The magical home of the tigers, Kanha National Park is a biodiversity hub. It is most popular tourist destination in India. A tiger reserve it is home to more than hundred tigers and as many leopards. The most charming and attractive big cats survives and breed here thanks to active conservation. The park is home to many other animals besides the big cats. The animals that survive here are the bison, sloth bear, wild dog, wild boar, many species deer, primates and nocturnal mammals. There are more than two hundred fifty species of birds in and around the preserve.
The most popular animal in the park besides the big cats is the Barasingha or Hard Ground Swamp Deer. It belongs to the family of cervids and is one of the rarest deer in the World. The hoofs of this swamp species has modified and is not spayed unlike other races of this family. The success achieved in bringing this animal from brink of extinction is remarkable.
Kanha landscape is a sheer joy the amazing diversity thrills. Among the rolling meadows, tall stands of Sal and lush bamboo clumps the ride is enthralling. The meandering rivers snake their way through the terrain sparkling clear and resplendent. The search for game in between the magical surroundings is thrilling and enchanting.
The way to organize your trip is to book the gate entry in advance. This assures you of game ride in the park since there is limited entry. Advance booking also allows you to choose which zone of the four you wish to go for tiger safari. Regular visitors have a fair idea where in the park would they like to go for safaris. You can also discuss with the naturalist of the hotel you are staying at in order to decide well. Wildlife enthusiasts prefer a holistic experience hence traverse through all the zones one by one. For wildlife photographers whole day safari is ideal. With the aid of a naturalist and guide successful photographic mission can be completed. Long duration elephant rides are also available on prior bookings. These offer a close view of the dense canopy and takes you closer to a wild animals and birds. Photographer prefer these rides the most.
While staying in Kanha one should be at luxury hotel with lot of greenery in vicinity of the forests. A greater degree of silence and quick an efficient service will make your days. Whence not on a safari one should look for birds in the neighborhood with a naturalist in the hotels service.
At Kanha few good spots by the river are good for outing as well as birding. These locations are out of the park in the buffer zone hence you can visit them without a permit.
Some precautions have to be taken at this preserve. Keep your passport all the time whence you make an entry, Carry cash since banking facilities are minimal. Buy medicine before hand at a bigger town since there are none near the tiger reserve. Keep clothing as per the climate winters are severe and summers hot. Hire a naturalist/bird guide if not provided by the hotel. Carry all things necessary since they may not be available in the vicinity. Food available is mostly Indian hence get acclimatized on the trip. Some continental recipes are also available. Nearest big town Jabalpur is three hours ride hence plan your arrival and departure as per the time required. The best time to visit the reserve is the winters sans festivals while summers are hot they provide the best opportunity to the photographers.
Uday works as a naturalist at a resort in Kanha hence the article. He works as the resort host cum naturalist and services guests on tiger safari at the National Park in Madhya Pradesh in India.