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  • Dandeli Forest Safari TripsDone

  • Dandeli Forest Safari

    The Dandeli forest is every adventurous nature lover’s dream come true! Sprawling over 834.16 sq. km., it is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the state. The marshy riverbanks and dense forests make for the perfect environment for many animal and bird species to thrive, inviting throngs of visitors each year. There are multiple activities within the sanctuary that are sure to keep your adrenaline pumping, like wildlife safaris, treks, rafting, rappelling, camping and much more!

    What you’ll see

    When you visit Dandeli Karnataka, you enter the home of thousands of species of flora and fauna. Densely wooded with bamboo and teak trees, these forests are a safe haven of more than 200 bird species including great pied hornbill, the Malabar hornbill, blue-throated barbet, Peregrine falcon and many more.

    Dandeli is also widely known for being one of the few natural habitats of both the elusive black panther and beastly Bengal tiger. Both wild cats are frequently spotted prowling the forest floor and you will be lucky if you spot them while on your safari. Along with these beasts, you will find the peculiar sloth bears, Indian pangolin, giant Malabar squirrel and others.

    By the banks of River Kali, it is common to spot some vicious crocodiles and the King Cobra. Commonly spotted water birds include, kingfishers, waterhens, teals, and grebes.

    Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary Safari

    The Dandeli forest is brimming with thousands of species of flora and fauna that are simply waiting to be explored. This exploration is made exciting by the different ways of discovering the wildlife sanctuary.

    The most common choice of visitors is the jeep safari. Since jeeps are compact, they can easily take you deep into the forests to come face-to-face with the big mammals and wild cats of Dandeli. It’s also a great option for wildlife photographers as there are plenty of pitstops for photography.

    For exploring the marshy lands of the forest, a peaceful coracle ride down River Kali is the best option. On your ride, you will find water birds perched atop tall trees by the riverbanks and ferocious crocodiles submerged in the shallow waters.

    An on-foot birding tour or hike is the favourite of avid birdwatchers and trek-lovers. A guide will take you through the dense forests and show you its true beauty up close. With bated breath and a sharp eye, you will find scores of bird species hidden in the verdant canopies and hear their melodious calls pierce the silence surrounding you.

    Where to stay

    You can choose from a variety of options in and around the Dandeli forest for when you visit. There are accommodations suitable for every budget and traveller, like camps, homestays, villas, lodges and hotels.

  • Dandeli Forest Safari - 2 days

    Sketch itinerary

    Day 1: Welcome to Dandeli!
    Check in at hotel and enjoy lunch
    1 evening jeep safari
    Return to hotel for dinner
    Overnight at hotel

    Day 2: Safari day and check out
    1 morning jeep safari or coracle ride on River Kali
    Return to hotel for breakfast
    Check out

    Detailed itinerary

    Day 1: Welcome to Dandeli!
    As you arrive at your hotel amid paradise, freshen up and get charged with some lunch for your first evening safari at Dandeli. You will ride through the mystical forest as you keep an eye out for the infamous Bengal tigers, the conspicuous black panthers and hundreds of unique bird species. Return to your hotel for a delicious dinner and retreat to your rooms for the night.

    Day 2: Safari day and check out
    Your day will begin with an exciting safari at the crack of dawn. If you wish, you could opt for a coracle ride down River Kali instead. As you slowly drift down the gleaming river, you are likely to spot marsh animals like crocodiles and snakes and water birds like kingfishers, waterhens and more. Return to the hotel as your peaceful ride comes to an end and devour on a lip-smacking breakfast. Freshen up and bid goodbye to the gorgeous forest surrounding you. Your trip ends as you check out.

    Inclusions

    Two 3-hour jeep safaris or one safari and one coracle ride
    Accommodation at hotel
    All meals

    Dandeli Forest Safari – 3 days

  • Best time to go/Weather

    The Dandeli forest is an adventurer’s treat all year round! Each season has unique vistas, so choose your dates according to what you would like to experience.

    Summertime at Dandeli (April-June) sees lesser crowds as the days can get scorching, with temperatures soaring up to 40°C. The mornings are perfect for a hike or birding tour as it is still pleasant, with a light breeze and mellow sunlight. During your safari, you will also cross paths with animals as they make their way to the River Kali to quench their thirst and find a cool spot to evade the heat.

