Kabini national park famous black panther Saaya
Kabini national park huge male tusker elephant crossing river
Kabini national park male leopard

Kabini (Nagarhole) Tiger Reserve

Kabini Tiger Reserve (Nagarhole National Park), nestled along the banks of the Kabini River in Karnataka, India, is famed for its lush backwaters and dense forests that provide a sanctuary for a rich array of wildlife, including the elusive tiger. This reserve is a critical conservation area and a popular destination for wildlife safaris, offering spectacular sightings of elephants, leopards, and a variety of bird species.

Forest Size

847 km2

Forest Type

Dry Deciduous Forest to Tropical Moist & Semi-Evergreen

Mammal Focus

Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Bison, Sloth Bear, Elephants, Barking Deer

Common Birds

Malabar Whistling Thrush, Osprey, Blue-bearded Bee-Eater, Scarlet Minivet

Welcome to Kabini (Nagarhole) Tiger Reserve

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve Map

Kabini, part of the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, India, is renowned for its exceptional wildlife and serene landscapes. Encompassing an area of 643 km², this sanctuary is a crucial segment of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, providing a vital corridor for wildlife between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and upgraded to a tiger reserve in 1999, Kabini is named after the Kabini River, which flows through it, creating a rich habitat for diverse flora and fauna.

The reserve’s lush deciduous forests, interspersed with grassy swamps and water bodies, support a wide array of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, elephants, and over 250 bird species. Kabini is particularly famous for its high density of tigers and the spectacular “Black Panther,” a melanistic leopard that attracts wildlife enthusiasts and photographers from around the globe.

Visitors to Kabini can experience the wilderness through guided jeep safaris, boat rides on the Kabini River, and nature walks, offering unique opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. Kabini’s blend of rich biodiversity, scenic beauty, and well-managed tourism infrastructure makes it a premier destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Tour Package Inclusions & Exclusions
What is included in our tour packages?

When you book with Into The Wild, our packages usually include the following (can vary based on individual client requirements):

  • Luxury accommodation in a premium, hand-picked property
  • All meals, including a welcome drink, breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening tea/coffee (might vary depending on hotel and package opted for)
  • Safari permit bookings for the number of safaris our guests wish to do
  • Private safari jeep on a non-sharing basis
  • Experienced, hand-picked guide and/or driver (the arrangement might vary depending on the park)
  • Airport/railway station transfers
  • Basic first aid and medical assistance, as available at the hotel
  • Contact information for local representatives
  • All applicable taxes
What is not included in our tour packages?

Our packages do not include the following, unless separately requested for:

  • Tips for drivers and guides, which need to be paid after each safari
  • Tips for hotel staff
  • DSLR Camera and lens charges at park entry, wherever applicable (eg. Tadoba)
  • Any additional expenses incurred at the hotel that are not part of the pre-decided package
  • Special arrangements and experiences such as walking tours, picnics, excursions, bush dinners, etc.
  • Access to photography equipment and workshops
  • Travel insurance for the duration of the trip
  • Cost of flight/train tickets
  • Naturalists provided by the hotel, which will be charged separately as per actuals

By Air

The nearest airport is Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, approximately 220 kilometers away. From the airport, an air-conditioned vehicle can be arranged for our guests to transport them to Kabini, a journey that typically takes around five hours.

By Train

The closest major railway station is Mysore Junction, about 80 kilometers from Kabini. From Mysore, an air-conditioned vehicle can be arranged for our guests to reach the reserve, with the drive taking around two hours.

This is an indicative itinerary of your wildlife adventure and can be personalized as per your requirements. Reach out to us for a customized tour package.

  1. Day 1 Arrival at Kabini

    Arrive at Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, or Mysore Junction Railway Station in Mysore and our air-conditioned vehicle will be waiting to pick you up and drop you to your luxurious accommodation

    Afternoon: Savor a refreshing welcome drink upon your arrival at your accommodation near Kabini Tiger Reserve. After checking in, enjoy a satisfying lunch and settle comfortably into your room
    Evening: Attend a brief orientation session about Kabini Tiger Reserve, learning about its rich history, biodiversity and the tigers
    Dinner: Savor a delicious dinner at the resort, featuring local and international cuisine and retire early for the night

  2. Day 2 Exploring Kabini Tiger Reserve

    Early Morning Safari: Wake up early and embark on your first safari. The morning safari offers the best chance to spot tigers and other wildlife such as leopards, deer and various bird species

    Breakfast: Enjoy your pre-packed breakfast at the heart of the forest, surrounded by nature or return for breakfast at the resort
    Relaxation Time: Spend the late morning relaxing by the pool, visiting the spa or exploring the resort’s nature trails
    Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the resort

