A Wonderland of Birds, Elephants, and Rhinos!

Kaziranga National Park is unfamiliar to most visitors from outside India, given that it is in Assam and very far from the “Golden Triangle” that constitutes many foreign visitors’ only experience of India. As an avid birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast, I wanted something more, and Kaziranga and Agoratoli Resort turned out to be perfect. With India’s improved internal air travel and roadways, Kaziranga is more accessible than ever and a great destination for the independent visitor who wants to see India’s full range of charismatic wildlife, including, if one is lucky, tigers.

My trip to Kaziranga was extremely memorable! Travelling from the United States, I had a two-week business trip to Gujarat. Following that, I flew in IndiGo from Mumbai to Guwahati. By prior arrangement, I was picked up at the airport by staff from Agoratoli Resort and driven promptly to the resort- a trip of about four hours on a busy highway, but one that grew more tranquil as we moved further from the city.

Agoratoli Resort is built of traditional materials and is located on the outskirts of a traditional Assamese village far from the busy through road. There is no traffic noise. At the edge of rice fields, one has a great view of traditional rural life as well as of many birds that come to visit the ponds. The resort is very close to the entrance of the “Eastern Range” of Kaziranga National Park. This entrance is far less busy and touristed than the central and western entrances, and thus your safari will be less crowded.

I loved Agoratoli Resort. The guests were fascinating- I met people from Assam, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and the US in my five-night stay. The rooms are comfortable, though hot water was erratic. Food was traditional Assamese food, which I liked, but which foreign visitors might need to accustom themselves.

But most of all I loved Agoratoli’s accommodation of my interest in seeing wildlife. I took eight safaris while I was there and concentrated on birdlife. India’s birds are spectacular- and from Agoratoli you will see both water and forest birds like storks, eagles, hornbills, parakeets, geese, in addition to the deer, elephants, buffalo, rhino (dozens of them) that all visitors see. I did not see a tiger, unfortunately, but I had heard that the Central Range was better for those. I especially appreciated the accommodating owners, who understood my desire to see birds and set me up with forest guards who were very good at identifying the many species (over 130) that I saw in my four days. I would love to visit Kaziranga, and Agoratoli Resort, again!

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