BANDHAVGARH PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India, known for its highest density of tiger population, besides bountiful biodiversity. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968.
The park area mainly constitutes moist deciduous forests, with Sal and bamboo being the top two dominant species, covering the valleys and the lower slopes, gradually giving way to mixed deciduous forest on the hills, and in the hot and drier areas of the park along its western and southern reaches. The wide valleys along the streams are plain grasslands flanked by Sal forests. Rich mixed forests consists of Sal (Shorea rubusta), Saja, Salai, and Dhobin, etc. with dense bamboo thickets here and there.
Before being declared a national park in 1968, the forests around Bandhavgarh were maintained as Shikargah, or game reserve of the royal families of central India, without any special conservation measures in place. But, since then, numerous steps have been taken to retain the forest cover of as an un-spoilt natural habitat. This is the land where Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, was skinned and stuffed upon his death, and is now on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
When Project Tiger was constituted in 1972 and Wildlife Protection Act 1972 came into force, it was realized that protecting merely 105 square kilometers of prime Bandhavgarh habitat was not enough, so in 1982, three more ranges; Khitauli, Magdhi and Kallawah were added to the prime Tala range, which formed the original area of Bandhavgarh National Park.
Though Bandhavgarh presently has higher density of Royal Bengal tigers than anywhere else in the world, most of them are descendents of a famous Charger, so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and tourists without inflicting any harm. A female known as Sita, who once appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine and is considered the most photographed tiger in the world, lived for many years.
The 448.85 square kilometers of park area open to tourists is reported to have more than sixty tigers, a density of one tiger for every 7.48 kilometers. Don’t forget to ask your guides about Bhamera, Kankati, Banbai and Andhiyari Chiriya; tigers who have attained celebrity status of sorts. Bhamera is a dominant male, while others are females with cubs.
Bandhavgarh tiger reserve has a healthy population of other species as well. Cheetal or the spotted deer, Axis axis, the main prey species of the tiger and the leopard, Panthera pardus, abound in most areas of the park. A fairly large breeding population of leopards is another unique feature of this park, as also the fifty gaurs, or Indian bisons translocated from Kanha National Park in recent times. Sambhar and barking deer too are a common sight, and so are nilgai; especially in the open areas of the park. Sightings of the wolf,hyena and caracal have also been reported.
DAY 00: Wednesday
Participants assemble at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station to board 12412 Gondwana Express, scheduled to depart at 21:30 hrs.for Katni.
Day 01: Thursday
Arrival at Katni railway station by 12412 Gondwana Express at 05:15 hrs. Morning tea at railway station. Cabs to transport participants to Mrigvan Resort, situated close to the Magdhi gate of Bandhavgarh National Park, on the two hour drive from the railway station. After check in, participants can dig into the sumptuous breakfast spread, after which there will be time for some rest.
Selection of safari routes in premium Tala and Magdi zones would be done by the Jungle Nomads team on the basis of tiger movements and sighting reports closer to the dates of the workshop.
Day 02 : Friday
With an early morning wake-up call, a cup of tea and cookies, the participants will be all set for yet another exciting day in Bandhavgarh: Starting with an early morning jeep safari in the park, tracking tigers, birding and shooting exciting wildlife moments with your camera. Roaming for an hour and a half in the jungle heartland, the jeeps reach Center Point, where tea and snacks are available against cash payment. Breakfast will be served at the resort upon return. After which, there’s time again for interacting with our trainer and other participants. This session may well extend till lunch hour at 13:30, after which we have another safari lined up for the lovers of the wild. Coming back around sunset to our home in the wilderness, the Mrigvan, where tea will be served and cookies, followed by a whole evening to yourself, to share the experiences with fellows participants. Photography experts at Limra Hospitality will review the participants’ photographs and offer guidance every evening.
Day 03 : Saturday
No Monday morning blues on this one! Quite at home in Bandhavgarh by now, and used to starting early, the participants will be escorted to another safari through another chosen route… following the tiger trails, clicking on the move…. and as the sun climbs up on the tree-tops, the jeeps take a u-turn for a leisurely breakfast at the resort. After breakfast it’s time again for yet another session of sharing; sharing the camera contents with the trainer and other participants. As usual, this session sees us all to the time when the lunch buffet is laid out, only to be relished in a hurry, before departing for afternoon safari of the day. Another sojourn in the tiger country means another opportunity to watch numerous birds and animal species populating the domain of the big cat, until the sun retreats to the west. Coming back from the dirt roads of the park, it’s time to cool your heels in your room at the resort. Closing the day with the dinner, you’re left with hardly any energy for anything else other than planning for an early start next morning.
Day 04 : Sunday
Three days old in the wild; by now you must have learned how to spot tigers in the grass that offers camouflage to the big cat, or spotting a Brown Fish Owl resting tree fork of similar hue. Now is the time to take advantage of your experience and aim for more remarkable clicks for your wildlife folders. Start the day with a safari at dawn, the last one on this trip, with the hope and a prayer, that more of the denizens of the jungle come your way. Interspersed with moments of respite as scheduled hours for breakfast and lunch, make this day a more fruitful and memorable one. Once back at the resort after the safari, it’s time for breakfast and the daily session with our trainer. As the sun goes higher, you can avail the free time to explore the sylvan surroundings of the resort, before packing up for the journey home. After a leisurely lunch, the whole group will take the cabs to Katni Railway Station to board 12411 Gondwana Express at 17:20, for journey back home.
Package price includes:
- Train tickets from Delhi to Katni and back in third AC coupe
- Welcome drink on arrival
- Three nights’ accommodation on triple sharing basis
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and beverages (coffee/tea with cookies)
- Transfers from Railway Stations
- Six Jeep Safaris on best routes in most sought after ‘Tala Zone’
- Four participants in one Jeep
- Best guides and drivers
- Early visit to National Park
- All government taxes
- Park entry fee, vehicle charges and allied costs
Package price does not include the following:
- Airfare and airport transfers.
- Expenses of personal nature such as laundry, video camera fee, telephone calls, any beverages not included in the menu, tipping and insurance, etc.
- Video Camera fees if any (participants will be informed about the estimated fees in advance)
- Any optional or extra accommodation
- Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
Terms & Conditions:
- We require copies of passport or other identification documents at the time of booking.
- All bookings will be confirmed on advance payment basis.
- Any change in entrance fees or taxes will be borne by the guest.
- Changes in policies by Bandhavgarh National Park authorities will be intimated and binding on guests.
- Changes on status of bookings should be intimated 25 days before the date of departure.
- No refund will be admissible to guests who shorten the duration of proposed package.
- Guests are required to carry the Booking Confirmation Voucher on their person throughout.
- All bookings are on twin/triple sharing basis.
- This package is Valid for Indian National only.
- Responsibilities for their belongings rest with the guests.
- Wildlife Destination will not be liable for any damages except the booking amount in case of tour cancellation due to state emergencies or natural calamities.
- All cancellations before 30 days of the event date – 100% refund
- All cancellations between 20 – 30 days of the event date – 50% refund
- All cancellations within 20 days of the event date – No refund possible