#12 of 13 Places to Visit in Kanha National Park
Distance (From MPMCH): 15 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 3 Hours
Transportation Options: Cab
Travel Tips: The Kanha National Park remains closed from 1st July to 15th October every year. It is also closed on Holi festival. The park management may also cancel the safaris due to floods and forest fires and no refund is provided to tourists.
At a distance of 15 km from Mocha, Kanha Zone is the oldest and the most popular safari zone of Kanha National Park. This zone is primarily visited through Khatia entrance gate, located near Khatia village.
Besides Jeep Safari, tourists can go for elephant safari on a pre-decided route which has been marked by Park Authorities. Also known as Elephant Joy Ride, this safari makes the tour more enjoyable and complete as it allows one to get access to those forested areas which are not accessible by normal jeeps. The chances of Tiger sightings are high during elephant safari in Kanha. This is booked on first cum first serve basis.
Earlier, Elephant Safari is offered to tourists through a program called 'Tiger-show' which was the easiest way to enjoy small elephant ride, during morning safari round. It was closed in the year 2012 in all the national parks of Madhya Pradesh, including Kanha National Park due to the shortage of trained elephants. After the closing of 'Tiger-show', elephant safari becomes difficult for normal tourists.
At present, the forest department has announced two ways of Elephant ride i.e. Joy ride and Elephant safari. In joy ride, the duration is just 30 minutes and elephant safari (3 hrs) is provided to those who have booked full-day jeep safari for wildlife photography or film-making. It is possible to apply in advance to the forest department but approval isn't guaranteed and won't be provided until the day before. With such uncertainty, it will be difficult to commit assured elephant ride to tourists. For this written application is required to be submitted to the Park Field Director office for approval. He will check the availability of elephants, their health status, the purpose of the ride, etc. and takes a decision. Field director of the park has the discretionary power to take decision thus good relation and influence works. This means the scope for normal tourists is less.
Usually, 3 hr ride is provided to those applicants who have booked full-day jungle safari for wildlife film and photography purpose. Its cost is very high due to which only financially sound visitors can expect to enjoy this ride. Full day elephant back safaris are needed to be booked in well advance and require written permission of Field Director of National Park. Process for Elephant Safari booking should be commenced at least before 30 days or more. The safari tickets can be booked at the current ticket-counter of Kanha. And, a maximum of 4 persons is allowed for one time excluding mahout.
Timings: 8 AM - 9 AM & 9 AM - 10 PM, Closed on Holi & during monsoon months
Safari Cost: Rs. 1000 for Adults & Rs. 500 for Children (5-12 years) for 30 Minutes