Wildlife in Kanha National Park: A photo essay

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Wildlife Tourism India
tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Kanha National Park is one of the best tiger reserves in India

THE KHATIA GATE OF KANHA NATIONAL PARK and tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh is a busy place at 6 a.m. in mid-winter. Indian made jeeps, called gypsies, have been arriving since about 5:15 to be first in line when the gate opens at 6:15. Guides and naturalists line up at the park registration window while officials check passports. And eager tiger safari tourists, wrapped up in coats and blankets to keep the morning chill at bay, check their camera equipment.

There’s an unmistakable buzz in the air, and unmistakable camaraderie among the guides and naturalists, as the first light of day dawns on the busy scene. Everyone knows this is one of the best tiger reserves in India. With only minutes to go before the gate opens, the buzz turns to excitement at the entrance of the safari park. Engines are revved, gypsies jostle for position, cameras come out, and the park gate opens. And then a five-hour drive through some of India’s most beautiful forested landscapes begins.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Langur monkeys in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

The lure of tiger reserves in India

I became addicted to this routine when I was in Madhya Pradesh with Pugdundee Safaris. I jumped out of bed each morning excited to get into Kanha National Park. I loved the routine at the gate, drinking steamy hot chai in the chilly gloom, and chatting with the guides and naturalists. And, of course, I loved the drive itself – virtually everything about it. The possibility of spotting a tiger, the joy of experiencing a natural paradise, the pleasure of seeing all the other birds, animals, trees, and butterflies in Kanha, and the stop for a picnic breakfast.

Like many of the tourists on tiger safari, I too was intent on seeing a tiger. When the guides picked up the alarm calls and started the chase to, hopefully, spotting a tiger, I was as excited as anyone. It’s thrilling to follow signs and signals, and to focus your eyes and attention on looking for sinewy stripes in the forest.

But there’s so much more to see in Kanha National Park than tigers. The Pugdundee Safaris naturalists are all extremely well-trained and passionate nature lovers. They know as much about the many other mammals, birds, and flora and fauna of Kanha, as they do about the tiger population. And they are quick to spot them while driving.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Leopard with kill in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge also offers walking safaris and village cycling tours – and there’s lots of opportunities for bird watching and getting to know the area’s flora and fauna up-close on these tours as well.

I spent about four days at the award-winning, luxury lodge and experienced everything that both Kanha Earth Lodge and Kanha National Park have to offer. Along with seeing several tigers – including the Munna, the King of Kanha – I saw spotted deer, barasingha, sambar, gaur, golden jackals, jungle cats, wild boar, langur monkeys, barking deer, and wild dogs.

I also saw more birds than I could count – including about eight different birds of prey, several species of hornbills, kingfishers, parakeets, egrets, and owls, and my favourites – the racket-tailed drongo, green bee eater, and Indian roller.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Grey-leg geese in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

There are so many things I loved about Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge (and you can read about some of them here). But, for me, number one is the quality of the naturalists, and the attention they give to the lodge guests. They are always available to drive you into the park, to walk with you into the forest, and up to sunset point, and to share their knowledge and passion for the natural world.

I was guided at Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge by several of the naturalists, including KD Kargeti and Harpreet Dhillon. I saw a tiger with KD in Kanha, and spent about three days with Harpreet experiencing a walking safari, village cycle tour, and sunset point. I discovered that Harpreet is not just a great naturalist, he’s also a talented photographer. Thanks to Harpreet for sharing just a few of his wildlife photos on this blog. You can find many more on his Facebook page and Instagram – and he’s adding to them all the time.

Also want to give a shout out to Pugdundee Safaris for the company’s commitment to responsible tourism. You can read more about their conservation policy here, and I can tell you that I witnessed it first hand.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Barasingha (swamp deer) in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

India Tours: Tiger safari in India

In fact, I was so impressed with Pugdundee Safaris, that I am offering a tour in collaboration with them to my favourite tiger reserves in India. I will be offering a Pugdundee Safaris tour of some of India’s top tiger reserves March 21 – April 2, 2018 (when it is starting to get hot, and the animals are easier to spot). You can come along with me and see for yourself why seeing a tiger in the wild was one of the most amazing travel experiences of my life.

