Kaziranga National Park – Tezpur – Nameri Eco Camp Stay
We woke up to chirping birds and beautiful sunrise, giving a sign of great day ahead. It was 0500 hrs and watching sunrise from our balcony was a wonderful way to start the day.
We freshened up & got ready by 0600 hrs for Elephant Safari. We started from cottage at 0615 hrs for Kaziranga Range, Kohora (4 km).
On the way, we had a cup of tea. We were the first persons to reach the starting point of Elephant Safari for the 3rd & last safari of morning. The Forest person at check point informed us that safari will start at around 0700 hrs the elephants return from 2nd round of safari. The check point was an elevated platform that overlooked the forest. Luckily we saw a Rhino in forest, though it was far we could still manage to see it. And we couldn’t wait to see more of them. Slowly, other tourists also started gathering. At around 0650 hrs, we saw elephants returning back with tourists. They allotted the elephant “Rukmani” for three of us and the fee was 1630/- for 3 persons plus camera. Thus, We started our Elephant safari at 0710 hrs to Kaziranga Park an Rukmani along with her baby “Karan”. It was a new & exciting experience of looking for Rhinos in forest on the back of an elephant. First we saw a group of Deer & Barashingha just grazing around.
Hence began our series of rhino sightings. Fortunately, we saw many Rhinos in various areas making it a memorable moment of our lives. We were clicking pictures incessantly.
After about an hr of safari, we reached back to starting point at 0810 hrs. We thanked the elephant person for the wonderful ride and started back to Aranya Tourist Lodge at 0825 hrs.
After reaching Lodge, we enquired about Jeep safari and in turn the Manager asked about the experience of Elephant safari. After getting good feedback, he suggested us to skip Jeep safari because we will not be able to see anything more exciting. Dropping the idea of Jeep safari, we sat down for breakfast as we were famished. Hot Breakfast after a tiring ride was a delight. After breakfast, we freshened up, took bath and was ready for checkout by 1030 hrs.
Our next destination was Nameri Eco Camp, Nameri National Park (112 km) with a short stop at Tezpur (74 km). To reach Tezpur, we have to cross Brahmaputra river through Kalli Bhomora Setu.
This is 2nd longest bridge over Brahmaputra and has no railway crossing unlike other bridges of Brahmaputra. The bridge provided an excellent view of Brahmaputra.
After reaching Tezpur at 1200 hrs, we directly went to Agnigarh Hill but found it closed due to Bihu festival. We were disheartened. From there we went to market of Tezpur and purchased water & food items for our journey ahead. After taking snacks at Tezpur, we started for Nameri Eco camp at 1400 hrs.
Eco camp was 38 km and we reached there by 1430 hrs. It was near a village and was set up in a beautiful clearing in the forest area. The entire place is set amidst dense green surroundings with lots of birds and butterflies around.
After check-in to the beautiful the luxury tent “Mithun Nala-5”, we checked with reception regarding activities. They asked us to get permission from forest department for tomorrow river rafting. We went to forest department office, which is next to Eco camp. After noting our details, they asked us to come in evening for depositing fee and collecting permission slip.
Till 1700 hrs, we explored the eco camp and enjoyed the natural beauty of the surroundings, the swings, watching birds with a cup of tea.
Then, we got ready to go to Jia Bhoroli River, which is very near to the camp. The river bank was beautiful.
After the sun set at river bank, we came back to camp. Our permission was ready at forest dept. office, which we collected by paying total fee of Rs. 250/- for three persons & camera for river rafting. We informed the camp manager for arranging river rafting for tomorrow morning.
It was around 1900 hrs and we were hungry. We went to dining hall and found that they were setting buffet dinner. They told that till they are ready, we can enjoy a cup of tea. Dinner was excellent and we eat more than required. Camp lights were on and it was nicely decorated. We sat near camp fire, which they were going to start in a while and were chit chatting with other tourists. To our pleasant surprise, at 2000 hrs, suddenly, artists came near camp fire and started performing Bihu group dance.
We enjoyed the performances sitting beside camp fire till 2130 hrs. Now it was time for bed. We went to our tent and slept with a determination to wake up at 0500 hrs for river rafting.