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Pench Tiger Reserve

Pench was the place that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write "The Jungle Book" and, more recently, the BBC series "Tiger - Spy in the Jungle". One look at its mighty tangle of jungle, with huge, pale tree trunks and rich foliage rustling with animals and birds, explains why.

This captivating forest has been luring tourists since it became a wildlife sanctuary in 1983, although visitor numbers are significantly less than nearby Kanha or Bandhavgarh National Parks, so more often than not you’ll have the jungle to explore free from crowds. Pench Tiger Reserve has a central area of 229 square kilometres, which is the national park, ringed by a buffer zone that brings the total up to 758 square kilometres.

Tiger sightings have been steadily improving in the rolling terrain, forested with teak and sal trees, and visitors can expect to see plenty of other animals in their natural habitat including leopard, wild dog, hyena and large herds of Indian bison (Guar).

Ornithologists will be delighted by the range of birdlife within the Pench Tiger Reserve, such as fishing eagles, buzzards and vultures, as well as hundreds of butterflies and moths that flit within the dense and humid areas of the jungle.

Jeep safaris are recommended to explore the swathes of forests and animal spotting is best in the early morning or dusk.

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