Many years before from now, I had visited the Pench National Park for the first time. That was a pretty disappointing trip not only because we could not sight a tiger but we came across burnt fur of a dead tiger electrocuted by poachers. Many other animals had died due to the electrocution including a poacher as well.
Nevertheless, since it was my first trip I was avidly exploring the park. Tourism was very limited and the only accommodation available was a group of cottages that one had to rent from the forest department at Seoni a small township nearby. Incidentally it was the Seoni Hills which were part of the settings of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book in which he has narrated a vivid description of the pristine forests and the antics of Mowgli the wolf child.
My next trip was about a few years back when Pench had become popular for tourism. My guests were a couple from the UK and had arrived all the way to see the tiger. Thankfully they were avid birders as well hence it was not about chasing the big cat all the time. We had been searching for the big cat since our first safari and though we could come across pug marks and heard a lot of alarm cries we could not locate one. The forests of Pench are a dry deciduous mixed type with bamboo on the slopes. There are small patches of grass which offer a view of the wild animals in the open. This is where the big cats prefer to hunt. Another feature of the park is the Pench River which intersects through the prime forests. The river contains water throughout and the tigers like to hang out near its shores. The river ends up at Totlah Doh dam where you can come across a lot of wetland species of avian.
It was one fine morning when we had deliberately moved towards the river when we heard intense alarm cries. Upon hearing the cries we moved straight towards the direction where they were emerging from. I could see the pug marks leading further up towards the picturesque bank of the river where there was an opening. I knew that we had missed the tiger since the alarm cries were coming to a rest. But if the tiger had moved towards the opening in the forest at the river bank we had a fair chance to see it. And that is what happened deep down in the glen we could see a young tiger moving further away from us. A few photographs were taken by my guests when the carnivore stopped to look at us out of curiosity.
Anyway, the big cat was very close to us but it eventually moved away into the opening to accord us a view. The trip had been a big success since we had come across other animals at Pench as well. We spent the rest of the safari keeping a watch on the bird species and other life forms. The couple from the UK was pleased with the outcome of the tiger safari at Pench National Park in MP. I will remember the trip for the tiger as well as a holistic experience of the park. To visit Pench National Park, you need to fly to Nagpur Airport and then drive for two hours to Khawasa township. From here you can locate hotel accommodation towards the Turia Gate.
This is the review of the Pench National Park & my own experience when I had visited this place. Make sure you visit the place too so that you have your own story to tell people how good it was.