    Afternoon Safari: Head out for your second safari in the afternoon. This time of day is perfect for capturing stunning photographs as the wildlife becomes more active
    Evening: Return to the resort and unwind with a wildlife documentary screening over a cup of coffee/tea and some evening snacks
    Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the resort, sharing stories and experiences from the day’s adventures

  3. Day 3 In-Depth Wildlife Exploration

    Early Morning Safari: Another early start for your third safari. Explore a different zone of the park, increasing your chances of diverse sightings.
    Breakfast: Enjoy your pre-packed breakfast at the heart of the forest, surrounded by nature or return for breakfast at the resort
    Lunch: Lunch at the resort

    Afternoon Safari: Your fourth safari will take you deeper into the reserve. Keep your cameras ready for those perfect wildlife shots.
    Evening: Sip on a cup of coffee/tea along with some local snacks as you unwind after a long day of safaris
    Dinner: Indulge in a special dinner with a vast local and international spread

  4. Day 4 Departure

    Early Morning Safari (Optional): If you’re an early riser and full of enthusiasm, opt for one last safari before your departure
    Breakfast: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the resort
    Packing and Check-Out: Pack your belongings and check out of the resort
    Departure: Depart for your onward journey, taking with you unforgettable memories of your time at Kabini. Our air-conditioned vehicles will transport you to the airport or station.

  5. Customization Options Varies Depending on Destination & Resort

    Guests can tailor their experience with additional activities such as:

    Guided Nature Walks: Explore the flora and fauna on foot with an experienced naturalist
    Photography Workshops: Learn wildlife photography techniques from professional photographers
    Bird Watching Tours: Special tours focusing on the rich birdlife of Panna
    Bonfire Dinner: Enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by warm ambience, crackling sounds and starry skies

    Customizations may incur additional fees based on the type, dates and destination. Please inform us of any desired customizations to make your trip memorable.

  6. Customize a Trip Get in Touch!

    For a customized itinerary and bookings, please contact us on +91 81043 78074 or via our WhatsApp bot. We will assist you in creating a personalized adventure that fits your preferences and interests.

    Embark on an extraordinary journey #IntoTheWild and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Kabini River

Scenic Kabini River:

The Kabini River, which flows through the reserve, adds to the scenic beauty and ecological diversity of the area. The backwaters of the Kabini Reservoir are a lifeline for wildlife, especially during the dry season, and create picturesque landscapes that are ideal for photography and nature observation.

Black Panther in Kabini Tiger Reserve

Unique Black Panther Sightings:

Kabini has gained international fame for being one of the few places in the world where the elusive black panther has been regularly spotted. The melanistic leopard, known as "Saya," has become a symbol of the reserve's rich biodiversity and attracts wildlife photographers from around the globe.

The Into The Wild Touch

At Into The Wild, we believe in providing our guests with only the finest luxury accommodations. To ensure this, our dedicated team personally visits each property, staying there to experience every detail firsthand. This commitment to quality guarantees that the accommodations we recommend meet our stringent standards for comfort, luxury, and service.

Our founder, Akshay Gurnani, alongside a robust network of seasoned professionals, meticulously evaluates each location, from its amenities to the surrounding natural beauty. This hands-on approach reassures our customers that they will enjoy an unparalleled stay, immersing themselves in the tranquility and splendor of nature without sacrificing any comfort.

We take pride in offering a curated selection of properties that promise not only a luxurious retreat but also an unforgettable journey into the wild.

We are also constantly seeking to expand our list of accommodation partners, ensuring that our customers have a diverse array of options to choose from. By continually adding new hotels & resorts, we can offer fresh and unique experiences tailored to the preferences and desires of our guests.

Curated Wildlife Retreats
The Bison ResortThe Little Bison Luxury Tent

The SeraiWaterfront Verandah

The Serai Kabini Waterfront Verandah

The best time to visit Kabini Tiger Reserve is from October to May. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more frequent. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons:

Winter (October to February): This is the most favorable time to visit Kabini. The temperatures are cool and comfortable, ranging from 10°C to 32°C (50°F to 90°F), making it ideal for safaris. The winter season is also excellent for bird watching as many migratory birds visit the area.

Summer (March to May): Although temperatures can rise to 35°C (95°F), summer is a great time for wildlife sightings. As water sources dry up, animals, including tigers and elephants, gather around the Kabini River, increasing the chances of spotting them.

Monsoon (June to September): Kabini receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. While the landscape becomes lush and green, the rains can make safaris challenging, and some areas may be less accessible. However, this period is great for experiencing the forest in its full verdant glory.

Overall, the months from October to May provide the best conditions for visiting Kabini Tiger Reserve, offering optimal weather and excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Kabini Tiger Reserve, part of the Nagarhole National Park, offers several zones for safari experiences. The primary entry gates for Kabini are:

1. Kabini Zone:
Karapura (Kabini) Gate: The main entry point for safaris in the Kabini area, providing access to rich wildlife, including tigers, leopards, elephants, and a variety of other species. This zone is well-known for its lush forests and scenic backwaters.

