Kaziranga National Park

About the Park

Kaziranga, located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River in the far North East, in the Indian state of Assam, is a very different Tiger reserve. Its 430 square kms of swamps, sandy riverine islands and waves of tall elephant grass exist over over a flat and broad plain, interspersed with forests of moist tropical tree species. Bordered by tea plantations and the Karbi Anglong hills in the South, it is nonetheless ideal habitat for the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, and is also reckoned to have of the densest tiger populations left in India, one tiger per 5 square kms. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayas, this park combines both an extraordinary high diversity of species but also very good visibility.

The great, gruff, one horned Rhino, with its great primodial armour plating, and a singular horn on its head, is the main attraction, and it’s not unusual to witness dozens of these Jurassic looking creatures from a machan (look out) on a game drive or from elephant back. Kaziranga is a massive success story, a population that had by 1903 collapsed to only 12, now numbers over 1800 within its boundaries, and populations have now be used to restore other regions where they had gone extinct like Manas Tiger Reserve.

But these aren’t its only attractions for there are also large herds of Indian Elephants, and some of the last truly wild Indian buffalo, with their magnificient horns. Other species you can enjoy here include Swamp Deer or Barasingha, Hog Deer, four cat species including the mighty Tiger (elusive), the Leopard Cat, the Fishing cat and the Jungle Cats, wild Boar, Golden Jackals, great pythons and Monitor Lizards.  Furthermore 9 of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park including the Assamese Macaque, the Capped langur and the beautiful Golden Langur, as well as the only ape found in India, the extraordinary Hoolock Gibbon. Living together for life the comic and very vocal males in his jet black fur with vivid white eyebrows and the female in her light brown coat, together make excellent viewing during a game drive or walk in the nearby forests. Two of the largest snakes in the world, the Reticulated Python and Rock Python, as well as the longest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra also inhabit the park.

Kaziranga is also a birders paradise; the grasslands is good raptor country and regular sighting include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle and Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle. Originally home to seven species of vultures, they recently became almost extinction, and only the Indian Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Indian White-rumped Vulture have survived. Huge numbers of migratory birds descend on the parks lakes and marshlands areas during winter months, including Greylag Geese, Bar-Headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Red-Crested Pochard and the Northern Shoveller.  Other bird families include the huge Great Indian Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill live in the tropical forests, whilst old World babblers such as Jerdon’s and Marsh Babblers, weaver birds such as the common Baya Weaver, threatened Finn's Weavers, thrushes such as Hodgson's Bushchat and old World warblers such as the Bristled Grassbird live in the reeds and grasses. Other threatened species include the Black-breasted Parrotbill and the Rufous-vented Prinia.

Game viewing is done in Gypsy jeeps along the reserve’s dirt roads and also on elephant back. No walking is allowed in the park.

Best Time to Visit Kaziranga National Park

The best time to visit Kaziranga is from mid-November to early April months, before the rain arrives. Controlled fires burn the tall grasses in mid-winter and uncontrolled fires in the surrounding countryside can affect the clear air in March.

Park timing

Winter and summer: Morning: 7.30 am to 12 pm | Evening: 2 pm to 5 pm

Present prices for safaris

Gypsy safari: INR 2150 (US$ 35.5) per safari for all nationalities.

Elephant safari: INR 350 (US$ 6) per person for Indian Nationals

INR 1,025 (US$ 17) per person for Foreign Nationals.

How to book jeep safaris: Bookings possible only through resorts and tour operators.

Any restrictions and rules:

Non commercial:
Photography – INR 50 for Indian Nationals | INR 500 (US$ 8.2) for Foreign Nationals
Videography – INR 500 for Indian nationals | INR 1,000 (US$ 16.4) for Foreign Nationals

Commercial:
Photography – INR 250 for Indian Nationals | INR 1,000 (US$ 16.4) for Foreign Nationals
Videography – INR 2,500 for Indian Nationals | INR 10,000 (US$ 160.6) for Foreign National

Latest information on tourism zones: The park has 3 tourism zones- Central (Kohora), Western (Bagora) and Eastern (Agartoli). There is no restriction on number of vehicles in any zone.

