Planning your Dandeli River Rafting experience can be quite complicated & tiresome.
Here’s a comprehensive first hand guide to help you make a great plan to the beautiful city of Dandeli.
Booking & planning your trip online for the first time with no previous experience of traveling to Dandeli could rip you off big time. Beware of the “helpful” online travel agents who claim to own all the resorts in Dandeli.
From the few available options for Dandeli River Rafting, I would recommend you to take the Dandeli Short River Rafting from Flycatchers Adventure. Their name is very catch. I agree. They are experienced, affordable & the nicest river rafting operators in Dandeli. 🙂
Our guide, Mr. Rafique was quite an entertainer. He started with teaching us the basics of Rafting & went on to add that cost of one Raft could be as high as 7-8 Lakhs. That was crazy compared to price of the Short River Rafting that we pay.
There are two more options in Dandeli River Rafting: One is Government operated – who technically have the only right to organise the Long River Rafting. (10 kms) & Bison Resort’s Dandeli River Rafting.
Bison is overrated & expensive.
Dandeli River Rafting Costs:
Government operator charges ₹ 1600 per head for Dandeli Long River Rafting (10kms)
Bison Rafting wasn’t available – over booked since they are very popular (Not necessarily better – just the oldest guys in the business)
Fly Catcher Adventure costs ₹ 500 for Short River Rafting (which we opted for) ₹1550 for Long River Rafting (10kms)
Short River rafting is recommended in Dandeli as it covers the best Rapid in the river. (Rapids are sections of a river where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient, causing an increase in water velocity and turbulence)
Getting to Dandeli River Rafting / Kali River:
River Rafting takes place only in Ganeshgudi which is 20kms away from Dandeli City, so while Navigating – enter Ganeshgudi as your destination & not Dandeli.
Adventure Activities in Dandeli:
River Rafting is just one of the awesome activities that you can do in Dandeli. There are so many other exciting activities that you can try out in Dandeli.
Boating in the Raft:
This is mostly included in the stay package. If you manage to convince your guide & take the boat ride during non peak times like Early morning you can go for a swim in the Kali River which is safe with the Life Jackets. The way your pulled back in the raft is very funny & unexpected 😉
After doing the White Water Rafting we thought this wouldn’t be as much fun but we were proved wrong by our guide, Anup.
Natural River Jacuzzi:
Again, mostly included in the stay package. Free back massage? That’s what I’m talking about. Feel the rush of water on your back in the Kali River. Best time again would be early morning before the day rush hits you.
That’s me and my friend Viraj Nayak enjoying the Natural River Jacuzzi – One can sit here for hours.
Nature Walk / Night Trekking / Bird Watching in Dandeli
Exploring the wildlife is a lot of fun. Night trekking needs to be planned in advanced and needs a lot of guts as per our guide & partner of Fly Catcher Adventure, Mr. Rohit Sharma. This man deserves a mention as he went out of the way to give us the best hospitality & experience at their Camping Facility. Rohit is a Certified Adventurist & more importantly a very passionate Wildlife enthusiast. If you go on a Night Trek with him, he will keep your adrenaline pumped up by telling you some of his Dandeli wildlife experiences.
We managed to see some Hornbills & Flying Squirrels in Dandeli.
There are many more activities in Dandeli such as River Crossing, Mountain Biking, Coracle Ride, etc. See the complete list here.
Staying in Dandeli – Tent Camping , Cottages, Rooms:
Book your Dandeli stay in advance if you are going there on weekends / public holidays. We stayed in one of the tent facilities by Fly Catcher (discovered accidentally). We searched for accommodation in Dandeli for nearly an hour & realised that most of the properties are booked via the same agent whose contact details you will see on all the boards in & around Dandeli.
Our Stay Package at Flycatcher Adventure Resort came up to ₹ 1500 per head in tents which included all meals & some adventure activities like boating, jacuzzi & morning trekking.
Bison Resorts stay packages start at ₹ 3700 per head which is a rip off. Do not book through an agent as they add hefty commissions. All the websites like Dandeli River Resorts, River Resorts Dandeli are owned by the agents sadly and it’s quite difficult to get in touch with the main accommodation provider. Fly Catcher folks can be reached at +91-94810-50954.
There are some other options which we looked at:
(Do not take your sedan / hatchback here if you really love it) – far from Ganeshgudi but they have some in house activities in a controlled environment. Not as much fun as the resorts in Ganeshgudi. I would not recommend this.
Shikhra Jungle Resort:
Away from Ganeshgudi but offers a nice jungle experience.
More details on their website.
White Water Living Resort
Located on the banks of Kali River & offers all water activities listed above. Owned by the Fly Catcher Folks. More Details available here.
Located on the banks of Kali River. You can check out the Tariff / other details on their website.
This resort seemed recently renovated, well maintained & one of the premium stay options. They do not host rafting activities themselves and the accommodation is expensive. Details available here.
Kali Adventure Camp
Find details about this camp here.
My recommendation: White Water Resort or Fly Catcher Adventure Resort – both are located nearby & on the banks of the Kali River. Plan your stay in advance by directly contacting the owners via the above links. Expect rush during weekends and holidays.
All in all Dandeli is a beautiful city to visit & I really hope you don’t get lost on the web like I did while planning my stay.
Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comments & share this post with your friends to let them have an incredible Dandeli River Rafting Experience.