There’s nothing quite like exploring Satpura Tiger Reserve in an open top jeep. Accompanied by our experienced naturalists and Satpura’s local guides, each ride takes you into heart of the wilderness. In an effort to reduce the pressure of tourism in the area, the authorities restrict the number of vehicles in the reserve, keeping you away from crowds and close to all the action.
Start at the crack of dawn and cross the Denwa River as life in the forest slowly wakes up to daylight. Cruise along favoured resting and feeding spots and track the ever elusive predators of Satpura. We know that the adrenaline rush can leave you famished, so it’s a good thing we made breakfast reservations at a pile of volcanic rocks. You can also choose to venture out in the afternoon and admire the sun retreating in the azure sky.
To truly understand the secret ways of the jungle, to appreciate the workings of its innermost recesses, to observe and interpret the signs, to savour the smell, the wilderness – you have to take to your feet. Led by a vastly experienced tracker of the Reserve and guided by our own naturalist, step into a world quite different from your own. A walk in the jungle is a walk of patience, and the rewards you reap are even sweeter. The landscape opens up its coffers slowly – a rare bird, a shy squirrel or a curious chital locking eyes with you merely a few feet away. Perhaps a chance meeting with the jungle cat? The forest has a number of surprises in store – things you may miss in a jeep four feet off the ground.
The Denwa River is where you’ll find the fauna of Satpura unfold. While delicately reducing the pressure of motorized vehicles in the area, a canoe safari offers a new perspective of the jungle. The exposed mudflats and islands provide the best feeding and nesting grounds for waders and birds, and being on a canoe offers you an up close view of the proceedings.
With just the sounds of the paddles hitting the water, you’re not merely an observer but part of the scenery. The birds and animals blend seamlessly into their vibrant world, unmindful of your presence. Early winter mornings are surreal with the mist rising from the water. Afternoons are bathed in sunlight, making room for a scenic siesta while the evening sunset turns the Denwa into a sea of molten gold.
As enjoyable as it is to watch wildlife in the day, twilight brings a whole new colour to the jungle. The dusk drives in the buffer zone are in collaboration with tribal villages nearby. They reduce tourism pressure in the core area and enable night time patrolling of the forest.
Our naturalist and a designated forest guide expertly navigate the terrain at dusk so you can observe nocturnal animals. In addition to civets, porcupines, owls and nightjars, you stand the chance to see some beautiful beasts by watering holes, quenching their thirst under the cover of night. May we suggest a quick stop to admire the night sky that envelops you with a blanket of stars, as if to say good night.