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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Night Safaris at Kanha

Night Safaris at Kanha are not allowed inside the park. But you can frequent the common public roads for a chance encounter with nocturnal animals.  The chances of sighting big cats are rare but the leopards frequent villages so there is a greater chance of stumbling on to the spotted one. 

It is unethical to use strong search lights on animals you encounter. Use your headlight and disturb the animal the least.  On many occasions I have come across small night animals like civets, mongoose, porcupine, ratel, hyena, and fox. These are rare to see in the day time. Larger animals like Nilgai, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer and Four Horned Deer can be seen on such rides.

A search for mouse deer would be an exciting discovery if seen since the animal is very elusive. Same goes for the Indian wolf whose sightings are in doubt now a days. One of its favorite haunts the Mocha Village neighboring forests is now occupied by hotel resorts and private bungalows.  Birds like night jars, large owls  and Eurasian thick knee are seen frequently hence you will always sight something or the other.

Even in summers the night sky can throw a chill down on you so carry a blanket at least.  It is wise to go in at early hours and come back to rest early. Take a naturalist with and some other hotel staff to be safe...albeit no untoward incidence has happened. Do not enter the park confines as night rides are not allowed inside the tiger reserve.

The starry night sky and the silence enraptures tourists on such rides. But be safe!

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