    Between the months of July-September, rains sweep the forest, giving it a refreshing, verdant makeover! Safaris in this season are particularly enthralling, with an occasional shower and a cool breeze carrying the sweet scent of petrichor through the forest. You can enjoy monsoon camping and cycling in this season.

    The winter climate in the months of October-March appeals to a majority of visitors. The forest is shrouded in a layer of mist, that creates an enchanting atmosphere around you. The landscapes are lush from the recently-departed monsoons and you will spot thousands of birds fluttering through the verdant treetops. Dandeli is a paradise for birdwatchers during this season, as you’ll find over 200 migrant and native bird species, some of which are rare and endemic to the area. Day treks and birding tours along with jeep safaris are perfect to explore the forest to the fullest in this season.

  • Dandeli Forest Safari - Route Map / Altitude Map

  • Dandeli Forest Safari - Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the best time to visit the Dandeli forest?

    Summers (April-June) are scorching but perfect for visitors that are looking for lesser crowds and more wildlife. Jeep safaris are common, but coracle rides down River Kali are unbeatable when it comes to animal spotting. You will find herds of animals traversing the forests to quench their thirst and rest by the riverbanks. Winters (October-March) are pleasant and mystical with thick layers of fog. This season is a paradise for birdwatchers as the forest welcomes hundreds of migrant bird species every year. Safaris in the monsoons (July-September) are thrilling, with frequent showers and other exciting activities like treks, cycling and camping.

    How do I get to Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary?

    How many people can be accommodated in one safari at the Dandeli forest?

    Are children allowed on the Dandeli forest safari?

    What should I wear if I’m going to the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary in the winters?

    What should I wear if I’m going to the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary in the summers?

    Are cell phones/mobile phones allowed on the safari in Dandeli forest?

    Where can I stay during my visit to the Dandeli forest?

  • Dandeli Forest Safari Reviews

  • The Dandeli wildlife sanctuary welcomes throngs of avid birdwatchers, nature-lovers and enthusiastic visitors from all over the world. For that reason, it is well-connected to major Indian cities, making it easy to reach there.

    By road
    Dandeli is easily accessible by road from nearby cities like Dharwad (57 kms), Hubli (75 kms), Belgaum (110 kms), Goa (150 kms) and Bangalore (481 kms). Buses are frequent from these cities, but you can also drive down in your own vehicle or rent a cab.

    By rail
    The closest railway station, just 32 kms away, is the Alnavar railway station. However, the most convenient option, with frequent trains from across the country, is Hubli (75 kms).

    By air
    The nearest domestic airport is in Hubli, whereas the nearest international airport is in Goa. You can continue your journey via road from both the airports.

    When you are on your safari in Dandeli Karnataka, ensure that your clothes cover your arms and legs to keep dust, insects and harsh sunlight at bay. Stick to neutral colours that will help you blend in with the surroundings, like tan or brown, so that you don’t startle any animals. Wear sneakers or shoes that comfortably cover your feet. Apply an insect repellent and SPF 50+ sunscreen in all weathers.

    Wear light cotton or linen clothes in the summers to keep you cool. Sunglasses and a hat are good additions to your outfit for additional sun protection. Keep a bandana on hand – you can dip it in cool water and drape it over neck when the heat grows unbearable.

    Winter mornings and nights can get fairly cold, so ensure that you carry warm woollen clothing and thermal wear. During the day, when it is slightly warmer, a jacket should be enough to keep you comfortable. Carry a shawl or scarf and caps that protect your ears from cold winds on the safari.

    During the monsoons, wear cotton clothing and a raincoat. Make sure that your footwear is sturdy as the forest can get very muddy and slippery from the rainfall. Pair your shoes with long, preferably leech-proof, socks for maximum protection.

    Your safari at the Dandeli forest will be long with no pitstops for buying food or water. So, ensure that you have a large water bottle on hand, especially during the summers. An SPF 50+ sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and sunglasses are essential to protect yourself from irritants like dust and insects. Carry jackets and woollen caps during the winter as early mornings and nights are particularly cold. If you visit during the monsoon, carry a raincoat or windcheater. Don’t forget a fully charged camera with ample memory and a pair of binoculars so you don’t miss out on anything!

    You don’t need to undergo any fitness training for your safari at the Dandeli forest. You will be seated throughout the safari with almost no walking around. However, if you opt for the birdwatching tour or nature walk, you will need to have a moderate level of fitness to endure the hours spent walking through the forest.