sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands and meandering streams stretch over
940 sq km in dramatic natural splendour. This is original Kipling country, of
which he wrote so vividly in his Jungle Book. The same abundance of wildlife
species exists today in Kanha National Park, which forms the core of the Kanha
Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The park is the only habitat
of the rare hardground barasingha (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi).
By a special statute in 1955, Kanha National Park came into being. Since then, a series of stringent conservation programmes for the protection of the park's flora and fauna has given Kanha its deserved reputation for being one of the finest and best administered National Parks in Asia, an irresistible attraction for all wildlife lovers and a true haven for its animal and avian population.
Mammalian Species: Kanha has some 22 species of mammals. Those most easily spotted are the striped palm squirrel, common langur, jackal, wild pig, chital or spotted deer, barasingha or swamp deer, sambar and blackbuck.
Less commonly seen species are: Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and Indian bison or gaur. Patient watching should reward the visitor with a sight of: Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, Mouse deer, chausingha or four-horned antelope, nilgai, ratel and porcupine.
Very rarely seen are: Wolf, which lives in the far east of the park; chinkara, to be found outside the park's northern boundary; Indian pangolin, the smooth Indian otter and the small Indian civet.
Avian Species: Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species, and in The grassy forest clearings. ,
Water birds can be seen near the park's many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum.
The sal forests do not normally yield a sight of Kanha's avifauna. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for birdwatching; binoculars are an invaluable aid to the watcher.
Commonly seen species include: cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent, rackettailed drongo, hawk eagle and red-wattled lapwing; various species of flycatcher, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler and mynah; Indian roller, white-breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill. Jeep and Elephant Hire.
MPSTDC jeeps are available on hire for touring the park. Elephants are used for tiger-tracking and should a tiger be located, the elephant can take visitors to the site. For jeep hire, see the MPSTDC Manager, at the Baghira Log Huts, Kisli and Kanha Safari Lodge, Mukki. Bookings for a morning run should be made the previous day., Please bear in mind that jeeps are not always available during peak visiting periods.
February to June, although the cool season is much more comfortable and still very good for wildlife. (The park is closed from July 1 to October 31 because of the monsoon). For those planning a visit, a stay of at least three nights is recommended in order to have a good chance of seeing the more elusive animals - although, of course, a brief visit will also be very interesting.
What to Wear
Cottons, but bring woollens as well, as early mornings and evenings can be chilly, especially in a moving jeep and in the cool season. Try not to wear loud colours.
Kisli has a restaurant and a canteen. The restaurant serves both Indian and western food. The canteen is cheaper, serving reasonably-priced table d' hote meals and snacks. The Kanha Safari Lodge at Mukki is served by a multi-cuisine restaurant.
Note » Kanha National Park Close Between 30th to June 1 October