Agumbe – The perfect monsoon getaway

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Many of us wildlife enthusiasts usually consider monsoons as off season and anxiously wait for the National Parks to reopen. There is one beautiful place in the wild which comes alive during monsoons and is home to some of the most amazing species of reptiles, arachnids & amphibians. The BIG LITTLE WORLD as I call it. Agumbe rainforest (a UNESCO heritage site) is located in the rich verdant hills of the Western Ghats. The complex rainforest ecosystem of Agumbe nurtures an incredible spectrum of biodiversity. The soothing melody of bird calls that enliven the densely foliaged canopies of interwoven trees. Rapid brooks making way over & around the rocks and boulders on which, tiny colourful frogs croak and dance away to glory. An explorer’s paradise, Agumbe is an ultimate detsination to delve deep into the BIG LITTLE WORLD.

WHEN TO GO??

The best time to visit Agumbe is August-September.

 

WHERE TO STAY???

We stayed at the KALINGA CENTRE FOR RAINFOREST ECOLOGY (KCRE). A very basic set up with tented accomodation. Very basic and raw but absolutely adventurous. There is no electricity and the facility is powered by solar panels. So, it is important to have extra batteries for your equipment. Charging facility is although available for a few hours during the day. The naturalist at KCRE Mr. Udit is a living encylclopedia of rainforest biodiversity. Presentations on various topics like species of snakes found in the western ghats, snake-bites, anti-venoms etc are organised and are very informative and captivating. Keeping in mind the limited resources available, the hospitatily extended by their staff was worth appreciating.

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HOW TO REACH??

Our trip was impromptu with hardly any time to plan the trip. we didn’t have any option but to drive 900km all the way to Agumbe from Hyderabad. Other than a few bad patches on the route, the drive was pretty comfortable. The serpentine ghats, amazing vistas and some lovely music made it a drive to remember. Otherwise, Agumbe is well connected by road and rail. The closest airports are Bangalore : 370 Km & Mangalore : 110 Km.

 

WHAT TO DO??

There cannot be a better place to do macro photography. I would suggest that you leave all your long lenses behind and just carry a macro preferably with a good external flash. A wide-angle or simply a kit lens & a sturdy tripod will surely be handy to shoot some landscapes. DO NOT forget to carry a good torch light for the night treks. Also carry rain covers to protect yourself and your equipment. Sighting birds in this area itself is extremely difficult as canopies are very dense. Photographing them is difinitely not easy. Agumbe is all about macro and landscapes. So travel light and give some rest to the bazookas. Instead, carry some extra clothing because once wet your clothes remain damp for weeks. Everything comes at a price and the currency here is your blood…expensive??…then better carry a few pairs of leech socks or gaters.

More details about the campsite available on their website www.kalingacre.com