Jenny here again with another insight into another Indian safari, although this time it is on land for those who are queasy on boats. I’ll start off with the Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh with good reason. It was here that inspired “The Jungle Book” that many of us grew up with and countless others have seen the movie in one incarnation or another. Tales of Mowgli and Baloo have given many hours of delights, and now you can see where the idea came from.
The best times to visit here for a glimpse of panthers and tigers is from March to May time yet the overall season is October to sometime in June. The park now covers almost 1000 square kilometers and is split into two regions which are Banjar and Hallon. If you are into tigers (Bengal) this is one place you can see these majestic beasts roaming around along with over 300 species of birdlife.
Along with the Tigers, there is an abundant supply of other animals you can glimpse such as leopards, wild dogs, foxes, wild cats, jackals, wild boars and one of the rarest species of deer the Barasingha. As well as our four-legged friends there is also many reptiles slithering about that include cobras and pythons among others.
If there is anything wrong with the Kanha National park, it is it is quite commercial, and there are loads of stores where you can buy souvenirs, yet this shows the number of tourists the place gets over the course of the year.
If that one is a little too touristy, you could also check out Manas National park which is now a “Natural World Heritage Site” which is an elephant reserve, tiger reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve. It shows they are doing a lot to preserve nature at its best rather than out o just make a quick buck here and there.
Manas is also well-known for its breathtaking scenery as well as its wildlife. So for all the landscape photographers, there are plenty of forested hills, tropical evergreen forests and grasslands to catch your attention.
As preservation is high up on the parks list, they currently have the highest number of endangered species in India which is listed in the IUCN red book. This might give a better chance of spotting some rarer species than are in other parks while you are out watching the rhinos and tigers at the watering hole as you wade around the park sat on top of an elephant.
While making your elephant trip from Mathanguri to Manas, you can pass the local tea pickers and see where your morning cuppa comes from.
There are plenty more parks around India, yet these are two of the best in my eyes. This sums up the India side of things for a while, andI’ll think what to serve up for you next time.
Now it’s time for a cup of tea, and you will know where it came from.
Jenny and Alan