This is the first travel blog I made on this site, so let me welcome you again – Dandeli Travel Blog. This post only remains as a story about my visit with friends to Dandeli. Read this in-depth guide to Dandeli to plan your trip.
Basically, I’ve provided a list of places to visit in Dandeli. Unlike my latest trip to Dandeli from Bangalore, this blog hasn’t much information of white water rafting as we didn’t cover it. Read about my rafting blog here.
When you’re planning on visiting Dandeli for a short trip, it’s a lovely way to spend your holiday. But when you’re choosy about accommodations, make sure to book your stay a little earlier (don’t make the mistakes I made).
Dandeli travel blog – A down-to-nature spot
We all know Dandeli as a popular spot in Karnataka, particularly for rafting. Apart from rafting, it offers some other water activities (Kayaking, boating, natural jacuzzi, and a couple more). It’s river Kali flowing through afterall. Another reason why people visit Dandeli is its peaceful nature.
Dandeli boasts large areas of forests with over 280 homestays and Dandeli resorts. And guess what? When I tried to book myself a room there the night before before, almost all sites were sold out!
However I did find a modest resort- Dandeli Jungle Camp – and made a trip with four other buddies. So let’s begin!
Saturday, 8th June 2019
For two rooms at the Jungle Camp resort, I visited the website Dandeli.com. While accommodation sites like Booking.com and MakeMyTrip offer stays, many of the local jungle homestays and packages have their own websites. It’s best to contact via the phone numbers on the websites.
The one I booked, Dandeli.com, had about 6 -7 resorts put together. After some calls and finding out that most were already booked out, Jungle Camp was one of the last options we had. It wasn’t a resort with a pool, but I’m glad we ended up there!
With so many options, it’s hard to pick from the lot. Here are some of the best family resorts I handpicked for you based on pricing on Booking.com :
Distance from City
Nadi Mane Resort
Under Rs. 6000
Starling River Resort
Under Rs. 4000
Dandeli Deer Haven
Not long ago (in March, 2023), I was planning another trip to Dandeli with family when I found another resort – the Dandeli Wooden Cottage with a reasonable rate for a family trip. Not too extravagant, not too shabby. The Dandel
Dandeli Travel Blog: Getting there
The five of us started out from Dharwad by an SRS bus. It was a one-and-a-half-hour journey. At the bus stop in Dandeli, like most of the travel agencies, ours had its own office nearby. Speaking of transport and activities in Dandeli, here are the best places to visit in Dandeli.
We had already booked our stay here and all the activities all in one package. But BINGO! Transportation doesn’t come with it. In the office, after negotiating for almost an hour, we managed to bring the total transportation price by half more than half. The price they tell when dealing locally is unreasonably too much.
So when you’re going out there for a trip, take along a good negotiator as well :).
Dandeli Travel blog: The Adventure begins!
I call it an adventure because we actually got a buggy for transport! The old rusty beast had no doors. We spent the next hour taking pictures of the beautiful greenery and the curvy roads that swept by. After a 30-40 minute ride into the forest, we reached our homestay.
As expected, there were two simple bedrooms with attached bathrooms. It was around noon now. So we freshened and got ourselves equipped for the water activities (basically equipped with casual clothes and a phone, nothing else). We left our backpacks behind.
Well, be careful with your belongings here. In case you’re carrying valuable items along with you and still reckless like us, it’s best to keep travel insurance on your trip.
More posts on Dandeli:
Water Activities: Bermuda water sports
All the water activities are by the Kali river. We decided to start off with kayaking. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our turn to come up. Since we had life jackets on, one of my friends asked whether we could swim. The guy in charge looked at us a moment.
Then he said, “100 rupees per person.”
I eyed him, Did you put this water here? I think he read my thoughts because he remained silent as we jumped into the river later.
Kayaking is pretty fun, but I must say it’s tiring. The stronger arms you have, the better. The three of us were sure about kayaking alone, so we got the single-seater ones while the other two took the two-seater.
With many people visiting for watersports, there’s a time limit to all the activities. We had 15-25 minutes for kayaking. We were disappointed with the limits at first. But we realized that’s a lot of time when you’re pushing yourself with both your arms. Frankly, it’s tiring!
