Before going for jungle safari booking, one should must understand the break-up of service. Jungle safari booking cost comprises 3 service costs i.e Ticket fee, Vehicle fee and guide fee. For a safari booking all 3 services are mandatory. All the visitors are required to pay this fee. Since year 2016, two safari options are offered to tourists i.e. exclusive safari drive by hiring full safari vehicle and per seat system in which tourist can book his/her seat in a safari vehicle. Till year 2016, full vehicle hire option was available which is more costly for one, two or three person and thus safari holidays become an expensive deal for tourists. Maximum six person are allowed in a safari vehicle. Their is no difference in safari cost of any safari zone which means provision of premium & non premium safari zone is now no more. Similarly their is no difference in safari ticket fee for Indian and foreigner tourists. It means now Foreigner tourists will pay the same safari charge, as paid by Indian tourists. Apart from tourists, one safari guide is mandatory on each vehicle and separate driver is available to drive safari vehicle as per instruction safari guide. Among these services, Safari ticket and Guide service is provided by Forest Department. Guide is allotted from entrance gate office, at the time of safari entry so its fee is paid at the same time and no advance booking required for it and their is no competition for guide service. When we say online safari booking it means ticket booking and not vehicle or guide service booking. When we do online safari booking, we will get the entrance permit for requested safari zone. Routes inside the zone are allotted at the time of entrance so no advance request for it. Ticket fee and guide fee is same for all the customers but it varies for Indian and Foreigner citizens. Safari cost for Indian citizens is comparatively less than foreigner visitors.
As mentioned above, since year 2016, their is no difference in safari ticket charges for Indian and Foreigner tourists. Two type of safari booking options are available i.e. Full vehicle permit to book full safari vehicle to have exclusive safari drive. It is costly and mainly preferred by wildlife photographers, luxury travelers, families. Its total cost includes sum total of safari ticket, jeep fee & guide fee. Second type of safari is Per seat permit in which we can book safari ticket on per seat basis and share vehicle with other tourists. Its safari cost is per seat fee, share of guide fee & jeep fee. But only 6 to 12 seats offered in this mode and majority of safari tickets are on full vehicle permit basis. Still when we compare the safari charges of two travel agents or resorts, we will notice the difference in charges. This difference is not due to safari ticket charges but due to vehicle charges and additional services provided with safari vehicle. Safari vehicle rates are decided by local safari vehicle union and rates are revised in every new safari season (Oct to June). All safari vehicle operators are private persons, mostly local villagers and some vehicles are of lodges/hotels. All these safari vehicles are registered to park authority. Safari vehicle base rate is decided by local jeep operators union but still variation is rate is possible. When we go for safari booking through luxury lodges/resorts, their rates are little bit higher than normal safari operators. It is because of additional services they are providing like drinking water, packed breakfast, tea/coffee, keeping chiller box, providing English speaking driver cum naturalist. All such additional services causes difference in safari jeep rates or per safari cost. Naturalist provided by park management is mandatory but they are not fluent in English so it may cause inconvenience to Foreigner visitors and thus additional naturalist is provided by luxury lodges.
Due to change in rule, Tiger Show is now closed for all visitors. Tiger Show was organized by park management in which tiger is showed to visitors on elephant back for 5-10min duration. Now a days, unfortunately this service has been closed for tourists. Show serves two purpose: first and foremost is the urge to see tiger/s in its natural habitat and second one is elephant safari ride. Although it is for very short duration but still those who don't afford to pay high price of Elephant Safari in Bandhavgarh can at least feel the fun of ride. Usually in early morning, Mahaouts (Trackers) went inside the jungle in search of tigers. On successful tiger tracking they pass the information to control-room through walky-talkie radio-sets they have with them. Control room passes the message to check-points inside forest. Through such check-points or through control room information, safari vehicle guide takes the vehicle to that location (if it lies in his allotted route/zone). Here against a fixed fee, tokens for viewing tigers are issued on a "first come first serve" basis. The vehicles carrying visitors reach the tiger spot in a systematic way and wait for their turn. An adult elephant can accommodate 4 visitors at a time in the seat fastened on its back, called hauda, and ferries them to the tiger spot where the tiger is seen at its most natural. The management ensures well controlled and hassle free tiger viewings for the visitors and least disturbance to the tigers.
|Tiger Show facts:
- It is a program organized by park management.
- Tiger show is organized after successful tiger tracking.
- It is organized during Morning Safari only.
- In order to participate in Tiger Show, visitors have to pay a fixed fee to the official.
- Elephant/s is used to show tiger to visitor.
- Here visitors are taken close to the tiger/tigress to do tiger photography & sighting.
- Tiger Show cannot be booked in advance and have no fixed time as it totally depends on successful tracking.
- Organizing, duration, cancellation of Tiger is decided by park authorities.
- Forest Department has CLOSED Tiger Show for tourists for un-disclosed time.
Elephant Safari Booking
It is special safari organized by Park Management after written permission given by Field Director of Bandhavgarh National Park. In this safari, elephants are provided for safari purpose. Visitor do the safari on elephant back with his allotted safari-guide. In order to get the permission letter from Field Director, we are required to fill-up the requisition form attached with Demand Draft of specified fee and submit it to the Department Office (in Umaria) far before the required dates. Forest Department will scrutinize the information provided in the submitted Form and check the availability of Elephant/s and accordingly take the decision on application in stipulated time. Before giving the permission, information like purpose of visit, number of visitors, date/s of visit etc. provided information are taken into account and considered deeply. It is the policy of Forest Department to discourage usage of Elephant for commercial purpose as limited elephants are available at each Tiger Reserve and are mostly engaged in duty of patroling, tiger tracking etc. In case elephants were not available of requested dates then department may return the requisition for re-considering the dates of visit. Availing the elephants for Elephant Safari is discretionary power of Field Director and usually it is not so easy to get the permission. So purpose, recommendation & influence play decisive role in getting the permission letter. Once written permission is obtained in positive, we can expect to do Elephant Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park. On stipulated date, Elephant/s will be made available at a declared place (usually in elephant camp) )inside the Tiger Reserve. In order to reach the place, safari jeeps are used for transfer. Visitor/s can do the Elephant Safari according the Morning/Evening safari timing.
Amount charged for Elephant Safari comprises, security fee & safari charge. Once Elephant Safari is done, visitor is required to submit the a copy of photography/videography done to the office of Forest Department against which Forest Department will return a part of security amount to the applicant. This process may take sometime(days) to be done. Elephant Safari is not so common in Bandhavgarh as it is costly and also due to difficulty in getting written permission.