Dandeli Jungle camp – Embracing the wilderness

Waking up to the chirping birds and rays of sunlight at OM camp, I was looking forward to another great day at Dandeli. I stepped out to explore the bliss of morning with my camera clicking the nature. This post is dedicated to the activities at Dandeli and stay at Dandeli Jungle camp.

Nature walk at OM camp

A 2km nature’s walk was organised by naturalists till Ganesh Gudi, sadly the group had already left. But the senior naturalist Joma accompanied me and helped me spot many birds. Spotting the birds on the nature walk is not as easy as the OM camp, where the birds themselves visit the bird studio. Joma’s stories were worth listening, he was one of the groups who designed the bird studio at OM camp. Really, a salute to his knowledge of birds and wildlife. The morning greenery refreshed me and made me happier. We walked till the Ganesha temple, because of the which the place got the name Ganesh Gudi. Another highlight is that the Ganesha idol is in standing position, depicting that whatever we wish here, he will stand and support to fulfil the wishes. We walked back to resort for a healthy breakfast.

The early morning paths of Dandeli
The greenery to enrich the mood
Loved the hues of trees
The first sight of hornbills – they always fly in pairs
Hill Myna
Orange minivet

 

 

Malabar pied hornbill
Indian nuthatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monkeys were here and there hopping
Ganesh Gudi Ganesha temple
Ganesha idol – Standing posture

Coracle ride

After breakfast, management gave a call for Coracle ride in the Kali river. The jeep took us to the new Dandeli bridge next to Kaleshwara temple. The Kali river looked serene and pristine, in contrast to the fierce river rafting. She is the bliss and life of Dandeli. I wore the life jacket and hopped into the coracle. The ride began with the conversation with the boatman. He helped me in spotting few hornbills and other waterbirds. It was a short 1km coracle paddling yet the experience was soothing and relaxing. After the coracle ride, we headed back to the stay. Reviving the bird watching experience and successful river rafting experience, we bid goodbye to Old Magazine house. The next stay was already scheduled at Dandeli Jungle camp.

Dandeli Supa dam bridge
Calm waters of river Kali
As we waited for the coracle
Coracle ride in the pristine Kali river
As he paddled the coracle on and on
The mango canopies bowed to the river – Amazing feeling to pass between them
The Supa dam walk way from the coracle                 
And we sighted the Malabar pied hornbill
Type of water bird on the riverside

Dandeli Jungle Camp

Dandeli Jungle camp is located in Pradhani, a 30 mins drive from Ganesh Gudi. On the way, we stopped at the bridge for one last view of the Supa dam. On arriving towards Dandeli Jungle camp, The camp was located 2kms inside the jungle – reserve forest from the road. This mud road stretch gave me the raw jungle look. The vegetation looked dry, yet the drive is secluding and great.In this stretch, I spotted few peacocks and then wild boars at a far distance.

Checking in into Dandeli Jungle camp, we were served with delightful Kokum juice, they grew in the camp. The stay is covered with greenery all around and cottages spread at various levels. Mr Dharmesh, the owner of the camp greeted me and arranged the cottage. The jungle cottages and tents come with basic amenities for the natural jungle look. The cottage had a balcony view where I relaxed watching the birds. At the stay, we had strong coffee and walked to explore the surroundings. I could observe various trees here from cashews, kokum, jackfruit, Chikko, mangoes, areca and pepper.  It was almost afternoon, I had simple and homely food served at lunch and took a power nap to refresh myself.

When the Dandeli Jungle welcomed me
The reception that addresses
The restaurant to serve homely delicious food
Delicious lip smacking food
Tree house under renovation
As we explored the areca farms
Fresh pepper is grown in the camp

Syntheri rocks

At 3 pm, I was all set to explore  Syntheri rocks, 35kms drive through Dandeli wildlife sanctuary from Dandeli Jungle camp. Throughout this reserve forest drive, I constantly kept my eye focussed to sight any wild animals. The driver Vijay told me he had sighted black panther and leopards in this stretch. But I wasn’t lucky that day. We arrived at Syntheri rocks and parked the vehicle.

