Recently when I went to the Kanha National Park, the only image that crossed my mind was of the Tiger! This was going to be my first safari experience and according to me then, a successful jungle safari meant a good tiger sighting and that’s all. But one actual safari experience, and I was proven wrong beyond doubt. While a tiger sighting is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights, there are numerous other sights in the Kanha jungle that are equally breathtaking, if not more.
And I wanted to share my top 5 reasons for visiting the Kanha tiger safari, and not just for the tiger sighting:
Beautiful Landscapes – A drive through Kanha is like a journey into Enid Blyton novel – “The Enchanted Forest”. There are tall sal trees all around whispering secrets, grasslands providing the perfect camouflage to small animals & reptiles, lakes reflecting the scenery around them, stones that could pass of as toad stools, clouds painting designs in the sky and trees using the sky as a beautiful backdrop… (I actually feel like going back again already!)
Sounds of a jungle in action – A jungle is a world in itself and an eye opener for city dwellers, like me. There is constantly some action taking place which can easily be tracked by concentrating on the sounds. There are mating calls, warning calls, bird calls, langur calls, etc etc. Each call is distinct and unique and after a while your ears get tuned to their frequency. Spending time in the jungle also helps us better understand the importance of the smallest organism to the largest animal in the ecosystem and this in turn brings an awareness as to how important it is to preserve these natural habitats.
Animals in their habitat – Watching animals in their natural habitat and going about their business is like a treat. We saw ‘langurs’ holding a conference, ‘barasingas’ following their leader of the herd and walking along, a deer dressing up his antlers for a date, two deer fighting, a shy sloth bear looking for foood, and so much more.
Birds and their chirps – Kanha is a bird watchers paradise especially for city dwellers who only get to see pigeons, parrots, crows and sparrows on a daily basis. We saw numerous birds, some which I had never seen outside of the internet or a guide-book such as the woodpecker, shikra, babblers, owls, ibis, heron, cuckoo, cranes, sunbird and many many more. 3 safaris and I could even identify some birds by their appearance and some by their sounds.
Fragrance of the forest – This is something that you have to genuinely try for yourself. Something about the fresh air of a forest is therapeutic, a stress buster and a natural spa. There is a distinct aroma in a forest and with every breath you feel energetic, enthusiastic and rejuvenated.
Each animal or bird sighting in Kanha is unexpected and special, making you want to whisper a prayer of thanks. I saw sights which I was able to capture on my camera and many that I wasn’t but they shall all stay with me in my memories forever. Even though I saw three tigers, I felt it was only part of a big jigsaw puzzle, Kanha, which came together and wove into one of my most memorable and beautiful experiences 🙂