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“Wildlife, bungalows from the raj and cruise on the Kabini”

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Jungle Lodges Kabini River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bengaluru, India
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wildlife, bungalows from the raj and cruise on the Kabini”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I have tried to capture every thing about the lodge in the title, and they have not been mentioned in any particular order. There are plenty of reviews about this property, so I have tried to limit my review to a couple of aspects that I have liked about this place, which I feel is important. I have classified my review into four sections wildlife , the lodge, food and what to do. As you can see its very basic stuff and hope you can benefit from what I have experienced.

WILDLIFE : The place is all about wildlife and that's the reason its difficult to get an accommodation unless one books early. As the place has a healthy population of cats, birds and elephants, the wildlife sighting is better and hence the popularity. Among all the properties of Jungle Lodges, most probably Kabini presents the best chance to see one of the larger cats.

THE LODGE : Kabini is among the best properties of Jungle lodges, I am told that it was well frequented in the past by the Maharajas as well as folks of the British Raj. The bungalows are fabulous and so are the rooms as well as the tents. Clean and having all the amenities that one would require in the wild.

FOOD : Very basic Indian food, which would please both the vegetarians as well as the carnivores . You could also unwind with a mug of beer after a hard evening in the wild. Breakfast is quite a spread, other than the usuals such as cereals, egg to order and bread , you also get a variety of Indian breakfast choices. My verdict is you get basic Indian food which is tasty.

WHAT TO DO : There are three basic activities, the jungle trips , the boat ride and the trek. I have not done the trek so cannot comment on it. The trips in the jeep is what you would generally do as it provides the best chance to see the wild. You will be accompanied by a Jungle lodges personnel who has a very good knowledge of the forests and who can help you with identifying different species of birds. I would also recommend the boat trips, which you can take both in the evening or in the morning. Though not a favourite among the hardcore wildlife enthusiasts, we recommend it because on one of the trips we were able to see a tiger coming down to the water bank and I am told you always get to see the elephants on the river banks.

The review would not be complete and just, If I do not write about the staff of Jungle Lodge who do an exemplary job of making you feel comfortable.

Majority of the people who visit Jungle Lodges are serious wildlife enthusiasts and they know their birds and their cats, so you benefit a lot by striking up a conversation. Another word of advice take a good camera preferably with a telephoto lens( you can rent them in Bangalore), the point and shoot just does not help. Lastly get the right set of clothes depending on the time of the year and try and avoid bright colors such as red.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sajit B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

I went to Kabini with my family in April 2013. Had a lovely time. Food is good. Lovely view of the River Kabini from here. The safari is awesome. It's nice to be so close to nature and be part of it in a way. Their naturalists are really good and help you in spotting some rare birds and animals. The staff are courteous and helpful. Rooms are bare minimum but it still gives you the comfort. Love to go here as often as possible.

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Splash0509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Our family of 5 (including a 2 year old) visited JLR Kabini. The last 14 KM's as everybody said is little bad, but once we reached the JLR campus, we forgot all about it. The food id really great, the Cottage is excellent. Except the price is little on the high side. Make sure you take jackets/ sweaters for your little ones.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank BLRSobha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

The reviews for the Kabini River Lodge seem to confuse the safaris into Nagarhole forest with the resort itself. We drove through Nagarhole and saw a large elephant & gaur on the roadside ... the forest has wildlife. The resort is run by the state, and only the state can run safaris: ergo (1) stay at the Lodge (2) pay Rs. 1250/head/safari to ride on their trucks or (3) take the forest department buses for Rs. 250/head/safari (I think, not sure of this price). The Kabini River backwaters have birds that you can see from the short "river cruise" the resort offers.

The resort has a nice location but it is run-down now. Staff is friendly and well-meaning, let down by simple gaps like no creamers in the room's tea/coffee service or cockroaches in the bathrooms. Food is of mediocre quality, served as a buffet. The last 12 km of road to the resort is terrible, with stretches under construction. The road to the forest gate is a worse moonscape.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RamblingRahul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, India
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Definitely one of our best holidays. This place is a complete for the people who like nature, wildlife and peaceful holiday.

Reaching this place is little tiresome because of bad roads (close the jungle lodge area), but it is only a very small discomfort which travelers can adjust because rest everything else is simply amazing.

We stayed in the tented accommodation which was simple yet highly comfortable. We enjoyed the food served at a common dining area "Gol Ghar". Service was good and staff were courteous.

The Jeep safari into the Nagarhole forest and the boat safari in the Kabini backwaters were simply amazing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Manu_Pasha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

This was our 5th visit to Jungle Lodges Kabini, though after a break of close to 8years..My husband and I are avid travelers especially of the Jungle areas...We were apprehensive about our visit this time, as we were going there after our last visit 8 years back..But we had no doubts that we wanted to go to stay at Jungle Lodges only..
I am very happy to say that the place has only become better under the current manager, Kunal..Hospitality comes naturally to the staff here and with Kunal being interacting with all the guests during meal times, I am sure, the staff wouldn't think of being lackadaisical..
The food at any of the Jungle lodges has always been like at home..very comfortable and with a variety to choose from..

We were pleasantly surprised to see the huge bathrooms attached to the tents earlier...have been very thoughtfully divided into a dressing room and a slightly smaller bathroom..

Waking up to the various calls of birds is a luxury which we city dwellers are not privy to..the early morning safaris to the jungle yielded surprises as always...the warning calls of the monkey and the deer.. then the passing of a leopard barely 10feet from our jeep had my 8yr old scurrying for safety..watching the huge face of a male tiger at a distance thru the binoculars...the elephant herds, the herd of bisons...all of these were possible only because of the expertise of the drivers and the naturalist...we were happy to see that one of the our favorite naturalists with whom we had built a good rapport was still working at the resort....

We also met some very regular visitors who are photographers (amateurs and professionals) and saw the awesome photographs taken by them...also many of them published in a coffee table jungle book culled by Kunal...

We stayed for two days and it will remain as one of our all-time favourite jungles and the resort to be visited time and again...

Room Tip: The tents have a unique charm of their own facing the river... though we have earlier stayed at the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SamitaG_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Amazing Place, Spoiled by FAMILIES visiting it as a holiday spot. WTFrontdoor, The first day (2 safaris) was hopeless as there was a family of 4 on a joyride and we did not get anything! The driver and the spotter were also hopeless. I regretted going there. The Next day (Last 2 Safaris) was awesome, thanks to the fact that there was a new driver and spotter (Revannah) They were the best pair and we got most of what we missed out on the first day. So if you are serious about ur shots, please pic the right guide and the right ride, not with families.

Jungle Lodges Admin should take note of this and separate, the serious photographers from the holiday crowd.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank AnandSN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jungle Lodges Kabini River Lodge

Property: Jungle Lodges Kabini River Lodge
Address: 5 km. off Mysore-Mananthavadi Road | Nagarhole National Park, Kabini, 571166, India
Location: India > Karnataka > Kodagu (Coorg)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 500 Specialty Lodging in Kodagu (Coorg)
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named after the River Kabini, the River Kabini Lodge beckons with the promise of elephants, gaur, deer and a rumour of tiger. Located on the southern fringes of the Nagarahole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park) , this former hunting lodge of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore was rated as One of the Top 5 Wildlife Resorts in the World by the British Tater's Travel Guide. A sprawling colonial estate in the heart of elephant country, the River Kabini Lodge echoes with the call of the wild. ... more   less 

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