Corbett Tiger Reserve

About the Park

Named after the famous hunter, naturalist and author Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment, Corbett is the oldest national park in India. Situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, the 1300 square km park, is in the sub Himalayan belt at close to 4000ft, and has 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.

The park is divided into three distinct geographical areas, with hilly areas of deciduous mixed forests, as well as low lying grassland with ravines and vast dense forests of Sal trees. The magnificent Ramganga River flows through the heart of the park bringing a continuous supply of water.

This varied topography results in an abundance of indigenous fauna and flora. There are 110 tree species, 37 species of grass and bamboo, 50 mammals, 25 reptiles. Due to its location Corbett is the only Indian National Park where the Himalayan black bear, Himalayan palm civet and the Ghoral are found, but they are rarely seen.

There are large herds of deer, 4 species in all, as well as breeding herds of elephants. The former migration routes of the elephants were cut off by a hydro-electric project during the 70's, however a good population remains and these are most likely to be seen in the Dhikala area of the park during the summer months when they come down from the hills. Leopards, lesser cats and civets, sloth bear and a large number of jackals are also present.

Two of the most interesting reptiles are the Gharial (fish eating crocodile) and the mugger crocodile, found on the Ramganga River and reservoir, along with Tawny Fish Owl and Great Thick Knee. Although Corbett has a significant tiger population, sightings are less common due to the dense habitat.

However it is a birders paradise with nearly 600 bird species and a beautiful location

Today the park has been a popular ecotourism destination as the weather in the park is temperate compared to most other protected areas of India, with warm but pleasant temperatures during the winter with some foggy mornings and summer temperatures normally do not rise above 35 degrees centigrade. This altitude and latitude also ensure that night time temperatures remain far more comfortable during the hot months.

Park Timing

Winter: Morning: 6.30 am to 11 am | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Summer: Morning: 5.35 am to 9.45 am | Evening: 2.45 pm to 6.45 pm

Park timings for canters in Dhikala Zone (only 2 canters with 16 seats allowed per day)
Winters: Morning: 6.30 am to 11.30 am | Evening: 11.30 am to 4.30 pm
Summers: Morning: 6.00 am to 12 pm | Evening: 2 pm to 6.45 pm

Present prices for safaris

Gypsy: INR 3500 (US$ 58) per gypsy per safari for Indian Nationals
INR 5200 (US$ 86) per gypsy per safari for Foreign Nationals.
Elephant ride: INR 300 (US$ 5) for Indian Nationals
INR 1500 (US$ 25) for Foreign Nationals

How to book jeep safaris: http://www.corbettonline.uk.gov.in

Any restrictions and rules:

Non-commercial: No restrictions

Commercial:

  • Still photography and videography for Indians – INR 500 (US$ 8.2) per person per day
  • Still photography and videography for Foreign Nationals – INR 1500 (US$ 25) per person per day
  • Feature film shooting for Indians - INR 100,000 (US$ 1653)
  • Feature film shooting for Foreign Nationals – INR 200,000 (US$ 3306)
  • Documentary film shooting for Indians – INR 10,000 (US$ 165)
  • Documentary film shooting for Foreign nationals – INR 30,000 (US$ 496)

Refer to http://corbettonline.uk.gov.in/corbett-tiger-reserve-tariff.pdf

Latest information on tourism zones:

Bijrani zone carrying capacity: Morning- 30 vehicle | Evening- 30 vehicles
Jhirna zone carrying capacity: Morning- 30 vehicles | Evening- 30 vehicles
Durgadevi zone carrying capacity: Morning- 15 vehicle | Evening- 15 vehicle

Any new activities allowed:

Bird trails in the forest behind the Garjia Mata Temple road.

Trek to the Barati Raw waterfalls, an excellent place to spot reptiles and amphibians, orioles, flycatchers white rumped shamas, and great hornbills.

Walks in the Sitabani forests in the buffer of Corbett Tiger Reserve, from the Sitabani temple towards the river - good for flycatchers, owls and forktails.

Fishing: Golden Mahseer capture and release for sport is an activity in Ramganga and Kosi rivers is an activity facilitated by limited resorts.

IN THE FIELD UPDATE

April 2016

Corbett Update

Corbett now boasts the highest number of wild tigers in the country, but also has lost the highest number to poaching in one haul recently. The good news for Corbett over the past year has been the rediscovery of the striped hyena in Kalagarh (CTR) and in Pawalgarh Conservation Reserve (Ramnagar Forest Division). Another notable rediscovery is that of the smooth-coated otter in Kosi River in the Ramnagar Forest Division after 81 years. Furthermore better known for its elephants, its tiger sighting in the Bijrani Zone has been very good this year and higher than in Dhikala, which is the core of the jungle.

The wild cats use the corridor linking adjoining forest divisions (Ramnagar and Tarai West) to move. As a result, the Ramnagar Forest Division has witnessed a remarkable growth in tiger numbers. This makes the Kosi River Corridor rather important. This crucial link is unfortunately fragmented and dotted with villages, resorts and legal and illegal occupants.

