Scope for elephant safari in Jaldpara Wildlife Sanctuary is really very limited but if you love wild life and passionate about jungles, elephant safari is a must do thing when you are in Jaldpara forest, for your Dooars Trip. Jaldapara is popular for spotting wild animals while doing elephant safari. It is also suggested to all first timers for a very different way of exploring the woods and the habitats of wild friends. The scope of spotting wild animals is much better in elephant safari compared to jeep safari and it is really a thrilling & adventurous way to feel the fun of jungles. An elephant takes you deep inside the forest where a jeep or vehicle won’t be able to take you. The elephant passes through the dense woods, crosses the water streams, and takes you close to a one horned Rhino or a Bison. It is an awesome feeling and sight when you see a leopard at a few meters distance or a Chital feeding her baby.
Elephant safari in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is done from two locations. The safari from the Hollong Bungalow or tourist lodge maintained by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) is the better option and preferred over the safari from Barodabari Malangi Lodge maintained by West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC). Only these two govt. bodies have the privileged of operating elephant safaris in Jaldpara. Private hotels do not have this facility, rather it can be said that private hotels are not authorized to operate safaris in reserve forests like Jaldapara. Tourists staying in Govt. lodges get the priority or advantage for elephant safari as per first come – first serve basis. Tourists staying in private hotels will have to wait and see if there is any ticket available after the tourists staying in Govt. lodges have got the passes. Very frankly speaking it is very hard to get an elephant safari ticket staying in any private hotels or resorts, especially for the safari that leaves from Hollong Tourist Lodge.
Elephant Safari from Hollong Tourist Lodge – Jaldapara Forest
The most popular elephant safari in Jaldpara forest is the safari from Hollong Tourist Lodge, maintained by WBTDC. The Hollong bungalow is located deep inside the forest and the safari takes you more deep in the jungle which facilitates spotting or sighting wild animals. Only a few elephants, say 6 or 7 goes for safari everyday early in the morning. These 6 to 7 elephants make 2 round trips depending on weather and demand. If it is high season and the demand is high, they try to manage one more round trip but it is really not possible to satisfy all. The first priority for the safari is provided to the tourists staying in Hollong Tourists Lodge. The second priority is provided to the tourists staying in Jaldapara Tourist Lodge maintained by WBTDC and the third priority is given to the tourists of Malangi Lodge (WBFDC) and other private hotels or resorts.
You are supposed to fill up a form the previous evening to confirm your tickets. One has to provide Rs 600 per head for the safari. The rate is provided as of Jan, 2014, it may change with time. If you are interested in elephant safari, make sure you contact the manager of Hollong Tourist Lodge the previous afternoon or evening to confirm your tickets. If you are staying in Hollong Bungalow just let the manager know that you are interested in next morning’s safari and pay the money as required.
Elephant Safari from Malangi Lodge – Jaldapara Forest
The safari from Malangi Lodge has recently started to facilitate the tourists who do not get tickets from Hollong. It also helped the forest department and tourists department to drive some pressure from Hollong. This safari is also gaining popularity gradually. This safari also takes you deep in the forest as I have heard because I never went on this safari. I have heard that people in this safari get the sights of wild animals though I will always suggest you the safari from Hollong because staying in Hollong is the best part of Jaldpara Trip and that experience can’t be felt or enjoyed anywhere else. The cost of elephant safari from Malangi Lodge is Rs 600 per head as of Jan, 2014.
Just to let you know that you will have to have the best possible luck to get a room in Hollong. The rush is too much and you will have to book the rooms 120 days in advance. Make sure you book the rooms the day it opens for booking. A confirmation of room in Hollong will bring you the confirmation of ticket for elephant safari from Hollong – the best safari in Dooars.