Summer has already begun in southern part of India. The best thing to do now is, to be at home and sip some cool drinks. But then a travel enthusiast always have a better plan to begin the summers. If you are staying in Hyderabad for a long time, you will also be in search of some awesome weekend getaways like me. Then here it is – Pench National Park! Pench is a Tiger Reserve situated about 600 kms from Hyderabad in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of Pench river.
How To Get There ?
We took a train from Hyderabad to Nagpur on friday night. It takes about 8 hours by train. From Nagpur to Pench (Turia Gate) we drove, which took around 2-3 hours. The other options will be fly till Nagpur Airport and then drive to Pench or a complete road trip to Pench. However, the road conditions are not so good to drive so long.
Things To Do ?
Madhya Pradesh Tourism organizes Jungle Safari here. There are three different timings for the safari and the bookings have to be made in advance. Only 20-30 vehicles (open jeeps) with a registered guide is allowed to enter during each time slot. The safari timings are :
Morning : 6:30 am to 10:30 am
Evening : 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Night : 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Each safari costs around Rs 4000/- for Indian citizens. We took the evening and night safari. The morning and evening safari are conducted within the core forest and night safari is conducted in the buffer zone. I will suggest to avoid the night safari unless you want to experience the jungle in night. The reason being the night safari is conducted in buffer zone and chances of animal sighting are very less.
We were very lucky to spot one tiger, a tigress, elephants. lots of spotted dear , peacocks, rabbits, langoor, kingfisher bird, nilgai, jackals, bison, snake, fishes in the river and many more species of birds and butterflies.
Where To Stay ?
Luckily there are many resorts around the park which provide you luxurious staying options near the park. We stayed in Pench Jungle Camp which was 1-2 kms away from Turia Gate (Park Entrance Gate). It’s a beautiful 3 -star resort which provides food and stay package at a very nominal rate( Rs 6500 for stay in deluxe tent – 2 persons. Breakfast, Lunch, Evening tea and Dinner included. The food was awesome here :-) ). We had booked our safari, nagpur to pench drive and drop through them only. It was very convenient and hassle free. The prices are almost same everywhere and it was one of the best found and recommended.
This was a short break from the monotonous city life and a rich experience of staying and exploring the nature from so close. Experiencing wildlife in their natural habitat and wandering in lush green forest is an experience you will always remember and cherish.
Some Pictures from the trip :