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Old 31st October 2012, 17:45   #1
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Default Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

Apologies for being quiet for such a long time. Its only because this was the trip that actually turned into a job opportunity and I have stayed in the jungles of Satpura since September 2011. I am not sure if this should really be a travelouge since I now stay here and I will be sharing a lot of photos and write-ups on some of the interesting drives/ activities that I have done here with guests.

Let me put this disclaimer right in the beginning: I am now the General Manager at Forsyth's Lodge, Satpura (www.forsythlodge.com) and absolutely love it! Quit my job in Bangalore and just decided to follow my dreams

So it was in September 2011 that I came down to Satpura. It was a long flight from Bangalore via Hyderabad into Bhopal. And then a journey by car for about 3 hours towards Pachmarhi brought me to Satpura National Park.

The great thing about this park is that it was developed as an eco-tourism destination and opened its gates to proper tourism only in 2009. The reason why this park didn’t have too much tourism is because the forest department didn’t know how to operate here. Their biggest hurdle was that the River Denwa seperates the park from the buffer area. Hence, instead of driving into the park like in other parks, you have to get on a motor launch!

Welcome to Satpura National Park
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Basically, one of the owners at Forsyth's is a well know figure in wildlife conservation and has been a honorary wildlife warden at Bandhavgarh NP. He worked very closely with the forest department here and provided them with solutions to overcome this unique problem. He trained the staff and guides on how to conduct walking safaris in the park and also converted a few local fishermen to be canoe guides.

Yes, apart from jeeps, you can walk, canoe, take a motor boat safari or elephants at Satpura National Park! We then donated a few Gypsy’s to the park officials which are now kept on the other side and every morning/ evening guests take a motor launch into the park to get onto the Gypsy’s, etc. The other thing I love about Satpura is it is not a destination where you will see a lot of people in the park. There are only 12 jeeps in the park and has been this way since its opening in 2009. So, on days you manage to go for a safari and still feel that you were the only ones in the park.

These are few factors that made me stay here in Satpura. Anyway, going back to my first trip, it was absolutely fantastic weather when I arrived. The first evening we went out for a night drive around the buffer and came across a Rusty Spotted Cat sitting smack in the middle of our headlamp glow. Its was my first viewing of this cat and was absolutely thrilled. The safari’s were a bit more interesting. I will keep adding them in detail at a later date and will only mention the ones that I have really enjoyed. However, this trip was full of many firsts. I saw my 1st Rusty, 1st Sloth bear and 1st pair of leopards on a chausingha kill! I guess now you know why I stayed back.

More to come soon. I hope you will enjoy the posts and photos that are to come!

Breakfast at this place (Lagda) was the highlight of my first trip into the park.
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Sloth Bear druring the 1st drive
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Skimmers on the mudflats of Satpura
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Changeable Hawk Eagle sillhouette by my friend Surya Ramachandran
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Sunsets on Satpura NP
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Old 31st October 2012, 18:21   #2
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

O! Joy!

This first post - and i think very rare pics of Satpura national park - a beautiful opening to the thread. To top it - the disclaimer! I guess a lot of guys here (including me) would want to be in your shoes at the moment.

Other than the jungle and wildlife pics - pls also give us updates on the changes in your life - that shifting from a city like Bangalore into a jungle in MP has brought about.

A lot of us think of doing things like this - but only few ever take such steps!

Do keep posting and keep this thread alive!
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Old 31st October 2012, 21:40   #3
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

I wholeheartedly second what Sachin has said. Not much material is available about Satpura and that was one of the primary reasons for removing it from my itinerary when I did the MP trip in 2011.

Now that disclaimer interests me a lot. Following the adage that the customer is the king, I expect & hope that you shall be personally escorting me in the Satpura jungles, as & when I plan a trip and that should be very soon.

