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:

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


Apr 2014 - Pench continues to be an excellent park to visit, but avoid weekends if you can as it gets very crowded with nearby Nagpur and other metropolis centers. Its tiger population continues to climb and with the success of a single tigress called Collarwali, who has had 20 cubs in only four years, the park is full of tigers. The one great thing about Pench is that it is also full of prey species, so not only can it hold a good number of tigers, without the issues of cattle conflict, but there is always something to see in the wooded landscape. Large herds of deer descend on the lakes grassy shores in summer times, making this a now rather special spectacle, but one all too rare today.

Good wild dog sighting this year, with a number of packs, always the most exciting creatures to watch.

In February the bordering park directors of MP and Maharashtra decided to allow visitors to move across both state parks, opening up much greater diversity and hopefully decreasing the increasing visitor pressures on the park.

Mar 2012 - Pench won a Government sponsored Tiger Park Award for the best administered park in India, and the sheer number of deer and antelope would highlight the management’s success. The famous ‘BBC Spy in the Jungle’ film was shot here, and one of the daughters of the famed Tigress, rather uninspiringly called ‘collared tigress’, now occupies the central region with her five teenaged cubs. Raising five healthy cubs in the wild is an immense feat in itself. We hope they thrive this season and make it past the coming summer to adulthood. Another tigress has also been spotted with 2 cubs just over a year old. There are new undocumented Tigers reported from the Karmajhari and Jamtara ranges which is great news.

Feb 2011 - The park has just won an Tiger Park Award for the best administered park in India, and sheer animal numbers would highlight the management’s obvious success. The park has always had excellent herbivore densities (Sambhar, large herds of Chital grazing on the receding waters of the reservoir, wild boar and Gaur to name a few). Birding is also superb including many deciduous woodland and waterbird species. The famous ‘BBC Spy in the Jungle’ film was shot here, and one of the daughters of the Tigress, called rather blandly ‘collared tigress’, now occupies the central region and has just come out of hiding with her new batch of five, 4 month old, cubs (Five cubs is very unusual). She has already brought up four other cubs to adulthood over the last three years, so proving to be a highly successful mother. Another 5 females are said to live within the core area – and they have good food to sustain them.

Please note: Pench has a strict route system, which is working well to decrease tourism pressure. Try and avoid weekends as it’s near the large city of Nagpur. You can also hire the good TOFT trained guides here for your guests.

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