Dubare Elephant Camp
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri in the district of Kodagu, Karnataka. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department’s elephants.
The elephants for the Mysore Dussehra were trained at Dubare elephant camp. At present, after logging operations have ceased, the elephants have been practically retired except for giving some rides to tourists.
There are opportunities for trekking, elephant rides, fishing, and river rafting. These activities are hosted by jungle lodges and resorts. The Forest Department also conducts some treks along well-defined routes.
Get out, go out..it’s wonderful out there in the wild.
The moist deciduous forests of Dubare are home to many wild animals and birds. Sightings of wild Asiatic elephants are regular and so is spotting the sambhar, the spotted deer, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, and gaur. Bears are also seen in these forests. Crocodiles can be seen in the river. The forests are also home to many reptiles and non-venomous snakes.
Birdlife in Dubare has peacocks, partridges, kingfishers and woodpeckers topping the list
Dubare is easily accessible from Bangalore. The route from Bangalore is via Mysore, Kushalanagara, Gudde Hosur (4 km from Kushalanagara on BM Road), then turn towards Siddapura. About 15 kilometer on the Siddapura Main Road visitors would find a Dubare Camp board.
Camps, lodges and resorts set amidst Karnataka’s many sanctuaries and reserves. Birdsong, the hum of cicadas, the murmur of a river, an occasional cry of a peacock and a great big adventure.
Things to do in Dubare
Visitors can watch Elephants been given a scrub-bath in the River and also watch how oil is applied on their forehead, tusks and other aspects of Elephant grooming.
Visitors can watch the food being prepared for the Elephants and how they are fed.
The Mahouts will then demonstrate the various commands the Elephants can obey. This can be vividly portrayed by making Elephants perform some mock logging operations.
While visitors are going through all these activities, a Naturalist will explain to them about all aspects of Elephant ecology, history, conservation etc. The visitor’s interaction with Elephants will be as participatory as possible. Further, a leaflet giving interesting information on the same will be given to visitors.
Finally, visitors will be taken on a 10 to 15 min Elephant ride into the Dubare Reserve Forest. Before, they get on to the Elephant they can watch how the Howdahs is actually tied etc.
This remains one of the less explored forest patches in South India. So facilities are very basic, although there is a lot to see. You can get to see tigers, sloth bear, marsh crocodiles, elephants, Indian Bison or Gaur and bears are also seen in these forests.. Bird life in Dubare is wonderful with peacocks, partridges, kingfishers and woodpeckers topping the list.
At Valnoor Fishing Camp, the Cauvery river broadens into pools populated by rohu and mahseer fish. Angling is strictly per catch and release philosophy, you must toss the fish back into the river after you take your photographs. You need to get fishing licenses from Coorg Wildlife Society which protects this short stretch of river.
Rafting during the monsoon months of July, August and September, The Coorg Adventure Club organises river rafting on the Cauvery river. The river is wide and the rapids here are less, which makes rafting easy. There are two rafting options available for the rafters 8.5 km run and 12 km run. The longer run depends on the water level. Rafting begins near the riverside cottage at Valnoor and ends at the Last Resort at Hosapatna.
It is the best way to explore and discover Dubare. The trekking trail leads you through wilderness, forests, hillocks, river banks, but remember to hire a local guide. A short trek from the fishing camp is Doddakalbetta or Big stone hill it is a wonderful place to watch the sunset. If you wish to take a slightly longer trek deep into the forest don’t forget to visit the Ganapati temple which is believed to be over thousand years old.