30, A number that I smirked upon when my friends and sibling had their 30th bday. Two years back if you had asked me, I would have felt upset about hitting that mark, but somehow from my last bday I was contemplating about hitting the thirties and right now I am fully pleased on stepping into my third decade. Of course it has its own pricks, like in reality, I could be termed as an aunty more often and the minor reminders through the day about the fact am growing old.
I am not sure if I will pass for a 30 year old, but I know I feel the age, with grey hairs popping here and there and the worst part I have come to terms with is, the fact that I need lots of sleep and I can’t pull an all nighter like I did in my graduation days. In regard to the uncertainties I had in my 20s, I am so much thankful and grateful for the life I have lived until now and the experiences I have had.
With that to begin with, I definitely wanted this birthday to be special not because of the special number but just because I felt gratified about my life. I have travelled to different places in the past, some are definitely breathtaking destinations and each had its own story, but this birthday I wanted to be close to nature something I did not do much in the past.
Unlike other times, The man in my life knew what I really wanted to do and had planned out a rustic getaway, he had booked a stay at The bison , Kabini. This resort is situated at the confluence of the Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks, on the shores of the Kabini River in Karnataka. Their website was unique and attractive and it certainly made me feel curious of what are they going to offer , I was wondering if it will be the same in reality or was it all just good photos sitting in their gallery. Kabini is like a tiny hideout amidst the jungle and the river , a quaint place and so away from all the buzz.
I woke up early being excited about the day and we hit the road around 9am after having breakfast at Bangalore, we did not want to stop much on the way as we already started late. It was only a 5hr drive from Bangalore to Kabini, We reached around 2pm to the resort, and the path to the resort itself was a sort of adventurous bumpy narrow ride.
After we reached, we were checked for our temperature and sanitised as part of covid measures and then we were given a tour of the whole place, and that’s when I realised they really walk the talk and this place was more beautiful than what the photos spoke. I guess it was built on the theme of being a part of nature and wildlife but they never compromised comfort for that matter and their facilities were totally comfortable and also with a touch of luxury. They are a boutique camp with African styled tented accommodation.
They had a number of small cats and some puppies roaming here and there and the whole place had a lot of birds which I have never seen or heard before, there were so many different sounds of nature in the wind, and the whole place was made up of natural elements, like wooden decks, wooden cabins, and so many trees and plants. They also had a small pool, but when there is a beautiful lake at the backdrop, I did not find it much attractive.
Even the basic tent had a huge space for the bed , a lounge, a dressing space and also a small balcony setup to unwind, in no way or there was not a moment I felt uncomfortable or I missed the comfort of a city home. They have a few hangout spots, well furnished with comfortable couches, books and some games and also an observation deck with binoculars and telescope to spot wildlife across the banks.
It was bit sunny in the afternoon after a nice buffet lunch and some lazing round, we went for a boat ride in Kabini lake, as the lake was in the middle of Bandipur and Nagaorhole, it was so quite, calm and serene. Once we were back from the boat ride, they were setting up cosy corners with snacks for their guests to settle down and watch the sunset over the Kabini lake, they call this a sundowner, a one of kind experience for sure. As daylight was slowly slipping, We picked a spot and chatted away to hearts content.
They provide two dining options, of course the same menu but one by the lake and one in their usual dining area, It was pitch dark by the lake and the only source of light was the campfire, so it was lit only for some 50 meters around each campfire, and the rest of the surrounding area was completely dark, they made small tables around each campfire for the guests. And the path to the lake was lit by small hurricane lamps here and there. At least I haven’t seen anything like that before and it was such a sight to devour.
They also arrange wildlife safari, there are two options one is a boat safari and another is the usual jeep safari, and there are two timings one early in the morning and another in late afternoon. We opted for the early morning jeep safari, and we started from the resort at 5 45am and reached the jungle at 6am, they had made arrangements with Jungle lodges and from there they took us inside the forest, the whole safari lasted for around 2hrs and it was a chilly morning zooming past the forest in a jeep. Unfortunately they had a forest fire a couple of weeks ago and a major part of the forest was burnt, and it was such a pathetic sight.
Yet there were so many deers camouflaged amidst the brown burnt trees running here and there and adding beauty to the place, like in my previous experiences I ended up spotting a lot of deer, a wild gaur, elephants, peacocks, and some different types of monkeys, a malabar squirrel, a kingfisher and so many other birds I don know the names of. It was truly a jungle experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Around 9 30am they completed the safari and dropped us back at the resort, we were completely dirty and felt like we had a sand shower. After a sumptuous breakfast buffet we left the resort around afternoon with huge bag of wonderful wild memories
This was definitely one of a kind place and the stay was something out of the book, a wiId and beautiful memory now. I can’t say which made it more fascinating, the flora or the jungle or the beautiful lake, or the boutique camping or the company I had or my birthday or the feeling I was so much away from the buzz of the city and was connected to things that are truly beautiful.!!