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“Stellar safari visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kabini River Lodge

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Kabini River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Stellar safari visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

Kabini River Lodge provided us an organized and well-run safari visit, through their “Jungle Package.” The days are scheduled around two daily boat excurions/jeep drives; one in the early morning and one in the late afternoon. The animal sightings were excellent: deer, elephant, numerous birds, wild boar, gaur, leopard, monkey. Bring binoculars to take full advantage of harder to spot wildlife.

Mornings start off with coffee or tea prior to the morning activity. Breakfast is served upon returning to Kabini around 9:30. There is time between breakfast and lunch for a massage at the spa or a guided walk around the property (we enjoyed both, on different days). After lunch, we usually napped before the afternoon activity, which left around 15:30. One-hour nature movies were shown each night at 19:30, followed by dinner starting at 20:30. Food was served buffet style with numerous Indian and Western choices.

We had a Maharaja’s cottage which was very large, with a river-facing balcony. Trees obscured much of the river but the balcony and the quiet privacy were quite pleasing.

Although relatively expensive, Kabini runs a very high quality program, which given the excellent wildlife viewings, we deemed to be well worth the expense.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank TravelingOurDream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (359)
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English first
Bangalore
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

Good resort with four British bungalows and a set of new cottages and a few "tents", all on the shore of the Kabini reservoir. We stayed in the Bungalow rooms which are spacious excellent (no aircon, no TV, no phone, but cell phones work). They are so spacious they have three beds so a family of two adults and one child can stay in a single room. Food is healthy and oil-free.

The best part of this resort are the safaris - one boat safari and one Jeep safari. We took the boat safari in the evening and the jeep safari next day morning. The boat safari had very enthusiastic guide and boatman. They pointed out things we are likely to miss on our own - otters swimming in the water, turtles on the shore of the reservoir, the names of every single bird species that we saw. I was able to get some excellent photographs too. Elephant sighting are easy here.

The highlight of the Jeep safari next day was a tiger sighting. One of the jeeps spotted a tiger and spread the work around. We rushed to the spot and joined three other jeeps already there. We got a half hour darshan after which two of the jeeps started their engines causing the tiger to saunter out of sight. We waited for another 10 minutes hoping it will reappear but that proved futile. After almost two decades of sanctuary visits this is the first time I sighted a tiger. All thanks to the JLR team.

Room Tip: Stay in the bungalows. They have character. The cottages are new and modern and hence sterile. Some...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank kkumar74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

My wife and I had a great time watching wildlife from boats and jeeps. And the rooms and food were quite good. However, the management allowed obnoxiously loud parties (corporate retreats, we guessed), and wouldn't ask the partiers to get quiet even after we asked. We were kept awake until nearly dawn. I hope this is not a normal practice.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Rod_Brown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2012

We spent our 4 week honeymoon in India and were excited to get to the parks. We love nature travel and this hotel was recommended by a popular travel guide as one of the few in the area (although upon arrival there are many more). I believe it's run by the state so don't expect hotel quality service, food (was cafeteria style and all veggie) or linens. It's more like a summer camp setting than resort or hotel. We enjoyed the stay even though we didn't see much wildlife but the most terrible part of the stay was actually reaching the hotel. After taking a bus to Mysore and then a 90 km taxi ride the last 12 km took over an hour. The roads to Kabini are like traveling on the surface of the moon. My husband has traveled in Africa and said "the roads in Kenya aren't this bad" There were potholes and trenches a foot deep and in many places we bottomed out. You need a 4 WD and patience. There are very little facilities past the villages and the hotel will NOT help you get transportation. They may refer you to a local taxi but you must insist on a jeep. Even then if you are fragile, pregnant, elderly or have back issues don't attempt to drive or ride on the entrance road (there's only one). We are both in good health and felt ill after the drive. There are many places in India to see wildlife so do your homework.

Room Tip: cabins are nice and spacious
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jilly_J_Bean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
70 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2012

This was our second visit to a JLR ( Jungle Lodges and Resorts ) property; the first one being at Bheemeshawari. When I wrote review of JLR at Bheemeshwari, I was really impressed with the staff courtsey and service there. Well, Kabini is no different.

From the time of our arrival at the reception, to the time we left after 3N/2D stay, they really take good care of you. The energy levels of the staff at reception, at golghar ( serving foods ), during safari rides....is top notch. 7 stars to the wonderful staff at JLR Kabini.

Being from corporate MNC, I was simply amazed by the precision of process that JLR Kabini staff follows in co-ordination of various boat and jeep safaris into the Jungle. They are very punctual to wake you up at 5:45 am with hot tea and coffee for the jungle safaris.

Food at Kabini is better than that at JLR Bheemishwari. I think the choice is more here and the taste is better too. Both non-veg and veg preparations are tasty and look healthy. Very nicely done.

Well, even top A grade students have areas of improvement, and so does JLR Kabini IMO.
I was bit disappointed to see all accommodations at Kabini being non AC. This is a bummer, in other wise an out of the world safari experience. With competition heating up ( with resorts like The Serai and Orange County now in the Kabini area), JLR should seriously upgrade their accommodation or at least give guests a choice of A/C cottages. JLR does have A/C cottages in other properties so having few in their best resort should be an easy management decision.

Now coming to safar.. the best part of this whole experience. The folks who take you for jeep and boat rides really mean business. I like the fact how they will look for jungle signals and their patience levels in making best efforts to let guests show predators in the jungle.. even if that means stopping the jeep for 10 mins of silence in one area. They really know their job well and do it with so much of enthusiasm. Both the boat and jeep safaris are the highlights of this JLR stay.

Lastly, the whole JLR Kabini Property is awesome. They have rockstar gear bikes ( cycles ) for fun ride inside the property; cool British bungalows which are truly heritage; coracle rides in the river... and for all the fun, there is no additional penny charged ( I heard Serai and OCK additional Rs 1000 per person for safari !! ).

If you truly want to enjoy the Jungle experience, Kabini should be on top of your list. I have not yet visited any of other jungles in India like Jim Corbett, Ranthambore or Gir... but I can guarantee that in terms of professionalism, Kabini will be hard to beat.

I will definitely visit this place again ( with binoculars next time which I really missed ).

Room Tip: Try taking Cottages 1,2,3,4,5,6. They are river facing and closest to the GOLGHAR the dinning area.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank AsheeshJoshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kabini River Lodge

Property: Kabini River Lodge
Address: Nagarhole National Park 571114, India
Region: India > Karnataka > Nagarhole National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Nagarhole National Park
Price range (per night): ₹ 4,100 - ₹ 6,350
Number of rooms: 38
Also Known As:
Kabini River Hotel Nagarhole
Kabini River Lodge Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

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