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Old 6th May 2010, 12:24   #1
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Default A Week-long Wildlife Adventure - Kanha & Bandhavgarh

Where :

Kanha National Park & Bandhavgarh National Park

When :

April, 2010

Route :

Bangalore - Nagpur - Bangalore by air.
Nagpur - Kanha - Bandhavgarh - Kanha - Nagpur by Innova.

Stay :

Baghira Log Hut, Kanha
  • The lodge is run by MP Tourism
  • The only accomodation in Kanha to be inside the forest
  • Highly recommended for any strong-hearted nature lover
  • Lodge has no fence - wild animals move freely within the property
  • Cost : INR 4590 per night in AP plan
  • Safari Cost : INR 1730 per jeep per round inclusive of entry fees
Treehouse Hideaway, Bandhavgarh
  • The lodge is run by Pugdundee Safaris
  • The lodge shares its boundary with the national park (Tala zone) with just 5 treehouses overlooking the forest
  • In-house naturalists are highly skilled and motivated
  • Cost : INR 17000 for a 2N/3D package in JP plan
My detailed review on these lodges can be found at http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/Sabyasachi

My photo album can be seen at http://sabyasachi.shutterfly.com

Wildlife Sightings :

Kanha (5 safari rounds : 4 in Kanha zone, 1 in Sarhi zone)

2 male tigers
~10 neelgai (Blue bull)
100+ deers (spotted, sambar, barking, barasingha)
100+ indian gaurs (bison)
50+ monkeys
20+ wild dogs (dhole)
20+ wild boar
2 jackals
20+ peacocks (in most cases dancing)
1 vulture
1 owl
A lot of other birds

I had visited Kanha before in winter, but Kanha in summer is a totally different experience. While tiger sighting may be comparable between winter (except peak winter) and summer, it is the sighting and activities of other animals that make all the difference. For example, I saw only 2 bisons in winter while they were everywhere this time in summer. At any safari, we would easily see 20+ bisons. The mating calls of deers and peacocks fill the atmosphere all the time - the summer is full of wild sounds compared to winter. We also spotted a lot of wild dogs (considered rare even when compared to tiger) mostly in and around our lodge. They used to come to our lodge to hunt deers and drink water in the water hole next to the property.

Bandhavgarh (2 safari rounds in Tala zone)

5 female tigers and 2 cubs
20+ deers (spotted, sambar)
~5 monkeys
1 monitor lizard
1 jungle cat
50+ vultures
~5 peacocks (no one danced but the largest peacock was sighted here)
A lot of other birds

Bandhavgarh is all about tigers and we saw a lot of them for a lot of time. While in other parks, tiger appears and disappears, here in Bandhavgarh, in all cases tiger never disappeared - we got bored and left the tiger in search of the next one. These big cats are so used to the jeeps and the crowd that they just don't care any more.
One note for the nature lovers - Bandhavgarh is now getting fenced. The Tala zone is almost fully fenced now to restrict animal movement outside of the park. So, it is turning more like an open zoo than a true national park. It is sad but the poaching and poisoning are so rampant in the buffer areas that the authorities had no other option left. Bad news for the old, wounded and weaker tigers - since they can't move to a safer place (buffer areas), they may be killed by the stronger ones in territorial fights.
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Old 6th May 2010, 12:47   #2
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Awesome. This thread is incomplete without pics
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Old 6th May 2010, 12:51   #3
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Wow!! what timing. I was just recently looking up information on these 2 sanctuaries.

Whats the AP plan about(Baghira, Kanha)?
Whats the JP plan about(Treehouse, Bandhavgarh)?
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:10   #4
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Pics Pics Pics
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Wow!! what timing. I was just recently looking up information on these 2 sanctuaries.

Whats the AP plan about(Baghira, Kanha)?
Whats the JP plan about(Treehouse, Bandhavgarh)?
AP : American Plan => including all meals
JP : Jungle Plan => AP + one safari per night of stay
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:13   #6
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I will try to load some pictures by tonight. In the meantime, you may look up my album at http://sabyasachi.shutterfly.com. I uploaded 51 photos there (out of 384 taken).
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:17   #7
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Fellow member redrage also was at Kanha about 2 weeks back or so. No idea if he stayed at the same place as you. However the pictures from Kanha National Park was mind blowing in his FB profile.

Hoping to see some excellent captures from your end here in this thread.
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:27   #8
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Kanha is a must-visit for any wildlife lover. Even though tiger sighting is not as mindblowing as in Bandhavgarh, I personally like Kanha a lot more than any other national park that I visited in India.

I would be happy to answer any question anyone may have on these parks (or even some other ones that I keep visiting - Nagarahole, Bandipur, BRT Sanctuary, Bhadra, Corbett and Ranthambore).

