Birds, Bugs & Beasts at Galibore Nature Camp

posted in: Asia, India, Karnataka, Nature | 1
Galibore nature camp - a day trip from Bangalore
Galibore nature camp – a day trip from Bangalore

The best form of rejuvenation is when you lie down under the blue skies, close your eyes and listen to the melody of nature

And that is what Galibore Nature Camp offers you!

After months of lockdown, no travel and stay at home, Galibore Jungle resort turned out to be a perfect therapeutic break. The right dose of sun (which I had been missing for months together), almost no crowd (making it easy to practice some social distancing), melodious music from the twittering birds, refreshing colors of a relaxed forest and some rare sightings – sounds amazing, right? In fact, my Galibore day trip turned out to be so lovely, that I returned for a weekend getaway.

Naturally, the rest of this post is all about why it is so amazing and what you should do to get there. So get ready to spend some time in the wild with Galibore Nature Camp.

About Galibore Nature camp

Tucked away in the little forest by the River Cauvery, Galibore Nature Camp is a perfect day trip from Bengaluru. The locality gets its name – Galibore from the hillock that borders it. The little forest has a small campsite by the river that is run by the famous Jungle Lodges.

Galibore forest - just 100 km from Bengaluru
Galibore forest – just 100 km from Bengaluru

Compared to the larger Bheemeshwari Nature Camp that I had been to, (along the same river) , Galibore Nature camp is a little smaller. However, it is far more exotic in terms of its flora and fauna. There are over 200 species of animals and birds that can be found at Galibore. And the best part is you don’t have to make any special effort to spot them.

Don’t believe me? Check it out yourself.

Galibore Birds and Beasts

Galibore Birdwatching

Birdwatching at Galibore Nature Camp
Birdwatching at Galibore Nature Camp

There is no missing out on the Galibore Birds. They are everywhere and no matter what time of the day, they will entertain you with their calls and songs. Though I had gone all prepared with binoculars to do some Galibore birdwatching, I did not really need much. From owls to tiny robins and from mono-colored cormorants to vibrant parakeets, there is just a whole lot to spot.

The naturalists at Galibore Nature camp are quite astute and knowledgeable. The team in fact, makes you fall in love with birdwatching with their quips. By the end of our Galibore daytrip, we got addicted to spotting birds …so much that we decided to return a few weeks later for aweekend getaway at Galibore Nature Camp.

Spotted Owl at Galibore Jungle Resort
Spotted Owl at Galibore Jungle Resort

Right within the property is a huge tree that houses three tiny owlets. The first time we saw them, we were enamored. When we returned after a few weeks, they were still there. For a few moments, I suspected that someone had planted puppets between the branches until one of them turned its head and blinked!!!

A black cormorant basking in the sun in Galibore
A black cormorant basking in the sun in Galibore

Kingfishers are as common as pigeons in a city. The blue wings flitting across the river bed was just a regular sight as were the River terns and the cormorants. The latter in fact, fly so low along the water that you can trace every curve of their body.

One of the Galibore Birds- the Rose-ringed Parakeet
One of the Galibore Birds- the Rose-ringed Parakeet

Walking away from the water body towards the forest allowed us to spot tons of tiny Galibore birds like Minivets, Tits and parakeets. We even spotted barn owls swooping in and out of the green covers. I am sure if I had gone a little further into the forest, I would have found loads more but sadly, some places are just out of bounds.

Animals at Galibore Camp

Shhh….I can hear an elephant! It is somewhere among those trees.” warned our nature guide. It was an early morning hike along the river where we found fresh elephant dung. Following the footprints, we emerged at a clearing. Squinting towards the trees that our guide pointed, we saw one large trunk pulling down branches. And then, there was his ear. But sadly, that was all we could see.

We seemed to have missed them by a few minutes. The herd had come to the river for a drink and was headed back when we caught that little glimpse.

A langur staring back at me at the Galibore camp
A langur staring back at me at the Galibore camp

However, the Langurs did not disappoint us at all. The pesky beasts leapt across the Galibore nature camp, dropped on the roofs of the various tents and swung on the same tree holding our hammock. An occasional macaque would have a party with them or choose to play tag.

