We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Overall great place!”
Review of The Bison

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Nagarhole National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
The Bison
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Go to The Bison if you want to be in the midst of raw nature - and yet have a nice luxurious tent to stay in with some great people and good food. But most of all, go to The Bison for the owner / wildlife expert - Shaaz. His knowledge of the jungle is exemplary and if you do have the good fortune of doing a wildlife safari with him, then you would also be witness to his fantastic tracking skills. My family and I were able to see 3 tigers, 1 leopard, 3 sloth bears (amongst others) and this was largely because of Shaaz and his knack of finding these hard to spot animals.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank varunc88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (445)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

368 - 374 of 445 reviews

Reviewed March 19, 2013

If you want to see big cats get here before the rains do! We stayed for 2 days and wished we'd booked for a week. The African style tented Bison camp, on the edge of 2 national parks, looks just as exciting in real life as it does on its website. The tents are very large and spacious, furnished with solid wooden furniture, and each looks out over what is usually a lake. This year, due to lack of rains, the lake has disappeared and been replaced by pasture land. Our initial disappointment was misplaced, however, as the lack of watering holes has meant that the animals are forced to go down to the river and this has lead to very frequent sightings of tigers and leopards. In just 2 days we saw 3 tigers and a leopard, some of them very close, and my daughter returned a couple of weeks later and saw more.

On arrival at the Bison, you're greeted by volunteer Londoner Dan, who settles you in your tent of machan and has a leisurely chat to discover your interests and what you'd like to do, which he will then organise. Game drives by jeep or boat are taken by the excellent and very knowledgeable guides, and there are also game or bird walks, the chance to camp, and other activities. Most activities take place in the mornings and late afternoons - the heat of the day can be spent at the swimming pool or in the "lounge area", watching birds and the odd elephants across what had been the lake. The food is very varied, delicious and abundant, and the staff, most of them drawn from the local villages, are friendly and welcoming.

There is a wonderful feeling of wildness about staying at the Bison. In bed, you can hear the animals and owls, even elephants. There are no fences and leopards have been known to steal local dogs (they do have guards on 24 hour duty!). It was a great place to just "be".

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Shirin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

The Bison is a truly fantastic place to stay!!
The experience starts as soon as you get out of your car when you are met by one of the many poilte staff who handed us a welcome drink as we set foot in the camp.
We where welcomed by the manager Dan who gave us a friendly and informative tour about the place.
We where then taken to our accommodation which is a real gem! Luxurious thatchted tents with a quirky shower and bathroom finished off with a great view out into the distance towards the Kabini River.
During our stay we where lucky enough to go on two jeep safaris with the owner Shaaz who`s knowledge and passion for the local wildlife is enthralling. The highlight of the safaris was a tiger sighting on each occasion. The first one being a big male tiger who after hearing him `roar` on three occasions majestically appeared from the forest line and gracefully walked across the open expanse before lying in the sun! An unforgetable moment!
We also did the boat safari which was equally as entertaining, seeing crocodiles and elephants on the river banks, a different perspective on the forest. As it was our honeymoon the staff met us off the boat safari and had kindly laid out a table and chairs with a bottle of wine on the banks off the river so we could watch the sunset in the distance.
Evenings at The Bison start with drinks around the camp fire before dinner which is a perfect environment to chat with fellow guests about the days events!
The food we ate whilst at The Bison was fantastic, fresh with good varied choices. We had a bush dinner on one night a real experience not to be forgotten, highly recommended..
As mentioned earlier the staff are all really friendly and after dinner we where entertained by Dans guitar playing! Ask him to play his rap!!
Dont go to The Bison seeking five star luxury, its a camp full of character and should be embraced for where it is (the closest to the forest) and for what it is.
A big Thank You to Shaaz, Dan and all the staff for a memorable stay!!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Irby9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

There are wild life resorts and riverside resorts

But there is only one Bison.

Fuelled by a passion that can only be experienced, shaaz jung, owner and ace tracker takes you on a leopard hunt through one of indias many national parks... this one housing over 150 endangered wild life species.

With over 5 years of tracking the elusive leopard in the backwaters of Kabini,
and a rich family Tradition of African Safari tours, this leopard man of India
will make you want to go back to the Bison, again. and again.
Shaaz is also a wonderful and interesting host.

Throw in some rustic and beautiful tented accommodation,
clean and aesthetically pleasing old worlde décor and you have
yourself an amazing holiday experience.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank sheila_bedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Was turned on to The Bison by a friend and left for the trip with no expectations. My girlfriend and I were completely blown away by the natural setting of the place! From camp we frequently saw elephants and other wildlife on the edge of the forest. The breezy tents gave an "on safari" feel but were so luxurious and romantic, at times, we found them hard to leave. The food was always delicious and different, and the activities offered were exciting and thrilling.
Down time was equally great including fireside story swapping with management and other guests, occasional guitar playing, or a refreshing swim in the pool.
The safari's into the forest were led by The Bison's Mr. Shaaz Jung who we heard was the "big cat tracker of India", we thought sure... whatever... But what truth!!! 2 of 3 safaris we were witness to wild tigers, that Mr. Jung would literally track using the sights and sounds of the forest. Amazing. The guides from other resorts would show up after Shaaz did the tracking!
Nights were filled with bright lit starry skies, wine and cocktails, bonfires, and friendly guests and staff.