Syntheri rocks is a monolithic single granite stone with a height of 300ft formed due to the volcanic eruptions several years ago. I descended downhill around 200 steps to capture the view of this monolithic granite. It’s huge and massive hidden inside the with river Kaneri flowing at the base. It’s an amazing view to behold. I would be writing a detailed post on Syntheri rocks.

Syntheri rocks – Monolithic granite
As I gazed at this huge natural structure
Kaneri river – Tributary of river Kali flows at the base

We spent some time here and before sunset, we drove back to the camp. The atmosphere is amazing for an evening walk. Soon the sun doomed and a campfire was lit where I relaxed absorbing the warmth. After a sumptuous dinner, I dozed off to sleep with the camera glimpses from Syntheri rocks.

Campfire to mark the end of the day
Full moon captured! It is definitely a Goodnight 😉

Read other travelogues on Dandeli:
1. Old Magazine House, Dandeli – The Birdwatchers Paradise
2. White Water Rafting Dandeli – Through the rapids of River Kali
3. Timber depot and Natural Jacuzzi at Dandeli
4. Syntheri rock Dandeli – Monolithic miracle

Visiting tips

  1. How to reach Dandeli – The place is 450 km from Majestic, Bangalore.
    • By trainAlnavar station is the nearest railway station. Make sure to book train tickets well in advance as the seats get filled up on weekends because the same train leads to Goa.
    • By bus – There are direct buses from Bangalore to Dandeli main road.
    • By private vehicles – If you have the privilege to drive a car, you can take it and the stretch is little long but worth a long drive.
  2. Accommodation -Our trip to Dandeli was planned and organized by  Dandeli.com, for booking and other information, please call 99005-47763 or email them at: book@dandeli.com
  3. When to visit Dandeli- Since Dandeli is a hub of wildlife, water sports and bird hot spot, each season is unique. So you choose what activity you need and visit accordingly. I visited in March last week.
    • Jan, Feb, Mar
      • Ideal for bird watching with the winter already set in.
      • Best for hiking and trekking in the jungle camps and capture amazing greenery.
      • With abundant water during this period, Whitewater rafting is another adventurous water sport to dive in.
      • Tips – Onset of winter demands warm clothes. Moisturisers/sunscreens are a must.
    • Apr, May,  June
      • Best time for wildlife enthusiasts as spotting wildlife is fairly easy in dry vegetation and peak summer.
      • Dandeli Anshi safari is great to spot leopards, black panthers and tigers. Best of luck.
      • An ideal time for all water sports – Whitewater water rafting, Kayaking, Zorbing, Natural Jacuzzi and Coracle Rides.
      • Tips – Sun is really harsh and sunscreen is a must even for 10 minutes of walk. Wear lightweight and body covering clothes for easy hiking.
    • Jul, Aug, Sept
      • Monsoons rains and Dandeli greenery is truly romantic for nature lovers and couples.
      • Best time Rappelling, Trekking, White Water Rafting, Monsoon Camping, Monsoon Cycling, Coracle Rides, Jungle Safari and Nature walks.
      • Tips – Raincoats, umbrellas and long boots to protect from rains. Mosquito repellent can be handy.
    • Oct, Nov, Dec
      • Best time for the activities at Dandeli from wildlife to water sports.
      • Weather is pleasant at this time. Keep yourself warm with jackets. Torches may be handy as the days are shorter.
  4. General tips :
    • Dandeli is a small town and only basic things can be bought here from local shops. So carry whatever is needed.
    • A pair of shoes is mandatory for hiking and walking in jungle camps.
    • Hats and sunglasses to protect from beating sun.
    • Umbrellas or raincoats for the rainy season.
    • Sunscreens are a must – I repeat!
    • Torch, mosquito repellant can be handy.
    • Only Airtel/BSNL mobile network/internet is available occasionally.
  5. Please don’t dump trash anywhere. Be a responsible traveller.

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