Taking a Kaziranga Tour to Understand 5 Aspects of the National Park

Over the years, the one-horned rhinos have been hunted mercilessly for their valuable keratin horns. These have been used for ages in traditional Chinese medicine, and they are also utilised to make decorative handles for knives and daggers. Most of these animals are now found in the Indian state of Assam, where they are now protected by the government. Tourists can see and learn about them by going on a Kaziranga tour. The national park is located in the districts of Nagaon and Golaghat in the north-central part of the state. Below are overviews of 5 important aspects of the national park that will come in handy while exploring it.

History, Terrain and Climate

It was founded originally as a reserve forest by the British in 1908, and in 1916, it was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary. The Indian Government made it a national park in 1974, and in 2006, it became a tiger reserve. When travellers explore the protected territory during Kaziranga tours, they will see dense forests, interspersed with grasslands and marshes. The topography of the area is not rugged, and the elevation here ranges from about 130 feet to approximately 260 feet. Kaziranga National Park is spread across the northern and southern banks of the Brahmaputra River.

The climate in the region is classified as Humid Subtropical, making the summers warm and humid. A high amount of rainfall is experienced here during the monsoon season, making it among the wettest regions on earth. The ideal time to embark on a Kaziranga tour is in the cool and dry winter season, between November and April.

Vegetation and Wildlife  

Savannah grasslands, moist deciduous forests and evergreen forests are found in this roughly 868 sq km protected territory. The savannah vegetation in the region comprises a variety of grasses, bamboos and reeds. Cotton, gooseberry and slow match tree are some deciduous species found here. Pithraj, magnolia, elephant apple, fig, cinnamon, grape-myrtle, temple plant and tropical chestnuts are few of the evergreen plants of the tiger reserve. During their Kaziranga tours, wildlife enthusiasts will be able to see several large animals other than rhinos as well.

The largest animals here are buffaloes and elephants, followed by leopards and tigers. Several species of deer, including the endemic eastern swamp deer, may also be seen here. Some other animals of the park are boars, mongooses, hares, badgers, langurs, macaques, gibbons, gaur, squirrels and dolphins. Birdwatchers also like coming here as the territory provides home to over 470 species of migratory and resident winged creatures. Many kinds of boa constrictors, venomous snakes, tortoises and turtles also live in the region.

On a Kaziranga tour, visitors will be accompanied by guides, who will teach them in detail about these 5 aspects of the national park.

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The Unforgettable Kaziranga Safaris

Listed among the prominent world heritage sites by UNESCO – Kaziranga National Park – is the crowning glory of Assam. It is a haven for endangered wildlife species indigenous to India. This animal reserve has nearly two-third population of the great one-horned rhinoceros found in the entire world and the highest density of tigers found elsewhere. The marvellous topography of this place comprises tall elephant grass, marshland, verdant tropical moist forests and various water bodies meandering through its vast expanse. This forest area is an ideal place to witness rich biodiversity and behold captivating natural beauty. Not only does it provide shelter to a vast variety of fauna and avi-fauna, but it has also achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. It is also a popular tourist destination in India, frequented mostly by either nature lovers or wildlife enthusiasts. A major highlight of a Kaziranga tour is the jungle safari, which is an ideal way to explore this natural habitat of wildlife.

Jeep and Elephant Safaris

There are basically two types of guided tours offered here, either by Jeep or on the back of an elephant. Irrespective of which safari a tourist opts for, the excursion within its bounds is sure to be a thrilling and memorable, replete with fun and excitement. During the safari trips, travellers might spot – one-horned rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild Asian water buffalo, Eastern mole, Indian wild boar, Indian elephant, swamp deer, leaf monkey, mongoose, leopard and many other species of animals. A ride within the jungle also gives an opportunity for birdwatching as the place is home to an umpteen number of bird species. Some of them are swamp partridge, quail, grey peacock pheasant, goose and fulvous whistling duck. Jeeps with groups of tourists and trained guides are allowed into this reserve at fixed times during the day. To ensure a safe expedition within the park, these Jeeps are required to abide by fixed routes and timings. Other than catching a glimpse of the endangered species, visitors get an opportunity for photographing them; however, they are not allowed to step down from the Jeep or the elephant for this.

Observation Towers

Within this sanctuary, observation towers are built at Sohola, Kathpara, Foliamari, Mihimukh and Harmoti for wildlife viewing. Standing atop these towers, travellers get to see the charismatic landscape of this place with the Himalayan range in the background. This park remains closed for visitors from mid-April to mid-October due to monsoon rains. Within the vast expanse are set up tourist lodges, which are maintained by the Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Assam.

Besides giving  travellers an opportunity to see the varied species of animals and birds found here, a tour within the park is an endeavour to spread awareness amongst them about eco-tourism. To make this tour a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any avid nature enthusiast, various customised wildlife tour packages to Kaziranga are available online. These tour deals are designed for different types of visitors – personal groups, educational institutes and even corporates. Each of these tours is meticulously planned with the help of professional naturalists and tour leaders. Some packages only cover the safari while others also cater to the accommodation requirements of visitors.