Pench Safari Attractions

Introduction

Before planning for Pench national park tour we all would like to be assured of things to do in Pench. Their is no doubt that jungle safari drives are the prime attraction of any wildlife tour. Tourists visiting Pench national park are of different categories like they could be wildlife photographers for whom jungle safari and wildlife photography is the prime objective of trip where as some tourists visit Pench national park for leisure or as a holiday trip in which they would like to do something more than jungle safari to add different flavors in their holiday trip. Thus here we have tried to arrange information on Pench national park attractions, activities etc.

Jungle Safari

Here Jungle safaris are mainly done on open jeep in which maximum 06 tourists are allowed, in addition to vehicle driver and a safari guide. Here park is divided into zones and for one safari drive, we will be allotted one safari zone in which we are allowed to visit inside that zone only. Sometimes, these safari zones are further sub-divided into routes like A, B, C, D in which two routes will be allocated to each vehicle like A-B or B-C or A-D etc. It means you can enter from route-1 and return from route-2. Violation of safari zones or safari routes are strictly not allowed. While doing jungle safari drive, we can move and stop at various locations to do photography, enjoy mammal or bird sighting, notice pugmarks, notice jungle calls etc. During jungle safari drives, major safari attractions are trees, mammal species, bird species, forest topography and the information shared by safari guide etc.

Flora in Pench

Pench tiger reserve is spread over two states i.e. Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra states. Forest of Pench tiger reserve is mainly categorized in three types i.e. Southern Tropical slightly moist Teak forest, Southern dry mixed deciduous forest and Southern Tropical dry Teak forest. This forest touches Satpura range in which many popular tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries are located like Kanha national park, Satpura national park, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, Ratapani Tiger Reserve etc. Some of its popular trees are:
COMMON TREES IN PENCH TIGER RESERVE
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME
Teak Tectona Grandis Saaj Terminalia Tomentosa
Salai Boswellia serrata Dhavada Anogeissus Latifolia
Neem Azadirachta Indica Hingot Balanites aegyptiaca
Aashta Bauhinia racemosa Kirvana Cassia fistula
Khumai Careya arborea Risalla Cordia myxa
Dhobin Dalbergia paniculata Medsingi Dolichandrone falcate
Baddh Ficus Benghalensis Kakai Flacourtia indica

Fauna in Pench

Pench national park is know for having high density of herbivores animals. This can be adjudged in a comparative manner. If you have visited other popular national parks of India like Kanha national park, Bandhavgarh, Panna national park, Tadoba national park, Ranthambore etc. then you while doing Pench jungle safari, we will notice that in a single round of safari, we could have seen varying mammal species in which some of the most commonly seen species are Spotted deer, Sambar, Blue bull, Indian Gaur, Wild Dog (Dholes), Jackal, Sloth Bear etc. While doing Pench safari, we have seen these many mammal species in one or two round of safari drives. This is the indication that here safaris are very much fruitful. If we are not tiger centric, and believe in appreciating overall wildlife then we will must enjoy safaris in Pench. Due to lack of dense bushes or lower level vegetation, mammal sightinging is very good. Some of the commonly seen Pench mammal species are given below.
MAMMALS IN PENCH
Tiger Sloth Bear Leopard
Blue Bull Indian Gaur Wild Dogs (Dhole)
Jungle Cat Indian Wolf Jackal
Indian Fox Common Langur Stripped Hyena
Common Mongoose Indian Palm Civet Honey Badget
Indian Porcupine Four-horned Antelope Chinkara
Here we can find many reptile species also. During rainfall, chances of reptile sighting increases thus June-July-August - September months are good for doing safaris in buffer zones to explore more reptile species in Pench national park.
REPTILES IN PENCH
Fresh Water Crocodile Monitor Lizard Indian Chameleon
Red Sand Boa Common Sand Boa Common Cat Snake
Common Wolf Snake Common Fringe Flowered Indian Rock Python
Checkered Keelback Buff-striped Keelback Common Vine Snake
Banded Kukri Snake Indian Rat Snake Little Glory
Russel Viper Spectacle Cobra Graham Groundsel
Common Krait Banded Krait Blind Snake
BUTTERFLIES IN PENCH
Great Egg Fly Danaid Egg Fly Common Sailer
Common Mormon Princeps Great Mormon Princeps Baronet
Yellow Swallotail Common Rose Crimson Rose
Common Grass Yellow Common Tiger Common Jezebel
AMPHIBIANS IN PENCH
Indian Bull Jerdon's Bull Marbled Toad
Common Toad Ornate Microhylid Common Tree
Skittering Indian Cricket --

