Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. Right in the heart of central India, this sprawling protected area encompasses some 940km2 (360 square miles), double that when including the surrounding buffer zones, and is regarded as one of the best parks in the country for its safari.
With a wonderful diversity of forests and meadows, venture deep into the Kipling-inspiring jungle in search of tiger, of which there is a strong population here, as well as other enigmatic wildlife such as leopard, Indian wild dog, sloth bear, the enormous gaur and a species of barasingha swamp deer that is now only found in Kanha. There is a plethora of deer and antelope species, from the nilgai to the diminutive mouse-deer, while lesser spotted creatures include the Indian wolf, pangolin, striped hyena, jungle cat and honey badger. Typically for an Indian park, birding is prolific with some 300 species recorded.
Compared to other tiger parks, spotting apex predators here requires a little more exploration, meaning you get to really experience the forest as you roam. Sightings a more private and rewarding affair, and for many, a more complete wildlife experience.