Boating and Natural Jacuzzi
These both came under one title for a good reason – with boating, they take you to the natural jacuzzi point and after the ‘jacuzzi’, the boat takes you back to the same point. Boating isn’t half as fun. We should’ve opted for the coracle ride where the natural setting of village floats falls in the picture.
Our boating was with one rafting boat itself. With the rafts thick, it was tough stirring it. It barely was in control, unlike the kayak. It’s worse if you’re just sitting between people here.
The only fun bit is when another boat passes by and you take up your paddle to splash on theirs and vice-versa. That’s all there was to it.
Jacuzzi, on the other hand, is fun and equally dangerous at the same time. It isn’t as calm and peaceful as it looks on the smiling family pictures. It is pretty dangerous when you’re out there!
Here’s a scenario: Water gushing down past rocks and people sit around these rocks and enjoy the water flow. Except that the rocks are sharp. And the water force isn’t light either. It is enough to take you down if you pick one leg up… it depends on how bulky you are though.
But when I finally settled down on a rock, then I admit- the feeling’s pretty ecstatic.
Zip Line/ River Crossing
This wasn’t actually in the package so we paid extra for this and found it worthy. It’s a zipline drop from about five floors high and then you end up at the other side of the river. Similar to kayaking, there was a long wait. To consider, waiting for all these activities is sure to make one wary.
Make sure you visit at a non-peak time to avoid the wait.
But the moment is truly an experience. I’ve had a zip line experience when I was much younger and timid. This time, I jumped off confidently (carelessly really). My limbs appear loose in the vid below, don’t they?
Visit Backwaters and Tribal Shop
These two also come in many resort packages as activities. The Dandeli Backwaters isn’t very breathtaking as it sounds. However, for photography and portrait pictures, it’s pretty good. I’d had enough photos of myself so I didn’t bother to get some good ones.
Did I mention I hate taking too many pictures of myself?
Anyways, about the other thing, Tribal Shop: As soon as you walk out of the Backwaters from the other end, there is a tiny shop that holds some of the local organic products. We passed it on.
If you’ve been through some of the Dandeli resort activities, you’d have seen the campfire activity included in all. I don’t know about the rest of the resorts out there, but the campfire in our stay wasn’t an activity. Sure it was a campfire. But no one asked us to join the circle.
The wood blazed on in the center with a bunch of guys sitting around it and immersed in their phones. That’s right! No one was actually talking. Apart from the firewood crackling noise, the place was quieter than a library.
We stayed a while and we went off to our rooms. I slept off early while the rest of my gang stayed up till two and unlocked my phone using my finger and well, that’s another story.
Sunday, 9th June 2019
Trekking in the morning (barely)
We didn’t actually stay the night for the trek. We stayed because breakfast was on the package. Anyway, the trekking came first. I’m sure there are some great spots out there for trekking in Dandeli. But ours was no doubt shitty. Practically, a villager with a stick walked around some forest path (3km) and we were following him.
The irony is that he was our guide who didn’t guide us in any way- or didn’t even speak with us for that matter. The only animal we saw was a peacock fly away as soon as we spotted it. And that was that.
We came back and had breakfast.
About Rafting in Dandeli
When you’re setting out for rafting, make sure that rafting is available at the time. Because when we arrived at Dandeli, rafting was closed. They explained that the dam was closed and the water level was low. So rafting wasn’t possible.
Dandeli is the one place one shouldn’t miss river rafting Dandeli, and yet we missed it. Anyway, for info’s sake: There are usually two options. One is a short-range which covers a distance of around 1km. The other long rafting is a massive 9km range activity.
Besides, the long rafting price was close to the entire package we had opted for. So after breakfast, we packed up and came back by noon!
Dandeli Travel Blog: Conclusion
Dandeli provides choices for accommodations and activities in abundance. Sometimes it can get difficult to choose. For a group of friends, the total expenditure per night rounds up to Rs. 3K whereas for a family, it’s better to go for something higher.
To plan your trip, check out my post on Dandeli Itinerary.
Either way, it’ll be an enjoyable experience!
More travel posts to Read
Oh, this pic seems pleasant to insert:
That brings us to the end of my Dandeli travel blog. Thanks for reading!
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