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Old 3rd October 2008, 14:36   #1
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Default Pench Jungle Safari

Entry to Pench jungle safari started from 1st Oct 2008. 2nd Oct being holiday, I thought of going there for the evening safari, started by 12 noon from Nagpur, it took almost 45 minutes to cross the Nagpur city limits, which is getting extended day by day, now Kampti and Kanhan both looks like part of Nagpur, few year back the distance between Nagpur, Kampti was 12km, but now it's not, it looks like once you cross the octroi post you are in kampti. Anyway being holiday the city traffic was tough to negotiate, once on highway the speed picked up and was comfortably cruising in range of 100-110, crossed Mansar, which is 42kms from Nagpur and after 10 kms from here you have Pench National park entrance in Maharashtra, this is one part of Jungle, which is mostly famous for Totladoa Dam, they do allow you to roam in jungle, but this is not the entrance of main Jungle, the Pench Jungle is divided in part because of Pench river and this side of Pench Jungle lies in Maharashtra, though the Jungle is quite good, but it mostly a buffer zone rather than core Jungle, stopped there to find out the timing and the guard there said 3.30PM, the time was 1.30PM, I decided to venture to main Jungle from MP side, the Maharashtra entrance is at 52 kms, this entrance is on National Highway.

The MP jungle detour is at 72 KM from Nagpur, it almost on the border, once you cross the border check post, you see the entrance sign board, the actual entrance is 14 kms from here, reached the Jungle gate by 2.15PM got the formalities done, paid Rs 680 for entrance and decided to take my own vehicle rather than choosing the open Gypsy[ the open Gypsy rent are Rs800, and it will go up as the season picks, this was the second day and 4th entry of the season]. I believe the best way to enjoy the Jungle is in open Gypsy, not in own vehicle, our vehicle has very less visibility than open vehicle and if you are driving the vehicle all your focus in on drive rather than on jungle. Next time would choose these Gypsy rather than own vehicle.

Jungle entry starts at 2.30 and you have to return back by 5.30, these timing changes based on the day lighting. I was the first one to enter the jungle, there is Taj Resort in Pench and they use Tata 4x4 sitting arrangement are custom made for Jungle, there was a group of foreigner in that vehicle, which I let them to pass me. Each and every one need to take the government appointed guides, and no one is allowed to get down from vehicle at any point in jungle.

We spent next 3 hours in jungle roaming around to see tiger and leopard but were not able to spot/sight any, the only time we came close was at one location there was a "sighting call" from animals mostly langurs, the guide told me,its must be a leopard within 10 meter from the vehicle, but we were not able to see, we spent good 15 minute there, but then decided to move on from there. It here you realize you need an open vehicle to freely move and allow the guide to really sight the thing early and get you in position. The only sighting for us was Sāmbhar, spotted dear, monkeys and Peacocks.

The only adventure for me was to drive Scorpio on jungle road, with some good some really tough terrains and some off road rock climbing, and the vehicle did performed well.

I plan to go back to this jungle soon for at least 2 entries to see tiger. Was back home by 8PM in Nagpur.

Enjoy few of the Jungle pictures below.

image 1,2,3: road toward jungle entrance
image 4: small water stream
image 5: Jungle road
image 6: The taj group open vehicle
image 7: Monkeys in Jungle
image 8: Jungle
image 9: spotted dear[you need to enlarge the image to see then ;-(]
image 10,11: jungle
image 12: lake and you can see lots of animal here
image 13: Grass on both side even higher than scorpio!
image 14: Off road with in jungle
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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:02   #2
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Hai,

Nice report with pictures.

Are diesel cars allowed in there? I think in Kanha and Bandhavgarh only gypsy's are allowed inside the perimetre. Pench MPTDC has a 25 room hotel inside the jungle and a good conference hall, as reported by my colleagues who did some meetings there.

They also say the tiger population is not as high as other WLS in MP. Anyway, in summer your chances of sightings increase when the man-made water-holes attract animals; just after the rains, there'd be enougth water inside the forest, they may not be motivated to wander out on the tracks.

Wish you luck on your next drive up there,

--Ramky
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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:07   #3
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hi pramods,
seems you are making lot of trips these days.
your area is blessed with lot of forest with wild animals.
i think, during jungle safaris, one has to keep lot of patience for animal spotting.
how your Scorpio behaved on jungle tracks ?
i had done similar safari in my alto last year at mayureshwar sanctuary near baramati and spotted chinkaras, fox, jackals, taras[ i don't know name in english].
its different experience.
i see one car in last pic. is it that easy?

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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:09   #4
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Diesel cars are allowed, provided they are less than 5 years old, as per the forest officials there are 56 tigers in Pench, 33 in the area were peoples are allowed and 47 leopards, in winter morning is the time when most of the sighting happens, because the tiger don't want to roam on wait grass, and they take the jungle road ;-) being so close to this jungle, I may plan an early morning visit some day, so I can take the morning safari and then again evening and be back same day.

-Pramod
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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
hi pramods,

i see one car in last pic. is it that easy?
There are multiple route in Jungle and based on the Car ability the guide would choose the route, 70% route is doable in normal car, while remaining 30% would be real tough for car to do, mostly where there are big boulders and road where there the road is nothing but 2 set of "nalis" you need GC as well as bigger tire to negotiate.

-Pramod
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Old 3rd October 2008, 16:48   #6
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Pramods... Good writeup and Snaps!! I would love to visit Pench too
It sure looks perfect tiger habitat to me... those open grass land forests r good for spotted dear.. meaning they r good for Tigers too..
How does ur Scorpio behave on off-roads? My experience is limited in a scorpio, but wat i have seen is that it is like a boat cruise... u know wat i mean... shock sct upon a bit too much.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 17:34   #7
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Nice report and pics. Have you taken any photos of the animals you have mentioned or the only the monkeys. I think you travelled in Scorpio. I think you did some bit of off roading in jungle. Do post some more pics if you have taken...
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Old 3rd October 2008, 17:44   #8
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there are few animals in the picture I posted but it need to be viewed at full resolution, Jungle photography need good camera , optical zoom and patience , I used my N95, should have at least used sony cam with 3x zoom, that would have got better shot. Scorpio performed well and I believe the latest one have better suspension than, and the roll are reduced to certain extent.

-Pramod
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Old 3rd October 2008, 18:11   #9
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Nice pics pramods...this is one of my fav places...been to to this park couple of times
the best places are still in away as those areas which are not open for public...
In 2006 in restricted area( had taken elephant ride) we spotted 5 tigers at a single place...Taj resort and the other one are pretty good..also on highway towards seoni
around 15 kms from entry point of pench is rukhar forest lodge(MPTDC)..they have nice coffee and refreshment shop....
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