Will be following this thread very very keenly..!
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Old 4th November 2012, 19:38   #4
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18th January 2012 Morning Drive

Anyway by the time we got across the Denwa and landed on the park side it was about 7:20 am. We were greeted at the small jetty by an Osprey who was perched high up on the tree by the steps which lead to the jeep boarding point. Lisa is a good birder and hence we spent a few minutes looking at the lovely bird. Our initial plan today was to hop onto the jeep and head straight to Jhinjhini Mahal which is a 1500 to 2000 year old Raj-gond temple ruin in the middle of the National Park. We were supposed to also do a small walk from the temple to the caves to look at some of the cave art. We were trying to hurry up a bit as we had already lost some time in the morning and the drive to the temple takes up a lot of time. Oh by the way we never reached the temple as we had to abandon the same and go with plan B because of the sightings.

For today’s drive we had Jagdish (Guide no. 1) as our guide and Rajen as our driver. As we started the drive through the Madhai meadows towards the jungle, we came across a big herd of Indian Gaur. Lisa wanted to take a few close-ups of the gaur so we stopped at the Rora Pahari junction and she started clicking. In the meantime, I was looking straight ahead and wondering if we should take the left towards Baganala (tiger stream bed) or head straight towards Khapa Phutan. Jagdish and I decided that we will head straight as we were running a little late and it was shorter to use this route. As we went ahead Jagdish spotted somebody’s mobile phone and we stopped to pick it up.

Gaur
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Gaur Calf
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Jagdish got off the vehicle to pick the same up and I was just looking straight ahead onto the road. Suddenly I saw a wild dog on the road. I called out to him and off we went to where the dog was. As we reached the spot, we realised the pack was on our right in the bushes. Two dogs decided to come back onto the road behind us to continue with their morning abolutions which we clearly seem to had disturbed. Lisa managed a shot with the dog doing the deed as well as trying to clean up after it. So we counted about 4-5 dogs going towards the meadow that we had just left. It was decided that we turn back towards the meadow to try and see if we can get a better view of the dogs. I also thought we may get lucky and see them hunting. So, we drove back a bit and waited for them to arrive. We saw them now to our left (as we were facing towards the meadow) and got a much better view. In the meantime Lisa and Jagdish both whispered ‘Bear’.

Wild Dogs from the drive (Photo by Alissa Prichard)
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I was so busy looking at the dogs that I completely missed the bear further away from the dogs. It was a rather large Sloth Bear who was climbing up an embankment and moving away from us. Lisa was ecstatic that we had spotted gaur, wild dogs and a bear within the first 20 minutes of the drive. Since we had a good view of the dogs and the bear had vanished, we decided to turn back and head to the temple. We decided to abandon the bear since David and Lisa have been extremely lucky with bears and they saw bears on both the drives they did the previous day.

So, we turned back and left the scene and in a few minutes Jagdish managed to spot another bear who was sleeping a little higher up in Rora Pahari. We had a tough time convincing Lisa that it was a bear as it was facing away from us. Finally the bear decided to look at us and Lisa was delighted to see her first ‘sleeping’ bear. She also said that she is now convinced it’s very difficult to get a good photograph of a Sloth bears face because it is either digging or showing its backside walking away or is sleeping with its face tucked in. She still doesn’t have a picture of a bears face after coming to India for the last 18 years.

Anyway, we decided to move on and stopped at Khapa phutan (junction) to try and hear if there were any alarm calls going on anywhere in the park. But there were none so we moved on towards Bhurimati dam and as we crossed the dam we came across a Nilgai and her calf. We stopped there to look at them and as Rajen switched the engine off I heard the alarm call of a langur coming from our right. The Nilgai were on our left.

I asked him to stay put and asked everyone to look out. Since, the three of them were looking to the right I decided to keep a watch on the road. After waiting for about 15 minutes I saw something move about 100 metres ahead of us in the grass to our right and it was about to cross the road. I was in two minds whether to call it or not as I had not seen the animal very clearly. But since it looked like a cat by the way it was walking and due to its size I called it.. ‘leopard’. As I called it Jagdish also saw it and reinforced my call so I told Rajen to quickly start the vehicle and reach the spot. Where we reached was the junction where one turns off towards Babapani. As we reached the spot, we were sure that it had not crossed the road so we kept looking to our right. It had heard our engine start and sat down in the not very tall grass. And what a camouflage the leopard had! All four of us were looking and we couldn’t spot it for a good 5 minutes. It was about 5 yards away from us sitting in the grass and we couldn’t see it! We only saw it when it decided to leap out and go into the nala (stream bed) next to where we were. It went the opposite direction to where we were and we tried to look into the nala but he was too fast for us to catch another glimpse of him. Although he was gone in a jiffy we got a good glimpse of the leopard and we were all very content with the sighting. This had been the most trilling and exciting 1 hour of any drive we had done. As Lisa put it “she had seen 2 week’s worth of wildlife in just that 1 hour”. Sorry folks although we were both ready with our camera, we didn’t manage a single shot of the leopard.

