Bandhavgarh national park is well known among wildlife lovers for its natural beauty, heritage touch and for its popular tigers. Park is open for visitors from October to June month. During monsoon season, park remains closed for visitors. Tourists from all over the world are reaching Bandhavgarh during its safari seasons to enjoy this wilderness and witness the life of tigers in this popular tiger reserve. It offers the great chance to see how mammals and birds lives in their natural habitat. Their are many countries in the world, where people have never enjoyed the wilderness, never seen the tiger at its natural home, in their lifespan, for such tourists, it offers a great opportunity to fulfill their lifelong wish to see tigers in their natural home.
On gathering the information about Bandhavgarh national park and its safari system, tourists often came across of safari options in different safari zones. If we proceed further, we will come to know that their are two categories of safaris in Bandhavgarh i.e. Premium zone safari and Non-premium zone safari. Here we have tried to explain about the Premium Zone Safari in Bandhavgarh. For Non-premium zone safari, we have provided information on another page of same website.
Tala Safari Zone
In Bandhavgarh, three safari zones are offered to tourists for doing jungle safari i.e. Tala Zone, Magadhi Zone and Khitauli Zone. In one particular safari round, tourist can visit in anyone of the safari zone whose ticket he/she is possessing. Safari booking is done online. Among these three safari zones, Tala Zone is oldest and most popular safari zone. It name "Tala" is derived from the local Tala village at which the entrance gate is located. Before year 2010, it is the only safari zone in which jungle safaris are done. Other two zones are closed for tourists. But due to popularity of park, large volume of tourists were reaching Bandhavgarh to enjoy its jungle safari. Due to safari limitations, they were facing problem in getting safari tickets. It was not feasible for park to issue unlimited tickets for one particular area of park and at the same time park has to manage the aspirations of incoming tourists. Due to all this, Forest Department took decision to open some new areas of park for tourists so that more tourists will do the jungle safari and will not cause congestion in some selected area.
Tala: Premium Safari Zone
When new safari zones opened in year 2010, it was observed that tourists were reluctant towards newly opened safari zones and prefers to visit the older safari zone i.e. Tala zone. They opts Magadhi/Khitauli zones only when Tala zone safari tickets get sold out. To some extent, tourists were justified as tiger sighting results of Tala zone were still much better and everybody undertakes safari with intention to see tiger sighting for which they have travelled thousands of miles and incurred heavy expense. In that time, safari guides were also inherently promoting Tala zone and discouraging newly opened zones. Bandhavgarh fort (closed for visitors) also lies in Tala zone. Newly opened Magadhi & Khitauli zones were new to guides also and it will take sometime for them to get habitual to new areas, understand the tiger areas, tiger movements etc. Considering the high demand of Tala zone and hype created for it by media/travel-agents/local guides, Forest department decided to encash the situation by declaring it Premium Zone and increasing its entrance fee by 100% more than of non-premium zones. In addition to this, ino order to avoid congestion in any particular area of one particular safari zone, park management has divided safari zone into routes. At one particular safari, two routes are allotted to a jeep, one is for traveling from entrance gate to Central point (safari break-point inside park) and second route for returning back to exit gate.Decision was taken in year 2011-12 safari season and since then Tala zone is a Premium safari zone. Here we would like to assure the readers that it is not essential that all the time tiger sighting remain better in Premium zone. Sighting result changes time to time and season to season. Sometime Premium zone shows better result but sometime non-premium zones are better. In year 2014-15, non-premium shown better results. So it is better to undertake safari in both category of zones as per current scenario.
Tala Safari Booking
Tala zone in Bandhavgarh has been declared as Premium safari zone of national park. It is the oldest safari zone of Bandhavgarh and well known among tourists and travel agents. 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.