November 10, 2009

Kanha Trip Report : 08/Nov/2009

On 09th Nov., 2009, Indus Excursion Team went on Kanha National Park Tour. Our main purpose was to gather ground level information. In our tour we visited Kanha Tiger Reserve we have following observations to share:

  1. It has been noticed that resort occupancy in Bandhavgarh has fallen by 50% compare to last tourism season.
  2. It was observed that about 85% visitors are Indian domestic tourists, inbound tourists rarely seen during safari tour.
  3. In compare to Bandhavgarh, Kanha Tourism have good support from domestic tourism. On holidays/weekends, many domestic visitors from Nagpur, Jabalpur & Raipur do visits Kanha.
  4. We begin our safari tour from Digdola area which is considered good for scenic beauty.
  5. It is often said that probability for Tiger sighting in Kanha is less in comparison to Bandhavgarh but we have comfortably seen two Tiger cubs of about 2 years of age in Naag Behra pond, playing with each other. They were with their mother. Sighting lasts for about 1 hour in that location. On further proceeding, we have noticed Tiger Show is also going on in other area but as we are more than satisfied with 1 hr. long tiger sighting, we moved ahead. We were surprised to know that Tiger sighting is not derived from any call.
  6. On our way to Naag Behera we have noticed fresh pug marks in Digdola hills also but there was no sign or tigers found.
  7. Throughout the visit, we have noticed cemented circular pillars of height about 3 ft. high and a numeric digit written on top. Our guide told me that these were the allotted number for each route and Kanha have 144 such routes.
  8. Recently, a 13 month old tigress was found dead, she was daughter of “7 number female tigress” had 3 cubs and all of them died due to some reasons. Now mother tigress was in stage of shock. Tiger show was going on for this aggrieved tigress.
  9. We have seen Crested Changeable Hawk Eagle in Naag Bahera area and did photography for atleast 15-20 mins.
  10. Through out the safari we have noticed a particular large sized spider between two trees. My guide told me it is “Giant Wood Spider”.

November 1, 2009

Bandhavgarh National Park Tour Report

On 29th Oct., 2009, Indus Excursion Team went on tour of Bandhavgarh to gather ground level information. In our tour we visited Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Bandhavgarh Fort and have following observations to share:

  1. It has been noticed that resort occupancy in Bandhavgarh has fallen by 35% compare to last tourism season.
  2. On given date only 38 Jeeps went on safari with high proportion of Domestic Indian visitors. 38 Jeeps means maximum 228 visitors did park safari which is much below expectation.
  3. Usually 2 or 4 vacant jeeps were found vacant during this month of visit but on given date 10-15 jeeps were waiting for visitors.
  4. On talking to safari guides, regarding current tiger-sighting status, they reveals that due to strict implementation of route-system, safari vehicles have to follow a given track and in limited time. They have to report to central point inside the park within a given interval of time which makes them to keep on running throughout the visit. Continuous running leaves less room for safari guide to explain about the places inside the park, few minutes to wait at a time despite of high probability of tiger in that region. Continuous running also reduces the scope of good bird-sighting, some popular places inside the park that don’t fall of allotted route are also skipped.
  5. Safari Guide claims of large number of tigress with cubs in Bandhavgarh and expects good sighting during summers as due to heat limited water sources left which causes animals to come out.
  6. Tiger B2 is of approximate age of 14 years and often kills villager’s cattle which is a alarming sign. Due to old age he kills 2-3 animals at a time and consumes them for next 4-5 days. It was said to know that now B2 have less time left.
  7. New Tiger King is emerging in Bandhavgarh, after Bokha. He is son of B2 and is heavily built up of approximate length 7ft, height of 4ft. He use to visit Chakradhara meadows in every 4-5 days and remains their, for 2 days. He has over-powered B2 and Bokha. In such conflict Bokha has lost one of his front teeth.
  8. During our visit to Bandhavgarh national park, we have noticed very few mammal species and a kind of silence. As per guide, due to large grass and dense forest, easy availability of water, animals have no reason to come in open. But in comparison to our recently concluded Kanha visit, here herd size of animals like wild boar, wild-dog dhole, spotted dear are small. Bird sighting in Kanha National park is better than Bandhavgarh.
  9. The best thing about Bandhavgarh is Bandhavgarh-fort & caves. Caves reveals the marks of human existence in the reserve area and later overtaken by actual king of forest. Natural & man-made caves have helped great to tigress of Bandhavgarh during the period they were with their litter cubs. Fort is at a height of 810 meter high cliff, highest point among 32 other surrounding hills. Large Statues of Varah, tortoise, fish, wild boar, lord Ganesha, 7-hooded snake etc are fabulous. The height of hill gives advantage in bird sighting as one can watch flying birds at their level or from top.
  10. Due large number of sand-stone hills in Bandhavgarh, water remains available to wild animals throughout the year. Sand stone absorbs water and retain them & flows through percolation throughout the year.
  11. Center point inside Bandhavgarh is a small place developed by authorities for reporting of safari jeeps and refreshment for visitors. Here tea, snacks are available. Public toilet is also their, for visitors. But in comparison to Kanha’s center point, it is under-developed & small.
  12. On our question to our safari guide, “why tiger sighting is claimed high in Bandhavgarh?” he says that due to dense web of safari tracks, if they miss the tiger at one point, with anticipation his direction of movement, they can frequently reach the next point. At the same time Tala zone have good number of water holes & prey which makes it best suitable place for tigers. Tala range is breeding ground of tigers.
  13. We were glad to find that during safari, information sharing between passing by safari guides and jeep drivers, helps a lot in animal tracking. It is really appreciable that guides & drivers shares information despite of any discrimination of being with Indian or foreigner client, or belonging to high-profile resort or being fluent in English or local language. It is the only way to share information as they don’t have any communication medium with them during safari.
  14. At the end, we learnt that patience is the best policy to get the things done as per you will in Jungle. Here we have to move according to them (animals) and they move as per their will.