Leopard (Photo courtesy David Raju - Chief Naturalist)
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In the meantime another jeep came up behind us and we continued to wait to see if the leopard would come out. The other jeep decided to leave and went past us. We still waited for another half and hour at the very spot in absolute silence, but in vain. The langur stopped calling but the nilgai had now started giving out alarm calls deeper inside to our left. So the leopard had continued to go opposite to where we were and crossed the road out of our sight and gone in to the babapani area where his mate was. This road was closed a few days back as there is a mating pair of leopards and we believe we saw the male one. And hence we could not follow the calls. Jagdish says he saw the leopard carrying something in his mouth when he leapt out but we are not very sure as both Lisa and I didn’t see the same.

Since we had spent almost 2 hours reaching Kharer we decided that we will not do the temple today and instead head to our favourite breakfast point (Sonbhadra view point) for a quick meal. The rest of the drive was more for birding. We saw Blue-rock thrush, White-browed wagtail, Alexandrian and Plum headed parakeets, Black hooded Oriole, Black-rumped flameback woodpecker, Racquet tailed drongos, etc.
Pic of the breakfast point above.

Plum Headed Parakeet
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Lesser Goldenback woodpecker
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The highlight on the way back was when Jagdish spotted a Nightjar up on a tree. It was a miracle that he had spotted it because it looked exactly like a branch of the tree and was perfectly camouflaged.

Nightjar
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We got a few good pictures of him and we continued. We didn’t stop for the usual animals as we were getting late and then as were crossing Rora Pahari again we saw the wild dog pack we had seen earlier in the morning by the water. It had finished its meal and were looking very content by the water when we left them. They were seven of them in clear view now while we had only managed to count five in the morning.

An thus our drive came to an end.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 13:45   #5
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25th March 2012

New guests had arrived the evening before and hence I decided to take them on a drive this morning so that they get a feel of our forests. After that they could decide on what they wanted to do from the myriad of activities that Satpura has to offer. From our conversations the earlier evening, I had deducted that the guests were interested in seeing birds especially the Racquet-tailed Drongo and also Wild Dogs. So off we went to look for the same.

We started off towards Bhurimati dam out of the Madhai meadows. As we entered Rora Pahari, we spotted a pair of White-eyed Buzzards busy making a nest. The guests were thrilled! We watched them for a while and continued towards the dam. At the dam we came across pug marks of a Tiger. As we were checking the pugmarks, we saw a Crested Serpent Eagle posing for us. After all the shutterbugs had finished with it, two white-eyed Buzzards also arrived. So this was going to be a Buzzard day!

We left from the dam and went towards the Babapani phutan (crossing). At the crossing we decided to go towards Churna doob to see if we could find the Drongo. While on the way to the doob you come across a cut which goes over a small hillock towards Pelia. Here at the turn we saw a fresh pugmark of a Tigeress coming down the road from Pelia towards where we were. It was then decided that we track her down. So off we went first towards Pelia to check where the Tigeress had come from and realised that it was absolutely fresh. In the mean time there were reports on the radio of pug marks on no. 2 (Do number) road. I decided to ignore it as these werent very fresh. We turned around and started following the marks. The marks disappeared where we saw the first one and since it was leading into the jungle, the only way to check them further was to go all the way around and check for marks at the Tonga Patthar area. This was decided since the last mark was pointing towards the jungle and a straight line in that direction led to Tonga Patthar. We hoped that the tigress would carry on in a straight line and that she arrived there at the same time as us.

