Kanha National Park
One of the three better known parks of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park (it’s the one in the middle!) and connects well with Bandhavgarh (6 hour drive) and Pench (5 hour drive). Kanha is one of the larger parks and is made up of sal forest and open grasslands or maidans. It is difficult to capture the beauty of the park in a few sentences and a visit here is highly recommended. It is the only park in India to have Bharasingha or swamp deer which have been brought back from near extinction. There is also a healthy tiger population and, harder to see are its leopard and sloth bear. Recently devised to enhance the safari experience and also to benefit the local community, are half day to 3 night cycling trips, through the villages in the buffer zone and camping out in the villages overnight. The accommodation is simple but provides one with a unique insight into tribal communities and village life around the park. Must be booked with at least three weeks’ notice.
Due to the increasing regulations for the parks in Madhya Pradesh, numbers of jeeps are restricted and must be booked as far in advance as possible (full passport details required) in order to guarantee them. Park opening dates are from 16th October to 30th June (though temperatures are very hot from April onwards) and they are also closed on Wednesday afternoons.