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“Safari Paradise...”
Review of The Bison

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The Bison
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Myself and my boyfriend stayed at the Bison for 4 nights and had an incredible experience. We had been travelling around India for a month and decided to visit the Bison as one last treat before we flew home to the UK.

Situated over-looking the Nagarhole National Park, yes this place is off the beaten track, but that is what makes it such a special and magical place - with elephants bathing in the river at sunset, campfire dinners under thousands of stars, and seeing 3(!) tigers in the wild whilst out on safari I will never forget our stay.

The accommodation is fantastic. Beautiful, luxury, eco safari tents over-looking the park, and is breath-taking when the sun goes down. The staff are incredibly friendly, and the perfect combination of letting you have your own space but also very attentive to your needs when you ask for it. Shaaz (the director of the camp) is so passionate about the park and its wild-life (he has after all grown up surrounded by it), as well as being a fantastic wildlife photographer in his own right, that going out on tracking with him on safari is a real treat.

If you want a pristine, identikit, air-conditioned hotel this is not the place for you. But if you want to escape the chaos of the towns and cities, and immerse yourself in real nature and wild-life whilst having the luxury of a beautiful camp to stay in, then I can not recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TheBeeSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2013

We had a wonderful time at the Bison Resort. Absolute combination of serenity & adventure. We had our little one's 2nd birthday celebrated there, people are so accommodating,hospitable.
Clean atmosphere, amazing food, you cant ask for :-). My husband enjoyed the safaris, he took very nice picture of tigers & a leopard. It was really worth the trip.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Daphne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

My boyfriend and I had just 2 weeks to travel a bit of South India and Kerala. We stayed at Bison for 2 nights between Mysore and heading to Kochi.

The staff are very attentive and make you feel at home from arrival. The tents are amazing with all the facilities you need, very comfy four poster beds and mosquito nets to keep the bugs out. The shower is really good considering the remoteness of the site. Bring a padlock if you want to lock your stuff in the cabinet. The pool is very welcoming to cool off in the midday heat, there are a few bugs in it...but to be honest, because of the beauty of the area if you are the kind of person that this would bother you...you should probably think twice about coming to Bison. It is an Eco camp, utilising solar energy for power and the owners are very responsible employing local people and using natural materials to build the site.

The food was really nice with around 4/5 different curries to choose from with breads and rice. There is also a well stocked bar with beer wines and spirits.

The safaris are the main draw of course, which if you are lucky enough Shaaz (the director of the bison) with guide you on, Shaaz is a very knowledgable chap and knows how to track the animals. Sadly we didn't get to see any cats on the 2 safaris we did, however we saw oodles of elephants, wild bore, deer and monkeys.
The days before we got there guests did see lots of cats (tigers and leopards) however I think due to a little rain and a few storms, we were unfortunate not to see any.

There are plenty of other activities to get involved in (walks, boat rides etc.) which are all very leisurely and give you a great insight into local village life around kabini.

So, all in all, I recommend this place to anyone looking for a remote and relaxing wildlife experience...it may not be for everyone as it is all about being at one with nature, but as a girl who is very scared of spiders and large creepy crawlies....I still felt very comfy in the tent at night and had a fantastic experience!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank EllaB21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

The overall experience was good & memorable one... wanted to share few info which i find to be missing in other posts

About Safari :-
There are two zones in the nagarhole national park...zone A & zone B & only govt vehicles are allowed to go inside. usually for guests staying in bison mor'g safari will be in zone A & eve'g will be in zone B. Zone A is much greener & denser than Zone B, hence the chances of spotting a tiger is more in zone B but you never know... In zone B, you will be able to spot elephants as its closer to kabini river. We did one mor'g & one eve'g safari & would recommend the same.

Activities in Bison
- Sun downer : the overall experience was awesome. You have to walk to a place which is closer to the river, the view from the point they take you is breath taking & they will offer tea/coffee thr..charges: 300 per person.

- Camp Fire : before dinner, there will be camp fire. Drinks are offered, but only tea/coffee & water is complimentary..

- Tribal Walk : Its ohk..for indians its anothr village. but ya.. i enjoyed the mor'g walk.

We didn't try bush dinnner.swimming pool etc...

Food was simple & tasty!!

Room Tip: Room Preference : All the rooms have same view..machan was bigger, but i somehow like tents more.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AnkitaNeema
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Stay at "The Bison" was a very different kind of experience. It was first time for us. I visited at march 2013 end for 4 days along with my family.
Bison is located in some village and forest is good 2 -3 kms away from the Bison. The tents are facing to forest... When we first reached Bison, we were confused where the forest is...

Food quality is amazing, the staff is also very good. There is communication issue with the staff, but if are a little patient, you can make the staff understand what you want.

The tents are very beautiful and well furnished.

Lights in tents and overall in resort is very very dim. I do not understand the concept.. atleast in tents they can use little more lights..

Also during my stay.. the cooler did not work properly at night, after complaining, I was told that there is voltage issue. :( . I have seen street lights and boring pumps in village..dont understand why bison only faces voltage issue. (atleast they should find some alternative, at the money they charge) anyways after shouting at staff.. somehow the voltage became alright.

At last night at Bison, they took away the bed that was outside my tent without informing me. Next morning after inquiring, they told me they needed the bed as the resort was full. :(

Safari is just a game of luck. I did 2 safaris one in evening and one in morning.
The owner is very moody person. He was there with us for the first safari but did not provide any information. He was busy with his friend and his camera.
For the second safari he took different vehicle.

Walk was good.. we enjoyed it.. Fishing and boat safari was closed

I stayed in both tent and Machan, I would prefer Tent.

Dan - Manager is very good person. Listen to all your request.

Note/Tips:

Carry a pair of extra slippers/scandals.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank abhiag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thebisonresort, Manager at The Bison, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

Dear Guest Thank you for your honest and valuable feedback. Here’s a short response with regard to some of the points you mentioned and we hope you and all our trip advisor readers will find this useful.

With regard to electricity and dim lighting, we are the only property to use solar power to light up the entire camp. Our resort is built on the eco-tourism guidelines and using an alternate source of energy was one of our priorities. The essence of our camp is to be subtle and merge into the environment and be one with nature. Bright lights in close proximity to the forest didn't appeal to us. We apologize for the voltage issues. Our camp has electricity 24hrs a day, however once in a while fluctuations do take place and we have KEB and a generator for back up. We're glad to hear it was resolved soon.

At the Bison we take our Safaris very seriously. Our naturalist is known for his tracking abilities and vast knowledge in the field, however during your visit he was not available due to personal reasons and we apologize for that. Safaris are anything but a game of luck. At the Bison we treat every Safari like a puzzle. If you're patient, know where to be, fit your pieces together correctly and play the game with passion, it pays off. However the beauty of wildlife is unpredictability. Somedays are better than others. We hope to have you back with us soon so we can change your outlook and give you a true safari experience.

Once again, we thank you for your valuable feedback and we hope you appreciate ours.

Warm Regards
The Bison Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank varunc88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Shirin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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: $69 - $105 (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 

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