If I had a negative thing to say I would. But it was a surreal experience that any group or couple would remember fondly forever. Thanks you Mr. Shaaz, Mr. Dan, and the entire staff.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank L_Ross_Schaedig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Where do I begin! So, my husband and I wanted a different experience for a quick getaway to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. We started doing a research to wander off the beaten track and came upon the tantalising website of The Bison Wilderness camp in Kabini. Now, we have both at some points in the past been to kabini and enjoyed our stays at the Jungle lodges. With the intention of experiencing something that would be non jungle lodge like we went beyond the website and thoroughly questioned the team at the bangalore office. We were told the last mile to the resort was in a bad shape. What we didn't know it was beyond bad. All of 12 kms and we weren't informed it would take over an hour to cover it. Neverthless we went with it, simply because we were quite literally 'taken in' by the long exhaustive list of activities other than the safari and boat rides which even jungle lodges offers but within their package. So we decided that we would go to the bison to experience, a bush dinner under the stars, breakfast by the backwaters, fishing, starry boat ride, camping, and what not. But more than that, we were eager to stay in a proper african tent which we were certain a jungle lodges or orange county etc wouldn't offer. Even after paying the initial payment, we weren't sure of what lay ahead of us simply going by the city office of the resort which was nothing but a dark, unkempt small hole with nothing by way of pictures or information of the resort. We still went ahead going by the resort's 'pedigree'! Owned we were told by erstwhile nobility, Nawabzada Saad bin Jung, related no less than to the Nawab of Pataudi, Mansur Ali Khan. A photograph of the current younger nawab with his cousin, the new nawab of pataudi and an actor of popular hindi movies, Saif Ali Khan. So we thought, well, couldn't be that bad. We started early on a saturday morning to beat any kind of weekend rush and make it in time to be able to enjoy the list of activities. The bangalore to mysore highway is in good condition and a treat to navigate save for the ingrates who still haven't learnt the art of highway driving. Upon reaching the edge of the 12kms stretch from where the road was to start getting bad, it wasn't bad...it was a recipe for a broken car and a back! The road is 12kms but took over an hour after which we reached a village common from where the left fork went to the other resorts and the right fork to the bison. The approach and eventual entry to the bison was like an abandoned camp site. Not enough parking and not even clearly marked. The signs along the 12kms were hardly any and the reason given, they get stolen!!! Seriously! They expect adults to believe a story like that!!! Well on getting out of the car it took us not too long to take it all in. Much smaller than what the pictures tell. But the entrance lounge is in the shape of a thatched camp, nicely done connected to a bar and lounge which has an unrestricted view of what would have been the rive Kabini in spate. Only because of poor monsoon and the water rift between the states of karnataka and tamil nadu the river is less than half its original size but still deep and wide enough to drown a person. At the reception we were welcomed by the younger nawab's adhoc caretaker, Dan, a travelling brit who was a guest at the bison last year and who now manages the property while the nawab enjoys the hospitality of New York city. We were told by Dan that the nawab would be back the next morning and that if we wanted we could go on the safari with him as the website boats of his expertise. We were given the option of choosing from two tents, one which was tilting quite a bit but otherwise ok, and the other set further back with enough privacy with none of the other camps next to each other. The tents by themselves were very good. So was the manner in which the wooden walk way was done and the dining area behind the reception. The initial investment with which this was set up spoke of grandeur and enthusiasm but somewhere along the way it has died. The table mats had a worn out look as did the lounge furnishing. The dry river bed had a strangely africa-esque look with the river bed looking more like green pasture land or savannah land. The first day was excellent. We were made to cross the river in a coracle and taken for a walk trough the village on the other side and came out onto the river bed which was all cracked up. It was here that we had our first experience of a walking safari having spotted 2 kinds of deer, 2 herds of elephants, one herd not more than 2 kms away with only a low wall separating us, wild boar and the sudden warning call of monkeys that indicated a wild cat was eyeing the deer. We took a leisurely walk down the river bed towards the setting sun facing the once swollen river to arrive at a picnic table set up with a chilled bottle of white wine and cheese sandwiches. It was a better way to celebrate the 1st anniversary than a stereotypical candle light dinner. We headed back by crossing the river and had just enough time to change into something jungle like for the bush dinner. We were driven a few kilometres away from our camp in a 3 tiered jeep found mostly in africa to arrive at our bush dinner with 3 other guests. The bush dinner had a marvellous fire burning with chairs set up all around and a bar at one end and hurricane lanterns around the fire. As we were approaching the site, we could tell from the lanterns and bonfire as we drove in the jeep without lights which added to the spirit and mystery that nightfall inevitably brings. There was a dinner table set to one side which one ended up ignoring as the company and the stars above were more than enough for a splendid time. The next day saw a rather dismal start with a rather uninspiring breakfast. Made it up by a walk along the plains or the dry river bed and back in time for a splash in the pool. The pool was nice, but gave the feeling of not having been cleaned for a long time with a drain that looked suspiciously dirty and unclean.
While in the pool we asked for fresh lime soda sweet that was worse than one might find at a road side eatery by the highway! Housekeeping was sluggish, as the glasses remained there for the rest of the evening. We were promised a ride to the elephant camp in the afternoon for which we were promptly ready after a surprisingly nice lunch. As we made our way to leave for the elephant camp we were told that resort vehicles would not be allowed and we would have to go in our own!! That was something we werent going to do! The road was a huge factor and secondly it was not our responsibility. We just decided not to go for it and insisted the resort send another jeep to take us around the rest of the river bed. There was however no sign of the younger nawab who we were sure would turn up and had even thought of going on the safari the next morning with him. We got a vague reply saying he wasnt reachable. We went on the jeep drive and returned with time on hand. After which we decided with the brit that we would go on the starry boat ride at 7pm. So, with time on hand we got ready and were told just as we were making our way to the boat, that infact boat rides after dark had been stopped!!! But somehow we got it and we bribed the nice boatman to take us on a slightly longer ride than the 20mins. We got back and sat around a campfire on the grounds of the camp. After which we were going to have a private pool side dinner which suddenly we discovered was close to being cancelled as the staff insisted that the windy weather would blow table cloth and all away! At this point we were beginning to get just frustrated and annoyed as it seemed that nobody was interested in doing anything unlike the previous day. It seemed they were finding excuses to get out of one thing after another. There are somethings terribly wrong with the place and somethings that they got right the first day. On the whole, the feeling we got is the owners, the royal blood of the nawabs is not interested in doing anything or investing in the place and capitalising on what they already have. They lovely tents and 2 really good activities which they can build on but the royal family as is the case with nobility in this country, has taken everybody for a ride, but not to the safari.....We enjoyed to the extent that we had the freedom to wander and do our own thing and enjoyed the tent but the downside were just too stark to ignore. The owners are only interested in milking this cash cow and not doing anything about giving a complete experience to the guests. Its a shame, because its a pretty place indeed.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank AnnieBangalore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

