Even a seemingly idle moment at Waterwoods is rich with a unique experience. There are many things to keep you busy within the resort; and some more to get you active outside, on the Kabini and in Nagarahole.
Kabini is about the only place in India where you can go wildlife spotting by land and water. The Karnataka Forest Department conducts daily morning and evening Road and Water safaris, subject to weather conditions and government regulations. Different seasons bestow the visitors with diverse animal sightings. Herds of elephants, spotted deer, bison and the occasional tiger and leopard become a common sight in the Kabini in the warm months. During the monsoon waterholes in the interiors are full so animals prefer to stay in, while thick undergrowth hides even a sizeable elephant making sightings slightly difficult. All safaris are accompanied by a certified Naturalist. Both safaris are conducted twice daily (6.30 am & 3.30 pm).
Bheemankoli is a small peninsula of aged trees, plantations and a couple of old temples. A boat cruise and a long nature walk takes you through a heritage experience. Legends say that the Pandavas of the Mahabharata spent their banishment in the nearby forests. Bheem, the second Pandava brother, is said to have crossed the stream (kolli) to this part of the forest; and hence the name Bheemankolli. A sacred grove of ancient trees is home to two temples dating back to the Chola dynasty (300s BCE – 1279 CE). Powerful energies are still said to emanate from here. The Mahadeswara Temple here is said to have a self manifested Shiva Linga. A 600-year old banyan tree spreads across an acre, its main trunk almost all decayed, but new trunks having formed from spreading roots. For the more adventurous, the old tree is a good climbing experience. The boat cruise to and from the peninsula is an exotic affair with stunning views across the Kabini backwaters.
The elephant camp at Balle is a favourite spot for visitors, where elephants can be watched at close quarters and even fed. Waterwoods arranges for guests to take the short ride to the small camp which houses few elephants – both young and old. Some of these elephants were once used for the Khedda operations on the Kabini basin and in the Nagarahole forests. Others, including the famed Arjun, still occupy pride of place at the Mysore Dussera festivities.
It’s water, water everywhere. The Infinity edge pool and kids’ pool at Waterwoods are perched on the side of the hillock, at the central courtyard of the resort. Beyond the pools the grassy land slopes down to meet the Kabini. It is a pleasant area to relax and catch the sun on the loungers scattered about. Any time is good for a dip or some water games like water polo in the pool.
Ride the ATV
A 20-minute ATV drive on the open grounds is a greater pick-me-up than two days of inspirational talk The speed and the wind on your face is quite exhilarating. Waterwoods has easy to ride All-Terrain Vehicles for you to enjoy 12 acres of pristine outdoors. The tracks go past the cricket field, a bio-diverse tree plantation, weaver well, machan, along the waterside and up to the greenhouse.
Kids will surely have a nice time, going up and down in the trampoline installed near the riverside. The scenic Bramhagiri backdrop will surely make a good photo-op for the parents.
Outdoor games (Volleyball/ Cricket)
The grassy stretch near the river bank is a good place to enjoy a good game of volleyball or badminton. The other side of the hillock treats you with a cricket pitch which can evoke the Tendulkar and Warne in you. You can also enact Jonthy Rhodes dives during the game on this cushioned grassy field. What’s more, the ground commands historic value as legends of the game like Dravid and Kumble have played here; both as guests at Waterwoods and as part of domestic tournaments.
Movies On Demand
If you are a movie buff, look no further and head straight to the movie hall. Choose from a wide range of Wildlife documentaries and Hollywood titles and let River Kabini play backdrop to your movie watching experience.
Coracle and Kayaking
For centuries local tribe and fisherman have navigated our rivers on coracles and we offer you a chance to ride with them on the Kabiniriver. If you feel like a leisurely work out, get into one of our single or double-seater Kayaks and paddle out into the blue. The calm backwaters offer a serene ambience accompanied with stunning visuals, especially during sunset. We provide experienced guides for these rides along with life-jackets.
Waterwoods has its own greenhouse and orchard, which are an effort at organic farming and self sufficiency. A large variety of herbs, salad leaves and about 17 seasonal vegetables are grown with care in the greenhouse. The orchard is growing with over 22 varieties of fruit trees including (o mango, papaya, water apple, custard apple, lemon, fig and more). Only Neem-based pesticides and organic manure are used to fertilise the land. All the produce from the gardens find their way to the dining table, offering you the healthy taste of fresh, organic food. You are also welcome to visit and tend the gardens during your stay here.
There are millions of stars in the sky and if you want to watch a few of them whose view is normally restricted by the urban cityscapes, just relax and look up. The River Kabini plays perfect foil in soothing your nerves while you look up to a beautiful lit night. And if by chance you see a shooting star, don’t forget to make a wish to spot a tiger in your next safari.
Brilliantly coloured Koi fish add a vibrant streak to the WaterWoods ambience. The little stream at the entrance and the pond at the spa make you pause, watch and maybe throw some grub to the lively creatures. Koi fish are not just ornamental; they are legendary for their perseverence, and their image of power and strength as per their colour. It is said that the Koi originally belonged to Central Asia, in China. Natural genetic mutation is said to have brought about their fascinating colours.
If you enjoy indoor games, make full use of a Carom Board, Pool Table, Poker or playing cards that will keep you and your team engaged. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Waterwoods Lodge, Kabini.
Every evening, Waterwoods Lodge screens interesting Wildlife documentary films for guests. The films cover a variety of topics and are aimed at enlightening guests to be more aware and become ambassadors of forest conservation. And savour hot snacks while at it. Timings: 7.30-8.30 pm