How to Enjoy Wildlife at Kanha National Park?

by pateluday

This is an article about Kanha National Park situated in Central India in the State of MP. The articles informs how to organize a successful and enjoyable tiger safari in Kanha.

Kanha National Park in Central India is one of the most renowned tiger conservation center and comparable with the best in the World. The park is home to many mammals, reptiles, insects and birds besides the big cats like the tiger and the leopard.

A large population of big cats survive in the tiger reserve hence it is subject to tourism. Every year from mid October to end of June many tourists from all over the World arrive here to see the tiger in the wild.

The preserve is extensively described in "The Highlands of Central India" by James Forsyth. Once contiguous with Pench, Achanakmar and Bandhavgarh, the reserve is now isolated from them.

This article provides information about the park and offers advice how to enjoy it better.

Kanha National Park

Kanha Tiger Reserve

Situated in the Maikal Hills of  Satpura Ranges that encompass the State of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is a paradise on earth. The Maikal Hills are the convergence point of the Vindhya & Satpura and source of River Narmada & Son. The forests received early protection during the British Rule. Two valleys namely Halon and Banjar were notified as sanctuaries.  

The topography is unique and the area comprises of table top mountains, forest on the plains, rolling meadows interspersed with rivulets that create small water bodies, lakes and tanks. The valleys at places are steep and run very deep so as to appear unfathomable. The panorama is breath taking, serene and wild.  

The present status of Kanha forests is that of a National Park (1955) and Tiger Reserve(1973). The first accords it a protected status and the later includes it in the Project Tiger Program. The Project Tiger Program has been initiated with the purpose of conserving tigers. The park has an area of 2005 sq.km of which 945 sq is the core or the critical tiger habitat and the rest is buffer.   

Thanks to the expansion program which resulted in addition of neighboring Phen Wildlife Sanctuary and Supkhar Range. This made Kanha the biggest National Park in Central Asia. In 1969 twenty seven villages from the core area were shifted outside the protected area. Most of the villages comprised of Baiga and Gond Tribal.  

Human intervention has always been kept at minimal level, and nature has been allowed to recover itself. The park is subject to constant surveillance by the staff and upper management. The Eco-development schemes involve and invite participation of locals who have been shifted outside the core zone. 

 

Kanha Wildlife Images

Hard Ground Swamp Deer Male
Hard Ground Swamp Deer Male
John Matthai

Kanha Wildlife

Wild Animals of Kanha National Park

Leopard at KanhaKanha is home to about 100 tigers and their number is steadily growing every year. A large number of leopards also inhabit this amazing biodiversity. This speaks highly of excellent management and research that has been carried out since years. One of the notable achievement that has brought limelight to the park is the conservation of hard ground barasingha or hard ground swamp deer.  

The swamp deer was brought back from brink of extinction. In the sixties their number had come down to sixty six hence in order to save the species a research program was conducted. Mr. George Schaller a world renowned scientist and field biologist was instrumental in unearthing important findings about the problem facing the endangered animal. He and the Kanha management created a large enclosure free of predators. The animals were kept in this enclosure to safe guard them. The additional protection resulted in increased population due to reduction in infant mortality and predation. There are more than 350 Barasingha surviving in the park today.    

Other mega fauna of the park are the wild dog, gaur, sambar deer, spotted deer, blue bull, barking deer, wild boar, leopard; sloth bear, mouse deer, four horned deer, jackal and fox. Number of nocturnal animals reside in the forests of Kanha National Park.  On tiger safari one can also see and photograph a number of birds.

Among the reptiles python, rat snake, bronze tree snake and cobra are often seen. Reptiles like common krait and Russle's Viper are nocturnal. The wolf snake, olivaceous keelback, bamboo pit viper, leaf nose tree snake; the trinket snake and the cat snake are often seen in the undergrowth. More species found here are:

    Brahminy Worm Snake
    Sand boa   
    Forsten Cat Snake
    Checkered keel back
    Red boa
    Cantor's Black Headed Snake
    Indian Egg Eater Snake
    Green keelback
    Barred Wolf Snake
    Blue striped keelback

Very little research has been carried out on reptiles of the park. In time to come more species will be added to the list. 

 

Swamp Deer
Swamp Deer
John Matthai

Birds of Kanha Tiger Reserve

Kanha Birding

Gold Mantled ChloropsisThe diverse topography and varied climate makes Kanha National Park home to many avian wonders. The numbers are augmented in winter whence the migrant from North India, Asia and Europe arrive.

But the best season for birding at Kanha is in summers whence the canopy is thin. The thin foliage offers better sighting of birds, albeit only resident one's can be seen. The park is home to forest species but one does come across wetland species near the water bodies.

