Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bandhavgarh Jeep Safari

Recently tourism zones have been divided in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Earlier Tala Gate was the main core where tourism was organized. Due to heavy rush of vehicles the park has been divided into four zone which is a wise move. The number of vehicle entry has also been restricted which is wise as well. 

All these practices will increase cost in the preserve and decrease tourism. Well a balance is required. I have never been to Panpatha zone for excursion and perhaps visited only some areas of Khitauli Zone.  On my next tour I will get a chance to explore new habitats in the amazingly beautiful tiger haven. 

I narrate here my experience of Tala Zone. The terrain is the roughest that one comes across most of the tiger reserves in India and most striking. In most of the confines of the park  an experienced driver acclimatised to  sudden steep climb and swift turns on hillocks is a must. The climb to Sesh Shaiyya is an example how steep upwards a jeep ride could be. In times of Maharaja four by four vehicle was required to reach the Fort about 2 km from Shesh Shaiyya.    

The jeep ride over Gufa No.10, Ghodha Demon and Ramgarh is a steep upward climb continuously. At places 4 by 4 is required but the spectacular scape makes these mountainous areas a must visit. The large tracts of grasslands are situated in the plains where the ride is easy but one needs to avoid the sand traps. Lot many vehicles get stalled in the sand filled paths of the forests.   

The high rise terrain on the hillocks accords greater privacy to tigers of the reserve. These inaccessible areas are excellent breeding grounds for the big cats. The difficult undulating terrain needs safari vehicles in expert hands. Most of the jeep drivers in the preserve are acclimatized to driving in the park. The top rated luxury hotels in Bandhavgarh use their own jeeps for tiger safari. They have on hire expert jeep safari guys who make excursions successful. Some of the drivers are expert naturalists as well.       

Since private vehicles are not allowed in the reserve you need to hire jeeps available for wildlife safaris. If you suspect your driver's skill ask him not to approach the steep climbs or mountainous terrain in the nature preserve.