Precautions to take while staying in a resort near a national park

First and foremost never go towards the forest on foot or in a vehicle if it is prohibited. There are gates from where all tourists vehicles enter. Use only the authorised gates to enter at the given time with a valid permit to enter the park. Do not even try entering from any other area in the protected areas. There are many precautions to take while staying near a national park. Some are listed below.

Caught in a national park without a valid permit will attract a jail term for you besides impounding of your vehicle. So please do not even think on these lines even if any local or a resort person tells you to.

Never leave the vicinity of the resort by yourself after sunset. Not even if you plan to just take a stroll around after your dinner. After sunset Leopards often tend to come close to the villages and resorts in search of food or the livestock. Tigers also move around in the night outside the protected areas. It is not worth the risk or adventure that you might want to experience.

If you must go out for some emergency work, and you must cross the buffer area of the forest, please do not go on a two wheeler. Ensure you are in a car and take someone along from the resort who knows the area, and do not forget to carry a torch for sure. Driving a two wheeler in a forested area is a huge risk more so in the night. If it breaks down, or a flat tyre, you can be in for a tough time. Four wheeler will at-least ensure your safety from the predators.

But if you happen to be in the Elephant country, then even a four wheeler is not a good idea to travel in the night. It is best that you postpone all your work for next day morning. Wild Elephants can treat your vehicle like a football. Hence it is in your best interest to stay in safe vicinity of your rooms.

Please do not even consider carrying any weapon even if you have one.  Caught with a firearm is a non bailable offense and attracts a term of up to 7 years in prison. But yes, it is a good idea to carry a wooden stick while on foot. No weapons whatsoever even in a safari vehicle.

While moving out of your room to go to the dining hall please carry a torch. Normally the electricity supply in the remote areas is erratic. Though most of the resorts have power back-up but it can take few seconds for the power supply to resume, hence carrying a torch is a good idea. These days there are wonderful caps which have a solar light, it is convenient to carry the same to as well. While doing the safari if the cap is on it keeps getting automatically charged, and in the night you can use it wherever you are going within the resort. Please click on this link below to see a good quality cap which i have been using for last 4 years.

Also be extremely careful not to go into bush, as there are many varieties of venomous snakes in the national parks.

http://www.ebay.in/itm/252642163895?aff_source=Sok-Goog

Precautions to take while staying near a national park
Solar cap, comfortable, and convenient

Stay safe and enjoy your safaris

Best Wishes

Sharad Vats

Please follow and like us:

Will Panna be doomed?

I am beginning to feel for the soul of Panna National Park. It has already suffered a lot. In 2008 Panna lost all it’s Tigers to poachers. Panna became a closed chapter for many. But for one man, ably supported by his team, Mr Murthy revived Panna by his ironical will, and determination. It was an uphill task for him to bring Panna from ZERO to THIRTY FOUR Tigers. And now when Tigers had started to roar again in Panna, the news comes of a large chunk of Panna being drowned due to Ken-Betwa river linking project.

What is this river linking project? Our former Prime Minister (Mr A.B. Vajpayee) decided to mitigate the drought in the hilly regions of Bundelkhand. The whole region was practically parched, and agriculture was suffering. People had begun to leave their native towns and villages in search of work. Lot of farmers from Chattarpur area now work in metro cities as labour. Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to link the two rivers of the region, so that excess water in the basin of Ken river could be diverted via a canal to the Betwa river thus irrigating lakhs of hectares of land.

But to divert this water the Daudhan dam is required to be built.  This will submerge a substantial habitat of our national animal, the Tiger. Infact, the wildlife experts like Mr Ranjitsinh feel that Panna National Park will be bifurcated. If this comes about to be true, then nothing and no one will be able to save Panna. The river basin has lot of grass and food for the herbivores, when this area gets submerged due to the dam, the herbivores will move on. This will affect the quality of habitat in a big way and what happens to the Tigers then is anyone’s guess.

What is being done in this project?

A 230km canal linking the two rivers is a humongous task. This will take a few months and few thousand men working round the clock to complete. Does so much of work in the heart of the forest disturb the wildlife? Without doubt, considerably, and beyond reformation.

But a bigger question arises now, what is the solution and how we can fulfill the needs of humans and Tigers both. Is there one, if at all?

