India is full of wonderful species waiting to be seen and appreciated. Undoubtedly one of the cutest creatures is the Red Panda — one of two species that highlight a 13-day Indian wildlife safari with Jungle Sutra in March 2020.
Given the fact that the black-and-white Giant Panda is actually a member of the Ursidae or bear family, the red panda is the world’s only real “panda” species. And the eastern Himalayas is the only place where one can find these furry mammals in the wild.
The safari program includes Singalila National Park in West Bengal and Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, to observe both well-known and oft-missed wildlife. These two regions differ vastly in terrain and bird life as well as mammalian life forms.
Singalila lies in the exotic Himalayan forests of eastern India at an altitude of 7,000-12,000 feet above sea level. With more than 300 species recorded, it’s a birding paradise. The place to see and photograph exotic birds like the Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Fulvous Parrotbills, Yuhinas, Minivets and many more.
An estimated 32 red pandas also find a home in Singalila. Among other mammals found in the park are the Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Serow, Barking Deer, Yellow-throated Marten, Wild Boar, Pangolin, Pika and many other Eastern Himalayan exotics.
On the other hand Kanha is excellent for exploring the deciduous Central Indian jungle. Of course, the highlight is the Bengal Tiger, as well as leopard and Asiatic Wild Dogs, along with a huge variety of birds, quite different to the ones found at Singalila.
Arrive in Delhi. Spend the day at your own pace. Overnight at Holiday Inn, Aerocity.
Check out after an early breakfast and transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Bagdogra to meet the Jungle Sutra safari team. After lunch, transfer to Majua at the edge of Singalila National Park. Overnight at a homestay in Majua, an excellent location to spot birds and the Bhutan Flying Squirrel.
Singalila National Park: Searching for the red panda, birds and wildcats while appreciating the beautiful landscapes and vegetation. Overnights at Habre’s Nest.
Transfer to Bagdogra and a flight to Delhi. Overnight at Holiday Inn Aerocity.
Morning flight to Jabalpur followed by a road transfer to Kanha Tiger Reserve. Free evening to explore the area around the lodge and birding. Overnight at Flame of the Forest Lodge.
Day 10- 12
Kanha Tiger Reserve: two safari drives daily. Starting and end times may vary depending on the season as well as sunrise and sunset time. Overnights at Flame of the Forest Lodge.
In the morning, one last game drive through Kanha. After an early lunch, transfer by road to Jabalpur for a return flight to Delhi and international connections.
Tags: Birding, Himalayan forests, Kanha Tiger Reserve, red panda, Tiger