Taj Reisen Wildlife

Taj Reisen e.K.
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Kaziranga National Park (Assam)
Best season: november - april

The state of Assam in the north east of India is famed for its fine teas and produces more than 60% of India’s total crop. It also contains one of India’s most important wildlife parks, Kazaringa.
Kazaringa is one of the last strongholds of the prehistoric looking Indian one horned rhinocerous and with numbers up to well over a thousand, more live here than anywhere else in the world.  This is a great wildlife success story as back in the early days of the twentieth century only a dozen or so Rhino’s survived.  Luckily hunting was banned in 1908 and since then numbers have slowly recovered.  Poaching is still a problem as rhino’ horn is still so sought after in the far east that organised gangs will go to great lengths to try and get some.

kazi-mix450
Kaziranga-adjutent-stork

Another threat is from the annual flooding of the mighty Brahmaputra which claims many lives each monsoon time.  When the floods recede however, Kaziranga becomes a haven for wildlife, its marshland , grassland and forest proving a magnet to a plethora of life.  As well as the rhino’s, large wild herds of elephants roam, sometimes as much as 200 strong, water buffalo are common as are numerous deer like the hog deer and barasingha which prove good prey for the tigers and leopards.  Capped langurs and hoolock gibbons can sometimes be seen in the woodland and the whole park abounds with an astonishing variety of birdlife.  The specialities are wildfowl like pelicans, egrets and storks and  an array of raptors like white tailed eagle, himalayan griffon, crested serpent eagle and Pallas’s fishing eagle to name but a few. 

You can enter the park by jeep or by elephant.  In this reserve you have an excellent chance of seeing many of the star attractions in one day and going by jeep allows you to cover the most ground, though you cannot beat an elephant for getting really close up to your chosen quarry.  Elephants are particulary good at getting close to the rhino’s and you can often see several grazing close together completely at their ease giving you an opportunity to witness completely natural behaviour. 
Tigers are seen fairly frequently, with the central part of the reserve having the most regular sightings but a tiger could always turn up wherever you are.

kazi-ele

 

Due to the floods the park has a relatively short season which runs from the 1st of November to the 30th of April but luckily this coincides with the best time to see the wildlife especially the birds.

Nearby is another reserve called Nameri National Park which also has great birdwatching as well as elephants and deer.  You can also try your hand at eco-fishing (tag and put back) or river rafting and the reserve has the distinction of being the only one in India in which you can go off to explore on foot if you so wish.  Though you do have to have an armed guard!

 

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