• Sloth Bears are extremely violent and according to my guide in BR Hills they are known for more human attacks than leopards or tigers.

Bear Watching at the Sloth Bear Resort Near Hampi!

I deviated from my goMowgli tour a little bit and took some extra time to check out the popular Sloth Bear Resort in the Daraji Sloth Bear Sanctuary as it’s one of the best things to do in Hampi. The Jungle Lodges are Government run and are dotted all over Karnataka. I’ve also done a safari and glamped at the Kabini River Jungle Lodge. Technically you could say it’s in Hampi, but it’s really on the other side, opposite of Hospet.

Update: As of 2018, goMowgli is no longer in operation, which is who I went on this tour with. However, you can still visit these places on your own!

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

Sloth Bear Resort, Hampi

Luckily, the way goMowgli works is “hop on hop off” so I just took some free time for myself to rest up before starting our tour back up in Hampi.

This resort has Sloth Bears, which I guess by the name of it comes as no surprise! They are massive like a grizzly, but use their big noses to eat wild fruit, termites, and honey. Hampi is ideal for them because of all the rocks to hide and crevices to hunt in.

Hampi is one of my favorite places on earth, so being in a luxurious cabin with my windows and balcony door wide open to the views of Hampi’s boulders and hills brought me peace and started relieving some of the stress I was having with balancing work and travel.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampiThe manager of the resort, Mr. Asif, came to meet me and bring me back to the resort. Most hotels in India are very good about helping you with transport! He made a proper sign for me on a big wooden stick saying just a note on paper wasn’t good enough. Very sweet!

The Cabins of Sloth Bear Resort

The walk to the room seemed long until I realized at Cabin 3 I was actually quite close. The property makes a loop and of the 20 cottages, mine was very close to reception. When I saw my cabin I figured there must be separate rooms inside for guests, and was shocked to see I got the whole thing! It was massive.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampiCabins come with two single beds with soft matresses, a day bed, a big balcony for bird watching, coffee and tea station (love that they had re-usable water bottles filled with filter water, something would appreciate), and a little dining area with a big window looking out onto the famous boulders of Hampi.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampiThe rooms have hot water, A/C and fan, big fluffy towels, and that lavender soap I came to love at Kabini Lodge. The only thing missing was a phone to call reception, as it’s quite a walk to go ask a question.

Bird & Sloth Bear watching

There are many tours you can take during your stay and I’d recommend people stay at least 3 nights so it’s not too rushed.  With only one day I knew I wouldn’t get to do it all, but luckily I’ve been to Hampi before and didn’t need to do any temple or heritage tours on offer, or the traditional coracle boat rides. They do offer a bike tour which I would have totally done had their been more time.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

Our first tour was a bird watching tour. We went to a little hut to hide and watch the birds in the bird-bath. Who knew I could be a bird-nerd?  I actually never thought I’d find them interesting, but I knew I was getting nerdy while choosing to sit on my balcony with binoculars and a bird book rather than lie in bed and watch Parks and Recreation.

A few I recognized were the 3 types of Kingfisher, Quails, and Warblers. Because it was rainy both bird and bear watching would be hard. They were in hiding.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

the Indian owl, the biggest owl there is!sloth bear resort near hampiAround 3 PM they start the next bird watching and sloth bear guided trip. I was actually really interested in learning about the birds. One they called a crocodile toothpick because it picks food out of croc’s teeth. Another, the Seven Sisters, are always in a group of 7 and make lots of noise like “7 sisters trapped in a room together would”.

There was the laughing bird because it goes “hoo hoo hoo” with the beat of a human laugh. We saw the rare Indian Owl, which is the biggest owl, parakeets, Indian Robins, wagtails, and about 20 other types- out of the 250 species there!

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampiDuring the tour I asked educated questions and made intelligent remarks like, “that bird over there looks like a turtle” and “Do birds like rain?” To which my guides pretended they couldn’t speak English. Anyways, on to the bears. ;)

Sloth Bears are extremely violent and according to my guide in BR Hills they are known for more human attacks than leopards or tigers.

Because the bears are in the rocks, you can’t take a traditional safari by jeep up close to them. They take us up to a watchtower space were we can look across. The beers are not wild and roaming; it is an actual sanctuary (and the first bear sanctuary in Asia).

