Into the Wilderness

We all know that the outbreak of coronavirus have had an unprecedented impact on the Indian tourism industry impacting all its geographical segments and all tourism verticals – leisure, adventure, heritage, corporate, MICE, cruise, and niche segments. This is a reason why people need to travel within the country to help the tourism industry post the pandemic.

So if you’re the kind who’d prefer to be in the lap of nature, amidst the wilderness, in the company of some wild animals, then here’s your chance to learn about this picture-perfect spot right within India! Not everyone likes to spend their holidays in a place where there’s loud music, hordes of people, and a plethora of sights and attractions. Some of us actually prefer the sounds of nature and the picturesque surroundings of a lush forest. This week, why you should visit Pench National Park, complete with tips and tricks to make your trip more enjoyable. So go ahead and get cracking!

Tips to Keep in Mind on a Jungle Safari

•     If possible, select a forest or national park near your home that’s naturally beautiful and is known for good animal sighting.

•     To avoid any last-minute inconvenience, book your safari tickets online in advance.

•     Book your adventure well in advance and, ideally, stay in an eco-friendly resort, one that conveys the experience of living in the jungle.

•     Do not wear anything bright that can frighten the animals. Instead, wear clothes in camouflaging colours. Olive green, brown, and khaki are safe choices.

•     Carry a good camera so that you can capture the moment, but don’t get overexcited in the process and miss seeing the actual scene live. Do not use flash photography; it may scare away or even irritate the animals.

•     Binoculars are very helpful to sight animals at a distance in the wilderness.

•     Follow the instructions of the naturalist and guide who accompany you and do not get out of the jeep unless instructed.

•     Avoid wearing or carrying anything flashy.

•     Do not smoke or litter while in the forest. Help keep it clean.

•     Before you set out on the journey, do some research about the forest and animals, so you’re prepared what to expect.

Now that we’ve covered some of the dos and don’ts take a look at one of the country’s best options for jungle trips.

Also known as Mowgli BairanPench Sanctuary, Pench National Park is nestled in the southern region of the Satpura Hills and is named after the Pench River which flows through the park. Situated on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, it became a national park in 1983, and 1992 was established as a tiger reserve.

Spread across 1,179 square kilometres, Pench is dominated by mixed forests with considerable shrub cover and open grass. Pench has the highest density of herbivores in India and is especially famous for large herds of gaurs, nilgai, wild dogs, and wild boars. The key predator here is, of course, the tiger, followed by leopard and wolf. Other large species here include sloth bear, chinkara, jackal, porcupine, hyena, and many others.

While you are waiting to catch a glimpse of the majestic tiger, explore the forest that is home to over 285 species of resident and migratory birds like grey-headed fishing eagle, brahmini ducks, and barheaded geese. The flora includes several rare and endangered plants like sal, terminalia genus, arjuna, and axlewood.

How to get there?

By road: For Turia gate from Kawasa – 15 kms; for Karmazari from Seoni – 20 kms

Nearest airport

Nagpur (105 kms) and Jabalpur (215 kms)

Best time to visit

October to June

Places to stay

Mahua Vann Resort, Pench Jungle Camp, Baghvan

Wildlife Resort (Taj), Jungle Home Pench, Tuli Tiger Corridor Resort.        – Niharika