Bandhavgarh is a popular wildlife tourism destinations. Just like other tiger reserves, here also jungle safari drives are offered to tourists so that they can see the wildlife and have a lifetime experience in Bandhavgarh tour. Here safaris are offered in three different modes i.e. jeep safari, elephant ride and canter safari. Among them, jeep safari and canter safari is more popular among tourists as it is more affordable and easily available to interested visitors. Elephant ride is also popular due to very few elephants available for forest department, most of them are used for patrolling purpose so this ride is discouraged. It is very costly and requires more formalities due to which remain away from reach of normal tourists. Here we have described important information on jungle safaris in Bandhavgarh.
The Flora & Fauna
The forest of Bandhavgarh can be classified as moist deciduous, and the National Park holds all those animal species which are typical of this habitat in Central India. Certain areas of the park (particularly the south and the west) are drier in character, and hold such species as the Nilgai and the Chinkara. Sal forest occurs throughout the valleys, giving way to mixed forest which occurs where the soil is of relatively poor quality on the upper hill slopes, on rocky outcrops and in the South and West. Grassy meadow patches occur in the valley and along the nalas.
Bandhavgarh is densely populated with tiger and other wildlife species. The great Gaur, or Indian Bison, can be seen with ease, as they come onto the meadows to graze at dusk; Sambar and Barking Deer are a common sight, and Nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park.
There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. Mammals such as Dhole, the small Indian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally. Among the herbivores, Gaur is the only coarse feeder.
The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in bird life. The common ones are Little Grebe, Egret, lesser Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal, White-eyed Buzzard, Black Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Dove, Parakeets, Kingfishers and Indian Rollers. Reptilian Fauna include Cobxzra, Krait, Viper, Rat-snake, Python, Turtle and a number of lizard varieties, including Varanus.
How to Reach
By Air:- Nearest airport is at Jabalpur (164 km). The most convenient route to Bandhavgarh is to fly from Delhi to Khajuraho from where it is a five and a half hour drive (237 km). Though long, the drive is interesting. The road rosses the Ken river, some stretches of which have been declared a crocodile sanctuary famous for Ghariyal, a rare fish eating crocodile. It then goes past Panna town, famous for its diamond mines, to Satna, the midway point from where it branches off on a subsidiary road across ridges of the Vindhyachal to Bandhavgarh.
By Train:- The nearest railway stations are Jabalpur (164 km), Katni (102 km), and Satna 120 km) on the Central Railway and Umaria (35 km) on the South-Eastern Railway.
By Road:- State / private transport buses ply between Katni and Umaria and from Satna and Rewa to Tala (Bandhavgarh). Taxis are available at Satna, Jabalpur,Katni, Umaria, Bilaspur ( 300 km) and Khajuraho.
February to June, although the cool season is much more comfortable and still very good for wildlife. The park is closed from July 1 to September 30 because of the monsoon. For those planning a visit, a stay of at least three nights is recommended in order to have a good chance of seeing the more elusive animals – although, of course, a brief visit will also be very interesting.