Pench jungle safari

Pench National Park is nestled in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts. It derives its name from the river Pench that cleaves the park in two parts. This glorious expanse also spreads across the neighbouring state of Maharashtra. 

The magnificence and natural opulence of the park is also the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's magnum opus, 'The jungle book'. 

It was declared as a sanctuary in 1965 and then established as a national park in 1975. In 1992, it was recognized as Pench Tiger Reserve. Stretching over a great area of 758 sq km, Pench National Park consists of dense jungles, rocky trails, cascading streams and crystal clear rivers. 

The park attracts a large number of tourists and wildlife enthusiasts, all flocking to get a glimpse of the striped beast. The park also harbours varied species of flora and fauna and flocks of resident and migratory birds. This makes the national park perfect for safaris. Pench jungle safari offers excellent wildlife sightings and the chance to be one with nature.

Pench Jungle Safari

You can enjoy jeep safaris in the park that takes you deep into the wilderness and explore the corners of the jungles during the day. Pench National Park also allows you to experience wildlife safari in the thrill of the night! You'll set off after dusk to catch sight of nocturnal creatures prowling about, and if your stars are aligned, you might even spot tigers with gleaming eyes!

Buffer zones in Pench National Park 

The park has seven zones, sprawled across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, that are located at a distance of about 2 to 80 km. Turia Zone, Karmajhiri Zone, Rukhad Zone, Jamtara Zone and Wolf Sanctuary falls under Madhya Pradesh and Sillari Zone and Khursapar Zone falls under Maharashtra. Off these zones, you'll find the best chance of spotting a tiger in Turia. It has many water bodies which lure wild animals and birds to it. If you want to go on a night safari, then Wolf Sanctuary is the perfect zone.

What you’ll see

At the Pench National Park, you'll meet all your favourite Jungle Book characters like Baloo the sloth bear, Akela the Indian Wolf, Raksha the female wolf and Shere Khan, the Royal Bengal tiger among other wild creatures such as jackal, monkey, wild boar, wild dog, jungle cat, fox, Indian leopard, barking deer, striped hyena, gaur, sambar and many such species. 

The avifauna consists of migratory birds like bulbul, ruddy shelduck, whistling teal, pintail, barbet, magpie robin, racket-tailed drongo, egret, shoveler, herons and residents birds like munias, minivets orioles, waterfowls, wagtails, mynas, blue kingfishers, peafowl, crow pheasant, junglefowl and many more.

Where to stay

There is a great deal of staying options available in and around Pench National Park, offering the perfect balance between comfort, beauty and wilderness. The choice of accommodation ranges from luxury hotels and resorts, cottages, lodges and jungle camps. 

When to go

The best time to go for Pench jungle safari is during the winter season, between October and February. The weather is cool and pleasant and the temperature fluctuates between 6 degrees Celsius and 31 degrees Celsius. This is the ideal season to spot a deer or a leopard at Pench National Park.

The temperature is at its peak during the summer season in Pench National Park. Between the months of April and June, the mercury shoots up to almost 48 degrees Celsius. However, this season offers excellent wildlife sightings, especially that of the majestic tiger. 

During the monsoon season, between the months of July and September, the Pench National Park remains shut for safaris. The region receives heavy rainfall and it is also the mating season for animals. 

How to get there

Being one of the more popular parks in India, travelling to Pench National Park is not a worry. It spreads across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and has great connectivity with most major cities within India. Travellers can make their way to either Nagpur of Maharashtra or Jabalpur of Madhya Pradesh by air, rail and road to further travel to Pench.

By Air: Located around 130 km away, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur is the nearest airport to Pench National Park, serving both domestic and international flights. Serving only domestic flights, Jabalpur Airport is another option, located around 200 km away. Both Nagpur and Jabalpur are well connected to major city hubs of the country. From the airport, you can easily hire a taxi or a private vehicle to reach the Pench Tiger Reserve.

By Rail: Nagpur Junction railway station in Maharashtra and Seoni railway station in Madhya Pradesh are both located around 80 km from Pench National Park. Another option is Jabalpur railway station, located at a distance of about 205 km. All the aforementioned cities have strong connectivity with major cities in India. 

By Road: There are buses available from Nagpur bus stand as well as from Seoni bus stand. If you decide to catch a bus from Nagpur, you will have to get down at Khwasa or Suktara and then make your way to the park by private transport. You can also easily hire taxis or other private vehicles and enjoy the drive to Pench National Park.

Best time to go/Weather

Pench safari booking should be done during the winter season. The months between October and February are the best time to go. The weather is pleasant with a cool breeze and the temperature stays between 6 degrees Celsius and 31 degrees Celsius. You'll spot many deer and leopards during this season.

The summers are very hot in the Pench tiger reserve. From April to May, the temperature goes up to almost 48 degrees Celsius. However, the probability of spotting a tiger is higher during this season.

Pench National Park sees heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. Hence, the park remains closed in July, August and September for safaris. 

