Planning a safari to Central India to see the majestic striped cat – Tiger is a great idea but do look beyond Tigers. Central Indian forests are wildlife lover’s paradise with 22 mammalian, more than 250 bird, 120 butterfly species and number of plants, trees, reptiles, etc. Mostly we plan our trip to spot the most famous big cat – Tiger and forget the others although all are important and integral part of the biodiversity and eco-system.
When going to Madhya Pradesh you can visit any one or two of Tiger reserves be it Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Panna or Satpuda. I personally suggest Kanha and Satpuda if you actually want to enjoy the natural heritage of Central India. At Kanha you stand a very good chance of spotting the striped cat along with the lesser known denizens of the forest. At Satpuda you may enjoy the bird life and take some walks in the wilderness. Kanha is also famous for Hard ground Barasingha (Swamp deer) so called because this particular species has adopted to the central plains instead of swamps where its brethren live.
Do ask your travel agent or hotel where you are staying to arrange a couple of jungle walks along with jeep safaris. Jungle walks are the best and most sustainable way of enjoying and understanding any wilderness area. If possible also plan a visit to local tribal hamlets to see their culture and simple way of living.
So, just do not stop at the Tiger, look beyond……..