Pench Tiger Reserve

Since 1992 Pench has been included under the umbrella of Project Tiger as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve. This Kipling country covers the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The Pench tiger reserve is a dry deciduous forest of predominantly teak trees and as such supports a rich and diverse array of wildlife. These hills were once known as the Seoni forests and it was here that Kipling chose to locate his story of the wolf boy Mowgli.

Comprising of 758 sq. kms out of which a core area of 299 sq km is the National Park and 464 sq km the buffer area of southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest mixed with tropical dry deciduous teak bearing forests and dry mixed deciduous forest. With the three types of forest a diversity of fauna abound within this natural system.

Tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers and sightings have become increasingly common lately. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambhar, nilgai, wild boar, and jackal. Other wild animals found are leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, chowsingha and barking deer.

There are more than 170 species of birds including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, junglefowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveler, egret and herons.

Park timing

Winter: Morning: 6.45 am to 12.15 pm | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Summer: Morning: 6.30 am to 12 pm | Evening: 3 pm to 6.15 pm

Present prices for safaris

Gypsy safari: INR 3,500 (US$ 58) per safari for Indian nationals | INR 5,700 (US$ 94) for Foreign nationals

How to book jeep safaris:

http://www.mponline.gov.in/forest

Any restrictions and rules:

Non Commercial: No fee
Commercial: Photography and videography - INR 30,000 (US$ 496) per person per day.

Latest information on tourism zones:

Touria zone carrying capacity: 20 vehicles
Karmajhiri zone carrying capacity: 4 vehicles
Jhamtara zone carrying capacity: 1 vehicle

IN THE FIELD UPDATE

April 2016

Pench Update

The Pench Tiger Reserve has had extremely good tiger sightings. Five female tigers with 20 cubs between them and two dominant males have meant 27 tigers now occupy the tourism zone. Pench’s high density herbivore population is helping to sustain a healthy tiger number, though a combination of poaching and poisoning has taken a high toll in 2016. While evening timings remain unchanged, morning safari timings have been curtailed by an hour: from 6.30 am to 11 am. The park now has a night safari in the buffer zone (near Khawasa), which is referred to as the Wolf Sanctuary with the timings from 6 pm to 9 pm. This is a unique experience for Madhya Pradesh and is gaining popularity among guests.

The availability of just two routes in the national park means that tourists who book more than two safaris could lose interest if they realise they are travelling on the same route.

Lodge News

Pench Jungle Camp (Quality PUG Eco Rating)

Pench Update

New in 2016: Pench Jungle Camp plans to introduce a night safari for its guests. Another exciting activity planned for the upcoming year is a nature walk in its private eco park and a visit to the Khoka Lake for bird watching. It is also working towards installing camera traps at the eco park to track wildlife movement. Pench Jungle Camp now has a team of 4-5 highly experienced naturalists to augment its guests’ wildlife experience.

Contact Mr. Gajendra Singh Rathore at freedom@penchjunglecamp.com

Village Visits in Pench

Pench Update

An NGO called Conservation Wildlands has set up some fabulous interactive village home visits in bordering Pench TR villages affected by human animal conflict, that are helping families cope with the crop losses. Trained to host your guests they host each visit, and show you their homes, how they make their food, their gardens and their fields with tea in a machan where they fight off animals they graze their crops each night. Add it to your itinerary – its a real insight and will be memorable for clients – away from usual voyarism.

Contact Santosh Tungare santosh@conservationwildlands.org for further details.

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