I was in the region this May (2016), and again in August (2016). As luck would have it, i saw both the rivers in May. To my surprise it was Ken which had far lesser water compared to Betwa. I spoke to some locals in the region, and they all confirmed that Betwa has more water compared to Ken year round. But it is Ken which gets more water during the monsoons. So, if the project is to divert water during monsoons only then it is perhaps a good thought. But at what cost? Tigers? Forests? Too huge a price to pay i guess.

In August 2016 when i visited, Ken was brimming with water this year. But that was also because this year the rain gods have been more generous in this area.

My personal opinion

Nature is almighty supreme. It will find a way around this man made misadventure. Nature has survived without man for eons, and if we do not change, nature is prepared to survive alone. The experts and activists have tried a lot but could not convince the Government to stop this river linking. As of now there is little that we can do, but hope and pray that good sense prevails and the Government let’s go of this project.

Let us remember the fact that the human population is only increasing, and the forests and glaciers are only shrinking. From the forests of India around 300 rivers originate. Would someone not think that if Ken has more water today, then does Panna contribute to it? Logically, scientifically, yes? So if we take away the forest will the water not reduce? Isn’t this an elementary conclusion. What if these 10000 crores are spent, and Ken just dries up? Is there any insurance that the Govt will claim, and get the river back. I doubt it.

Praying for Tigers of Panna, and i am optimistic that they will be fine, as nature when it falls sick takes an antibiotic just like us humans. It is sad that those antibiotics are floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes and everything that harms humans than it benefits.

All, i can say at this point in time is, Lord, let thy will be done.

Sharad Vats

 

Please follow and like us:

Indian Wildlife

nature safari india
Indian Wildlife

Indian Wildlife pleasantly surprises many.  We have 16% of world population living in less than 1% land mass of this planet. The bio-mass pressure of the human and cattle population creates a huge pressure on our forests. A worldwide trend where development, and GDP growth is an enemy of the environment.

While traveling in rural India you still find people worshipping trees, animals, rivers and practically everything that is in nature.

This is the reason India has still managed to hold on to some endangered species. The so called #TigerExperts had given a apocalypse that Tiger shall not survive to see the turn of the 21st century. Tiger survives well into 16 years of the century. Did these experts underestimate their subjects of study, or overestimate their own expertise? Perhaps they were quite right at the time of this prediction, maybe this prognosis served as an alarm bell in the right ears.

For every forest being disrobed, there are many Krishna’s prohibiting the same. There are poachers and there are protectors. In summary the experts saw only one side and predicted. They did not see the human side. But I would still like to thank them for the prediction, cause that woke up lot of sleeping souls of the society.

An Indian Wildlife savior in Bandhavgarh National Park

 I would like to share a true incident I witnessed in #Bandhavgarh National Park in Feb 2016. Do see the image of the same below the text.

While doing an evening safari in #Bandhavgarh from a distance I noticed a forest guard sitting near the #Rajbhera waterhole. On looking closely we see a cheetal (spotted deer) by his side. The guard was feeding him with water and leaves. Later we asked what happened, he said while patrolling this morning he noticed the old and weak deer almost dying next to the water hole. He fed him with some leaves and water. Thereafter, the deer was able to lift his head in a couple of hours. When he came back in the evening to feed the cheetal, he saw more improvement. I was touched by his gesture, as no one had told him to do that.

We appreciated his work, and what he said after that amazed me, and made me laugh simultaneously. He said, “Sirji hum to tiger ko bhi aise kar dein agar woh karne de”. (Sir, we would treat / handle the #tiger similarly if he allows us to). His voice and eyes had genuine concern and love for animals. Whether the deer survived the night or not, whether he became food of some predator or not, is not important. But what is important is, that we do have a lot of people in our forests doing their job sincerely and silently, away from recognition. In my eyes, he did not only save the cheetal, he saved the tiger, and the forest simultaneously.  This is why I say, that there are Krishna’s working silently saving Indian Wildlife in their own ways.

Indian Wildlife
Indian Wilds Savior. A ranger at work in Bandhavgarh

I have not lost any hope despite a lot of adversity towards Indian Wildlife. Nature will regenerate, it is powerful enough to take care of itself, it has done so for eons, and will continue to do so eternally.

Best Wishes

Sharad Vats

.

Please follow and like us:

15 Most important things to keep while on a Safari in India

Important things to carry for Safari in India
Common Grey Langur

The national parks in India are very remotely located, except a couple of them, which are located close to a big town. Infact the towns which are close to these handful of national parks are not equipped with essentials that you might require. Hence i thought it important to list down these 15 most important things to carry for a safari in India.

