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Get Up, Close And Personal With Gentle Jumbos At Dubare Elephant Camp


    Take a walk in the wild with these gentle giants as they bathe, feed and wander about in their natural habitat. You can even stay the night in the camp and the kids can be left to their own devices.

    Of Trunks And Tails

    It’s wild drama aplenty at this camp which boasts of over 150 elephants. An initiative of the Karnataka State Forest Department and Jungle Lodges And Resorts, The Dubare Elephant Camp is the perfect opportunity to get to know these enchanting pachyderms better. And the best part of this is that you can actually pitch in and help the folks at the camp too.

    Your first tryst with elephants begins with a rather in-depth session with a naturalist who’ll throw in a dose of history, ecology and biology with great passion. Then, go to the river that flows straight through the camp to watch the gentle giants being bathed. More often than not, get ready for a shower yourself, as these well-trained animals will tease you by spraying a trunkful of water on you too! And if you thought that them jumbos need no grooming, then you’re very mistaken! They have plenty of rituals including putting oil on their foreheads and tusks.

    Become Team Ele

    For those interested, there’s a session with mahouts on how to make elephant food {mostly ragi mudde which is millet}. Stick around and you’ll even get to feed the elephants! For a treat {and a hint of show}, you can feed the pachyderms bananas. And by that we mean the entire bunch; so don’t go attempting to give them one at a time! Follow it up with a short ride into the forests on elephant back, once the mahout has set up the howdah. In fact, tying the howdah on the elephant is another skill they’re happy to teach when you’re there.

    Take It Easy

    If you’ve had enough for the day, retreat to your cottages {six cottages and 12 luxury river view ones} for relaxation. We love that the accommodation is made to look like a camp. So expect log furniture, wooden panels and stone walls, for that rustic feel. Make time to hit up the bar for a drink, and soak in nature at its best. The machan set-up only makes it easier, and of course, ‘a drink’ will soon become a few. Homely Indian food for vegetarians and non-vegetarians awaits at the restaurant, but don’t expect too much variety — it’s simple, tasty and does the job.

    Wild Side Of Life

    Don’t rush off the next morning, though. In fact, we’d plan a two-night stay here, at least, because there’s much more than elephants too to look forward to. The resort will organise a safari that’ll give you’re a glimpse into the lives of sambhar, deer, peacock {in their fanned out feathered glory if you’re lucky} and crocodiles basking in the sun. Leopard and tiger spotting is rare here, but who knows, you might get lucky. During the monsoon, river rafting is a must-do as the river is full and rapids will be abundant. All you fraidy cats who won’t go rafting, the coracle ride is fun, though not quite thrilling.

    Where: Nanjarajapatna Post, Kushalanagar, Somwarpet Taluk, Coorg District, Hobli

    Price: INR 5,200 upwards for a night and INR 1,200 upwards for elephant camp activities

    Contact: 9449597876 and 08272 200653

    Driving distance from Bangalore: 240 kilometres

    Drive time: 5 hours, approximately.

    Find out more about them here and here. Follow them on Facebook here.