How to Go & Things to Do in Sundarban
Are you bored of the usual offerings from other tourist spots in the world? Are you willing to opt out of an ordinary journey without being deprived of comfort? Are you ready to experience thrill, excitement and adventure all in one package? Here’s Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the Southwestern Region of Bangladesh. Sundarban is home to 400 Royal Bengal Tigers, which is the largest single population of tigers in the world. Apart from tigers, there are deers, dolphins, crocodiles, boars and countless other wildlife to enjoy.
When to Visit Sundarban
Wild arrays of wildlife will greet you as you visit the tourist spots of Sundarbans. There’s an abundance of flora and fauna that is unseen in most parts of the world. The best time to enjoy Sundarbans is during the months of October until February when the climate is cool due to winter season. During these months the land is dry and not slippery, perfect for trekking and hiking where nature viewing is the main focus. Pass up travelling to this place during monsoon season which runs from May to September. These months are accompanied with unpleasant weather conditions making the expeditions rare to none.
Travel Tip: You can either book for an all inclusive tour package or you can go alone. While tour packages are a little expensive, they offer a much safer and relaxed Sundarban experience. On the other hand, you can save a lot if you prefer to be an independent traveler, but you will need to arrange local guides and transportation. Going alone (without a tour operator) works best for one day trip from Mongla to Sundarban and organized tours from Khulna to Sundarban are best for 3-4 nights safari. Organized tours cost around 12000-20000Tk and self arranged tours cost around 3000-7000Tk.
How to Get There
For all inclusive tour packages most tour operator will provide you with full transportation service, including Dhaka to Khulna transportation. Though you may choose to join them from Khulna. In that case, like an independent traveler, you will need to go to Khulna through bus or train, you have the choice to take economical non ac coaches or more comfortable AC coaches. Taking either of the two will let you see more of the countryside and enjoy the rural landscape. It normally costs around 400-550Tk for non AC coaches, 850-1200Tk for AC coaches and 400-1400 for Trains.
3/4 Nights Trip from Khulna to Deep Into Sundarban
You can go for a day trip but to experience the epicness of Sundarban you will have to plan a 3-4 nights trip and the best way to do this is through an organized tour operator. Once in Khulna you will have to get on the tour operator’s boat or “launch” which will take you into the forest. You will have to eat and stay onboard. But you will also get a chance to look for Royal Bengal Tigers on foot or roam the inner smaller canals of the forest through smaller boats. Most trips go as far ask Kotka.
Day trip on Boat from Mongla
If you don’t have the time for a longer trip or want to visit Sunderban on a tight budget this is one of the best ways. You do not need to pre-arrange anything. You will just need to go to Mongla (Dhaka-Khulna-Mongla) and ask around. Overnight trips are not allowed from here, but you can take a boat to Karamjal Forest Station or Harbaria Wildlife Sanctuary. It normally costs about 1000Tk for a half day trip and 4000Tk for a full day trip.
Go in with the Honey-Harvesters!
You can ask around in Mongla about this or you can ask your tour operator. Honey harvesters go deep in the forest searching for bee hives and they will be happy to take you along. But they only operate during start of April.
Most Popular Places to See in Sundarban
Base safaris to visit are: The Hiron Point, great for spotting tigers and other wildlife not to mention the place’s own beauty. After a few hours of cruising you will reach the Tin Kona Island which is a popular mark for wildlife spotting. The Katka, having its own beauty, is ideal both for tiger spotting and bird watching while the Dublar Char Island is a fishing ground. The hours you spend in these spots are determined by the boat company you hired. There are different packages to choose from that range from a two-day tour to a 5-day tour depending always on your budget. Karamjal Forest Station and Harbaria Wildlife Sanctuaty are two of the others places to see in Sundarbans.
Another catch of visiting Sundarbans is observing the locales. Take some time out to go to a neighboring village and observe their lifestyle and experience their routines. Relish the luscious dishes made of fresh catches. There are lodges with kitchen gardens to let the tourists taste unsullied produce. Handcrafted pieces created by the local people are in abundance and could be brought home to serve your memories. You can also go inside the forest with “Moual” (honey-harvesters) during April.
Some Reliable Tour Operators in Sundarban are: