ndia Wildlife parks - Selling Travel travel/india-  Kaziranga National Park Named a UNESCO
ndia Wildlife parks - Selling Travel travel/india-  Kaziranga National Park Named a UNESCO

ndia Wildlife parks - Selling Travel travel/india- Kaziranga National Park Named a UNESCO

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  • Wildlife parks

    It’s one of the most densely populated countries on earth but India still has room for wildlife. Laura Gelder

    looks at some of the country’s lesser-known parks


    Sasan-Gir Wildlife Sanctuary The only place where you can see wild lions outside of Africa, Gujarat’s Sasan-Gir is a land of rugged hills with high ridges, densely forested valleys of teak and evergreen and savannah-like grassland.

    Along with the endangered Asiatic lion, which differs from its African cousin thanks to a fold of skin on its belly, the park is also home to leopards, pointy-eared jungle cats, the shy desert cat and the tiny rusted spotted cat. Plus jackals, striped hyenas, mongoose and wild boars. Resident reptiles include marsh crocodiles, Indian rock pythons and monitor lizards.

    Hemis National Park High in the snow-cloaked peaks of the Himalayas in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, this is home to one of the planet’s most elusive cats, the snow leopard.

    Amongst this stark landscape, punctuated by colourful fluttering prayer flags, there are also hardy wild sheep, ibex, goats and the endangered Tibetan wild ass, which cling to the rocky habitat, while wolves and foxes stalk rotund marmots. Bird life includes the golden eagle, several species of vulture and rare birds like the Tibetan snow finch.

    On the site of the ancient silk route, Hemis is also home to a 400-year-old monastery.

    Nagarahole National Park Backed by the hills of the Western Ghats, this Karnataka park is filled with fragrant sandalwood and teak trees, thick groves of bamboo and winding streams.

    Tigers are, of course, the star but sloth bears, leopards, wild dogs, sambar, spotted and barking deer, four-horned antelopes, elephant and wild boars are also easily spotted.

    Visitors can take a jeep safari or drift down meandering streams in a coracle (a small round boat) along the Kabini River where aquatic birds, crocodiles and Indian elephants could appear.

    hidden gems /

  • Kaziranga National Park Named a UNESCO World Heritage site

    in 1985, Kaziranga in Assam is one of the last areas in eastern India largely untouched by humans. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population of endangered greater one-horned rhinos live among the park’s dense jungle.

    On the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River, the reserve hides tigers amid elephant grass meadows and closely-knit forests of Indian gooseberry, cotton, and elephant Apple trees. It is also a breeding ground for elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.

    Periyar National Park Situated in the Cardamom Hills in Kerala, this green area is home to much rare flora and fauna as well as tribal settlements.

    Visitors can take a boat safari on Thekkady lake to see herds of Indian bison, deer, wild boar, elephants and perhaps the playful smooth Indian otter. Egrets and kingfishers are frequently seen perched on trees in the lake.

    Satpura National Park The least-known tiger reserve in central India, Satpura in Madhya Pradesh offers safaris by jeep, motorboat, kayak and on foot. Note though, it’s not the best place to see tigers because the terrain is rugged, though beautiful.

    Sandstone peaks, green forests, narrow gorges, slot canyons and ravines conceal temples and waterfalls.

    It’s a good place to see the sloth bear and is home to many deer and antelope species, including diminutive Indian muntjacs, long-limbed spotted chital and antlered sambars and blackbucks.

    Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park There are 15 islands of mangrove creeks and tropical rainforest in this Andaman Islands reserve, only two of which are open to the public. The islands are surrounded by rich coral reefs and home to indigenous tribes.

    Visitors can enjoy trekking, camping, snorkelling and diving to see myriad tropical fish, manta rays and turtles. However, saltwater crocodiles also lurk off the postcard-worthy beaches.

    Khangchendzonga National Park Famous for the red panda, Tibetan antelopes and snow leopards, this park gets its name from a mountain, the third highest peak in the world. Like the mountain, the western boundary of the park is shared with the border of Nepal.

    Home to nearly half of India’s bird diversity, wild trees, orchids and rhododendrons, the landscape provides a critical refuge for species like the clouded leopard, golden cat, large Indian Civet and flying squirrel.

    Sundarbans National Park This West Bengal park is home to the largest mangrove forest in the world and also the largest population of Royal Bengal tigers, many of which can often be seen swimming. The park’s meandering rivers, springs, creeks and estuaries, which connect to neighbouring Bangledesh, are also home to saltwater crocodiles and Ganges River dolphins.

    Book it with... Wild Frontiers The 13-day Tigers of Central India trip includes a walking safari and evening boat ride on Satpura National Park’s River Denwa, plus owl watching, and three other parks famous for tiger safaris. From £3,570pp, land-only. wildfrontierstravel.com

    / hidden gems