India’s varied climatic regions, ranging from its tropical peninsula to the ice-capped Himalayas, encapsulate within them a huge variety of wildlife, avian species and flora and fauna. Beautiful national parks and forest reserves, created to preserve this rich natural treasure, are located across all parts of the country. The state of Madhya Pradesh, in central India, has several of these habitats where visitors can get to experience and enjoy the plethora of wildlife India has to offer. Safaris in open-top 4x4s and even some on elephant back take visitors out to scour the parks for tigers and other wildlife, accompanied by experienced naturalists and trackers. A visit to Bandhavgarh and Kanha can be combined with the wildlife reserves in Panna, Pench, and the Satpura National Park for a complete wildlife experience.
Panna National Park, spread over almost 550 sq. km, is the 22nd reserve in India, and the 5th in Madhya Pradesh to be covered by Project Tiger, India’s largest tiger conservation program. Covered with lush forests, Panna has gushing waterfalls and scenic gorges, and is one of the rare forested spaces left in central India. The Park has been successful in reviving the population of the Bengal Tiger and also has leopards, nilgais, chinkaras, sloth bears and hyenas. There are also well over 200 species of birds to be found here and safaris on elephant-back take visitors deep into the park for a view of this wide slice of wildlife.Read More
The Bandhavgarh National Park was once the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, in Madhya Pradesh. The park boasts of one the highest densities of the tiger population in India which makes spotting one much more likely as visitors ride through its vast meadows of grassland. Leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, the Indian bison are also species that call Bandhavgarh home, and over 150 different species of birds are to be found here, including the migratory steppe eagle, which arrives here in the winters.Read More
Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book was inspired in part by the Kanha National Park. Green meadows interspersed with bamboo forests and sal plantations characterise the park, which houses over 22 species of wildlife; Bengal tigers, striped hyenas, the rare and endangered hard-ground barasingha, leopards and the three striped palm squirrel. In addition to mammals, the park also has over 200 species of birds, making it a utopia for bird-watchers.Read More
The Satpura National Park of Madhya Pradesh sprawls over 500 sq. km of rugged, mountainous regions with ravines and dense forest. Along with the Bori and Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuaries, it provides an astounding ecosystem that is spread over 1400 contiguous sq. km. Though Satpura is officially a tiger reserve, the number of tigers here is small, but the park more than compensates for that by the immense diversity of wildlife here. Owing to its small tiger population, Satpura is the only park in India where walking safaris can be organised, making the experience all the more special.Read More
The Pench National Park is located at the base of the Satpura mountain range and is named after the Pench river that flows north to south, dividing the park in almost equal eastern and western halves. A gorgeous park with water springs, seasonal water bodies and rich biodiversity, Pench is inhabited by a profusion of flora and fauna, including aquatic mammals and several endangered species. Regularly seen species here include nilgais, sambars and cheetals, with fewer numbers of tigers, wild dogs, sloth bears and jackals.Read More