I am now firming up my plan for Kaziranga in Novemeber. In-between, there may be a few visits to the local ones in Karnataka.
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:32   #9
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@sabynag, please post a day by day travelogue with lots and lots of pictures. The list of wildlife spotting gives us an idea how much fun you had.
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Old 6th May 2010, 14:27   #10
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Looking at the wildlife spotting numbers, its simply awesome. "Got bored with tiger and moved on" - Envy you friend, I am still in search of the elusive king of Indian forst.
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Old 6th May 2010, 15:29   #11
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Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Looking at the wildlife spotting numbers, its simply awesome. "Got bored with tiger and moved on" - Envy you friend, I am still in search of the elusive king of Indian forst.
Good tiger sighting opportunities, though a matter of chance, depend on a few basic planning. Follow them and then others will envy you

1. Never visit a forest in long weekends or for that matter in any weekend. Weekends are generally high on tourist traffic with more jeeps entering the forest. This scares the animals who prefer to stay deep inside the bushes leading to a drop in sightings. Many wildlife lodge owners candidly told me that they make most business in those days when the chances of predator sightings are least.
2. When it comes to tiger sighting, 5 months are considered relatively better than the rest - November, March, April, May and June.
3. Choice of guide/driver is extremely important for tiger sighting. With a good guide, tiger sighting is 70% luck, with a bad one, you would need 100% luck.
4. Morning (upto 8AM) and evening (after 5PM) are equally good for tiger sighting. So, don't believe it, if anyone tells that evening is better than the morning or vice versa. Never have a bias towards any specific slot.
5. Spend atleast 3-4 nights at the same place and take at least 5 drives.

Bandipur is the place where I saw a wild tiger for the first time in my life and Kabini is the only place till date where I have seen a leopard. So, don't believe the myth that south indian forests are not good for predator sighting. If anyone claims so, ask how many of the above five rules they followed in their unsuccessful visit - it is not the park but the planning that may be the reason for poor sighting.
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Old 6th May 2010, 16:09   #12
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Sabyasachi Da, Awesome photos @ Shutterfly.

The resorts you have opted for are a little bit on the expensive side. Are there decent options under 1.5k per night?
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Old 6th May 2010, 16:45   #13
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Sabyasachi Da, Awesome photos @ Shutterfly.

The resorts you have opted for are a little bit on the expensive side. Are there decent options under 1.5k per night?
MP tourism runs a dormitory right next to Baghira Log Hut at Kanha. At INR 600 per person, this is the cheapest option in Kanha with no compromize on location. There are a lot of private lodges outside Khatia gate. These are generally cheaper and you may find quite a few of them to come down below 1.5K per night with a little bit of negotiation.

At Bandhavgarh, it is not difficult to find a lodge at 1.5K - there are a lot of them in Tala village.
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Old 6th May 2010, 17:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabynag View Post
Good tiger sighting opportunities, though a matter of chance, depend on a few basic planning. Follow them and then others will envy you

1. Never visit a forest in long weekends or for that matter in any weekend. Weekends are generally high on tourist traffic with more jeeps entering the forest. This scares the animals who prefer to stay deep inside the bushes leading to a drop in sightings. Many wildlife lodge owners candidly told me that they make most business in those days when the chances of predator sightings are least.
2. When it comes to tiger sighting, 5 months are considered relatively better than the rest - November, March, April, May and June.
3. Choice of guide/driver is extremely important for tiger sighting. With a good guide, tiger sighting is 70% luck, with a bad one, you would need 100% luck.
4. Morning (upto 8AM) and evening (after 5PM) are equally good for tiger sighting. So, don't believe it, if anyone tells that evening is better than the morning or vice versa. Never have a bias towards any specific slot.
5. Spend atleast 3-4 nights at the same place and take at least 5 drives.

Bandipur is the place where I saw a wild tiger for the first time in my life and Kabini is the only place till date where I have seen a leopard. So, don't believe the myth that south indian forests are not good for predator sighting. If anyone claims so, ask how many of the above five rules they followed in their unsuccessful visit - it is not the park but the planning that may be the reason for poor sighting.
Many thanks for your details. Last month while I was on a morning Safari in Muthanga we found tiger tracks in front our jeep. Our guide told that it was fresh and should be walking in front of us and will sight him soon. But hard luck we could not spot him. There were no other animals around since the king was on the prowl and I still remember the stillness of the forest then. I was lucky to spot a Leopard in Chinnar while returning from Munnar. Surprisingly it was around 12 noon and leopards are not known to make an appearance in during then
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Old 6th May 2010, 19:15   #15
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Hi Saby,

This is turning out to be a really good travelogue. But like others, the absence of the photos is sorely missed. Please update them at the earliest.
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