2. Nagarhole Zone:
Nanchi Gate: An entry point for the northern part of the park, offering diverse wildlife sightings and beautiful landscapes.
Veeranahosahalli Gate: Another entry point for the northern part of Nagarhole National Park, providing access to dense forests and ample wildlife.

Each zone within the Kabini and Nagarhole areas offers unique opportunities for wildlife sightings and natural beauty. It’s advisable to book safaris in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

For Indian citizens, any of the following identity proofs is acceptable:
i. Voter Photo identity card issued by Election Commission of India
ii. Passport PAN Card issued by Income Tax Department
iii. Driving License issued by RTO
iv. Photo identity card having serial number issued by Central/State Government
v. Aadhaar Card

For foreigners, only passport is accepted as ID Proof.

When preparing for a trip to Kabini Tiger Reserve, it’s essential to pack the following items for a comfortable and enjoyable experience:

Summer Months:
– Lightweight, long-sleeved t-shirts/shirts and pants for protection against insects, sunburn and thorny vegetation
– Cap/Floppy Hat with a brim to shield your face from the sun

Winter Months:
– Warm, layered clothing (thermal innerwear, fleece jackets, sweaters) to combat chilly mornings and evenings
– Thermal socks
– Gloves, scarf and beanie to protect against cold winds

– Face buff for protection from dust during all months

Shop our exclusive Into The Wild dust buffs crafted from breathable bamboo fibre → Shop Now

Personal Gear:
– Sunscreen with a high SPF
– Sunglasses with UV protection
– Neutral-coloured clothing (grey, brown, green). Avoid bright colours such as red, orange, blue, white, etc.
– Sports shoes or any comfortable, closed footwear for safaris
– Insect repellent
– Personal medications and a basic first-aid kit
– A lightweight, comfortable backpack to carry essentials during safaris
– Binoculars for wildlife viewing
– DSLR Camera, a telephoto lens along with extra batteries
– Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries (incase of night safari)

Additionally for winter months:
– Hand warmers for added comfort during early morning safaris.
– Lip balm and moisturiser to prevent dryness due to cold weather

Documents and Essentials:
– Valid identification such as PAN, Aadhar or  Driver’s licence
– Cash (Rs. 100/200/500 denominations) for souvenirs, tips, and contingencies

Snacks and Water:
– The hotel will provide water bottles in insulated boxes. Consider carrying effervescent tablets such as Fast&Up for additional hydration.
– Energy bars, nuts, dried fruits or other non-perishable snacks for quick energy during safaris

Personal Hygiene Items:
– Hand sanitizer or wet wipes for cleaning hands
– Tissues or toilet paper
– Biodegradable soap

Optional Items:
– Portable charger or power bank for recharging electronics
– Travel pillow for comfort during long drives
– Travel umbrella for sun or rain protection
– Portable or collapsible water bottle

Kabini National Park offers a variety of safari experiences, including jeep safaris, boat safaris, and bus safaris. The timings for these safaris are generally as follows:

  1. Morning Safari: 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM
  2. Evening Safari: 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM

It’s recommended to book your safari tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons, as the seats are limited.

For a more immersive experience, consider the boat safari, which runs from 6:30 AM to 9:15 AM and 3:30 PM to 6:15 PM. This offers a unique perspective of the wildlife along the Kabini River.

The major city closest to Kabini Tiger Reserve is Mysore, located approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. Mysore is well-connected by road and rail, making it a convenient gateway for visitors heading to Kabini for a wildlife safari and other nature experiences.

Kabini Tiger Reserve, part of the Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka, is famous for several reasons:

High Density of Wildlife: Kabini is renowned for its high density of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and elephants, making it a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Black Panther Sightings: The reserve is one of the few places in India where the elusive black panther has been frequently sighted, drawing significant attention from wildlife photographers and nature lovers. Blackie is the most famous Black Panther in India that can be found here in Kabini. He has been made famous because of the documentation done by Shaaz Jung.

Scenic Beauty: Kabini is known for its stunning landscapes, featuring lush forests, the Kabini River, and beautiful backwaters. The picturesque setting enhances the safari experience.

Accessibility: The reserve is easily accessible from major cities like Mysore and Bangalore, making it a convenient destination for travelers.

Boat Safaris: Unique to Kabini, boat safaris on the Kabini River offer a different perspective on wildlife viewing, especially for spotting aquatic birds and animals near the water.

Rich Biodiversity: In addition to tigers and leopards, Kabini is home to a variety of wildlife, including Indian gaur, deer, wild dogs, and numerous bird species, contributing to its rich biodiversity.

These factors combine to make Kabini Tiger Reserve a popular and highly regarded destination for wildlife experiences in India.

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