Kaziranga: Last Bastions of Indian Rhino

rhino

Rhino with Calf in afternoon light

Kaziranga is land of heavy weight Herbivores and feathered beauty. It is one of the best wildlife photography destinations in India, supports extraordinary high diversity of species. I rate it as most well maintained and a must visit Park for each nature lover at least once. Fortunately it is located on far of corner else it would have been as crowded as central India parks. You should plan minimum 5 days trip to get complete feel of this park.

turtle

Asiatic wild Buffalo at Dusk

Kaziranga has unique ecosystem, a savannah which remind me of Serengeti. Kaziranga landscape has riverine flood-formed lakes known as, beels , surrounded by marshland, grass lands with tall elephant grass, which host large mammals like, Asiatic elephant, Water buffalo, Swamp deer , Hog deer, Tiger & Leopard and the most famous, One-horned rhinoceros. You will also seek opportunities to photograph the equally fascinating smaller creature like, otter, mongoose, monitor lizards, terrapin etc. The moist tropical forest of Kaziranga is home of over 500 species of birds, especially if you are travelling during winter bird migration time.  And if you are not looking for them, you might get to see Tigers also as we had 2 lucky sightings, as Kaziranga has more than 80 tigers, but with ecosystem of tall grass, which can merge even elephant in it, don’t expect an easy sighting.

turtle 

Assam Roofed Turtle basking in Sun

If you are travelling that far then a day visit to Gibbon wildlife sanctuary is must.  Gibbon WS is home of only ape “Hillock Gibbon” in India. Along with five other endemic primates: Pig-tailed macaque, Stump-tailed Macaque, Assamese Macaque, Capped Langur & Slow Loris. Don’t expect to see them all in a day trip, but if you contact forest guard ( Sanjib: 9859866493) before your arrival, they will keep track of them and will be more them happy to show you some of these fascinating primates.

gibbon cappedlangur

 Hillock Gibbon, Male                                                                                                                                                Capped Langur

If you can extent your trip by at least 2 more days then don’t miss out on Nameri WS, it is birders paradise and just at little diversion back to Guwahati. Now a days it is privilege if you get change to explore any sanctuary on foot and Nameri wildlife sanctuary you will have opportunity to explore this pristine forest on foot with armed forest guard, walking along white sand of Jia Bhorali River which flows gently from eastern Himalayas to plains. Nameri is home for many rare & beautiful birds; we can easily count more than hundred of new species during this trip. If you can leave your bed early on cold foggy morning, their will be high chance to catch glimpse of endangered & elusive white winged duck and in evening look for photo opportunity of flying Greater & wreathed hornbill over Jia Bhorali River to their roosting place.

hornbill

Useful info:

Accommodation at Kaziranga NP.

During my 3 visits I stayed at Wildgrass resort, it run by Mr. Mann Barua. This resort is managed by people who love nature and know this park well. Resorts garden has verity of tree and birds.

They have very good guide, safari vehicle and Driver.

If you are into serious photography, block their experience driver, Mr Kunwar: 0985933236.

If you are into birding, they have excellent guides like, Mr Polash:9859332766

Double room is in range of Rs 3000.00 includes breakfast and evening refreshment, you can take my name to Dilip da, you might get discount.

Manger, Dilip Da: 08761833837/9954416945

Tel No: 03776-262085/ 262011

Website: www.oldassam.com

Best time: If you are more into birds then Mid Nov till mid march, when migratory bird will be in park. If you are more into mammals, then mid Feb till monsoon arrives (mid April), February onwards forest determent will burn tall grass, so sighting of mammals will be more.

Pleasant thing in tour to this part of India is, life is very simple in out here, there is no need to make prior Gypsy booking as in central India, and there is no route system. There are mainly three ranges, western ( Baguri), Central( Kohra) most popular (not because it is better than other, but because most of accommodation is around this Range and Eastern Range( Agaratoli), only real birders goes there as you have to travel few km to reach his Gate.

Two safari per day will cost around Rs5000.00, if you are not using telephoto prime lens (500mm and above) then 4 people can be in one vehicle else better to have two person per vehicle.

Before morning jeep safari, you can do elephant ride with packed breakfast. Elephant ride will be good way to watch Rhino up-close & you might also spot the rare Bengal Florican. Chose elephant which are of less height and only 2 peoples sit front facing. Elephant ride cost Rs 600 per person and you need to get them booked a day before.

So, if 4 people are sharing gypsy, your tour cost will be approx 18-20 K per person for 5D/4N ex-Guwahati.

Other option of stay at Kaziranga is:

Assam tourism department, Arnya Bhavan , 03776262429, 03776262423 . Location of this Lodge is right near the Gate of Central range (Kohora range)

Room cost Rs750-1500 for double room.

You have to book your Safari Vehicle yourself.  Bijju Hazarika ( local person, with experience and knowledge of not only KnP but also of north east parks) : 08011845029/08011617194 and  KNP Jeep association no:Mr Punan Gogai (09954316190) is president of association

Other logistic cost will be:

Guwahati – Kaziranga Rs 5500.00 (Mr Bijju, 08011845029, 08011617194)

Kaziranga- Gibbon WS, Rs 4500 return trip.

Place to stay at Nameri WS is Nameri Eco camp. Excellent camp covered by canopy of tall tree and amazing birdlife in and around camp.

Cost Rs 1800.00 double tent.

Nameri Eco camp: 09845019932, 09435250025.

You have to contact forest office near to camp for provide guide, for walk inside park. Meenaram (985463261), a forest guard is very knowledgeable birder.

Rate might vary slightly, as I have been there a year ago. I hope this will help; if you need any specific info, pls contact me. 

fowl

Red Jungle Fowl

redbrest rosering
Red-breasted Parakeet Rose-ringed Parakeet
pallas kf
Pallas's Fish Eagle Stork-billed Kingfisher

swampdeer

Swamp Deer (Barasingha)

tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Comments  

 
0 #6 Sathya Narayanan KDk 2015-01-08 17:12
Lovely Images and write up.
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+1 #5 Badri 2014-11-29 14:05
Am going there to Wildgrass in Dec for the second time. This post is very timely and useful as far as I am concerned. Great work with the detailing.
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+1 #4 Vinay 2014-11-28 02:13
Nice writ-up Yash. I still remember the first trip there with you
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+1 #3 Tushar Nidambur 2014-11-26 17:28
Great effort. Will surely be useful for anyone whpo plans a trip!
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+1 #2 V. Harisha 2014-11-25 15:15
nice write up yashpal,
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