Children love nature, and need to experience it first-hand. Pretty butterflies and graceful birds make it easy to introduce them to the marvels of the wild.
A thin piece of chocolate appears to be balanced precariously on the edge of the jeep’s bonnet. Within seconds it takes flight, for it happens to be a chocolate pansy butterfly. Soon after, a flying tiger emerges from the tall grasses. A trained naturalist easily identifies the orange-and-black-striped tiger butterfly, another common variety among Kanha’s 125 species. On meandering walks through the woods, like the seven-kilometre Bamhini Nature Trail, kids and adults alike, can learn fascinating facts about these winged wonders.
On a patch of mud amidst trampled grass, I watched butterflies “mud-puddling”. A herd of chital has been through the area and liberally watered the soil. The butterflies trail in their wake, settling on the wet earth from which they absorb essential salts and minerals not available in the nectar they feed on.
The Singinawa Jungle Lodge has a butterfly habitat, where the butterfly’s lifecycle can be seen played out in real life. Those staying at the lodge can benefit from an expert team of five in-house naturalists who introduce guests to birds, butterflies, and smaller species of the forest on nature walks, both within the property and outside.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Binoculars firmly trained on a rock in Bhimodi Lake, I spot a cormorant spread its wings and let the sun’s warmth seep into its feathers. Between the cotton pygmy geese gliding serenely in the water, a tawny-hued little grebe dives in headfirst in search of food. Closer to the banks, red-naped ibises forage for worms. At the edge of the forest, the lake is a tranquil haven of avian activity, an ideal excursion on a morning without a safari.
Bamhini Nature Trail and Bhimodi Lake – near Kanha’s Mukki Gate at the southern side of Kanha.
Note: The Bamhini Nature Trail is currently undergoing repairs and scheduled to open 1 January, 2018 as per latest updates.
Singinawa Jungle Lodge
Address: Mukki Gate, Kanha National Park
Tel: 0124 4908610
Tariff: Doubles from ₹20,000 per night inclusive of all meals and taxes; Safaris cost ₹5,500 per jeep, which accommodates 6.
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