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North East India ( Calcutta , Orissa , Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Khajuraho, Varanasi)

India N E  India N W  India Bombay (Mumbai) Calcutta (Kolkata) Delhi South India

Kanha Tiger Reserve Madhya Pradesh

Kanha is probably most famous as the supposed setting for Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, although this claim is also made by the nearby tiger reserve at Pench. The book is about a boy named Mowgli who was bought up by wolves in the jungles of Kanha.

With a large tiger poulation and numerous other mammals, spotting wildlife is relatively easy. Kanha is also the only known habitat of the otherwise extinct swamp deer (barasingha).

Other Wildlife
Tulis Tiger Camp
Kanha Tiger Reserve is set in Madhya Pradesh and at the last census count (in 2002) had a tiger population of 127. We stayed at Tulis Tiger Camp close to the park entrance. Despite it's name it is not a camp. and the rooms and surroundings are first class.

Within the Reserve, other wildlife to spot are the Indian wild dogs, Barasingha (Swamp deer), Sambar, Indian Bison, sloth bear, leopards (you should be so lucky), and the even more elusive Indian wolf.  The reserve covers an area of 1,940 sq km, and has extensive meadows as well as lush bamboo ans sal forests.

With an area this big, tiger sightings are rare and for the best opportunities stay at least three days, and opt for the "Tiger show" on at least one of the days. You sign up at the entrance and the mahouts go into the jungle on their elephants to find tigers. Your guide is then alerted if they find any and then you head to the spot.

We're not sure if we had been spoilt by the safaris at Bandhavgarh, but the guide did not seem as knowledgable and the experience here was not as exciting. Of course that could have just been the guide not engaging with us.

Personally our only tiger spotting came at the "Tiger show" and try as we could, no other evidence of other tigers came into view. Other guests at the hotel had better experiences, so we can only put it down to the guide, and/or the areas we covered.
You want me to ride on that?
Dinner time
Now that was tasty You looking at me? Where the wash basin? Time for a nap

Indian Wild Dogs Barasingha Three Wise men
Bird Watching
Wild Dogs Barasingha Im gonna stare you out Poetry in Motion
Spotted Deer Barasingha Monkey Business Pheasant
Sambar Deer
I won! Spotted Deer
Indian Wolf
Mother and Child
In harmony

We left Bandhavgar at 10 am, after the morning safari, we pushed our driver into covering the 230km journey in slightly more than 4 hours so that we could go on the afternoon safari here at Kanha. All of these shots were taken at the Kanha National Park. We would thoroughly recommend this trip, but if you do go, dont be too disappointed if you don't catch sight of the tiger, we went on a total of 7 safaris at the two parks, and only saw tigers on three of them, so we would suggest a minimum of three nights at each park, to give yourself a chance. There are plenty of other wildlife in the park and we have given more space to some of them, but there is a limit before we bore you. If you do decide to go, whatever you do respect the tigers surroundings and never allow your guide or the mahouts to get too close and interfere with the tigers space.

We went in December, but the park is open from October through to May.
Trip Details

This was one of our favourite trips, Tiger hunting (with a camera of course). One that we are likely to repeat at least once more. From London we flew to Delhi, took the train to Amritsar, and stayed the night and the next day. We then took the overnight train back to Delhi and flew to Khajuraho via Varanasi (staying 1 night at both places). From Khajuraho we took a 5 hour drive down to Bandhavgarh.

Having stayed two nights (and four safaris) at Bandhavgarh we then took a further 5 hour drive down to Kanha, where we stayed at Tuli Tiger Resort. Then after one nights accommodation (and three safaris) we took another 4 hour overnight drive to Nagpur, heading to Goa via Bombay. It was hectic, and perhaps skimmed over the places but thoroughly enjoyable.

All in all we took some 2,000 photos on this trip and there is no way we could show them all.

India is one of last places in the world that you can see Tigers in the wild.
This is mainly thanks to Project Tiger, which was launched in 1973. This was after the numbers of tigers was seen to have reduced from 40,000 at the beginning of the century to a survey in 1972 which could only find evidence of 1827. In 1970 a national ban on Tiger hunting was introduced. On the launch of Project Tiger various tiger reserves were set up in India based on a 'core buffer' strategy. Within the core areas no human activity was to take place and within the buffer zones, only a limited amount of 'conservation oriented land use' activities were allowed. To start with 9 reserves were created and there are now 27. The most important of which are probably Corbett in Uttaranchal, Kanha in Madhya Pradesh and Sunderbans in West Bengal.

According to the Project Tiger official web sitesince the start of the Project (in 1972) the numbers of Tigers has increased from 1,827 up to 3,773 in 2001-2002. However, as these figures have not been updated for 6 years and we have read various newspaper stories claiming that two of the tiger reserves in Rajastan no longer have a tiger population, there is still great cause for concern. In fact there is an article in the press recently claiming that the reason no figures have been officially published for 6 years is that numbers have diminished dramatically from the 3,773 claimed in 2002 to just 1,411 this year.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Kanha Tiger Reserve
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
Our trip to the Sunderbans was a complete disappointment and we certainly wouldn't go there again, but you might be lucky!

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