This is going to be a very special trip. We will stay in Pugdundee Safaris award-winning lodges, be guided by their talented naturalists, enjoy delicious local foods, and take part in some very special, customized experiences – such as walking safaris, a boat ride, village visits, hiking, and one overnight camp in Satpura National Park. At least 8 game drives, in Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Pench guaranteed – which means your chances of seeing a tiger are excellent. I did a similar trip and saw 11 tigers! We will need confirmed bookings on this one by end of November as the tiger reserves book up completely about three-to-four months in advance. The tour is organized and sold by Pugdundee Safaris.

If you are interested in this tour, please send me and email at [email protected] with TIGERS in the subject line and I will put you on the mailing list to receive more information.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Thanks to Pugdundee Safaris

It was more than the two people I mentioned above — KD and Harpreet — who made my stay at Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge so incredible. It was everyone – the managers, the staff, the other naturalists, the waiters, the chefs … virtually everyone, and I can’t name you all. But you know who you are.

NOTE: I was hosted by Pugdundee Safaris at their lodges in Madhya Pradesh, India. As always, my opinions are my own, my stories are heart-felt and I only make recommendations based on personal experience and with the needs of my readers in mind.

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Golden jackal in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Jungle cat Bengal in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park

Langur monkeys in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon


If you enjoyed this post, you can….

Get updates and read additional stories on the Breathedreamgo Facebook page.

Follow Breathedreamgo on Instagram.

Follow Breathedreamgo on Twitter.

Series Navigation<< Pugdundee Safaris Lodges: Home base for tiger safaris in India

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 Responses to Wildlife in Kanha National Park: A photo essay

  1. Alex Steven May 18, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    Lovely captures. Wildlife seems to be at its best. Thanks a ton for sharing.

  2. Ronnie Walter May 19, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    I have been a lover of wildlife for quite sometime now. Your pictures are really amazing. Perfectly captured. Thanks for sharing the information.

  3. Reshma May 31, 2017 at 6:39 am #

    Kanha is one of the most beautiful parks in India. I’m yet to visit it though. Lucky that you were able to spot many animals and birds. I have not had much luck with any safaris in India so far. In fact, so unlucky that despite staying at Jim Corbett for 3 days, couldn’t spot a single tiger! I’m glad that you had a great experience with Pugdundee Safaris!
    Reshma recently posted..Baijnath Temple – An Ancient Abode of Fine ArchitectureMy Profile

  4. Vidyut Rautela June 2, 2017 at 12:39 am #

    Stunning collection of pictures, wonderful post Mariellen.

    I also blog stories from India at my blog:

    http://triplyzer.com/india
    Vidyut Rautela recently posted..Visual guide to Corniglia, Cinque TerreMy Profile

  5. Mayur Joshi June 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    Great Images! Kanha National Park looks very interesting! India is awesome!

  6. Courtney Blacher June 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    I would love to have any of them as a pet! They’re so beautiful.

  7. Jillian Michelle June 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to see a tiger up close! (But err…not toooo…close. Heh)

    Love these pictures! <3
    Jillian Michelle recently posted..College of Wizardry Course Guide – Here’s a detailed guide to the 13 classes you can study at the real life Hogwarts Castle in PolandMy Profile

    • Mariellen Ward July 9, 2017 at 10:56 am #

      It’s an amazing, life-changing experience to see a tiger in the wild. But it didn’t really occur to me that I was in an uncovered jeep, with a tiger only a few feet away. I never thought about or worried about my safety at all. Just the thrill of seeing the tiger.
      Mariellen Ward recently posted..Pugdundee Safaris Lodges: Home base for tiger safaris in IndiaMy Profile

  8. Stephanie June 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

    Your photos of the tiger are so stunning!

  9. Stefanie July 9, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    Woow, this looks really amazing,
    This is really on my have to do list before i get into my 40’s

    Keep posting,
    Kind regards
    Stefanie

  10. Rosalie July 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    This looks incredible! I’m going there in January and CANNOT WAIT. FIngers crossed my photography will be half as good as yours 🙂

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Quantcast