This was my unplanned trip to Kabini and I took chance and picked Bison over Jungle lodges and proud to say that's the best decision I have ever made :) it's been a 4 days since my trip to this awesome resort and still it's not getting out of my mind . Amazing Tent , rustic setting ,Tasty homely food , adventurous Safari and people in Bison including owner , manager and staff made my one night stay ,a truly memorable experience ! Wish , there is more rain and water in lake when I visit next time :) Can't wait ......
Mr. Shaaz ,thank you :)

  • Stayed: February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ashwin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Nagarhole National Park
18.6 mi away
The Serai Kabini
The Serai Kabini
#1 of 1 in Nagarhole National Park
405 reviews
1.9 mi away
Evolve Back, Kabini
Evolve Back, Kabini
#1 of 1 in Beeramballi
1,366 reviews
1.5 mi away
Waterwoods Lodge Kabini
Waterwoods Lodge Kabini
#1 of 6 in Nagarhole National Park
514 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.3 mi away
Red Earth, Kabini
Red Earth, Kabini
#3 of 6 in Nagarhole National Park
748 reviews
1.4 mi away
Kaav Safari Lodge - Kabini
Kaav Safari Lodge - Kabini
#2 of 6 in Nagarhole National Park
232 reviews
3.1 mi away
The Peepal Tree Kabini
The Peepal Tree Kabini
#6 of 6 in Nagarhole National Park
126 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Bison? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Bison

Address: Gundathur Village (Karapura - Kabini), Nagarhole National Park 571114, India
Location: India > Karnataka > Kodagu (Coorg) > Nagarhole National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Nagarhole National Park
Price Range: $268 - $381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serene and tranquil through the day yet exciting and stimulating at night; the Bison, a boutique tented camp, the first of its kind in India, offers luxury at the very of adventure. "The Bison" is situated at the confluence of the Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks, on the shores of the exotic Kabini River in Karnataka (west of Mysore), which offers you the perfect wildlife adventure. It is the only resort in the area which directly overlooks the national park. Elephants and other wildlife are regularly spotted from the resort. The decor and ambiance of the camp recreates the adventurous decadence of a bygone era. Wooden floors, elegant linen, beautiful artifacts, old cabin trunks and other original antiques seek to enhance the rustic setting of the camp site. Each tent is lavishly furnished with double beds, writing and dressing tables, full length mirror and arm chairs. En-suite bathrooms with expansive showers are a virtual treat. ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing