Originally a hunting reserve, owned by the Maharaja of Panna, the boundary of the 540 sq. km park is marked by the broad and rocky River Ken which flows through the Vindhya range in Madhya Pradesh towards the Ganges. Panna was granted National Park status in 1981.
The tiger population had decreased to almost unsustainable numbers in the early 1990’s but a strong combined effort looked set to turn around the fortunes of this beautiful park. Changes in management practices led to the state government closing illegal sandstone mines and forcing the cleaning up of diamond mining processes to reduce river pollution.
By 2002, field scientists were recording data from a growing tiger population, with tracking of radio-collared tigers inside the park gave tiger biologists some invaluable information on the resident tigers and bringing this park back from the brink. Today, despite the international attention Panna’s tigers have continued to suffer from habitat encroachment and poaching.
The park is deeply forested with dry deciduous varieties such as teak, acacia and sal. The dense cover provides excellent habitat for nilgai, chinkara, sambar and chitel as well as more elusive species such as the sloth bear, wolf, tiger, leopard and lesser cats. The river is home to both of India's crocodiles the marsh mugger and the fish eating Gharial, for which there is a separate breeding sanctuary.
This park attracts an excellent variety of resident and migratory bird species, from storks and cranes to eagles and vultures. Amongst the 300 or so species, Panna is particularly noted for the high density of Paradise Fly Catchers and a good number of water birds.
Winter: Morning: 6.45 am to 11 am | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5 pm
Summer: Morning: 6.30 am to 10.30 am | Evening: 2.30 pm to 6.15 pm
Present prices for safaris
Gypsy: INR 3,500 (US$ 58) per safari for Indian Nationals | INR 5,500 (US$ 91) for Foreign Nationals
How to book jeep safaris:
Any restrictions and rules:
No camera fees for non commercial use. For commercial still photography and videography the rates are Rs 30,000/- Per person per day.
Any restrictions and rules:
Non Commercial: No fee
Commercial: Photography and videography - INR 30,000 (US$ 496) per person per day.
Any new activities allowed:
Boat trips on Ken river are good for crocodile sightings (Rs 150 per person)
IN THE FIELD UPDATE
Relocation and conservation efforts are yielding visible results in Panna. Tiger numbers have gone from zero to a sustained 29 plus cubs over the past six years. The park itself seems to be flourishing because the past year has been about more than the tiger, with night safaris in the Jhinna area providing regular sightings of leopards, sloth bear, hyenas, rusty spotted cats, civet cats and much more. However the park is now under severe threat with the proposed Betwa/Ken River dam and irrigation canal, which will flood up to a third of the park area and fundamentally affect wildlife and the river ecosystem.
Pashan Garh (Quality PUG Rating)
Pashan Garh of Taj Safaris, set in its own private 140 acre conservancy has launched their Mowgli Trails – to coincide with the release of the Jungle Book film. It comprises four pillars as part of a short or long trail package, and includes the Jungle experience, the stay in the lodge experience, a culinary experience and a local community experience, so you can meet the real Mowgli’s, who live besides their own Sher Khan’s every day.
For full details and rates contact firstname.lastname@example.org