Posing for the camera - the Grizzled Giant Squirrel at Galibore Jungle Resort
Posing for the camera – the Grizzled Giant Squirrel at Galibore Jungle Resort

Sharing the trees with these monkeys were the grizzled giant squirrels. The most common time to sight them would be around lunch. They loved being around the Gol Ghar – the dining area of the Galibore camp.

Monkeys  - regular inhabitants at the Galibore Nature Camp
Monkeys – regular inhabitants at the Galibore Nature Camp

Compared to the monkeys, they are fairly well-behaved and generally stay away from entering the lunch bay. The monkeys? Shameless hussies! They couldn’t care less and were happy to try their luck, only to be chased by the Galibore staff. 😉

By the river, it is pretty common to spot the marsh crocodiles. For some funny reason, we only saw one or two but the Galibore naturalists claim that usually, there are over 10 or more basking in the sun. Besides these, a lot of visitors to Galibore jungle resort are lucky to see are Spotted Deers. And an occasional extra lucky guy has caught the sight of a leopard too!

Creepy Crawlies of Galibore

An Orange dragonfly
An Orange dragonfly

“Yikes! Get that thing off me!” This was a common screech from my dottie who cannot handle any creature – including a dog next to her. My calm and cool response to her “It is the forest and you are their guest! Deal with it.”

These weren’t just some normal spiders or moths. They were actually quite exotic and vibrant to look at. Take for example, the Orange dragonfly with its eclectic wings. And the Nilgiri Torrent Dart with its spotted ones.

Nilgiri Torrent Dart
Nilgiri Torrent Dart
The common leopard butterfly trying to hide on a stone
The common leopard butterfly trying to hide on a stone

It is pretty common to see different colored butterflies but super hard to photograph them. Like me, the restless creatures rarely stay put in one place. The only one I managed to capture was the common leopard butterfly who thought it was being clever by sitting on a rock instead of a flower. 😉

Close up of the Tiger beetle at the Galibore camp
Close up of the Tiger beetle at the Galibore camp

Spiders, stick insects and beetles are almost everywhere. They differ in size and shapes and a lot of them are actually camouflaged by their habitats. When on the shore by the river Cauvery, look out for the tiny brown beetles. They are almost undistinguished from the sand on which they hop. I saw one and then another and then realized that the sand was full of them. When you see the pattern on their backs, you will realize why they have been aptly called the Tiger Beetle.

Long nature walks at Galibore Jungle Resort

Nature trails at Galibore Nature Park
Nature trails at Galibore Nature Park

If you are staying overnight at the Galibore Nature Camp, then the one thing you must do is opt for one of their morning nature walks. The camp offers two of them – one that takes you along the hills and the 2nd that takes you along the river.

The hill trail is great for someone who loves panoramic views. If you are lucky, you even get to spot creatures like the elephants and deers. Galibore birdwatching is a little limited on this route as most of the birds like flitting around the water sources.

The scenic landscape by Cauvery river along one of the Galibore nature trails
The scenic landscape by Cauvery river along one of the Galibore nature trails

The river trail is what we embarked on. Besides the sight of the elephants and the exotic Galibore birds, the route showcase gorgeous landscapes. The water level in the river was a little low, causing its rocky bed to emerge every now and then. That marshy, rocky backdrop against the hills and the clear blue sky made me feel at peace. The only sound you hear here is that of the river flowing and the little whistles and hoots of the birds hovering.

Coracle rides and other activities at Galibore Nature Camp

Most of the activities in Galibore Nature Camp are around the river
Most of the activities in Galibore Nature Camp are around the river

Whether you come for a Galibore day trip or plan to stay overnight, the one activity that you should try out is the coracle ride. The traditional round basket ride is perfect to see the river birds and marsh crocodiles up and close. The boatsman will take you down the river and point out these creatures along the way. Before he lands the boat, he gives it a good spin, making your world go round – literally.

One of the things to do in Galibore - Coracle Rides
One of the things to do in Galibore – Coracle Rides
My capture of the moon at Galibore
My capture of the moon at Galibore

Overnight camps allow you to experience the clear night sky over Galibore. The camp authorities set up a bonfire by the river. All you have to do is plonk yourself in one of the chairs, lean back and stare at the twinkling stars.

