Stay at Hornbill Camp in Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, and enjoy the horde of activities that it organises. True to its camping theme, the establishment is set deep in thick forests. There are 20 tents at the campsite for you to live, and 17 of them face the Periyar River, which flows through the region. These tents are not short on basic luxury as each one has spacious interiors, large beds, attached bathrooms and even individual balconies. Though the campsite is in a remote location, each tent has lights, fans and power supply. You will even find charging points for your smartphones and laptops in the tents, along with European-style wardrobe closets. Enjoy your meals in a large gazebo, which faces the river and is set inside a pristine evergreen forest. Here you may relax, watch the enchanting sunrise or sunset, and relish a scrumptious buffet of traditional Keralite vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights.
The camp does a lot to sustain the locals by buying fruits and vegetables from them, and employing them as taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. While camping at Thattekkad, the chirping sounds of birds and gushing river will give you a feeling of truly being in the country of God, which is Kerala. Situated in the Western Ghats, Thattekkad or Dr. Salim Ali Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers. More than 270 species of avifauna, including migratory and resident birds, make this place famous among nature lovers. It has a vast variety of vegetation, which includes evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, and large expanses of lush grasslands. The region also has a high economic potential as trees of commercial value like rosewood and teak are abundant here.
Hornbill Camp in Thattekkad employs a naturalist, who will be ever-ready to guide you into the jungles, and help you in locating these bountiful of birds. Also remember to ask questions about the various aspects of their lives as it will only make it easier for you to spot them. Blue-bearded bird-eaters, grey jungle fowls, Malabar trogons, black winged kites, crimson-fronted barbets, brown shrikes, Ceylon frogmouths, night herons, sunbirds, and white-bellied tree pies are some of the biggest attractions here. Other beautiful birds found here are blue winged parakeets, Malabar grey hornbills and Indian rollers, along with endemic species like mottled wood owl, rusty tailed flycatchers, spot-bellied eagles and grey-headed bulbuls.
A great anthropological venture would be to ask the management to arrange tours to the nearby villages, which are inhabited by numerous tribes. Make your camping at Thattekkad better by opting for kayak-rides on the famed Periyar River. You can also row upstream and venture into typical agrarian villages of the region, and mingle with the locals. Well-made roads meandering through the area provide excellent opportunities to undertake cycling excursions. You can cycle to the numerous villages and farms where a variety of fragrant spices are grown, or go up and down gentle slopes of the Western Ghats. Bhoothathankettu Barrage is another popular spot to take your bikes to. Look at the raging river below or far and wide hills and thick forests. Trek through the forests is one of the best things to do while staying at Hornbill Camp in Thattekkad. You may get to see herds of elephants, with their calves trailing behind them.
How to Reach:
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located about 65 km northeast of the seaside city of Kochi. From Kochi, head out on National Highway 49 till the town of Kothamangalam. On reaching here, look for the signboard and turn towards Thattekkad. About 15 km ahead on the road, you will see the entry gate of the sanctuary. The Kochi airport, about 44 km away, can be reached by air from Delhi, Mumbai, Middle-East, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Colombo. Those looking to come by train can book them from Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and loads of other Indian cities till Aluva, which is approximately 49 km from the campsite.
The period between October and March gets the most number of tourists to the region. People also come here between the months of April and June, though in relatively lesser numbers.
1). Rates are per person per night on twin sharing basis with mandatory requirement of minimum 2 paying adults
2). Non alcoholic welcome drink on arrival
3). Accommodation in Jungle view cottage tents with all meals
4). Complimentary 1 hour of guided Kayaking in Periyar river
5). Complimentary 30 minutes of cycling in near by tracks
6). Complimentary 45 minutes of plantation visit
7). Morning tea and biscuits
8). Evening high tea and snacks
1). GST @ 5.0%
2). Air/Train fare
3). Anything not mentioned under the head inclusions.
4). Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary / stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, road blocks and / or any factors beyond control.
5). Single Tent Supplement
6). Birding Guide Charges: INR 1500 /- per day