Day 1 JABALPUR-KANHA
Before hitting the road to Kanha, grab a bite at Jabalpur’s iconic Indian Coffee House, where locals love both the masala dosa and chole bhature. Afternoon safaris at Kanha begin at 3 p.m. and require that you leave the lodge half an hour prior. If you don’t arrive in time, go instead to Bhimodi Lake, around 15 minutes from the Mukki Gate, where a host of feathered visitors gather every morning and evening through the year. Train your binoculars on the large waterbody at the edge of the forest’s buffer zone, and spot fat little cotton pygmy geese glide between the water lilies, little grebes diving into the water, and cormorants sunning themselves. Overnight at the luxurious cottages of Singinawa Jungle Lodge.
Day 2 KANHA-JABALPUR
Rise before the sun for a 6 a.m. open-top jeep safari. The drive takes you past the boulder-strewn Banjar River, where big cats sometimes quench their thirst. Through the Mukki Gate travel into the beautiful sal forests of the 2,051-sq-km tiger reserve of Kanha. The tiger may be the apex predator, but keep your eyes open for the unsung star of these forests—the stately barasingha or swamp deer—brought back from the edge of extinction. Look into the canopy to spot some of the 300 species of birds that live here, including woodpeckers, kingfishers, spotted doves, and yellow-footed green pigeons. Exit the park by 11 a.m. and lunch at your lodge before driving back to Jabalpur.
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.
Although most visitors choose to book safaris through their lodge it is possible to book independently.
Hours: The park administration runs twice daily open-top jeep safaris from 6 a.m. to 11a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; park is closed on Wednesday afternoon.
Booking: Book permits online at forest.mponline.gov.in/.
Entry: Permits per jeep cost ₹1,550 for the core zones (Kanha, Kisli, Mukki, Sarhi)
and ₹1,250 for the buffer zones. Each jeep seats six. Vehicle and guide charges are extra and payable at the gate, shared by all occupants of the jeep. Carry government-approved photo ID.
Tip: For the best safari experience with the best trained naturalists, book through your lodge (₹5,500 per jeep via Singinawa). No additional charge for birding at Bhimodi Lake. It is best to go with a trained naturalist to help you identify different species.
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