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Published: August 25th 2018
Daroji bear sanctuary
View from watch tower. If you zoom in on the tiny back dot on the rocks that’s a sloth bear!
After a relative lie in we ventured down for breakfast. Stephen managed to eat something and seemed much better despite not being quite back to 100%. We had arranged to spend the afternoon at the local sloth bear sanctuary and decided to spend the morning relaxing, reading and booking our next accommodation.
We were picked up at 2pm by our tuk tuk driver from the tour to Anegundi we did earlier in the week. This chap, Raja, is incredibly cheerful and a real character. He has even pimped up his tuk tuk so it has massive speakers in the back and sparky interior design!
There was talk of introducing a safari option to the sloth bear sanctuary last year but this hasn’t yet happened. It costs 100 rupees each to get in and then is a 4km drive to the watch tower. Unfortunately if you go there at the same time as Indian groups they will be noisy (this comes up a lot on reviews of the place). Fortunately the bears are on the other side of a valley and don’t seem bothered. Most groups of people also have very short attention spans so you can easily wait them
Photo taken from the sanctuary website as an example of what the bears look like. You needed binoculars to see them!
We got there a little before 3 (it’s open 230-6pm), just behind a large group of noisy young men. Despite this we could see a lone sloth bear wondering around on the rocks opposite. Amazing.
The groups soon left and we could sit in the watch tower, listening to the birds, watching the bear with the binoculars provided (2 pairs). We saw lots of peacocks & peahens, and what we think was a mongoose. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any of the star turtles which are common in the area despite it being arid.
After a while a mother a baby sloth bear appeared. Watching them pootle about the rocks opposite was fantastic.
NB - Indian sloth bears aren’t like the South American sloths. They look more like black bears and can move quite fast!
Also the sanctuary put out honey on the rocks to encourage the bears to come out...
Our peace and quiet disturbed by another large group we left (just before the rain hit) and headed back to Hosapete to catch the train to Goa.
At the train station we felt quite the pros as we worked out where on the platform our coach would be and had multiple groups of westerners asking us for directions!
We felt less smug once on the train after realising the other passengers had nicked our pillows, sheets & blankets. In return I managed to ‘acquire’ sheets & blankets for ourselves & fellow berth passengers and Stephen managed to find an attendant who was persuaded to get us some pillows after much gesticulation!
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