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“bamboo rafting”

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
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4-Night Best of Kerala Tour
Reviewed February 3, 2013

This full day of hiking and floating along the lake on a bamboo raft was good. It's a group activity - it was good to meet other travellers, but being in a group of 15 is not ideal for staying quiet to see wildlife. However, we saw elephants in the distance three times, bison, warthogs, and monkeys. And the lake was beautiful with many birds and butterflies, and the rafting was fun and very relaxing. The wardens did not give us much information - there was confusion over which of the many stops was the lunch break. Lunch is provided but is mainly bread and butter. Do not wear red or white as this scares off the wildlife.A hat is useful as you are in full sun all day.

Thank Lynda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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584 - 588 of 785 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

The worst place to visit out of our trip to Kerala. There was frankly nothing to do other than go for the long boring boat ride which yielded absolutely nothing.
There no wild animals to see, the boats were smelling of diesel, polluting the air, life jackets were just name sake and a host of other things which we would like to erase off memory

Thank pc00750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

This place must have been beautiful once. But now the diesel-powered boats are adding to the pollution. The boats are overcrowded, dirty and not well maintained. Seating is not comfortable. You should see the life-jackets they provide on the boats- so filthy, you would not want to touch them.

Our misadventures started with the ticketing process before boarding the boat- it's a joke. You have to purchase a pass for your vehicle before entering the park; however, you cannot purchase tickets for the boat at the same place. The lines for the boating tickets inside the park are so long and disorganized that at any point in time, you don't know if you will get tickets or for which boat you will make it. We had to stand in line for hours; while some shady characters cut through the line pretending to be "staff". Very difficult to manage when visiting with family and kids.

It is sad that the Kerala Forestry Dept cannot do a better job of operating this place when they take in so much revenue from ticket sales for people as well as vehicles. #1 priority should always be to preserve and protect nature and wildlife; not unlimited selling of forests and natural preserves. Hopefully some day they will limit the number of visitors per day and manage bookings online to alleviate long lines and overcrowding.

1  Thank Manish Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

This is one of the better managed reserves in the country.

We took a bus from Kottayam to Kumily. Kumily is about 4km from the entrance to the reserve. Head to the govt. bus depot in Kottayam. A fast passenger (FP) or limited stop (LS) can shave off 30-45 mins off the 4 hr journey.

The Kerala Forest Dept and Tourism Dept both operate boats - about 3 or 4 on each slot - on the lake. Take the 7:30am or the 3:30pm ferry to maximize your chances of spotting wildlife.

Opt for one of the Kerala FD programs for a quieter and more satisfying experience.

Bamboo rafting is organised by the Kerala FD and is the best way to see the forest.
You avoid the hooting crowd of the customary 1.5 hrs ferry rides and get a much closer look at the forest.
The guides are very friendly and eager to help you spot wildlife. I have been in numerous forests in India and guides who want to stick to predetermined routes and timings and don't care how much time to spent observing wildlife pisses me off. These guys in Periyar are really helpful and honest and friendly.

That's the difference on this hike - you get time to 'observe' wildlife.

You need to be reasonably active - it involves 3 hrs bamboo rafting in direct sunlight and about 6-7 kms of trekking in the forest.

Must haves on the trip:
Hat - wide brimmed preferred.
Wet tissues - very very comforting
Backpack - you are provided a lunch pack and need to stuff it inside a bag.
Important: 1 lt bottle of water is provide so you should not need to carry more on your own.

This is worth every bit of the Rs 1500 charge.

More info at:

3  Thank theCraftyCamera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Book your tickets online , for the first ride though, it is 100 bucks per head you get to see all the wild life animals.Elephants,deer,bison different species of birds .The nearby park is also good but watch out for the group of monkeys they get a little bit naughty at times.It would be best to get a guide though for your walk around.

Thank sreelekha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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