Another zone, known as Dhela ecotourism zone, has been introduced over the past year. Of the five zones in Corbett National Park, the Jhirna and Dhela zones remain open throughout the year. Although forest authorities put up a board in the Dhela zone announcing bird trails led by an armed guide, this does not seem to have taken off yet. However, bird watching with resorts seems to be gaining popularity among guests with Corbett’s bird population now touching nearly 580 species.

Lodge News

Aahana The Corbett Wilderness (Outstanding PUG Eco Rating)

Corbett Update

New in 2016: Aahana has introduced a number of exclusive birdwatching and nature trails. Located at varying distances from the resort, these trails can be undertaken as a half-day or day-long activity and offer the opportunity to see vultures, storks, eagles, kingfishers, sandpipers, lapwings, martins, herons, hornbills and even mammals like wild boars, spotted deer and, on a rare occasion, even tigers and leopards. A picnic lunch can also be combined with some of these bird-watching trips. Other activities now offered at Aahana include cycling, buggy ride, fishing at Kosi or Ramganga, treks and yoga and meditation sessions with a qualified and trained teacher. Mr. Satypal Singh, a bird watcher with more than 15 years’ experience in Corbett National Park, joined Aahana in April 2015 as their chief naturalist.

Be aware that the resort plans to build more Victorian-style villas to add to its 48-room accommodation.

Contact Mr. Kamal N Tripathi at info@aahanaresort.com

Camp Hornbill (Quality PUG Eco Rating)

Corbett Update

New in 2016: In addition to tents, Camp Hornbill now has four huts made using natural materials like mud, straw and stones. The huts have bathrooms, natural ventilation and are equipped with ceiling fans. Tariffs for the mud huts are Rs 6000 per night on double share. Tents are charged at Rs 4000 per night (valid till March 2017).

To improve guiding skills, the staff at Camp Hornbill has been participating in all the nature guide training programmes organised by the Eco Tourism wing of the Uttarakhand government and the forest department in collaboration with Titli Trust. Six people from the adjacent village have now become certified nature guides for the newly formed Pawalgarh Conservation Reserve.

Contact Mr. Chandra Shekher / Naveen Chandra at mountainwaysoutdoors@gmail.com

Camp Riverwild (Quality PUG Eco Rating)

Corbett Update

New in 2016: Camp Riverwild is also planning to organize ‘Walk the Talk 2016’, offering its guests the opportunity to interact with eminent tiger experts, forest officials, naturalists and field biologists and receive first-hand information about wildlife conservation in the country. Guests can also look forward to an insight into conflict management and monitoring of tigers through camera traps at various workshops held at Camp Riverwild.

In pursuit of its vision of ‘Conservation Through Tourism’, Camp Riverwild is planning to create a self-help group for village women, which will be trained in various crafts under the ‘Pukar’ project, a collaboration between The Corbett Foundation and Camp Riverwild. The ladies will also be provided a group market around the Corbett Tiger Reserve to sell the products they make.

In association with ‘The Hotel & Resort Association of Corbett’, of which Camp Riverwild is a member, the lodge will provide training and employment to victims/survivors of the tiger-human conflict.

Contact Mr. A.G. Ansari at info@camp-riverwild.com

Patlidun Lodge (PUG Outstanding lodge)

Corbett Update

New in 2016: After wading through streams and clawing up a mountain trail at a thrilling 45-degree incline, the narrow path that leads to this lodge unfurls into this beautiful valley, covered in towering Sal forests, abundant wildlife and ringed by river Kosi. Within this 13 acres are 12 very unusual and comfortable en-suite cottages.

Each has a private plunge pool and a lovely sundeck next to the restaurant. All the while you have over 100 birds and countless butterflies for company, stylish comfort surrounded by forests away from most of the Corbett crowd.

All buildings are built in the traditional Kumaoni style- stone masonry and mud plaster on the walls and the trademark black slate roof- and locally sourced, indigenous materials have been used for construction.

Contact – Varun Mehta at varun@templetongroup.in or Kriti Sethi at kriti@templetongroup.in

Vanghat Lodge (PUG Quality Rating)

Corbett Update

New in 2016: Trekking in Tiger Country for 3 days. Walking safaris in tiger country are a rare and special treat and appeal immensely to travellers who are true nature lovers. Vanghat are lucky enough to be able to conduct guided treks, exploring tiger forest on foot on a designated trail sandwiched between Corbett and Kalagarh Tiger Reserves one the most pristine stretches of the Ramganga. An experienced Vanghat guide leads our walking safaris, interpreting pug marks of tigers and leopards, explaining when an elephant herd had last walked on the same trail as you by looking at droppings and identifying the vivid birdlife.

Corbett update

A part of the walking safari trail passes through a few sleepy villages where we stop for rests and our meals where the smiles and hospitality of these forest mountain dwellers will humble you and it is to fascinating experience their culture and life coexisting with wildlife. This walking tour also helps spread the benefit of tourism to people and areas that wouldn't otherwise. The highest point of the walk rewards trekkers with a stunning view of the Himalayas.

Contact Sumantha Ghosh : vanghat@gmail.com

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