Any new activities allowed:

Boat rides along the Brahmaputra are allowed in the Eastern zone to sight river dolphins. Charges – INR 2,000 (US$ 33) per boat for 1 hour

IN THE FIELD UPDATE

April 2016

Kaziranga Update

Chosen as the park for Prince Willian and the duchess of Cambridge on their recent visit, the park how hosts both the most rhinos in Asia, but is home to the densest population of Tigers in India. Its 122 anti-poaching camps including two floating camps on the Brahmaputra, with 123 local boats, speed boats, 2 motor launches, 20 motor vehicles and 47 departmental elephants assist the anti-poaching squad, but still 15 rhinos where killed in 2015. There are some 800 personnel, including 200 forest guards, game watchers, home guards, forest protection force and temporary staff who guard the park.

The results are evidence, even with its controversial shoot to kill policy with heavily armed poachers, the numbers of the greater one-horned rhinoceros have risen to 2554, with Bengal tigers at 125 and swamp deer numbering nearly 1200.

Large herds of swamp deer, the rare wild Asiatic buffalo and Indian elephant graze in and park and on sand bars from Bishwanath Ghat to the limits of Kaziranga. Neamati Ghat is a new swamp area where bird sightings have risen significantly.

Lodge News

Diphlu River Lodge (PUG Quality Lodge)

Kaziranga Update

Ashish and Janvi Pookhan, owners of the lodge, where the proud hosts of HRH Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, who stayed a night on their official tour. Their response – 'We will come back soon with the kids' says it all.

Kaziranga Update

Upgraded 2016: Our country boat gives visitors an opportunity to see the endangered ‘Gangetic Dolphins’. Leaving Diphlu River Lodge by car it’s less than an hour’s drive to the old Steamer Ghat or Silghat to embark on our country boat and set sail on the Bramaputra. Your accompanying naturalist will spot birds and possibly dolphins for your attention, so keep your binoculars and camera handy. Clients’ can choose to enjoy this boat safari either after breakfast or post lunch for 02 hours or take a full day's journey.

Prices from Rs. 6,000- for up to 4 persons. Above 4 persons: additional Rs. 1,000/- per extra person (subject to max of 10 pax) for half day but can be arranged from the lodge at short notice subject to availability.

M.V. Mahabaahu (Quality PUG Eco Rating)
New TOFTigers Member

Kaziranga Update

The MV Mahabaahu is a 5-deck luxury cruise that operates on the River Brahmaputra. The MV Mahabaahu, with a capacity of 46 guests and carrying 30 crew, sails between Guwahati and Jorhat from mid-November to mid-May. In addition to luxury accommodation, it provides a lounge, a spacious restaurant, an open bar, spa, steam, sauna, jacuzzi and a good-sized swimming pool, all supported by an elevator that takes you through four decks. It offers an ideal method to explore the ever-changing 430 sq km stretch of the UNESCO world heritage site of Kaziranga carved by the annual rise and fall of the Brahmaputra. The Mahabaahu arranges boat, elephant and jeep safaris in Kaziranga. An added attraction is a trip to Neamati Ghat for some bird watching. The Mahabaahu now has a full-time naturalist to enhance guests’ wildlife experience.

Contact Ms. Neena Morada at cruisedirector@mahabaahucruiseindia.com

Infinity Kaziranga (Quality PUG Eco rating)

Kaziranga Update

Infinity Kaziranga have launched an all inclusive jungle plan now, with safari activities including an elephant or jeep safari in the morning and a Jeep safaris in the afternoon, all meals, all Park entrance fees and a whole host of other goodies to make your stay memorable. They have also recruited Palash as our Chief Naturalist, amongst the best naturalists in the region , guiding visitors and VIP’s from around the world. With specialits knowledge on birds of Kaziranga he is in great demand. Also new is their forthcoming Health spa opening next season in November 2016. Guest will be able to enjoy a full-body massage, either Ayurvedic or Shiatsu relaxing their muscles, mind and body. Infinity Resorts Kaziranga will offer their guests spa treatments which focus specifically on de-toxification and de-stressing.

Contact Raajan Anand on raajan@infinityresorts.com for rates and details

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