And were we not right on this one. We reached Tonga Patthar to see even fresher pug marks in the sandy bits after the stream. So she was obviously way ahead of us. After the stream came the small junction. As were trying to figure out which road to take, the one towards Kharer Elephant camp or the other towards Jhinjhini mahal, we heard a Sambhar alarm call. This was again followed up by another call. By then we also saw some tracks leading towards Kharer so we took that road and quickly arrived at the junction where one road leads to Kharer, one to Jhinjhini Mahal and one to Tarai. Here we were greeted by alarm calls of Langur. We first waited slightly inside on the road to Tarai since the alarm calls were coming from our right and very close by. Since a lot of movement had been seen in this area, we thought that she would go that way. We could see the Langurs giving calls and realised that she was there somewhere below them which we couldn’t see from the vehicle.

It was getting warmer by the minute now and the alarm calls also died down which meant that she had settled for the day most probably. Anyway we waited and waited but nothing materialised. We guessed that she must have found a place to shelter for the day from the heat and from us. This is I think a classic example which showcases how shy our tigers are of human presence in Satpura. So we decided to check the Tarai area in front of us. Now we came across another dilemma. We could see pugmarks of two tigers here. One coming down the road and one going the opposite direction. The second one looked a lot smaller and maybe of a sub-adult, so I guess it’s this Tigresses cub. Anyway it was all very confusing so we thought we will do a round of Tarai and come back to the same spot where we were waiting earlier. In the mean time, while waiting a lot of bird watching was done. A jungle owlet came by, a racquet-tailed drongo, some goldenback woodpeckers, a pair of large cuckoo shrikes, a sirkeer malkoha, etc. The guests were very happy with all the bird watching that we could do sitting at that spot so we decided to come back there after the round.

We were finishing our round of Tarai and crossing the small bridge near the elephant camp when we saw two Sambhar deers in the water on full alert. We waited but nothing came out. The sambhars also moved up onto the banks so we headed to the spot where we were earlier. Form here we could keep a watch on all sides including this bridge. We saw a jungle owlet in good light and hence the guests were busy clicking while our guide Adarsh and I were on the lookout. Adarsh suddenly called out wild dog! He just saw one and this explained why the sambhar were in the water. Unfortunately, the guests and I missed it. No other dogs were seen although we reversed and checked. I guess it was the last dog of the pack which he saw and they had already crossed over to the Tonga Patthar area. Hence we couldn’t spot any of them. So in the same area now we had a tigress possibly with a sub-adult and a pack of dogs. It was so exciting that I took out our picnic breakfast right there inside the jeep and handed guests their sandwiches, etc. We ate and we waited for quite a while again. Nothing moved! A jeep came from the opposite end and they hadn’t seen a single pugmark essentially erasing all the pugmarks that we had been following of the tigress and the sub-adult. Anyway, after some time there were messages of the pack of wild dogs being spotted near Bhurimati dam going towards Pelia. I guess this is the pack that had gone from very close to us. So we finally left the spot without seeing any of the tigers. Although they weren’t seen, it was a very exciting morning as we all were busy tracking and didn’t realise how fast time went past.

Although we went towards Pelia to look for the dogs, we didn’t manage to catch up with them on time. We returned back from there deciding that this evening we will again go to Tarai where we left the tigers to see if they would oblige and come out for us!

Naturalist: Rishi
Guide: Adarsh

Crested Serpent Eagle
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Oriental Honey Buzzard
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Racquet-tailed Drongo - One of the most difficult bird to photograph as it doesnt sit in one place!
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Last edited by sarmarishi : 23rd November 2012 at 14:15.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 17:14   #6
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Ampani Tigress as we have come to call her because of where we saw her for the 1st time!
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Tiger safari in India is mainly concentrated in the famous 'tiger' parks where habituated tigers, often tracked by elephants, are star performers. Habituated though they may be they are still truly wild and hugely exciting to see. Nevertheless it is always a special thrill to see an unhabituated tiger. Satpura Tiger Reserve is one of our favourite parks for the range of activities it allows from walking to canoeing and the sheer beauty and wildness of the landscape - and the lack of tourists! The freedom, the elusive tigers that need to be tracked and waited for patiently, the lack of crowds are all reminiscent of the old Indian wilderness. This report from the jungles of Satpura evokes that wilderness.

"10th November 2012 - First Tiger Sighting of the season at Satpura

This season at Satpura has been quite interesting so far. With the heavy monsoons and overflowing backwaters of the Tawa Reservoir, nobody knew what to expect when the park finally opened.