Pench National Park is one of the more popular parks in India, hence it has great connectivity. It spans across the two states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, so wildlife buffs can travel to Jabalpur and Nagpur of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively by means of airway, roadway or railway and then make their way to Pench National Park.

By Air: Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur is the closest airport to Pench Tiger Reserve, located around 130 km away. It serves both domestic and international travellers. Jabalpur airport is another option, located around 200 km away and it serves only domestic travellers. Both Nagpur and Jabalpur are well connected to major cities of India. Private vehicles or taxis are easily available from both these airports to Pench National Park. 

By Rail: You can travel to Pench National Park from Nagpur Junction railway station in Maharashtra or Seoni railway station in Madhya Pradesh, both located around 80 km from the park. Alternatively, Jabalpur railway station also serves as another option to reach Pench, located about 205 km away. Nagpur, Seoni and Jabalpur are all well connected to major cities in the country, 

By Road: You can easily catch buses from Nagpur bus stand to reach Pench National Park. However, you will have to get down at Khwasa or Suktara and then travel by private transport to the end destination. You can also hire a taxi or a private car to reach Pench via Nagpur- Jabalpur highway. 

Seoni also has regular buses leaving from the bus stand close to Seoni railway station. You'll find Government buses, as well as private vehicles that will take you to Pench National Park.

When choosing an outfit for a safari, wear clothes that are in neutral earthy tones like brown, stone, beige, khaki and olive. These colours will help camouflage and you can get closer to the wild animals. During the summer, opt to wear clothes that are light, comfortable and preferably in cotton or linen. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, as the direct heat from the sun on uncovered skin is harmful. It will also protect you from insect bites. Wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun cap is very important during the summer.

During the winter, it is wise to layer your clothing. It will provide more warmth and you can shed the layers during the hottest point of the day. Wear clothes that are preferably woollen and carry a jacket. Opt to wear shoes or sneakers that covers your feet. Remember to apply sunscreen and insect repellent, regardless of the weather.

While on your Pench jungle safari, it is important to carry sunglasses, sunscreen and sun cap, to protect you from the sun, a refillable water bottle, for hydration throughout the day, insect repellent to protect yourself from insect bites, a jacket, to protect yourself from the chilly breeze and a camera with a full battery charge and plenty of memory space. You can also carry along a pair of binoculars. 

No sort of physical preparation is needed before Pench safari booking. You’ll be seated in a jeep for most of the day with only a little bit of walking around. People of all age groups can come to enjoy the magic of Pench National Park. 

Pench jungle safari - Frequently Asked Questions

You can catch a flight to either Nagpur or Jabalpur. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur is the closest airport to Pench Tiger Reserve, located at a distance of 130 km. From there, you can hire a taxi or a private car to Pench National Park. You can also board a train from Mumbai to Nagpur and then enjoy a taxi/private vehicle drive to the national park. Nagpur Junction railway station is only about 80 km from the park.

You can catch a flight to either Jabalpur or Nagpur. Jabalpur airport is located around 200 km away from Pench National Park. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur is located closer to the park, about 130 km away. From the airport, you can easily call cabs or private vehicles to take you to the park. You can also hop into a train from Delhi to Jabalpur and then enjoy a taxi/car ride to the national park. Jabalpur railway station is located about 205 km away from the park. 

Pench jungle safaris are best enjoyed during the winter months, between July and September. The atmosphere is fresh and cool and this season is the best season to catch sight of deer and leopards.

The park is at a boiling point during the summer season, between April and June, but it's the perfect season to spot tigers. The magnificent beasts are lured out of their lairs by water bodies as they go there for a summer drink.

During the monsoon season, Pench National Park receives very heavy rainfall. Therefore, the park is closed for safaris between the months of July and September. It is also mating season for many animals and birds, and they are best left alone at this time. 

Cell phones and mobile phones are allowed on a safari ride; however, visitors are requested to not play loud music and ensure that their devices are on silent mode throughout.

A maximum of six adults, excluding the jeep driver and mandatory guide, is allowed in one vehicle during the safari.

Children are allowed on the Pench jungle safari only under the supervision of a guardian. 

Your staying options in and around the park ranges from luxury hotels and resorts, cottages, lodges and jungle camps. You can refresh and relax with your family and friends in the serenity of nature.

During the winter, the temperature during the day reaches 30 degrees Celsius and drops down to 6 degrees Celsius at night. It is important to arm yourself with jackets to ward off the cold and opt to wear woollen outfits. Your clothes should be in neutral colours and remember to put on sunscreen and insect repellant before your set off on your safari.

During the summer, the temperature shoots up to almost 48 degree Celsius. Wear clothes that are light, comfortable, preferably made of cotton or linen and in earthy hues. Wear a long-sleeved shirt/t-shirt and a full-length pant as direct sunlight on naked skin can be harmful. Slathering on sunscreen and wearing a sun cap and sunglasses is very important.

The park has seven zones. They are Turia, Karmajhiri, Rukhad, Jamtara Zone and Wolf Sanctuary under the state of Madhya Pradesh and Sillari and Khursapar Zone under the state of Maharashtra.