The area now known as Pench National Park is the very jungle that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book” and featured in the popular BBC series “Tiger-Spy in The Jungle”. This is one of the three most celebrated national parks in Madhya Pradesh state in India. Pench Tiger Reserve is well-connected by road to Kanha National Park, and only two hours from Nagpur. Come here for vibrant jungle trekking, tiger spotting, Indian wild dog sightings, and a unique sleeping under the stars experience if you really want to be in the thick of it.
Although Pench is relatively small, its sal and teak forests make it a completely different landscape from the other popular national parks at Kanha and Bandhavgarh. The forest here is particularly lush, with plenty of water bodies throughout. Pench features the highest concentration of herbivores in any of Madhya Pradesh’s parks and a healthy population of tigers and striking Indian wild dogs.
The newly opened Jamtara Lodge on the northern edge of Pench is truly innovative – no other accommodation exists in the vicinity, making this lodge a unique and remote wildlife experience. The African “star beds” are a true highlight: here you can sleep under the stars and wake up to the sounds of the jungle.
Madhya Pradesh’s national parks are subject to increasing regulations, which mean that the number of jeep vehicles is restricted. To guarantee one of them, we’d recommend you book your trip as early in advance as possible. The best time to visit is between November and May, when temperatures are milder, though the middle of December through till the end of January should be avoided due to cold, misty mornings. For the real wildlife enthusiasts, the prime time to visit March to the end of May when the weather is extremely hot, drying up watering holes and making wildlife sightings more common.