The first week was filled with the usual sightings. Added to it was an overdose of Sloth Bear sightings which continue to be plenty till date. It was a satisfactory start but the entertainers of Satpura; the Dhole and Leopard were nowhere to be seen. We believe the absence of sightings of Leopards and Dhole which are usually common in Satpura were down due to due to water blocking free movement of these animals between the tourism and non-tourism zones. And also as we were seeing slightly higher than usual Tiger movement.

As we approached the Diwali week the tiger activity went higher and we could see pug marks of one Tigress and hear short alarm calls in the area wherever we saw pugmarks almost every drive. She seemed to be patrolling the entire stretch of her territory almost every day! The movement and the signs were there but the cat could never be spotted. It was almost as if she read our movements a lot better than we read hers.

On the 10th of November, the morning safari started off with the usual Chital herds and the whooping calls of the Hanuman Langur. We spotted a Nilgai with her calf, a Golden Fronted Leaf Bird, a few Wild Boars and Sambhars. After our breakfast at Lagdha, which is quite easily one of the best breakfast spots in the world, we decided to head back the way we came just to stay away from the rest of the jeeps. On our way out we saw pug marks over our very own jeep tracks. She had fooled us again. We could follow the tracks till a crossroad but couldn’t get any further with the tracks. We had to head back and the usual sign at the exit of Indian Tiger Reserves, “You may not have seen me but I have seen you” did not help.

That evening we decided to head out early and go straight to the point where we had lost the tracks. It was a call that I took and it needed a lot of luck to succeed. As we went there we could see the usual scene of a Sambhar browsing on the Reni (Zizyphus). We wished they weren’t so relaxed and gave us some signs of a Tiger’s presence. Since there was nothing to give away a tiger’s presence the guests decided to move on and we were watching a web of a Giant Wood Spider by the side of the road which had killed a grasshopper. As we turned off the jeep next to the web we heard a Sambhar alarm call. Just one call and it stopped calling. This call came from the direction of the Sambhar we had just crossed and was very close. Our driver Vinay immediately turned the Gypsy around and we set off in that direction. When we reached there we found another jeep signalling us to stop and turn off our engine. The Tigress had just got off the road and into a Naala (dried-up stream bed). Everyone was excited but not a single sound was made from any of the jeeps. We waited and we hoped that she will come out again. And she finally did! What a sight it was. This was the first tiger sighting at Satpura for me as well as the first this season. She crossed the road at the far end and disappeared into another Naala. The first jeep decided to go around to the meadow ahead and we went to the other side of the Naala. We stood there for almost twenty seconds before we could spot the Tigress that was just 10 metres away in plain sight. Her camouflage was brilliant while she sat among the grass and twigs. It would have been impossible to spot her if one was driving by. She sat right there for our cameras for close to five minutes after which she got up and walked behind a large bush. We showed the spot where she was sitting to a lot of other jeeps but she never came out to reveal herself again.

Look at her teeth.. She is in her prime
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When the place got crowded we decided to move on and found ourselves a Sloth Bear that decided to walk by the road before disappearing into the darkness. It was getting dark and was time to leave. We were the first ones out of the park that evening. It was the perfect day. We found that the Wild Dogs had come into the tourism zone and the elusive leopard also started to use the roads in the tourism zone, leaving behind her pug marks and spotted deer kills.

So at Satpura Diwali started with a different kind of bang and it was a perfect start!

Naturalist: Surya Ramachandran; Guide:Kanhaiyya ; Driver: Vinay

The tear drops on her right flank.. distinct id for the Ampani tigress along with the ring on her left cheek
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I arrived at the scene right at the end with my guests. By then she was sitting right in the bush and you could faintly make out that she was there. This is when you realise how good a camouflage our cats have and why it is so difficult to see them. After a while she got up and moved further inside. Everyone left while we were the only ones left there. I really wanted to show my guests who were first time wild lifers this magnificent beast ! So I asked my driver to drive forward towards Keria and we decided to wait at the climb to Keria as that is the direction she was moving in (moving parallel to us towards Keria). We were anticipating that she will cross into Keria right in front of us but she was aware of our presence and crossed the road just behind us.

