On the second day after having a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we were ready for our Jeep safari through Kaziranga. Elephant safari is also an option you can consider.Bookings for elephant safaris in the Central range can only be made the evening before, at the Tourist Complex booking office. However jeep safaris can be booked on the spot.
It had already rained in the morning setting the mood for the day ahead.
Kaziranga national park is a UNESCO world heritage site and the major attraction here is the one horned rhino. The park holds about 2/3rd of the world population of the one horned rhinos. The total rhino population stands at around 2400.
Kaziranga was also declared as a tiger reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world.
The park has 4 rivers flowing across it, including the Brahmaputra and numerous other small water bodies. The park is divided into 4 zones namely the Central/Kaziranga zone, Western/Bagori zone, Eastern/Agaratoli zone and the Burapahar zone. We visited the central zone, which is the one mostly visited by tourists. However the western zone has more probability of spotting tigers.
As you enter Kaziranga you have to declare any cameras you have and take a pass for the jeep as well as the digital camera if you are taking any with you.
The ride was a lil bumpy at places and for as long as the eyes can see it is a soothing green with swamps in between.
We saw a lot of wild water buffaloes grazing alongside swamps and some just lying about, soaking in the day. We also saw many Asian elephants. They are quite huge and a distinct grey. We also saw deers, huge eagles, swans in the river, cranes, a hornbill and definitely the one horned rhinos. We were able to see one quite close grazing in the grass but couldn't take very clear pictures due to the tall grass blades.
In between the safari, you are taken to a watch tower near the river. Here we saw a herd of elephants crossing. For me this was the most memorable moment of the day.
These elephants were crossing at their own sweet pace without a care in the world. There were a few baby elephants in the herd as well, who were well protected and made to walk in between the adults. We waited until they crossed the river and disappeared into the forest.
It reminded me of the hustle of our every day life as millenials and how fast our life moves. I realized that time is the most underrated luxury we have!.
We spent about an hour and half in the national park after which we headed back to our hotel. We checked out of the hotel and headed to a botanical garden nearby. As it was too crowded we didn't bother to go in. Rather we shopped some curios from the nearby shops and set course for Shillong, which was our next destination.