Boat trip, Periyar Lake

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Kumily, India

Boat trip, Periyar Lake Kumily Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
566 reviews
Boat ride on Periyar Lake Feb 19, 2017
I hadn't expected great things of this particular outing as the Rough Guide to Kerala is pretty scathing about these boat trips, suggesting that the boats are too noisy and sightings of wildlife not that common. But as our tour company had booked us on it we thought we would go, and simply enjoy our time on the water if nothing else. However as my photos will show, guidebooks aren't always right, and we saw more than enough wildlife to make the trip worthwhile. The highlight came quite early on when we were privileged to see one of only around 100 male elephants in the park (according to the on-board guide, females outnumber males by 9 to 1). This is a young bull of about ten years, and he spent some time grazing near the lake before trumpeting at an egret and crashing into the trees. Of the half dozen boats that set off at 3.30 pm, we were in the second so only passengers on the first boat and on ours got to see him.

But it wasn't long before we came across a small group of females with a baby, kicking up some dust near the water's edge, and another group strolling past beyond. More than enough elephants to give the lie to the Rough Guide's disparaging remarks. And there were plenty more animal and bird sightings in the next hour or so:


Sambar deer

Wild boar

Langur monkeys

Black monkeys



A large turtle

Rat snake


White-necked storks







The boat ride lasted about an hour and a half. The wildlife viewings were divided evenly between the outward and back journeys, with more elephants and deer on the way out, more monkeys plus the wild boar and otters on the return leg. The guides were very good at spotting things and pointing them out, although I found their tendency to want to grab my camera and take photos for me a little irritating - while they did get some good shots (notably a video of the otters on Chris's camera), I wanted photos that I could claim as my own.

That said, overall this was a very good experience and certainly outdid my admittedly low expectations. And walking back from the jetty to the car park we had the bonus of lots of very photogenic langur monkeys!
Boats on Periyar Lake
Young bull elephant, Periyar Lake
Kingfisher, Periyar Lake
Heron, Periyar Lake
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Toonsarah says:
Thanks Sylvia - sometimes it's good to have lower expectations ;-)
Posted on: Apr 10, 2017
starship1 says:
So glad the boat ride turned out to be a good experience -- you got some great wildlife photos!
Posted on: Apr 10, 2017
Jo104 says:
sounds like a pretty relaxing way to safari site see
Posted on: Mar 06, 2017
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photo by: Toonsarah