The highlight of the summer at Kabini is usually the mass congregation of elephants here. Due to the failure of the monsoons during the previous year and the prolonged dry season, the river banks of the Kabini lie parched. Hence this year, the elephants have not gathered in large numbers like the past summers. However, they have gone to other parts of interconnected forests looking for vegetation.
This month saw heavy summer rains, which the villagers classify under different names such as Ashwathi, Barani and so on. Following this downpour, the vast stretch of the river bank is bursting with lush green grass.
Thanks to these rains, the promised lands of Kabini are calling out for the attention of elephants. So during my safaris, I see herds of these pachyderms.
However, much to our delight, they graze on the banks and the adjoining forest lands. During one of my vehicle safaris, I saw this adult tusker using his giant feet to scrape the grass to and fro and sideways, while enjoying his meal. That was quite a sight! It was quite amusing that he was oblivious to our presence in the safari vehicle.
We also sighted this herd of female elephants with calves uprooting grass with their trunks and fulfilling their long cherished dreams at the ‘Promised Land’ at the banks of the Kabini.