About Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is near to Chikkamangaluru town of the state of Karnataka. I have visited Bhadra tiger reserve and spent 3 days there (November 2016). I would easily say Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most serene place in India. The safari zone is not so big and the jungle is so thick; hence the big cat sightings are not so common in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary but certainly you can enjoy the jungle with lot of birds and other animals. The best place to stay in Bhadra if you would like to enjoy wildlife and do wildlife photography, is the River Tern Resort. In the below picture, the 3 cottage from the left is where I stayed.
From my cottage at river tern resort, I just walk down to the shore and spent hours seeing the beautiful waters and the river tern islands. A moment I saw was a cormorant taking off from the rock with the entire Bhadra waters as backdrop.
Day 1 – Leopard sighting in Bhadra is still tougher than sighting a tiger at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Day 1 – To my luck, first safari and just two minutes crossing the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary main gate… The naturalist showed the trail and said there is a Deer walking on the trail very far. The driver was a very experienced person and he just switched off the vehicle. After a closer look, he screamed leopard. By that time, I was looking at it in my 600mm and confirmed it is a leopard. He was huge and was walking ahead of us and I was seeing him, he realized that we are back, he turned, he looked at us and went into the bushes on the sides. The moment is captured and still one of the rarest sighting and frame for me and at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Day 2 – whole day we didn’t see anything but trees and trails. The day was so dry and I just enjoyed moving around in the jungle. Though I say ‘Enjoy’ it is indeed a disappointment after a great start.
Day 3 – we had to choose between another safari or a boat ride to see the birds of prey at Bhadra river. We have decided to do a boar ride. But last minute, I have changed mind to join another couple who was there and go ahead with the jeep safari. We entered the jungle and it was so misty and cool. As most experts say, when it is too cool, big cat sighting chances are still lesser. With least expectation, I was enjoying the ride and seeing birds – Horn bill, bee eaters, egrets, heron, dove, owl, eagle etc. 15 minutes into the safari and one of the person at the back called ‘Tiger’ Tiger’… Vehicle stopped and I saw a tigress to my left at a 15 feet distance. Below portrait will tell you how close the sighting was.
She is a new tigress who have taken the territory and I just enjoyed that closest sighting, that too at Bhadra tiger reserve. Just before we digest this luckiest sighting, we entered a thickest part of the jungle safari route and we saw one huge lone bull (tusker) all alone and eating. That is easily the biggest tusker I have seen and one of the most memorable shot from my trip.
Day 3 evening safari also I went to jeep safari and we have seen a very fresh kill fully eaten.. it is a Deer kill. We were certain that the big cat is near by. As we started screening around, naturalist showed a far off trail and said tiger is walking there. We moved on through another trail to cross path with the tiger. As we went, we have spotted her amidst the jungle greens. It was the same new tigress and she has finished her full meal and moving to have a drink. She is one gorgeous beauty.
What more you can ask, this habitat shot from Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is such a rare one. This is a right place where you have not much bushy greens showing the landscape of Jungle and the big cat amidst greens.. more over tigress gave a nice look to me.
Day 4 – again a lot of wonderful wildlife moments and just before the end of the safari, we have spotted a leopard at far crossing the trail. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary leopards are really shy and unlike Kabini leopards they sprint and hide immediately. Same happened but our naturalist is so sharp to spot her in the bushes near the trail. Not a close sighting but captured the leopard at 900mm showing the thick jungles of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Also, you can go for a boat safari in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. You can see a lot of fish eagles, osprey, elephant in waters and if you lucky tiger and leopard.
Overall, a very superb trip and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary didn’t disappoint. You can see HD Quality pictures of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary at https://www.facebook.com/alvislazarusphotography https://www.instagram.com/alvislazarusphotography
The final moment before we leave this serene place is this beautiful and gorgeous sunset at Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. It is just mind blowing, isn’t it?
I will keep adding more pictures as I process them. I’m not a tour operator but a wildlife lover and photographer, if you need any info about Bhadra or help in planning an itinerary at right cost, please leave me a note to me. I would be glad to assist.
About the Author:
Alvis Lazarus is a Wildlife Photographer from Nazareth. Top Shot Winner 2017 (National Geographic) and Your Photo Winner 2017 (BBC Wildlife). Alvis’s work is published in Nat Geo, BBC Wildlife and Conde Nast Traveller Magazines. See his work here: Instagram | Facebook | Website