Swinging - the Jane style at Galibore Jungle Resort
Swinging – the Jane style at Galibore Jungle Resort

There are quite a few plank swings and hammocks within the property for the actual kids and the kids in you. A huge tumble net occupies the space outside the Gol Ghar. The climbing is easy but what makes it fun is just plonking yourself on it and basking in the sun while the others jump over it. It is like sleeping on a water bed….sigh!

Camping at Galibore

The tented cottages at Galibore Nature Camp
The tented cottages at Galibore Nature Camp

Camping at Galibore Jungle resort is more of glamping. They have around 12 tented cottages with attached bathrooms available on prior booking. A large double bed is provided in each tent. The tents are well aerated and even have a ceiling fan within.

Food at Galibore Nature Camp

Somehow, nature and a relaxed holiday always make me hungry. It is a good thing that both the Galibore Day Trip and Stay options include your meals. The meal timings at the camp are fixed. The food is freshly prepared in the premises and includes one or two non-vegetarian items, curries, salad, rice and rotis. Tea time is generally simple with biscuits or fresh bhajjis accompanying your choice of hot beverage.

Set up for the Bonfire and barbeque at Galibore Nature Camp
Set up for the Bonfire and barbeque at Galibore Nature Camp

At Dinner, a barbecue is organized near the bonfire. Mushrooms, potatoes and chicken are the major items on the skewer. Occasionally, you have a few other vegetables that are added to the mix. I must admit that the limited barbecue here has been one of my best experiences so far.

I guess it is also, the serene atmosphere of Galibore Nature Camp that made the food so sumptuous. After all, they do say that when your mind is at peace, you find happiness in anything!

So are you ready to find your dose of happiness in this small nature retreat? Go on, pin this up and plan to get to Galibore soon!

Pin this!

How to get to Galibore Nature Camp?

Galibore Nature Camp is just around 100 km from Bangalore – which is also the closest airport and railway station. To get to the actual camp, you will need to travel by a private car or a cab.

Take the Kanakapura road via Hosahalli. Drive to the Sangam or Confluence where you will find the forest checkpost. Till this point, you will get fairly decent two-laned tar roads. After the checkpost, for a good 8 km or so, you have to go off-road. While the trail is quite well marked, it might get quite bumpy and sometimes, slushy.

Do you need any special documents to enter the Galibore Nature Camp?

Keep your booking information handy as that contains the forest fees. Without the same, you will not be allowed to enter the area.

How to book a stay at Galibore Nature Camp?

Galibore day trips are available for INR 2400 per person . The rate is inclusive of taxes, forest entry fees and meals. The day trip is valid from 10:00 am till 5 pm. This can be booked by calling any of the numbers given on the official website of Galibore Nature Camp.

The same website can be used for booking the tented cottages at Galibore Nature Camp. The overnight stay can also be booked through Tripadvisor. Sometimes, going through the Tripadvisor partners gets you a better rate.

Remember Galibore have limited tents and hence, it is best to book them well in advance.

Travel Tips

  • Carry sunscreen and bug spray when heading to Galibore
  • Be conscious of the green belt and avoid carry any plastic to the camp. If you have carried the same, please ensure you dispose it in the right manner.
  • Do not feed the animals in Galibore Nature Camp.
  • Pay heed to the advice given by the naturalists. They definitely know the best.
  • Avoid loud music or harsh sounds that might disturb the animals in the forest. Be mindful of their environment and remember, you are a guest in their territory.
  • Photographers must carry a telephoto lens. For night photography, especially of the stars, carry a tripod.
  • The camp does not provide any binoculars for Galibore birdwatching. You might want to carry some on your own.

Booking resources

  • Tripadvisor and its partners often, have special deals for Galibore nature camp. Use this link to check the same out before booking your stay or daytrip here.
  • If you are looking for airport transfers or private cabs to get to Galibore, try booking through Klook.com.
  • I generally get all my photography requirements or even travel requirements from Amazon. Do use this link to buy yours from Amazon too.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
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