You know what it is like going to a National Park and having that weighted expectation of seeing the BIG ones. Well we dont - we go along and we enjoy the park for what it has to offer and this takes the pressure off for the driver and the guide and makes it a much more pleasant experience. Our interest is not just in the animals but the birds and the butterflies and of course the trees which are truly magnificent in India.
So it is with these same principles that we entered Kanha National Park on a spring morning. Kanha has been around since 1955, just a wee bit older than me, but much larger at some 940 sq Kms.It was not always national park. Some of it was farmed and 27 villages were relocated to ensure room for the animals so you can still see evidence of mango trees and other fruit trees in the park. It is right bang in the centre of India and a bit of a challenge to get to but it has a lot to offer. There are many lovely camps to stay at and I will tell you about the one we stayed at in another blog.
Kanha's size means that there are a lot of routes on offer with varying vistas. Meadowlands, river beds, quite thick sal forest and grasslands. Its tiger population is healthy and on the up but Kanha is famous for having saved the Swamp Deer Barasingha from extinction. I think it is a wonderful acclaim for any National Park to be able to credit such results and Kanha can. Swamp deer numbers which were in the tens are now rising to hundreds.It has other deer types as well not least the barking deer which we heard bark. They sound just like a dog.
Kanha of course is also good for tiger sightings and we did see one in the distance with lots of other jeeps. So instead of showing you the tiger at this point I am going to show you the jeeps. It is heartwarming to see the ever increasing numbers in the parks.
For a variety of reasons we did not opt to do what everyone else was doing and we decided to take a long drive up to a ridge to enjoy the blooming trees en route as well and the birds aand the butterflies.This is the superb creature that we met en route. She was on the road we were travelling on and she was truly magnificent and we were the only car there to enjoy her as she sat down in the shade and caught her breath, suveyed the scene, and then gently moved off the road and back into the forest.
We had to catch our breath at her beauty and we carried on our journey elated at this fantastic sighting. There was more so here are some of the select moments of our time there for you all to enjoy.