Birding in Pench

Forest of Pench tiger reserve is a paradise of birding. Here we can find more than 270 bird species. For birding in Pench national park, best time to visit in from November to March. During this time migratory birds use to visit India and many trees do flowering. It is also the time when park have many marshy lands existing which gradually disappeared with arrival of summers thus better birdwatching can be experienced in this period. Their are many birds species in Pench which can be frequently seen during jungle safari drives. Here is the small birds checklist of commonly seen birds.
COMMON BIRDS IN PENCH
Baya Weaver Painted Francolin Grey Francolin Little Grebe
Cormorants Darters Herons Purple Son Bird
Black Necked Stork White Necked Stork White Ibis Black Ibis
Lesser Whistling Teal Pintail Duck Brahminy Duck Kites
Egrets Crested Serpent Eagle Crested Hawk Eagle Fishing Eagle
Shikra Honey Buzzard Kestrel Pied Harrier
Vultures Partridges Quails Red Spur Fowl
Red Jungle Fowl Pea Fowl Common Dove Yellow Necked Dove
Parakeets Cuckoos Koel Sandpipers
Pigeons King Fishers Bee-Eater Wood Peckers
Indian Roller Hoopoe Common Grey Hornbill Pied Hornbill
Treepie Swallows Shrikes Drongos
Orioles Mynas Small Minivet Common Iora

Places of Interest

As we all know that jungle of Pench national park is divided into safari zones. Here safaris are done on the basis of allotted safari zone. In a particular safari drive, we can visit only one safari zone and thus according to choice and availability of safari tickets, we can choose our desired safari zones. Apart from jungle safari their are many other places of interest which can be visited with any safari tickets. Still here we have pointed out some of the popular places of interest in Pench national park about whom we will hear during conversation with safari guides, local wildlife experts.

Totaladoh Dam

It is large reservoir of river water, formed due to construction of Totaladoh dam. It is a good place to see different kind of aquatic animals, birds, fish species.

Sitaghat

It is a scenic Pench river bank area with some rocky outcrops that makes it more scenic. During Jan-Feb-Mar months, while doing jungle safari, when we reach this place, we will find it more photogenic due to presence of many flowering trees. Here we can do nature photography. Presence of river bank, makes this place ideal for birding.

Karmajhiri

It is approximately 30 kms from Touria gate and connected by safari trail. It is a head-quarter of Karmajhiri Range where we can find Forest Department establishments which includes Rest-house in which VIP visitors, officials and sometimes wildlife photographers use to stay and undertake safari drives in Karmajhiri range. Their is a village also, close to this site which is well connected by road and can be reached by public carrier bus service. Now private resort is also located in nearby site.

Kalapahad

It is a site inside safari area, close to Alikatta. Due to presence or rocky hill, it has been named kala-pahad which simply means black-hill. It is one of the highest hill inside the Pench National Park. Due to presence of rocky cliffs it is ideal place for Leopard sighting.

Chhindimatta

It is site which leads to dam reservoir. In past, many villages were located in this site whose marks are still visible. Due to construction of Dam, they were relocated to other area and left behind pasture land for wild animals.

Raiakassa

It is a site near Pench river. Here river passes through rocky region with huge boulders. During monsoon season, passing by river water produces roaring sound effect. Here cemented watch is located to get an overview of this region.

Alikatta

It is a safari trails hub where safari routes from different sides mets. It is a plain area which remain submerged under water in monsoon season and when monsoon gets over, it appears as green grassland where we can see deer herds grazing all around the region. Here we can also find cluster of trees in which we can find Pied Hornbill nesting. We can do some birding at this point. Karmajhiri is just 9 kms from Alikatta region.

Bodanala Range

This region is quite similar to Chhindimatta road with excellent topography variations. It is close to park boundary. Here we can find slopy hills, marshy land, pond, bamboo forest area. It is a good place for birdwatching and wild dog (Dhole) sighting. During winters, we can find good sighting of migrant Waterfowl, Pigtailed ducks. It is also good place for reptile sighting, especially from October to December month and end of June month.

Doob Road

The simple meaning of Doob road is "Sinked road". As per its name, this area remain sub-merged under water and emerges up with the end of monsoon season. It is a marshy grassland where we can enjoy good mammals and birds sighting with the change season. With the end of monsoon, Indian Gaur herds can be seen easily in this area.

Boda Tank

It is a small irrigation tank in Pench wildlife Sanctuary area which is good for birding. Best time to visit this tank is from November to February when migratory birds use to gather around this tank.

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