Joining in on the “Kids on the Go” series from around the world, I bring you my little story from Bangalore, India.
Way back in 2008, when Lil p was nearly 2 we decided to take her to the zoo for the first time. She was recognizing a few animals from her books and we figured it was time to show her the real animals. There is Bannerghatta zoo and national park about 20 km outskirts of Bangalore. There are a lot of caged animals – deer, wild boar, bears & reptiles.
The zoo is usually crowded and walking around the whole area with a small kid is very tedious.. We decided to skip the zoo tour & directly go check the safari which houses lions and tigers. The guided tour happens in a closed jeep and lasts about an hour..
We saw the Asiatic lion, a white tiger and many tigers left alone in an open enclosure.. Many of these animals are very old and have been rescued from the jungles. This was Lil p’s first encounter with wild animals and she was a little scared of all the roaring. The zoo also houses a butterfly park, where many species breed and are kept in a huge dome shaped enclosure with optimal humidity and foliage. Lil p loved watching the butterflies flutter and was most excited when she saw them real close.
This is a good place to take kids who are 3 and older. Preferably go on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Carry your own food & water.
Another option to enjoy the zoo and enjoy some time in the surrounding forest is to stay at the Jungle Lodges Resort. This is a government initiative and they take you on the safari & treks. The area around the zoo is also a bird watcher’s paradise.
Extra Info -
There are very few food options and its best advised to carry your food & water.
The place gets very dusty. If your child is asthmatic. Please avoid this zoo.
The park is open to visitors between 9 AM and 5 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.
The entry fee is determined based on what you opt for. There are many options available such as the Zoo + Lion-tiger safari or Zoo + Grand safari or Zoo only. The prices are slightly higher on holidays. The holidays include weekends, national holidays and the whole month of May. The park is closed on Tuesday.
In 2011 the fee structure was the following: [ US $1 is approx Rs 53.6358 ]
- Entry fee to Zoo per day Rs. 60
- Safari in department jeep Rs. 150
- Entry fee to Zoo & Safari in department bus Rs.210 (Both of above)
- Pvt Vehicle safari (By jeep/car) Rs.1000
- Pvt Vehicle safari (By bus/truck) Rs.2500
- LCV Rs.1500
- Guide fee per day Rs. 400
- Long nature walk: Rs 70
- Short nature walk: Rs 45
- Additional fee for photo camera: 25
- Additional fee for video camera: Rs 200
- Elephant ride (paid inside the park): Rs 60
- Butterfly Park: Rs 25
More details can be found here - http://wikitravel.org/en/Bannerghatta_National_Park
As Lil P grew older, we skipped the really crowded places and took her along with us to many of the national parks and natural habitats around Bangalore .. Next parts coming soon..