The Bandipur National Park in India is one of the best and most family friendly places to go on safari. With a vast range of animals, guests will not have a single dull moment during tours that may even stretch multiple days. Bandipur was established in 1974 in Karnataka as an official tiger reserve as part of Project Tiger, due to the abundance of tigers present in this South Indian state.
It is well known not only for its tigers and wildlife, but also the several types of biomes that can be found there. The sanctuary was over 90 kilometers wide when it first started and was expanded an additional 800 kilometers after becoming part of Project Tiger.
Bandipur National Park is a tiger reserve and national park located in India, and the biggest draw of visiting is taking one of the many different safaris and tours held by the park as well as by other local independent contractors.
Tours are held on a regular basis at the national park and can be booked by contacted the park or one of the independent contractors directly. Tours are offered on both weekdays and weekends but are full experiences that multiple days and nights. Tour cost depends on whether visitors are Indian nationals or foreign guests and assume that they will be sharing a twin bed both nights. The cost is also slightly increased on weekends.
Below is a routine itinerary for a one night/two-day trip –
? Day One - On Day One, visitors will be picked up from Bangalore and driven to Bandipur in a sedan with air conditioning. Once they arrive there, a full buffet style lunch will be provided. Tea and coffee will be served around 3:00 pm, and around 3:30 pm guests will be driven into the national park forest for the actual safari and tour itself. After returning to the lodge around 6:30 pm, guests will be treated to dinner around the campfire and will have the remainder of the evening to themselves at the lodge. The day will have structured itinerary for about 5 hours of the day.
? Day Two - Day Two will start with morning tea or coffee and proceed quickly out into the national park around 6:30 am. Guests will then be returned to the lodge for breakfast and check out will occur at 11: 00 am, after which guests will be returned to Bangalore.
Below is a routine itinerary for a two night/three-day trip -
? Day One - Guests will be picked up from Bangalore and driven immediately to Bandipur National reserve in an air-conditioned sedan. Upon arrival, they will be checked into the resort and served a buffet style lunch. Tea and coffee will be served at 3:00 pm and they will be driven shortly afterwards (around 3:30 pm) into the forest for their safari tour. After returning to the lodge around 5:30 pm, dinner will be served around the campfire and they will have free time.
? Day Two - Morning beverages will be served around 6:15 am, and guest will be driven shortly afterward to the national park for either a second wildlife safari tour or a guided trek through the forest. Both tours end around 9:15 am, after which breakfast will be served (around 10:00 am) and guests will have leisure time. Lunch is served around 1:45 pm and guests will then be taken back out for an additional safari at 3:30 pm. After returning to the lodge about 5:30 pm, dinner will be served around the campfire as well as a discussion with one of the national park wardens.
? Day Three - Morning tea and coffee will be served around 6:15 am, and guests will be taken out for another wildlife safari at 6:30 am. After returning to the resort around 11:00 am, check out will occur after a quick breakfast and guests will then be returned to Bangalore.
The cost of the tours will include - accommodations (based on sharing a twin bed), all meals, beverages, and snacks, the wildlife safari tours, guided treks around the national park grounds, entry fees to the park, photography pass fees, and all taxes.
Tours must be cancelled more than 30 days prior to the visit or a fee will be required.
The Bandipur National Park is home to a few special events throughout the year, but many of them are arranged by independent contractors. Due to their national park status, there are no festivals and events actually held on the grounds.
One of the “themed” tours available is the Bike Trip tour to Ooty in Bandipur. Tickets can be quite pricey but include a variety of hands on activities at the national park like bicycling, a visit to a tea estate, shooting, and treks through the forest with a guide. This special tour also includes all food and drink (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options). They last three days and two nights and all camping will be done in tents.
Also, although not on the grounds of the national park, the local villages close to Bandipur celebrate Shivarati (which is a festival held annually in March that is dedicated to honoring Lord Shiva). Check the calendar for additional information, as it is an amazing way to learn about the local culture.
There are also a variety of specially themed camps and environmental awareness camps for children, held both outside and inside the park grounds. These events can be reviewed by checking the website or calling the park staff directly.
Dining and Shopping
There are a variety dining options available to guests who use the safari and tour options. Guests will have the ability to dine buffet style, enjoy coffee and tea, eat dinner over a campfire, and enjoy snack options during the day. There are no vendors or gift shops inside the reserve, but the resort does carry a selection of merchandise and gift options for visitors. This includes stuffed animals, t-shirts, and home goods.
Bandipur National Park, NH 67, Hangala Village, Gundlupet Talak, Charamarajanagar District, Bandipur, Karnataka 571126, India, Phone: +91-82-12-44-44-44