Drive to Nagarhole after a leisurely breakfast.
Established in 1955 as a wildlife sanctuary, Nagarhole was designated a national park twenty years later. The park today stretches in a series of gentle hills and valleys, over an expanse of 640 sq km, north of the river Kabini. The park came up around a perennial water reservoir formed in 1974, when the Kabini River was dammed.
Nagarhole's vegetation is refreshingly different from Bandipur's dry scrub - moist deciduous forests, including bamboo, teak, eucalyptus and cassia, cover much of the sanctuary, providing a refuge for a wide range of animals and birds. Nagarhole has all the resident wildlife of the Nilgiri hills: Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, bison, leopard, Asian elephant, wild boar, deer, dhole (wild dog) and porcupine, besides tigers. A high canopy of trees- up to thirty meters tall in some places- harbors rare birds such as the endangered Malabar trogon, the Malabar pied hornbill and the crested hawk-eagle.
Nagarhole saw some upheavals in 1992, when quarrelling between the wardens of the park and the local villagers resulted in arson which had an enormously adverse impact on the park and its wildlife. It will still take a few years for Nagarhole's forest and animal count to get back to normal but there has already been a resurrection of sorts and things get better every year.
Drive to Bandipur after the safari.
Bandipur National park is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. Most of these reserves are demarcated more by political boundaries than by truly physical ones. Bandipur lies in the southern state of Karnataka and covers a forest area of 865 square kilometers. It was declared a National Park in 1974 and is one of the original 9 tiger reserves under the watchful eye of "Project Tiger".
The park is situated on the border with Kerala to the south and Tamil Nadu to the west. The national park lies at the heart of an extensive forest at the confluence of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills. Bandipur was made a national park in 1974. The sanctuary was elevated in status and enlarged to 80,300 hectares in 1941 and renamed Venugopal Wildlife Park after a temple. The national park is included in the proposed Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The terrain is undulating and broken by chains of hills, flat-topped hillocks and water-courses. The reserve is drained by the Kubini, Nugu and Moyar rivers and by the Bavali, Moolehole, Kekkanalla, and Marandi streams. The River Moyar has cut a picturesque gorge, known as Mysore Ditch, which is 260m deep.
Underlying rocks are mainly metamorphic: gneiss, quartzite, mica, and hornblende schists are generally widespread. Igneous intrusions of granite and charnokite appear as out crops at high levels and in the beds of water courses (Neginhal, 1974). The soil is usually a mixture of red laterites and black cotton soil, but the latter does not show a higher concentration of salt. In some places sandstones, semi-quartz and shales are present.
Cold, dry and wet seasons are distinguished. The cold season lasts from November to mid-February, and is followed by a dry season lasting until June. The wet season starts mid-June, though heavy pre-monsoon showers fall in April and May. Temperatures range between 18 - 24 degrees celcius in November and 21 - 33 degrees celcius in June.
Overnight will be at the resort.