A Quick Guide for Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park Before You Go

Bandhavgarh is well regarded for its serene and lush green landscapes, which are ideal for highest density of tigers in India. Though it is quite challenging to reach, but it rewards the tourists with great chance to spot tigers in their own habitat. 

The park features rocky hill terrain and dense green valleys and the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort is located on 800m high mountain. This tiger reserve is spread over 105 sq. km. You can explore a huge range of wildlife species like sloth bears, tigers, deer, jackals, leopards, and hundreds of species of migratory and local birds. A Guide for Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park Provides you best and latest Information’s. 

A well known mystic saint poet on the 14th century, Kabir Das also spent some time for writing and meditating in the fort. Unfortunately, this fort just has ancient remains and is accessible only when temple opens a few times in a year. 

Location

Bandhavgarh National Park is located around 200 km (124 miles) towards the northeast of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The main entrance to the park is in Tala village. 

Getting There

You can take direct Spicejet and Air India flights from Delhi to Jabalpur. Then, you can book a cab to reach there by road, which takes around 4 hours. By rail, Katni Junction is located around 2 and half hours away and the nearest railway station, Umaria is just 45 minutes away. 

Best Time to Visit 

The temperature rises during March and April when tigers come out of their den to relax by the watering hole or in the grass. You may also visit the park during May and June to spot tigers, but be prepared because the weather is too hot to handle. Don’t visit during peak months as weather is too cold and the park is flocked by tourists. 

Timings for Visiting and Safari

Safaris start early morning till noon and next safari lasts till sunset. To spot most of the animals, be sure to start safari early in the morning or after 4pm. The core area of the park remains closed from July 1 to September 30 because of rainy season. It also remains closed on Diwali and Holi, and on Wednesday afternoon. However, you may visit the buffer zone at any time of the year. 

Safari Zones

There are three core zones in Bandhavgarh – 

  • Tala – The main zone in the park which leads to Bandhavgarh Fort. 
  • Magadhi – The adjoining zone on the fringe of the park, which is ideal for spotting tigers. 
  • Khitauli – It is less crowded but scenic zone separated from the road. You can still spot the tigers here as well as different species of birds. 

In order to allow people to explore the wildlife who can’t afford to explore the core zones and to control the crowd of tourists in core zones, the park management had started three buffer zones in 2015. The buffer zones in the park are stretched over the districts of Umaria and Katni. You can still find tigers in these zones – 

  • Dhamokhar – This buffer zone starts from Parasi and it adjoins Magadhi zone. 
  • Panpatha – It starts from Pachpedi and adjoins Khitauli zone. 
  • Johila – It starts from Gajwahi/Cechpur. You can explore a few waterfalls here during the monsoon. 

Jeep safaris are available in all core and buffer zones. In buffer zone, safaris are available also in the monsoon season. 

Charges for Jeep Safaris

As of 2016, the charges for safari in all national parks in Madhya Pradesh, including Bandhavgarh, have been simplified greatly. The new fee structure has been effective since October 2016 when the parks opened for the tourists. 

It means there are no premium zones with higher charges. In each of the park, the cost of visiting core zones has been similar. In addition, there are no separate charges for Indian and foreign tourists. You don’t have to book a whole jeep if you are visiting alone or with a partner. There are single seats available in 6-seater jeeps on sharing basis. Here is the breakdown of safari costs in Bandhavgarh – 

  • Safari Permit – Rs. 1,500 per jeep (capacity of 6 passengers) or Rs. 250 per person. There is no fee for children under 5 years. 
  • Hiring Vehicle – Rs. 2500 per jeep. 
  • Guide fee – Rs. 360 per safari. 

Booking in Advance

To book safari permit in all zones, visit the official website of MP Forest Department (https://forest.mponline.gov.in/Index.aspx). You can also book single seats for core areas online. It is recommended to book at least 90 days earlier as safaris are restricted in each zone and they are booked frequently. 

When you are booking online, you can just pay the permit fee, which is valid for one zone only. You need to select the particular zone when booking the permit. You need to pay fee for hiring vehicle and guide separately at the park entrance. It will be equally distributed among the tourists in a vehicle. 

You can also check how many seats are available in each safari zone while booking. There are also options marked with “W”. It refers to “Waiting List”. It means your booking will be confirmed only if the permit is cleared. You will have to wait for 5 business days. If it is not cleared, your booking will be cancelled automatically and you will get a refund. Safaris are also offered from all hotels but they charge higher. Luxury resorts also have their own gypsies to start their own safaris. They have their own guides available. 

Other Activities

 You can also opt for canter safaris (open mini bus) at Bandhavgarh. However, you cannot book them online and they don’t go through Tala zone. They are available only for Khitauli and Magadhi zones. You can book seats at Tala’s office by arriving early. If you stay at White Tiger Forest Lodge run by MP Tourism, the booking will be included and the gypsy will pick you up.  If you are visiting Tala zone, don’t miss visiting 35 ft. long reclining stone idol of Lord Vishnu “Shesh Saiya”, which is dated back to 10th century.

A Guide for Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh 

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