A Family Jungle Holiday In Pench National Park

Are you in search of finding joy in the forests that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli?
Pench Tiger Reserve looks different on every trip. The sun is elevated in the sky and the trees are bright green in shade. After a tranquil start, the forest seems to be coming to life again. Suddenly, the air is filled with langur cries. We get seated in our jeep and listen carefully. Then, just as quickly as they’d started, they’d started, the cries fade away.

When we had done Pench National Park Safari booking, we remember our guide and naturalist had said, “Each day that I see or hear anything new—whether it’s tree, animal, bird or an insect, I am happy. However, I’m not. Our wish to set eyes on the ‘king of the jungle’ in Pench Tiger Reserve had pulled us out of bed at early morning hours, and back again post-lunch”

As we’re still dealing with the distress of the tiger that wasn’t spotted yet, the guide in the jeep in front of us summons. There’s a leopard lying amid two rocks. The greenery is dense, the camouflage almost picture-perfect. The leopard’s spots merge with sunlight-kissed leaves. We gaze at the leopard and it stares back at us. After sometime, it sluggishly stretches and yawns. It’s our second day in Pench National Park in the glorious state of Madhya Pradesh and we’ve been fortunate to play a part of the first leopard sighting activity of the season. Later, we hear that leopards are more difficult to spot than tigers.

There are ten of us who had done booking for Pench National Park Safari: my parents, husband and kids, as well as my brother’s family. As main vacation planner for the team, my task is always phenomenal. Satisfying so many family members across three generations is challenging. This time, although, I had seized independent power, ignoring vacation requests for quite beaches, exotic food trails, snow-cladded hill stations, and yes, most certainly, shopping malls. It’s going to be a “wildlife holiday vacation” at Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh wins for its convenient access from Mumbai. All of us are booked into one of the finest Pench National Park Tour Packages, which must provide some comfort, in case the jungle fails to excite them.

Surprisingly, within two days we had tripped into a rhythm that feels natural. Rolled up in warm clothes, reinvigorated with home-baked cookies and refreshed with hot chocolate and strong coffee, we head to our open-air safari jeeps that were inclusive in our Pench National Park Tour Packages. Our guide recaps us to leave back all electronic gadgets at the resort in Pench. The rules of the wildlife safari are clear: cell phones and iPods are strictly not permitted in the national park.

Pench Tiger Reserve, recently retitled as Indira Priyadarshini National Park is located at the base of the Satpura Hills in southern-most part of Madhya Pradesh. Some parts of the reserve falls in Maharashtra (Nagpur city is only 90 km to the south)

How To Reach:
Air- Nagpur airport is the nearest airport, about 101 km away from Pench National Park. Direct flights are accessible from major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Kolkata.
Rail- Nagpur Junction is the closest railway station, around 90 km away.
Road- Pench is about 1,150 km from Delhi and 950 km from Mumbai. Road quality varies extensively throughout the year. Road trip suggested only to passionate drivers.

Winter (Oct- Mid March) offers the finest experience at Pench in terms of climatic condition. Days are quite pleasant, while evenings and early mornings are chilled. Summers (April-June) are scorching hot, but the possibility of spotting tigers is greater than the rest of the year. This is also the Indian Spotted Deer rutting season, when stags shed their horns to grow new ones.
Pench National Park is closed during the monsoon season (Jul-Sep). Also closed on Wednesdays and festivals like Republic Day and Holi.

Beyond The Safaris:
www.Book-My-Safai.com organizes night safari to spot nocturnal wild animals like Hyenas, Wolves, Civet cats etc (You need to enquire and book in advance). They also rent bicycles and quad bikes. Explore the boundary of the Pench by renting a car or following tracks on foot. Visit the nearby Pachdhar pottery village, or spend a silent evening at Kohka Lake. Places like Mahua Vann also offer spa facilities. Many Pench resorts have libraries, swimming pools, gyms and indoor recreation centers with badminton, carom, table tennis and other activities.

Inside View:
The favorite character of the jungle boy “Mowgli”, created in Pench National Park, although his maker Rudyard Kipling never really visited the park himself. It is believed that a 19th century British official inscribed in a journal sent to the Queen, about a “wolf-boy” he discovered in the jungle. Kipling later read this secret journal, which encouraged him to write The Jungle Book.

Bring The Kids:
In addition to the safaris, most Pench resorts have play areas and activities to keep children engaged. Most areas have no extra charge for kids below six.