Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Central India is one of Asia’s most well maintained national parks and one of the finest Tiger Reserves of the country, known for conservation of Tigers and other endangered species. With diverse flora and fauna and an equally myriad geography, Kanha National Park is every nature lover’s delight and every wildlife enthusiast’s dream come true.
About Kanha National Park
Also known as Kanha Tiger Reserve, the Kanha National Park’s core area comprises of 940 square kilometers of deciduous forest, sparse grasslands, Banjar and Halon river valleys which are encompassed by plateaued hills. This tiger haven is divided into five zones – Kisli, Kanha and Musli in the western range and Bahisanghat and Sukhpur in the eastern range, which however, are off limits to visitors.
Animal Wealth at Kanha
Apart from the tigers, Kanha is also home to a wide array of some magnificent animals and birds. These include bison, gaur, sambar, chital, the endangered barasingha, black bucks, barking deer, python, leopards, sloth bears, nilghai etc. Storks, pond herons, peacocks, jungle fowl, hoopoe, drongo, warblers, rock pigeons, teals etc are some of the commonly found birds here.
Jungle Safari at Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is open for jungle safaris from November to June. Two types of safaris can be availed at the park – the Elephant Safari and the Jeep Safari. Advance tickets for the safari can be booked online at the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department’s official online ticket booking portal.
This is the most preferred means of undertaking a safari in Kanha. Registered Light vehicles (accommodating eight individuals) and minibus are allowed inside the park, but no private vehicles. Every vehicle must be accompanied by a wildlife guide or a naturalist. Armed with their extensive knowledge of Kanha National Park and its wildlife habitats, the guides or naturalists will direct the vehicles to where the animals are commonly found. Visitors can spot animals and birds sitting in the comfort of their safari vehicle. However, since vehicles can scare animals, drivers are not advised to go too near the wild animals. This means that you cannot watch animals from close quarters.
Elephant safari is the most popular form of safari at Kanha National Park. This is the best means to discover the wonders of Kanha and sight tigers from close distance. Up to four persons are allowed to sit on one elephant, apart from the mahout and the park guide. Elephant safari can be availed for a full day or only for a short 10 minute Tiger Show.
Kanha Safari Fees:
Remember that a safari ticket entails permission to entry only and does not include the charges for vehicles, guide fees or elephant safari charges. Guide fee is paid at the entrance of the park and vehicles must be hired in advance. Since the fees gets revised often and also varies for Indian nationals and foreigners, it is best to verify the fee details and general rules of the park before planning a safari trip to Kanha Safari Park.
Accommodation at Kanha Tiger Reserve
Visitors can get comfortable, simple accommodation at reasonable rates at Kanha Tiger Reserve. These include Bhagira Log Huts, Khatia Jungle Camp at Kisli and Tourist Hostel, Forest Rest House and Kanha Safari Lodge at Mukki. For those seeking luxury accommodations, there is Tiger Resort, Mogli Resort, Wild Chalet and Tuli Tiger Resort.
Kanha Safari Packages
Several tour operators, specializing in Wildlife Safari and National Parks, offer different tour packages to discover and explore the wonders of Kanha National Park. Depending on your schedule, time and budget you can choose from Tiger Photography Tour to only a 1 night, 2 day tour of Kanha.
Kanha is fairly well connected by road, rail and air.
The nearest airport is Jabalpur (156 kms) which is connected by regular flights from Delhi and Bhopal. The most convenient railheads are Jablapur and Bilaspur. Kisli and Mukki are well connected To Jabalpur with regular buses plying between them. Taxis can also be hired for Kanha Tiger Reserve from Bilaspur, Raipur and Jabalpur.
Other Things to Do At Kanha Tiger Reserve
While the core area of the Kanha National Park is only accessible for vehicle and elephant safari, the buffer areas of Khatia and Mukki are accessible for nature trails on foot and cycles. Some of the hotels also conduct guided tours to the countryside.
One can also participate in the guided tours organized by the Forest Department to the mapped-out areas of the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Such guided tours are a good opportunity to sight black bucks, chitals and barasinghas.
Finally, sign off your Kanha tour with a visit to the sunset point, Bamni Dadar, which is one of the most beautiful areas of the Kanha National Park. Essentailly a vast, flat meadow, perched atop a plateau, Bamni Dadar offers you a majestic view of the entire valley below. If lucky, you may also see gaurs, four-horned antelope and barking deers around here. So, be here to watch the wonders of the dense jungle of Kanha as the sun goes down behind the hills.
Pictures from Wiki Commons