After breakfast we depart by road through the scenic hill country of south India and into the drier habitats below the ranges. Our base is in the dry jungles near the hamlet of Bokkapuram, near the hill station of Masinagudi and adjoining Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Our family-run accommodation is in simple cottages below the beautiful Nilgiri Hills, in another of the south’s great wildlife areas. We meet our hosts, Anushri and Vikram Mathias, and settle in over lunch.
This area constitutes the buffer zone of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve which is home to a wealth of wildlife including tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, Indian gaur (bison), sloth bear, hyena, wild boar, spotted and sambar deer, and many others. The area is renowned for its bird life, including a multitude of woodpeckers, barbets, eagles, kingfishers and many others. It is one of the few regular sites for the rare whitebellied minivet, and is one of the last south Indian strongholds for several vulture species. After lunch, we take a nature walk around the lodge with the resident naturalist, seeking out some of the resident birds and other wildlife. (B)(L)(D)