Now as she crossed the road at the nala below us her direction was towards the Keria but luckily for us she was headed for the road that connects Keria to Lagda. Basically the roads form a ‘V’ right in front of us and she crossed the road behind us to form an ‘A’. I immediately told our driver to go forward, take the turn and drive exactly a 100 metres and stop. We did that but our guide Ashish though that she might cross the road further ahead and asked him to go on a little more. As we moved I saw her to our right waiting to cross the road. We should have remained where we were but now it was too late. So I asked Bablu, our drive to go forward and stop after we crossed her. We left her enough space so that she could cross the road behind us. She came out of the bushes and saw us waiting there. Gave us a brilliant sighting when she stood still before she decided to bound across the road and into the bushes again. My guests were absolutely delighted to have had such a fantastic sighting of our Ampani tigress (as we have come to call her because of the area where we saw her for the first time).

Naturalist: Rishi; Guide: Ashish Pandey; Driver: Bablu

And she bounds across the roads after watching us for a while (Photo courtesy guest Sushir Lohia)
Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP-560834_10152279987135354_314230988_n.jpg

Other photos courtesy Surya Ramachandran
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Old 23rd November 2012, 18:10   #7
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Wednesday, 18 Jan 6:30 Am – Wild dogs from canoes


We set off at about 6.30 from the northern edge of Satpura Tiger reserve along the Denwa river on two Canoes. Kailash and Babu Lal, two Park Guides manned the canoes as Cherry and Grant (guests at Forsyth’s Satpura Lodge) eventually stopped holding on to their seats and took in the picturesque sunrise.

The river Terns greeted us with their loud calls as we inched towards Bagha Nallah. Our destination was the confluence of the two rivers the Denwa and the Sonbadhra. After about 30 minutes of canoeing we saw about 35 wild boar drinking at the waters edge. About 500 meters ahead on a peepal tree there was a mixed flock of Malabar pied Hornbills and Grey hornbills along with some yellow footed green pigeons. Reluctant to leave the birds behind we moved past Mel forest camp and up the Sonbadhra river. We had heard the calls of bar-headed geese and decided to follow the sound to try get a glimpse of them. As we turned a corner we found a flock of about 12 geese along with a Sambar stag and two hinds. The deer sensed our presence and slowly moved into tree cover.

Bar-headed Geese - Winter migrants at Satpura NP.
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After watching the geese for sometime we turned the canoes around and headed back to the camp for breakfast.

As we approached the camp there was some movement on the bank opposite us. We stopped paddling to get a closer look and it was an amazing sight of a pack of Asiatic wild dogs or dhole. We counted about 9 dogs strolling along the banks, which were presumably part of a larger pack. A lone dog looked on for a while as the rest of the pack hurried away into the thicket and he followed them. Although it was a brief sighting, it was an exceptional moment from a canoe without the engine noise and other people to disturb the peace.

Dhole/ Wild Dog
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After a quick breakfast stop at the camp we paddled on back towards the jetty looking at some grey heron and a lone osprey perched upon a dead tree. We were still talking about the wild dogs when Kailash (park guide) pointed to a mud bank to the left of us and a lone dhole crossed at a steady pace and disappeared into a ravine. We waited there to see if there were more dogs and at almost equal intervals three more dogs crossed looking at us warily from a distance. These dogs were presumably part of a different pack as it was quite a distance from the previous sighting. With the sun on our backs and having seen the Dhole from our canoe it certainly was a perfect morning.

Guests enjoying a Canoe ride at Satpura Mudflats
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Naturalist: Varun Devraj; Guides: Kailash & Babulal
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Old 24th November 2012, 08:56   #8
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th November 2012, 11:35   #9
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

Fantastic Report there. The photo of the leopard is a classic. The leopards do camouflage very well, which actually makes the spotting even more difficult.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th November 2012, 12:09   #10
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

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Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
O! Joy!

This first post - and i think very rare pics of Satpura national park - a beautiful opening to the thread. To top it - the disclaimer! I guess a lot of guys here (including me) would want to be in your shoes at the moment.

Other than the jungle and wildlife pics - pls also give us updates on the changes in your life - that shifting from a city like Bangalore into a jungle in MP has brought about.

