Bandhavgarh National Park : Bandhavgarh Buffer Zones

Bandhavgarh Core-Buffer Zones

Bandhavgarh Safari Zones

Since year 2013, tourists are facing problems in getting safari tickets. A theory was prevailing that if you cannot plan your Bandhavgarh tour in advance (45-60 days), then it is highly possible that you will not get safari tickets. It has disappointed many curious wildlife lovers, tourists, travel agents etc. Problem became worse during peak season dates like dates of Dussehra festival, Diwali festival, Christmas-New Year week etc. Recently Forest Department has taken some positive steps to overcome this dis-appointment, to some extent with introduction of Buffer zones for normal public.

Understanding Core-Buffer Zones
When Project Tiger was started in India in year 1973, by Government of India, it aim was to ensure respectable population of Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat. Experts introduced the Core-Buffer zones strategy for all Tiger Reserves. Under this strategy, after attaining the title of tiger reserve, all the wildlife sanctuaries or national parks will be marked with their core and buffer areas. In simple meaning, Core zone is inner forest area where commercial activities like hotels, resorts will not be allowed and existing villages will also be relocated to other places, to avoid any human disturbance & biotic disturbance. Only Forest Department establishments like patrolling camp, watch-towers will exist. Core zone have the legal status of National Park or Sanctuary. At Bandhavgarh national park, core zones are Tala, Magadhi and Khitauli. Where as Buffer Zone area is outer circle to core zone which is a mixed land where commercial activities (resorts/hotels) may be allowed with certain terms & conditions. Most of the resorts and villages are located with forested land in buffer zone area. It provides cushioning to wildlife from direct introduction exposure to human establishments like townships etc. Buffer zone is an important line that separates core zone from commercial lands. In actual, their is not physical boundary in between core zone and buffer zone thus animal movement is disturbed. As the name suggests, core zone is first choice of tourists to undertake jungle safari drives. But presence of Buffer zone is a good way to offer jungle safari drives to those tourists who do not manage to get safari tickets in core zone and want to enjoy jungle safari in same national park. Their is no boundary in between core and buffer zones and wild animals don't know core and buffer zone so it is not appropriate to underestimate the buffer zone safari drives. Cost of Buffer zone safari is little bit less than of core zone but its safari vehicle charge is little bit more than of core zones due to more vehicle running thus in an all both zones safari cost become almost same.

Buffer Zones in Bandhavgarh
Buffer zone is like a ring-structure which protects core-zone from direct exposure to human-establishment like townships, cities etc. Just like any other tiger reserve, Bandhavgarh is also having Buffer zones. Few years back, when new safari zones like Magadhi zone, Khitauli zones were introduced to tourists, a fourth zone was also introduced for sometime i.e. Panpatha zone but later closed. Here Magadhi & Khitauli zones were core zones where as Panpatha zone was Buffer zones. During that time, tourists shown less interest on this buffer zone as large count of tickets were offered for Core zone safari and under their popularity, this zone had flop show. But now scene has been changed. Very limited safari tickets are issued for core zone safari and now tourists are bound to look for alternate option. Solution emerged as Buffer zone safari. Recently Forest Department has opened new buffer zones to public for jungle safari rides. At Bandhavgarh, buffer zone options are:

Buffer Zones
Area (hectare)
Gate no- 4
Mahaman to Badwaar
Gate no- 5
Biruhali to Khitauli
Gate no- 6
Tala to Gajwahi

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