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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Phen Wildlife Sanctuary - A wildlife paradise

111 Sq Kms of pristine forest, North East of Kanha Tiger Reserve, a mini satellite core of Kanha – Phen Wildlife Sanctuary, is in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. A nature lovers’ paradise, it is best for bird watchers and ones who love forest.  With Sal, Teak, Saja, Aonla, Tendu, Jamun, Bel, Bamboo and Bargad it has more than 800 known species of flora. Mammals and bird life abound, we can spot more than 200 bird species along with Hyena, Fox, Sloth bear, Gaur, Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat and Blue Bull and other wildlife. A few very lucky ones even spot a Tiger – the King of Indian forests.
Bamhani Dadar used to be like this when we used to visit in October” exclaimed Kalim bhai. At places our 4x4 Gypsy could not be seen under tall grass in the beautiful meadows.  “Yes, it reminds us of 20 years back, when Kanha had less tourist influx and most of it was open for tourism.” Kamal added. Ravi our guide provided by forest department had excellent knowledge of local fauna which was a treat and increased our knowledge.
“We should come back between mid-November till mid-February for bird watching, to spot migratory birds” I add. Due to very few tourists visiting the sanctuary animals here are very cautious of any sound or sight of humans. Sir, ‘Tendua’ (Leopard) exclaimed Ravi, the rosettes could be seen clearly. Walking through dense foliage it climbed up a tree, away from our prying eyes. Sloth bear pugmarks could be seen at many places. We were lucky enough to spot Jungle Cat, Blue Bull, Gaur, Wild Boar and Spotted deer amongst others.  
Kanha national park management has worked hard on restoration of forest. Villages from inside were relocated making the forest inviolate - void of human interference. Old school building of one time human settlement is being used by forest department for management purpose which has saved a lot of money on developing fresh setup, a move worth commendation.

Madhya Pradesh Tourism is starting a wildlife lodge near the entry gate, till than the only option is to live nearby at any resort in Kanha. We were carrying our own jungle hamper and thank our stars for it. Since still very few tourists visit Phen the infrastructure is not well developed and it does not have a cafeteria. Hopefully soon Phen Sanctuary will set a leading example on Responsible wildlife  Eco-Tourism in India.

If you love nature just do not contemplate, plan your tour and enjoy wilderness – undisturbed and pristine.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Step by step guide to book your safari excursion

Want to spot a tiger in the wild?
Planning a wildlife holiday to Madhya Pradesh?
Tiger at Kanha National Park
Book your safari well in advance to have a great safari experience......

Here is a how to book your own safari, a step to step guide to make your wildlife experience a perfect one and end dependency on others:

1 - Go to website

2 - Choose your Destination - Following options are available at present - Kanha national park, Bandhavgarh national park, Pench national park, Panna national park and Satpura national park. Here we have chosen Kanha.
3 - Choose your date of travel
4 - Choose your ticket type - You have 2 options to choose between full vehicle permit and single person permit. If only 2 - 3 people are going for holiday and you are comfortable with sharing with others single vehicle permit is a good option. If you are going for photography or with a larger group of 4 - 6 guests it is better to book full vehicle permit.
5 - Click on - 'Excursion Availability' tab

6 - Click on date for which you want to book safari excursion. Here in example we have clicked 01-12-2016 for full vehicle permit.

7 - Fill Zone (Kanha / Kisli / Sarhi / Mukki) and round details (morning / evening).
8 - Leave vehicle type and other details as it is and click on 'Proceed for tourist details' tab.

9 - Fill full details as required, do not forget ID proof number of all guests. Click at 'I agree' tab at last and Continue tab.

10 - Check all details, note down the booking id generated. Click payment tab.

11 - Make payment online. You will get a confirmation that your ticket is booked.

Carry your ticket printout along with original ID proof as filled while booking permit, get it checked at entry gate and enjoy your safari.

Present safari permit rate (2016 - 17 Season) is 1500/- for a full vehicle permit. You also have to pay Rs. 50/- extra as portal charges. Vehicle charges and guide charges are extra which you have to pay at the hotel or entry gate. Safari vehicle charges are between 1800/- to 2500/- at different national parks.

Enjoy your forest excursions at Tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh, Cheers!!!