Going to Dooars for me was a personal achievement. I wanted to go away from my usual life for a few days and wanted to breath fresh air. I wanted to experience how the people live there but mostly I wanted to see forests..dark deep forests.
So when my desire to see forests was satisfied with Chilapata safari, I was delighted. Chilapata is a dense forest near the famous Jaldapara forest. It is accessible from Madarihaat. The local guides say that this forest is the place where the animal of Jaldapara stay and Jaldapara is the place where they go for grazing. We went for the mid afternoon safari for Chilapata. There is no road in the jungle, not even the dirt roads. The trees on both sides of the small path bar sunlight from entering the forest.It is AMAZING!
You might find some animals (which we did not , and it rained… 😦 ). But even if you are not able to spot them right away, you will be happy…just seeing the dense jungle, if you want to experience jungle that is..should satisfy your soul.
We saw trees that looked…well..scraped. The barks seemed to be removed freshly and that made the trees look really clean. Our guides told us that it was the work of the elephants. The elephants eat the bark of a certain type of tree for its medicinal values..and they do it frequently. Well..THAT was good to hear! 😀
We came back from the Chilapata safari and went for booking tickets at Jaldapara safari. Please note, during tourist season, it is VERY difficult to get tickets for the early morning safari. As an warning, please get in line for the tickets for the safari even before you check in to your hotel for the night. We had to wait a lot and fight some people in the line to get our tickets..I guess that is what the travel looks like when you have no known person in the forest department, but hey, I like it as it is and do not need any special treatment.. 😀
We waited for the night to be over so that we can go for Jaldapara safari. But it continued to rain, so much so that we thought the safari to be closed for the next day.
It is recommended that you go for either earley morning or late evening safari for these places as chances of spotting wildlife is higher at those times. The earley morning safari at Jaldapara starts at 6:00 AM. We were there by 5 O’ clock in the morning.
There are two types of safari for this place. One is elephant safari and then there are jeep safari. The elephant safari is reserved for those who stay in government tourist lodges. For the rest there are jeep safari.
The number of elephants are limited but during the pick season , the number of Jeeps go up to 17. Each jeep allows 6 people , 1 driver and one forest guide. Tell you, the forest guide and drivers are very nice people. They are knowledgeable, helpful and always better than us at spotting a wildlife.
Unlike Chilapata, Jaldapara has a better road going through the jungle for safari. It does get a bit muddy at places but the jeep ride is worth every moment. Go there, you will love it!
We saw beautiful sights of jungle but could only spot some peacock, a wild bore and half a bison… 😀 The guide was telling us about the jungle and the fact that it becomes difficult to spot anything during rain.
We were able to spot Some birds though. Like this Neelkanth (Indian Roller Bird) in flight.
We also spotted a cormorant drying its wings .. it looked lovely and elegant… 🙂
And off-course, some peacocks…
So that was all about my safari of Chilapata and Jaldapara. Did you go there earlier? what did you see? Let me know in the comments section below! 🙂