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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kanha National Park - Information and FAQ

FAQ – Kanha National Park & Tiger Reserve

Map of Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve
  • What is Kanha National Park?

    • Kanha National Park is a protected forest and designated tiger reserve spread over more than 2000 Sq. Kms. (including core and buffer area) of dense Sal and Bamboo forest. It is one of the best managed national parks of India and famous for seeing Tigers and other denizens of jungle. Hard ground Barasingha found here is endemic to kanha landscape.
  • Where is Kanha Tiger Reserve located?
    • Situated in Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha falls in Satpura Maikal Landscape, spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts of the state adjoining Chattisgarh.
  • What can we do at Kanha?
    • Kanha forests are famous for jungle safari on 4x4 open Gypsy to see Tiger and other wildlife. It is the best place to enjoy the pristine forests of central India, bird watching, wildlife photography, wellness – Yoga / meditation tours or just for a relaxing holiday with family and friends. Interested people can visit Medicinal Plantation Conservation Area to enjoy the floral diversity of this world renowned forest reserve.  
  • When should we visit Kanha?
    • Kanha national park is open for tourism between 16th of October till 30th of June every year. For tourists who want to visit the core area on jeep safari should visit in this time only but for avid nature lovers and people who want to relax or do Yoga / Meditation or wellness tour it is open for whole 12 months.
    • Wildlife photographers and nature lovers should plan a trip in all seasons to enjoy this beautiful jungle. All seasons have their own advantages and disadvantages like in summers it’s very hot and dry here but wildlife sightings and visibility is better and in monsoon season although you may not be able to enter the core area but its great time to photograph reptiles, butterflies and other insects along with some mammals which come out in buffer region as well as enjoy the floral diversity.
    • Wildlife lovers should try to avoid peak tourism season like Dusshera, Dipawali, Christmas, New Year and long weekends.
    • In general October to mid December and mid February to mid May are best time to visit.
  • Which is best season to visit Kanha, MP?
    • As I told above, all seasons have their advantages and disadvantages. Family tours are best planned between October and April. November, February, March and April are best season at Kanha when evenings and nights are very pleasant. These months suit almost all tourists.
    • Kanha has extreme climate so its very hot in summers (max. temp 44 degrees centigrade), cold in winters (minimum temperature can drop to -2 degrees centigrade) and rains heavily in monsoon.
    • Kanha national park is closed for safari from 1st July to 15th October.
  • How will be the weather at Kanha National Park?
    • Kanha has extreme and tropical climate with January being the coldest and May / June hottest months.
  • Are Central Indian tiger reserves tourists friendly?
    • All tiger reserves and national parks of central India including Kanha and Bandhavgarh have very good tourist infrastructure. They have facilities suiting all budgets and can be reached very comfortably in taxi / cab. National parks have some do’s and don’ts which all tourists should follow. Many hotels have facilities for special needs of tourists and medical facilities are available within 50 Kms of most tiger reserves. But, we suggest that guests should carry their medicines and prescriptions with them always.
  • What languages are used at Tiger preserves of MP?
    • At almost all tiger reserves in MP including Kanha and Bandhavgarh national park English and Hindi are widely spoken. Some accommodation facilities also have other language guides / interpreters available but they are few. If you want a particular language guide confirm with your accommodation provider about availability.
  • What are other destinations we can cover along with Kanha?
    • When visiting Kanha on holiday you can plan visiting Bandhavgarh tiger reserve, Pench tiger reserve, Satpuda national park, pachmarhi (hill station), Jabalpur, Rewa, Khajuraho (temples), Panna national park, Orcha, Amarkantak, etc., It is best to plan how many days tour you want to make and finalize accordingly. We suggest all national parks in central India should be given 3 night / 4 days and minimum 2 parks should be covered. A 14 night 15 days tour package can cover almost all important tourist destinations of central India.
  • What should be minimum duration of stay at Kanha National Park?
    • We suggest a minimum 3 night stay at Kanha with 3 safaris and 2 jungle walks to enjoy this beautiful forest to its best.
  • Should we book tiger safari package through agent or directly?
    • Both the options are good depending on how you prefer to make your holiday plan. If you have enough time available and can plan personally that is always the best or else you can take pre made packages from any tour operator. If visiting national parks of Madhya Pradesh most accommodation providers here will be able to help you in your plans along with safari booking and transportation and make a tailor made package for you. Budget is a big consideration when planning as pre made and group departure packages are comparatively economical to tailor made / FIT packages. 
  • How are safaris planned?
    • 2 safaris are available every day one from sunrise and one at after noon. There is a break of 3 to 4 hours between both safaris.
    • Safari timings depend on season and can be changed if required.
  • How can we book tiger safari entry permit?
    • Safari entry permits in central Indian forests are best booked through MP Online portal and can be booked directly or through tour operator / wildlife lodge where you are staying. 
    • You can also book your safari entry permit through registered MP Online kiosks or at the entry gate of tiger reserve.
    • Jungle safari is off for Wednesday afternoon in all national parks in Central India.
    • Remember to carry your original photo ID to show at the entry point without which you can be denied admission. 
  • What is zone system for safaris?
    • Kanha tiger reserves tourism is divided into 4 zones namely Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki. One safari entry ticket can take you to any one of above zones only. To visit a specific zone you need to book safari entry permit of the same zone or else you will not be permitted to enter the required zone.
  • How to get a guide / naturalist to accompany for safari?
    • Once your entry permit for safari has been booked you need not worry since you get vehicle and guide both at the main entrance of the national park. As such you are not allowed to enter the park without a registered guide who are trained by the forest department and made available on payment of small fees.
    • If you need a English speaking naturalist ask your accommodation provider and they should be able to arrange one. Most good hotels and resorts in Kanha have their own naturalists who accompany the guests if requested for.
  • Can I take my own vehicle for jungle safari?
    • Only registered vehicles are permitted to take guests for safari in the tiger reserve. You can get a vehicle through the wildlife lodge you are staying with at Kanha or ask for same at the main entry gate.
  • How many people are allowed in one vehicle?
    • One Gypsy is allowed to take maximum 6 guests along with one guide and one driver.
    • Children above the age of 5 years are counted and below 5 are allowed free.
  • Can safari ticket be cancelled / rescheduled?
    • Once safari entry ticket has been booked it cannot be rescheduled but only cancelled.
    • On cancellation of safari permit after deduction of cancellation charges the refund amount is directly sent to your bank account by MP online. 
  • What is elephant safari / Tiger shows?
    • Elephant safari is a good way of enjoying the forest as they take you inside deep forests whereas when on Jeep you have to remain on designated road route. But, we suggest not taking the elephant safaris since these psychederm should be used for patrolling the tiger reserve and not for tourism purpose.
    • Tiger shows were available earlier where after payment of a small amount you were taken on elephant back to show a tiger spotted by the Mahouts while patrolling the forests. This has been banned for in all central Indian forests till further orders.
  • What clothing is best for jungle tourism?
    • Always try to dress in subtle / forest colours as this will help you in camouflage and increase the chances of animal sighting. It is best to avoid bright colours like red, blue, violet, etc.
    • When visiting in winters do carry enough woolens since temperature can drop down to -2 degrees centigrade at times. If visiting February onwards do carry a light woolen jacket / wind cheater as mornings and late evenings can be cold till mid April.
  • What animals can we see at Kanha?
    • Kanha is full of biodiversity and still we do not know how many living beings use it as their home. Till now we have count of 22 mammals, 249 birds, 117 butterflies and other small and big once who play an integral role in natural management of this reserve. With Tiger on the top of tourist list we can see Leopard, Wild Dogs, Jackal, Hyena, Fox, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambhar Deer, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, etc. One of the most endangered of Deer species – Swamp Deer or Hard Ground Barasingha found here is endemic to Kanha and not found anywhere else in the wild. 
    • Further information about Kanha park and its fauna can be checked at: 
  • How is bird watching at Kanha reserve?
    • Kanha has more than 249 known species of birds. Bird watching here can be done in the core area by Gypsy safari or in the buffer region on foot. When planning a bird safari tour to Kanha do keep in mind to include a minimum of 4 to 5 bird watching treks in buffer area along with 3 to 4 core area safaris to see maximum numbers of these flying wonders.  Do carry a good pair of binocular and bird guide book if you are interested in Birding. Your accommodation provider will be able to arrange a good naturalist for you on payment of a small amount of fees. 

