In the Vindhyan mountain range in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, lies Panna National Park. The River Ken winds its way through a vast expanse of plateaus, gorges and thick forest giving life to a variety of animal and plant life.

The park is a beautiful area to explore, especially when the rains have fallen and it turns into a lush green blanket of vegetation, interspersed with cascading waterfalls. Wooded enclaves are filled with sambar deer while the open areas teem with nilgai and chinkara antelopes. Sloth bears also call this park home while the river provides the perfect habitat for crocodiles.

Panna was once a royal hunting ground before becoming a national park in 1981 and then a protected tiger reserve in 1994. The park’s tiger population has suffered in the past with poaching and in 2009 these majestic creatures had all but disappeared. An ongoing translocation programme, however, has given new hope with tigers brought in from nearby parks to breed and increase numbers.

As well as tigers, elusive leopards, wild dogs and hyenas roam the 543sqm park and more than 200 species of birds flit through the skies.

When to go

The best time to visit is from November to April. The park is closed for visitors during the monsoon season between July and September


What to do

  • Morning and evening game drives
  • Relax at your luxury safari lodge
  • Birdwatching