More than two hundred fifty bird species can be found at Kanha. Some of the  star attractions are:

Red Spurfowl
Painted Spurfowl
Malabar Pied Hornbill
Gray Hornbill
Shama
Painted Francolin
Asian Paradise Flycatcher
Black Naped Monarch
Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Hawk Eagle
White Eyed Buzzard
Honey Buzzard
Black Shouldered Kite
Common Kestrel
Small Minivet
Long Tailed Minivet
Common Iora
Plum Headed Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet
Tikell's Blue Flycatcher
Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
Golden Oriole
Black Headed Oriole
Common Teal
Northern Pintail
Lesser Whistling Teal
Brahminy Duck
Snake Bird
Lesser Adjutant Stork
Painted Stork
Wooly Necked Stork
Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
Racket Tailed Drongo
Spangled Drongo
White Bellied Drongo
Black Drongo
Peacock
Long Tailed Shrike
Brown Shrike
Red Avadavat
Black Headed Munia
Spotted Munia
White Backed Munia
Indian Scimitar Babbler
Indian Pitta
Coppersmith Barbet
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Common Hawk Cuckoo
indian Cuckoo
Eurasian Cuckoo
Brown Fish Owl
Oriental Scops Owl
Mottled Wood Owl
Green Pigeon
Indian Roller
Hume's Warbler
Sulphur Bellied Warbler
Tickell's Warbler
Thick Billed Flowerpecker
Pale Billed Flowerpecker
Greenish Warbler

The above list comprises of small number of species whereas the tiger reserve has more to offer.       

Kanha National Park Video

Kanha Wildlife Video

Tourism at Kanha

Tiger Safari

The tiger safari at Kanha National Park is organized for tracking tigers in the wild. The safari is conducted in the open jeeps driven on organized road network. The road network intersects through a wide cross section of the park in the core zone often called tourism zone. 

There are four zones in the National Park for tourism of which Kanha Zone is preferred the most. The reason for Kanha being a premium zone is the presence of excellent grassland habitats, dense forests and water bodies that attract game.

Other Zones are:
Kisli
Mukki
Sarhi

The only way to enjoy wildlife is on open jeep safaris since trekking is not allowed except on one nature trail. The jeep safaris take place in the morning and evening at fixed times. The timings are usually from break of sunlight to noon and from late noon to little before sunset.    

A gate entry charge and booking is necessary before one can enter the park. Eighty percent of  gate entry is booked online and a zone is designated while doing so. Hence book your favorite zone when paying for the gate entry. All this is subject to availability because the entry is limited in each zone. So book much in advance while finalizing your tour. Booking is done on MP Online Website.

The jeep for excursions are available locally at a fixed rate from the association. Else all your bookings and safari arrangements can be done by the resort you prefer to stay at. 

A forest guide accompanies you on all excursions but if you wish you can hire expert naturalists with the help of locals or the resort management. Some resorts employ in house naturalist who accompanies you on all trips.  

Proper guidance makes a difference and you may see more  of wildlife and birds this way. Before arriving for a tiger safari do a little bit of reading on India and the park. There are many books and literature available in stores and online as well.  Carry these books with you along with a pair of good binoculars.

Keep lots of warm clothing in winters and wear Khaki during the dry summers. A hat will help you shield from direct sunlight of the tropics. 

Indian wildlife is very secretive and offers an element of surprise which can really thrill you to the bone. Hence be alert and keep calm while on safari. 

Wildlife Blog Feed

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Male Tiger Kanha
Male Tiger Kanha
Tirath Singh
Leopard
Leopard
Tirath Singh
Gold Mantled Chloropsis
Gold Mantled Chloropsis
Tirath Singh
Blue Bearded Beeater
Blue Bearded Beeater
Tirath Singh

Accommodation in Kanha

Hotels & Resorts

Madhya Pradesh Tourism or MPTDC has economy accommodations in form of dormitory, as well as a luxury hotel. Some accommodation is also provided by the forest department at the Khatia Gate.

Government Rest House are available only for the officials and VIP guests. The rest houses  are situated at Kisli Gate and Mukki Gate inside the core zone. With permission from the CF at Mandla one can book rooms here whenever available.    

There are large number of hotels and resorts in the periphery of Kanha National Park. The tariff ranges from budget to luxury hotels. The well equipped luxury hotels in Kanha are most suited for tiger tourism and birding trips. These are preferred over other accommodations that provide only food and room. There are a few five star and three star resorts in Kanha for upscale tourists.

 

Reaching Kanha

Location

Kanha is situated in Mandla District in the State of Madhya Pradesh. The Central Indian preserve is accessible from Jabalpur which is connected by air to Mumbai and New Delhi. Jabalpur is well connected by rail network with all major towns of India. 

Kanha is 156 km from Jabalpur City via Mandla.

Other Distances
Raipur - 265 km
Gondia - 140 km
Pench National Park - 180
Bandhavgarh National park - 240 km

Local bus network offers cheap transport to Kanha National Park.

Kanha Map

Tiger Safari

India Kanha National Park

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Updated: 09/11/2014, pateluday
 
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pateluday on 06/17/2015

Thanks!

sonali on 12/04/2014

Lovely pictures...

pateluday on 10/11/2014

Thanks! Many Protected areas have been created in India in order to save the tiger and other life forms!

ologsinquito on 10/11/2014

It's good there is a such an area set aside for these beautiful animals. I'm so happy to hear the tiger population is increasing. I'm pinning this to my See the World board.

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