03-13 Kanha 1

Indian roller

13th Mar/Wed: Kanha 1

I was up at 4.00 for an early flight at 06.55 hrs, arriving at Raipur at 08.40 hrs. Security was a bit of a free for all, but it was otherwise a good flight. Then taxi transfer to Kanha National Park, 220 kms / 4-hour drive through rural areas. I saw a very large heard of water-buffalo on the road in addition to the usual cows. On arrival I checked into Singinawa Lodge Resort, Kanha reserve, very luxurious, like some African lodges. Much hotter here but all is air conditioned. Lunch was similar to that at Corbett but probably 10x the price given the ‘ambiente’.

The first safari took place in the buffer zone of the national park on the edge of the reserve at 16.00. I did not see a tiger but some gaur, an ancestor of the cow and several birds, including: cattle egret, open beak stork, lesser adjutant stork, cormorant, Indian roller and crested serpent eagle.

Kanha is tribal country, and a perfect example of man-animal co-existence. This was the first park where a village was moved out from the core area of the forest and relocated outside. Subsequently, many other villages were moved out to give more undisturbed space to the tigers. The grateful tribal people accepted the generous compensation packages thus creating a haven for tigers in Kanha and it became a win-win situation for both them and the tigers.

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