A lot of us think of doing things like this - but only few ever take such steps!

Do keep posting and keep this thread alive!
Thanks for your comments. Will definitely share that as well in one of my posts.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I wholeheartedly second what Sachin has said. Not much material is available about Satpura and that was one of the primary reasons for removing it from my itinerary when I did the MP trip in 2011.

Now that disclaimer interests me a lot. Following the adage that the customer is the king, I expect & hope that you shall be personally escorting me in the Satpura jungles, as & when I plan a trip and that should be very soon.

Will be following this thread very very keenly..!
It will be my pleasure to have you here at the lodge and also to take you into the park personally. Do let me know when you plan to drive down and I shall be at your service Have been a big fan of your travelouges as well! Will need you help in planning a trip to Leh anyway!
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Old 24th November 2012, 15:52   #11
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

Rishi,

Food chain here looks healthy.

This is great news a wildlife comrade, TBHPian is now the GM of a lodge right here.

This forest in spite of opening recently hasn't yet been publicized like the others and its remoteness too has been a boon for the wildlife. A lot of this forest is still virgin territory I presume.

Should start making plans, after notations from you about the best time of the year for animal sightings. Since you are here, its a double whammy.

Looking forward to this place in the esteemed company of GD Sir, Sachin Coooolcat21 and other TBHP wildlife friends, all together as a meet, you are already there.

Options open.
Regards,
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Old 24th November 2012, 17:43   #12
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

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Rishi,

Food chain here looks healthy.

This is great news a wildlife comrade, TBHPian is now the GM of a lodge right here.

This forest in spite of opening recently hasn't yet been publicized like the others and its remoteness too has been a boon for the wildlife. A lot of this forest is still virgin territory I presume.

Should start making plans, after notations from you about the best time of the year for animal sightings. Since you are here, its a double whammy.

Looking forward to this place in the esteemed company of GD Sir, Sachin Coooolcat21 and other TBHP wildlife friends, all together as a meet, you are already there.

Options open.
Regards,
Dear Fazal sir,

It will be a pleasure to host you and our fellow wildlifers in the forum here at the lodge. Best time to come here is anytime between Mid-nov and end of March. Also in the winter months, Satpura is full of migratory birds! So this place is an absolute delight

From Hyderabad its fairly easy to get here. A lot of people actually drive down. Its good roads almost all the way. From Nagpur you will need to take the Nagpur - Chhindwara route and not the NAgpur - Sewni (seoni) - Chhindwara route though to reach Pipariya. We are about 45 mins away from Piparia!

Regards,
Rishi
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Old 24th November 2012, 19:10   #13
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

Wow! the quality of pictures of animals is absolutely amazing! the Leopard is the best i have seen till date! Good work keep it up - what about the density and sighting of leopards and tigers? How frequent is it?
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Old 25th November 2012, 08:52   #14
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

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Wow! the quality of pictures of animals is absolutely amazing! the Leopard is the best i have seen till date! Good work keep it up - what about the density and sighting of leopards and tigers? How frequent is it?
Hi Sach.sri... Density and sightings are not bad. Satpura is known more for its Leopards, sloth bears and wild dogs. We in fact have the highest density of Leopards in the country as per a study done by WII. Tiger sightings are rarer as they are not habituated to human presence like in other parks. This is one park where you can actually see proper Tiger behaviour in terms of shying away, hiding a few feet away from you, basically how tigers actually should be.

I will be posting a write-up of a walk pretty soon. This is a walk that guests do inside the park. That is an absolute must when one visits Satpura. Walking in Tiger country is just brilliant. We have had some fantastic leopard, bear (most common), wild dogs sightings on walks and have also come across a tiger once on a walk. We could hear it growl but couldnt see it. We at Forsyth's Lodge definitely recommend it!
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Old 26th November 2012, 16:20   #15
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Default Re: Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP

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Let me put this disclaimer right in the beginning: I am now the General Manager at Forsyth's Lodge, Satpura (www.forsythlodge.com) and absolutely love it! Quit my job in Bangalore and just decided to follow my dreams
Good luck to you, very few have the courage to chase their dreams. Well done to you.
Wonderful picture of the Leopard, doesn't look like a full grown.
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