ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE

Assam is the land of Brahmaputra, one of the most predominant rivers in the world.  Assam is one of the most beautiful regions of India with pristine forests and amazing wildlife. Hardly any other state offers greater variety and colour in its natural scenery and in the cultural treasures.

Day 1: Guwahati-Kaziranga

On arrival at Guwahati pickup and transfer to Kaziranga (about 5 hours drive). Rest of the day in leisure. Overnight stay at Kaziranga.

Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the ancient reserve forests in India. Cradled by the river Brahmaputra in the north and mount Karbi Anglong in the south, it offers a vast (visible) diversity in flora and fauna. Thus the area located in the districts of Golaghat and Nagaon in the state  of Assam (in India) is listed under ‘biodiversity hotspots’. It is the largest government authorized reserved forest of the north east India.

The idea of the Kaziranga ‘Reserve Forest’ was kindled when, in the early 20th century, Mary Curzon, the wife of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, had visited Kaziranga to witness the very well known ‘one-horned rhinoceros’, but returned disappointed. She persuaded that something  be done in order to save the dwindling species.

Thus in 1905, the ‘Kaziranga Proposed Reserved Forest’ was established, with an area of 232 sq. Km., which was designated as the Kaziranga Reserve Forest in 1908. In 1916, it was declared as ‘Kaziranga Game Sanctuary’, but after the hunting was prohibited by law in 1938, it was designated as the ‘Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary’ in 1950.

At present with an area of 430 sq. Km. , the tropical semi-evergreen and moist semi-deciduous forest covers vast areas covered with elephant grass(41%), short grasses(11%), open forest(29%) and swampy lagoons (a.k.a. wetlands). The watch towers  in different parts of the forest provides breathtaking scenes of natures, the beauty varying with seasons.

The Kaziranga Reserve Forest shelters about 2,400  Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is about two-thirds of the total population from all over the world. It has the highest density of tigers among the reserved areas of the world, and thus was declared a Tiger Reserve in the year 2006. Kaziranga breeds large cats, such as, Bengal Tigers and Leapords.  Kaziranga hosts a large variety of animals including the wild water water buffalos, swamp deer, elephants, golden langur, gaur and sambar. Some of the small herbivores are Indian muntjac, wild boar and hog deer.

Kaziranga is also an Important Bird Area. Bird lovers would get a feast for their eyes and lenses with a variety of birds migrating from Central Asia, such as, the Asian openbill stork, black-necked stork, Baer’s pochard duck, lesser white-fronted goose, etc. Some indigenous species, such as, the Dalmation pelican, Blythe’s kingfisher, Indian roller, white-bellied  heron, grey-headed fish eagle, etc. Once home to seven species of vultures, due to an unfortunate mishap, it is now breeding ground of only three species- Indian vulture, slender-billed vulture  and Indian white-rumped vulture.

The largest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra, resides in the Kaziranga, along with two of the largest snakes in the world, the rock python and the reticulated python.

The Kaziranga National Park remains inaccessible during the rainy season (june to august) and closed for the tourists from May to October,  every year. Thus  November to April is the best time to visit the place. The forest department provides guided tours on elephants or by jeeps for a closer encounter with the nature. Observation towers are situated at Sohola, Mihimukh, Kathpara, Foliamari, and Harmotior for wildlife viewing. Private resorts are available outside the park borders.

The serenity of the dense forests is sure to rejuvenate anyone visiting the place.

 

Day 2: Kaziranga

Morning and evening safaris in the park by jeep.

You will be accompanied by a guide and a forest guard with a gun, in case some of the big three Rhino / Elephant / Buffalo charge. The park opens at 0730 hours in the morning (which is late because sunrise there is at 0530 hours).

Kaziranga has three zones – Western (Baguri), Central (Kohora) and Eastern (Agoratoli) zones. The western and central zones are where you will spend most of the time. Overnight stay at Kaziranga.

Day 3: Kaziranga

Morning and evening safaris by  jeep. Overnight stay at Kaziranga.

Day 4: Kaziranga

Morning and evening safaris  by jeep. Overnight stay at Kaziranga.

Day 5: Kaziranga

Take elephant ride in the morning at Kaziranga National Park. Later drive to Nameri National Park.

Nameri National Park is located at the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya. A birder's paradise with over 300 species of birds - including the white winged wood duck, four distinct species of the Horn Bill, Bluebeard Bee Eaters etc. Enjoy your stay in a colonial tea bungalow and experience the hospitality of Assamese tea estate.

Day 6: Kaziranga

Rafting in Jia Bhoreli river in search of birds like Marganzer, ducks and other waders. Post lunch trek inside the forest in search of White winged wood duck and other avifaunal species. Overnight stay at Tea Bungalow.

Day 7: Kaziranga to Guwahati

Drive to Guwahati for onward journey.

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