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Everyone loves The Jungle Book, but how about actually going there? In the centre of Madhya Pradesh lies Kanha National Park, a sprawling area of green forest, gushing streams and twisted vines. It’s said to be the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s book and, if you’re lucky, you might just see a real-life Shere Khan.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of an explorer, this is the place for you. Home to hundreds of different species of wildlife, Kanha National Park is one of the best-kept and best-run national parks in the whole of India. Conservation is the priority here, and many species have been brought back from near extinction, including the oh-so-cute Barasingha deer.
But, let’s be honest, it’s the tigers we’re all excited about. Awe-inspiring and fear-inducing in equal measure, there’s nothing quite like seeing a big cat in the wild. Feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you catch a flash of orange through the trees, and experience the buzz as you spot a huge paw print. A good number of Royal Bengal tigers roam around the national park, and the park guides are expert trackers – you never know where a peculiar-looking mark on the road could lead you…
So, grab your binoculars, jump in the safari truck and head out into the jungle. There aren’t many times you’re faced with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – and this could be one of them.
No prizes for guessing what the best thing to do in Kanha is. Yep, it’s a wildlife safari. As you bump along through the forests and streams, your guide will keep you informed about which animals to look out for and where. Cameras at the ready!
There are a couple of points of interest to look out for: head up to Bambi Dadar – aka Sunset Point – to watch the sky turn orange as the sun sets over the dense forest of Khana; or, if you want to swot up on the work that the National Park does and get an up-close look at some reptiles, then pay the park museum a visit.
Perhaps the most bizarre feature of the national park is a small, weather-worn gravestone. The story goes that many decades ago, a park ranger fought to the death with a Bengal tiger in order to save the group he was guiding. Needless to say, it didn’t go too well for him, and now visitors flock to pay their respects to the brave man.
You’d be mad to pass up the opportunity to see a tiger in its natural habitat – so take a walk on the wild side in Kanha. Head over to our blogs to see what others have been up to here.
If you’re looking to track a tiger or tail an elephant, India is the place to go.
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