Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park, at about 945 sq km, is in Madhya Pradesh. It has one of the best variety of wildlife in India and because of its many grassy flat areas, provides great vantage points to see wildlife. Kanha National Park has over 260 types of birds (including White-Throated Kingfisher, Jungle Owlet, Grey-headed Fish-eagle and Egyptian Vultures), 25,000 deer, gaur (the biggest buffalo in the world), tigers and leopards. The 12 antlered Swamp deer are found in Kanha, which are native to and only found in India. The park has about 90 tigers and 48 leopards. A speciality of Kanha is to see the tigers walking along or crossing paths just metres away from your jeep.
Testament enough, Rudyard Kipling set his book The Jungle Book (who can forget Mowgli, Shere Khan, and Baloo) in an area close to Kanha National Park. Only available in a few national parks, Kanha National Park also has a Tiger Show. A group of elephants is sent out early morning to track tiger and once one is found that is believed to stay in its spot for a long period, you can get a quick close up on top of an elephant where you can get so near as to count the whiskers on the tiger’s face.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park, at about 430 sq km, is in Assam (East India). It is famed for its 1,500 one horned Indian rhino, Asiatic wild buffalo, wild Indian elephants and over 300 species of birds. Safaris are conducted on elephant back.
There are 2,500 one horned Indian rhino left in the world, of which 1,500 are in Kaziranga National Park.
The two types of elephants in the world are African and Asian, of which the latter is of course in India. In fact Alexander the Great learned to employ the use of Indian elephants in warfare after his failed campaign in India.
Pench National Park
Pench National Park, at over 754 sq km, is situated half in Maharashtra and half in Madhya Pradesh. Rich with natural wildlife, it has over 300 types of birds, 44 species of mammals (including 15,000 Spotted Deer), 50 species of butterfly and 50 species of fish.
The highlight of the park though is sighting some of its 33 tigers or 55 leopards. Early morning and afternoon jeep safaris take you into the park, where your naturalist will help you track them.