A cruise in the Sundarbans is a prerequisite for a stay in Bangladesh. The premises will tell you that since Hurricane Sidr in 2007 it is no longer the same. Many of the fauna has been devastated and now it is much more difficult to observe wildlife. However, spending three days on a boat, in the only truly preserved area of the country, offers a pleasant moment of respite, which will delight the contemplative. We regret, however, that all mangrove exits are carried out on marked trails, sometimes in poor condition, which may be crowded on weekends. We made our cruise in the Sundarbans on the occasion of a long holiday, and ending up in the middle of a noisy Bangladeshi horde gâché our pleasure. If you have the opportunity, try doing this cruise in the week. It will be much calmer and pleasant.
Cruises start in Khulna, but it is also possible to reach the ship in Mongla. On the first day, the boat goes down the Rupsha River and stops in the afternoon at the Visitors'Centre of Karamjol, which hosts a mini zoo with monkeys in cages, axe deer and crocodiles. It is also an opportunity to contact the particular flora of the mangrove by taking a marked walk. Feel free to climb at the top of the observation tower with a beautiful canopy view. On the second day, the day starts with a tour at the aurores along a small canal, where, with a little luck, you can observe animals and birds. Another walk on a deck of planks leads you through the mangrove, from where you can see the famous sundari. The cruise goes further south, to the sea. There, the boat takes a long stopover to allow visitors to go to Kotka beach after crossing a dry grass plain and the forest. In the afternoon, a visit to the forest post is required. Impressive mangroves surround the coastline and are the occasion for beautiful photos at sunset. Return to the boat, which usually offers its residents a barbecue evening. During the night, the boat borrows the sea over a short distance and then wins Kochikhali, to the south-east of the sanctuary. The next day, a last visit through the mangrove allows to take advantage of the last moments of calm before a long day of navigation to rally Khulna after dark.
Some companies offer 4-day and 3-night cruises that allow for longer browsing on small canals and have a different route from others. So you avoid the crowd. Also mention a few seasonal cruises for fishing with otters or the harvesting of honey. You can find the addresses of the best tour operators in the Sundarbans in the Tourism sections of Khulna and Dhaka and in the Receptive part of the Invitation to Travel at the beginning of this guide. It is best to book your cruise as soon as possible, even before your departure, because the dates are imposed by the organizers.
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