  • Which hotels resorts are best for stay at kanha?
    • Kanha has a well developed tourism infrastructure although not very well planned as far as sustainability is concerned. Guests can get accommodation ranging from INR 500/- to upward of INR 20,000/- and more per day so you have wide choice to make from.
    • We will suggest going in for hotels or resorts where the management is keen about its social responsibility and cares for local landscape and biodiversity. A herculean task to search between more than 65 accommodation providers here but looking into sustainable tourism concepts this is important.
    • We suggest Kanha Village Eco Resort, Flame of the Forest, Singinawa, Kipling camp, Indian Adventure, Taj – Banjar Tola, Courtyard House and MP forest department rest houses.
  • What budget should we keep in mind for kanha visit?
    • When visiting Kanha you can get accommodation ranging between INR 500/- to 20,000/- per day stay part depends on your choice.
    • Food here is a bit expensive since most of the farm produce here is costly and other ingredients are bought from cities and towns as far as 250 Kms from here so it may cost around INR 600/- per person per day and more depending on where you eat at road side eatery or a star hotel.
    • Safaris are the most costly of all each safari to premium kanha zone costs around INR 5000/- and in other 3 zones kisli, sarhi and mukki it is around INR 4500/-. This cost includes entry permit fees, gypsy charges, guide charges, safari facilitation charges and any taxes thereon. At some places you are charged higher amount than finalised by MP Tourism as per accommodation providers rules. 
    • Safari cost for foreign nationals is higher and it comes to around INR 7000/- for Kanha zone and INR 5500/-  for Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki zone. 
  • Is kanha a safe destination?
    • In last few years we have not heard of any major unpleasant incident in or around the national park and you will find most people here to be very tourist friendly and helpful.
  • I want to do wildlife photography, what suggestions do you have for me?
    • Wildlife photography has catched up in last few years and we see a lot of young people interested in it. This particular genre of photography is not easy and needs costly equipments which alone will not suffice. The most important factor is to understand wild animals well, anticipate their move and be ready to click at any moment. Kanha is a famous destination within the wildlife photographers fraternity and many famous once have clicked some of their best shots here.
    • To be more Kanha specific, if you are serious about wildlife photography remember there should be maximum 4 members in a gypsy vehicle and preferably all should be photographers or should understand the importance of patience. Carry lenses of up to 400 mm for mammals and 600 mm for birds and a sturdy tripod. Tell your driver and guide about your interest well in advance or else like general tourists you will be running around the park for the stripped cat only and miss many a good photographic opportunities. Drive slowly and keep a good watch. Carry extra battery and storage capacity for your photographs. I suggest you should take photographs in highest possible resolution.
    • One of the most beautiful features of forests is its small living beings like reptiles, insects, butterflies, etc. Do carry a macro lens along to take photographs of these neglected but equally significant, beautiful and colorful once.
    • Cover all the tourism zones of the park and do not forget to take some landscape shots to complete your portfolio. Keep your gear always ready and within reach.
  • Is kanha children / family friendly?
    • Yes, Kanha is a good destination to cover with children and family. This is one of the best places to let your children enjoy the natural heritage of our country, understand its importance and learn to respect the biodiversity our country has to offer. Just keep in mind Kanha has extreme climate so plan your trip keeping this in mind.
  • What should we carry when visiting Central Indian jungles?
    • Medicine is the first and most important thing you need to pack as Kanha, Bandhavgarh and most other tiger reserves are in dense forest area far from cities so it is difficult to get specific medication prescribed.