The bears are at a distance but with binoculars you can see them perfectly. In the next couple years, they will have roads throughout with open jeep safari but it’s not easy with so many rock formations.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

We saw four bears while there. We climbed some rocks to the side to stay away from the small crowd of noisy people in the watchtower. My guides were SO good. The bears are six feet tall standing, females are over 100 kg and males are close to 200 kg.

The area of forest here is a shrubbery forest, so nothing will grow taller than a person. There are 6 kinds of forest in India.

I’ve mentioned this before, but “jungle” is actually the Hindi word for “forest”. In Jungle book, Sher Khan, Baloo and more are just the Hindi names for what they are. Sher=tiger. Baloo=bear.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampiTo end the safari, we had tea and coffee and at 7 they started a documentary; we got to choose either Hampi or Wildlife. Having seen a lot of wildlife, I went for Hampi to prep for my big outing there the next day. Very informative although perhaps a bit boring and outdated.

Food at Sloth Bear Resort

I was lucky to come on a Sunday and everyone else was checking out after a weekend getaway from Bangalore. I kind of had the place to myself so the chef asked if I’d rather have Western food than Indian. Of course I said yes, I’ve even so much rice & curry in Karnataka I kind of smell like curry all the time.

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

sloth bear resort near hampi

Food was buffet style. Breakfast I stick to my eggs, toast, and coffee because I’m boring. Lunch was some of the BEST Indian food I’ve had during my stay in Karnataka. Why has no one ever served me egg masala!? That was to die for. All of it was tasty and just the perfect amount of spice. At lunch I was informed I’d be getting fried chicken for dinner… so obviously, my mouth was watering from that moment until I actually got some! (But then I took a really crappy photo of it, sorry)

sloth bear resort near hampi

Practical Information:

  • Address: Near Kannada University, PK Halli Road, Kamlapur, Hospet Taluk, Bellary Dist, Karnataka. This resort is 380 km from Bangalore. If you come by plane, it’s 50 km from the airport, and it’s 25 km from Hospet rail station.
  • Best to come when it’s not raining as Sloth Bears are what’s on offer here. To book e-mail [email protected] or call +91 80 4055 4055. Check out all the Jungle Lodges in Karnataka on their website http://www.junglelodges.com.
  • There is no WiFi here and I had no cell internet connection although had calling service. If you’re interested in sunbathing, the balconies here are private enough to get in a bikini and catch some sneaky sun.
  • You can fit 3 people in a room comfortably. Room rates for one person are from 4,000 but can be higher at peak season for the 20 similar cabins to mine. There are two more amazing ones which are bigger and start at 6,000 rs.

sloth bear resort near hampi

2018-11-20T07:38:32+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

9 Comments

  1. Michelle February 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing! My boyfriend and i just arrived in Bangalore last night and will be heading toward Hampi soon, so I think we definitely need to check this place out! Do you know if there is a public bus we could take there easily? Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Brian February 18, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    This resort looks more like a series of awesome Indian experiences than anything– envious just reviewing your journey through photos. Thanks for sharing the insider experience.

  3. Christine | The Journeyoguer February 18, 2015 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a great side trip on your Go Mowgli tour. I’d never heard of bear sloths before, they sound cool!
    The accommodation looks great, love that balcony! :)

    • Rachel Jones February 23, 2015 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Yea, I wasn’t sure what they were before either.

  4. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster February 19, 2015 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Love all your pictures! The butterfly and flower pictures is awesome! I had no idea that India had bears. I guess I have never really thought of it. Very cool.

  5. Jessica Wray February 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Looks like a cool experience! Love the cabin with the reuseable water bottles. How nice! Glad you saw the bears….and from a safe distance ;)

  6. De'Jav February 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    This place looks pretty amazing to be out in nature yet have a nice bed and room to crash in.

  7. Aji Cher June 26, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Amazing blog! Hope you spent enough time also enjoying the nearby Hampi and did not miss staring at the unending expanse atop Tunga Bhadra dam. It’s an amazing experience. I loved your detailing of the resort. It is perhaps the best resort in the area. I’ve always made sure, I stay there during my vacations to the area(have been there more than a couple of times). I see something new in the region with every visit. Planning a monsoon visit this year. I’m sure it’s going to be really romantic.

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