the safest and sure-shot way of watching wild life. Wear safari colors. Browns, tans and khaki blend with the nature and are less likely to startle the animals. Avoid wearing perfumes and colognes.
The river Kali is infested with crocodiles and one needs to be careful while taking the boat rides by not putting your hands in the water! If you are having kids around, be careful at the crocodile watch tower at the Jungle Lodges camp. Do not overcrowd to ensure the wooden base is able to take the weight and it’s a good idea to hold on to the wooden hand rests all the while you are there.
For a travelogue on a heavenly beach near Karwar where Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first play, visit Devbagh.