My first jungle safari. It had its moments when I was elated like when I saw a tiger not 1 feet away from me and angry when I saw the elephants tied to chains in what was supposed to be a wildlife safari.
A real jungle just beside a concrete jungle
Yes, Bannerghatta National Park is just 30 minutes from where I stay. I don’t think I have ever seen any jungle so close to the city. Bannerghatta National Park or BNP is 25,000 acres of carefully preserved jungle. It also some areas reserved for a Zoo and a Butterfly Park.
There are two types of safari available. There is the Bus safari and a Jeep safari. obviously, we took the Jeep. The Jeep safari costs around Rs. 2000 for 4 people. If you have an extra person, they charge another Rs. 500. The bus ride though much inexpensive just doesn’t have the thrill on the adventure.
Once you get the Jeep tickets, generally you would have to wait for an hour or so. We spent that time at the Zoo. It’s not a very big enclosure but it does have some unique animals. I have never seen the Indian Wolf before. There are also a big enclosure for the Leopards. Behind the Leopards enclosure, there is a huge Bison with magnanimous horns. Be careful with your stuff, since there are monkeys roaming around free all over the place. Once the Jeep became available, the guy called me and we left for the Safari.
The driver drove very rashly, and all we could get out of him was so we could “feel the adventure.” We passed a beautiful lake with a herd of Elephants on the banks. I was miffed seeing their feet tied with chains. It must be so they stay put for the safari visitors. Some things I just don’t get. most probably commercialization ideas being so close to the city. Up ahead we saw some Sloth Bears sitting at the edge of the road. We stopped there for a few minutes. We also happened to see a group of Spotted Deers along the way.
Some 10 minutes into the ride, we entered the Tiger enclosure. We passed a sleeping White Tiger, who just refused to pose for us. Further on we were a bit luckier to get some shots of the beautiful Royal Bengal Tiger. They are just so majestic. One of them even grazed our Jeep.
The driver told us that a few years ago there was an incident when a Tiger had snatched a girl away from the bus ride. We kept our windows closed for the rest of the tour 😐
The Safari was over in like 40 mins and we headed back. On the way out, the Butterfly Park is located, we skipped it. There are more Butterfly’s in our Building Complex than here. However once later I did go to this place and the only thing worth remembering is the golden Pupa. Its something worth seeing. It looks like a gold bug.. all shiny and new.
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These are figures from when I wrote the blog, the charges keep changing from time to time.
- The Bus ride costs Rs. 260
- The Jeep Safari costs Rs. 3500 for a six seater. If you go for the Jeep Safari, you don’t have to buy the tickets for the Zoo separately.
- Zoo tickets cost Rs. 80
- Still Camera charge : Rs 25
- Bannerghatta Zoo Timings: 9:30 AM – 5:00 p.m
- Bannerghatta Safari Timings: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
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- Come early. The more late it becomes, the more crowd gathers.
- Go for the Jeep ride. Bus ride is no fun.
- If you are interested in Butterflies, try to come during August-September.
- There is a Volvo Bus Service from Majestic Bus Station which is pretty regular #365.
- The whole experience will not take more than 3-4 hours.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on the time I visited the premises. Note that there might be changes in the prices of merchandise and admission fees that might have occurred after this article was published. At times the facility might also be closed for repairs or for variety of other reasons. Kindly contact the facility or facilities mentioned in this article directly before visiting.
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Credits: The historical information presented herein is gathered mostly from Wikipedia and local guides.