    • To enjoy this tiger reserve to its best do carry a guide book, list of flora and fauna seen here, a good binocular and a camera along with clothing as per season.
  • How to reach Kanha National Park?
    • Kanha tiger reserve can be reached from Jabalpur (165 Kms via Mandla), Nagpur (260 Kms via Seoni – Nainpur - Chraidongri), Raipur (250 Kms via Chilpi - Baihar) and Gondia (--- Kms). All these places are well connected with road and rail network. Jabalpur, Nagpur and Raipur are also connected by Air with major cities in India.
  • What are the rules and regulations of visiting the park?
    • You can get a copy of rules from the forest department if required. Most hotels and resorts in Kanha will be able to provide a copy of same. Check code of conduct for national parks here:
    • Remember to follow the rules, Do’s and Don’ts carefully if you want to enjoy your jungle ride.
    • Guide and driver of vehicle you take for safari will be able to tell you of all rules. Please follow them carefully as these have been made keeping your safety and maximum enjoyment of the forest as well as safety of wild animals in mind.
    • Always remember you are visiting the wild animals in their home so follow the rules of the jungle always.

We have tried to cover most frequently asked questions which cross tourists mind when planning a visit to any Tiger reserve in Central India with prime focus on Kanha reserve. Still if you have any query feel free to contact me at and we will be very happy to help.

Some detailed information about flora and fauna and geography of Kanha national park and tiger reserve can also be checked at our website

Spotting Tiger in Central Indian Tiger Reserve of Kanha

 You can also visit other national parks and tiger reserves around Kanha like Bandhavgarh, Pench, Tadoba and Satpuda national parks as well as places like Jabalpur, Pachmarhi, Rewa and other tourist destinations of Madhya Pradesh. If you need any help regarding planning your tour package or need information about tourism in central India we will be very happy to help. 


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Thanks for sharing such detailed information botu Kanha National Park. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then check out these wildlife tour packages that are waiting for you with the promise of an exciting holiday.

    3. Thanks for the wonderful write up... we will definitely use your advise as we visit Kanha in Nov. Cheers

    4. Its a complete guide about park. Nestled between two beautiful rivers, Banjar and Helon, Kanha (Kanha Kisli) (Kanha (Kanha Kisli) Kisli) is famous for its rich fauna and beautiful landscape. You will be mesmerized by the dense sal and bamboo forests, winding torrents and undulating grasslands. Check out all best hotels in Kanha also.

    5. Is 1-year old child allowed inside the park for Safari?

    6. Yes, age is not a barrier but do remember in winters it is very cold and in summers very hot so just take care that child is safe. Also, people visit to enjoy safaris so if child is cranky some may object to it (especially when we have a tiger in front and it is getting disturbed) so be little more careful with child and for wildlife also.

    7. The Best part of Wildlife tour is to explore the jungle in open jeep or backing on the back of elephant. It is very unique and cheerful wildlife tour experience that will last forever. One will definitely have a unique wildlife tourism experience at the Kanha National Tiger Reserve.