  1. Travel adaptor
  2. Portable recharger
  3. First aid kit / personal medication
  4. Sewing kit
  5. Torch
  6. Mosquito Repellant
  7. Camera, with extra memory cards
  8. Binoculars
  9. A Field guide book
  10. Hand Sanitizer
  11. Sun screen
  12. Some munchies
  13. Masks
  14. Hat
  15. Cover to protect your camera from rain and dust.

Reason i recommend to carry some munchies, cookies, dry fruits, chocolates etc is because the morning safaris begin at 6am. You normally will have your morning tea with couple of cookies, and then go for a safari. Hence it is advisable to keep something to munch silently, discreetly while on a safari. Needless to mention that you will not drop any eatables, or wrappings in or out of the vehicles. While sharing your eatables with your fellow safari goers is fine, but never with the animals you encounter.

I repeat this often, that one encounters lot of dust and sun during safaris in India as the vehicles are totally open. If you are sensitive to dust and pollen related allergies please carry all preventive material like masks, and medications too.

Medical emergencies

For pregnant ladies safaris in India are not recommended at all. The tracks are bumpy, and can create medical complications in pregnancy. Hence safaris are best avoided during pregnancy. But still if you as a pregnant wife wish to accompany your husband then please do and stay put in the resort or the Lodge. Please do not go inside the national park.

In case of any medical issues there are no good hospitals or doctors close by. Any good hospital could be a 3-4 hours drive from a national park. Before going on a safari, please ensure you are medically fit. Avoid the safaris if there is even a minor viral infection, as it can get aggravated due to the journey thus spoiling the whole experience of yours, and your partners as well.

Remember only if you are fully well, and healthy will you be able to enjoy your safaris. So recover from any ailment that you might have, and then head out to track the Tigers.

Wish you all the best

Sharad Vats

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Which is the best national park to see the Tigers in India?

Best national park to see Tigers in India
Male Tiger sighting in Kanha

Which is the best national park to see Tigers in India? This is the first question asked by almost all tourists who want to see the Tiger in the wilds of India. The answer to this question is easy and tricky simultaneously. In India we have 49 Tiger reserves, out of which 15 are very popular due to good Tiger sightings. This does not mean that there is no Tiger sighting in other parks. I would like to share an image here of a sighting i had in Dudhwa national park. Not this park surely does not feature in the top 15 parks for Tiger sightings in India.

Best national park to see Tigers
A Natural History moment captured in Dudhwa National Park

What i am trying to say is that Tigers are present in all the Tiger reserves, and they can come out anytime, all you need is patience. The Tiger reserves are huge. You have to remember that you are visiting a national park and not a zoo. So to expect to see a Tiger in few minute after entering the park is not fair.

Chances of Tiger sightings are in all these parks. The frequencies are a bit different and ever changing. At times things can change so fast that within a month an area of a national park can be vacated. For e.g. if a Tigress gives a litter, she practically withdraws for some time from the tourism areas. This could mean that the Tiger sightings in that area or the zone can go dry for sometime thus disappointing lot of tourists.

Also, this is a fairly individualistic perception, and analysis also. For e.g. someone visits Ranthambhore more, and less of Tadoba, so in his opinion Ranthambhore could be good for the affinity he has for the park. It is tough to get sighting data of all the Tiger reserves. But if one travels regularly in these, gathers information, data from social media as well then one will get to know what is happening where.

We give a lot of emphasis on quality of sightings, than the quantity. Now this may include for how long was the sighting? How many vehicles were around when you were seeing the Tiger? The lesser the vehicles, the least disturbed Tiger is. If all this is ticked, then i would say it was a good sighting.

There are healthy chances that you will sight Tigers in your visits to Ranthambhore, Tadoba, Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh, and Corbett, not necessarily in the order listed. But when i say a visit, it implies at 3-4 nights stay, and doing about 5 to 6 safaris atleast if not more. If luck is by your side then you will sight Tigers on more than one occasion in these parks. Last but not the least important factor is that you must have the right guides, and drivers with you when going on a safari. So still want to know the best national park to see Tigers in India, write to us on email below.

Do let us know if you wish to see Tigers in India or Indian Wildlife. Write to us on info@naturesafariindia.com

Sharad Vats

 

Please follow and like us: