When it comes to exploring the different bio-diversities of Mother Nature then Assam is one destination that should be in the bucket list of every traveler who wants to explore into the dense jungles and admire the beauty of the majestic animals and floral species. Once a visitor is already in Assam then Kaziranga National Park is the place to visit upon your arrival to the State. Kaziranga is not just a National Park; it is among the best biosphere reserves of India where one gets to sight majestic species of the likes of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Asiatic Water Buffaloes, Sambars, Gaurs, Pythons and a host of other mammals, reptiles, birds and butterfly species. But even more than the sight of a Rhino, Tiger or Elephant, it is Kaziranga National Park’s indescribable peace and quiet magic that feed the soul and remain with visitors forever. Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kaziranga is also a Project Tiger Reserve and as per facts, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve has the highest population density of Tigers among all other protected areas in the World! To add a feather to the cap of Kaziranga, this National Park also has within the region of India, the highest population density of Asiatic Elephants, Swamp Deers and Wild Asiatic Water Buffaloes. Kaziranga National Park has also been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and is also home to the only Ape species found in India – the Hoolock Gibbons.
Flora of Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park has an abundant diversity of flora spread across the length and breadth of the park. With the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries depositing silts along the river beds and also inside the premises of Kaziranga during floods, the soil at Kaziranga promises a wide growth of various species of floral diversity. It can be said that Kaziranga’s vegetation is a mix of eastern wet alluvial grasslands, semi evergreen forests and tropical moist deciduous forests. At Kaziranga National Park, the entire vegetation can be diversified as tall grasses cover 42 percent, short grasses around 11 percent, open jungles 29 percent, swamp 4 percent, rivers and water bodies 8 percent and sand about 6 percent of the area of the Kaziranga National Park. Some of the plant species of Kaziranga National Park are Aphanamixis polystachya, Talauma hodgsonii, Dillenia indica, Garcinia tinctoria, Ficus rumphii, Cinnamomum bejolghota, and species of syzygium. Common trees and shrubs under semi evergreen composition are Albizia procera, Duabanga grandiflora, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Crateva unilocularis, Sterculia urens, Grewia serrulata, Mallotus philippensis, Bridelia retusa, Aphania rubra, Leea indica, etc.
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Fauna of Kaziranga National Park
When it comes to the Wildlife in India, Kaziranga National Park happens to be an amazing showcase to highlight these majestic fauna species. In addition to being home to the ‘Big Five’ viz. the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, the Asiatic Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Swamp Deers and the Asiatic Water Buffalo, Kaziranga’s topography also serves as an ideal habitat for as many as 14 rare and endangered species of the likes of the Gaurs, Sloth Bears, Leopards, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Otters, Mongoose, etc. The huge area of 430 sq. km. of the Kaziranga National Park comprising of the tall grasslands make it an ideal area for the survival of its more than 2400 numbers of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species. And as much of its area of Kaziranga is open for exploring it doesn’t become much of a hindrance to sight the roaming herds of the Asiatic Elephants, the Leopards, Asiatic Water Buffaloes and the occasional Tigers. While the ‘Big Five’ of Kaziranga National Park roam around freely in the park, a majority of the herbivores that can be sighted here of the likes of the Hog deer, Sambar, Barking deer and wild pig form a key diet for the Tigers and Leopards, while birds, frogs, rodents, fish and snakes for the much smaller Jungle and Fishing Cats of Kaziranga.
Visitors to Kaziranga National Park also have a rare opportunity at times to spot the badgers, moles, civets, porcupines and pangolins at certain areas within the park. A wide variety of the primates of the world are spotted on the trees of Kaziranga where the primary ones are the Capped Langurs, Capped Leaf Monkeys, Monkeys, Common Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Rhesus along with the Hoolock Gibbons. The trees of Kaziranga are also home to many bats. While the Indian deer species are to be found in abundance near the water bodies of Kaziranga National Park, the park also has an abundant population crossing 5000 numbers of the Hog deer. Barking deers are also to be seen here particularly in the well watered forest areas while the Sambar Deer species of Kaziranga comprises of herds of hinds and young frequented the edges of lakes and shallow streams of Kaziranga National Park. The forests and grasslands of Kaziranga National Park is home to a large number of Wild pigs, the Indian bison viz. the Gaurs, the Leopards, Sloth bears and the Fishing Cats.
A paradise for Ornithologists and Bird lovers as well, Kaziranga National Park is a bird lovers paradise with over 470 species of both resident and migratory to be spotted here. Some of the species of birds to be found in the Kaziranga Biodiversity area are Fulvous Whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Gadwall Anas, Falcated Duck, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Teal Anas crecca, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Barred Buttonquail, Eurasian Wryneck, Speckled Piculet, White-browed Piculet, etc.
Jeep & Elephant Safari – Kaziranga National Park
In order to explore the varied flora and fauna of Kaziranga National Park, the forest department of Kaziranga National Park organizes Jeep and Elephant Safari to the interiors of four (4) different wildlife ranges at the Kaziranga National Park. With a vast corea area sprawling over 400 sq. km. it becomes necessary for visitors to Kaziranga to take either of the following options. Also trekking into the forest reserves of Kaziranga is presently not allowed for the safety of its visitors.
There are four (4) Safari ranges at Kaziranga National Park namely:
- Kohora or the Central Safari Zone
- Bagori or the Western Safari Zone
- Agoratoli or the Eastern Safari Zone
- Burapahar or the Ghorakati Safari Zone
Of these four safari ranges the Elephant Safari is conducted in the Kohora and Bagori ranges while the Jeep Safari is conducted in the Kohora, Bagori, Burapahar and Agaratoli ranges. The Elephant Safari timings at Kaziranga National Park are two (2) slots in the mornings starting at 5 AM in the morning for the first and 6.30 AM in the morning for the second.
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The Jeep Safari is conducted on 3 ranges of Kaziranga National Park viz. at Kohora, Bagori and Agoratoli. The morning Jeep Safari slot starts at 7.30 AM in the morning and extends for a duration of 1 1/2 to 2 hours while the afternoon slots starts at 1.30 PM in the afternoon and extends for around 2 hours duration.
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Hotels and Resorts at Kaziranga
For visitors travelling to Kaziranga National Park there are many Hotels, Luxury Resorts, Guest Houses, Budget Lodges and Homestays for their stay around the vicinity of the National Park. Many numbers of Tourist Lodges at Kaziranga National Park are maintained and furnished by the Forest department of Kaziranga. The Hotels and Resorts are owned and operated by private companies. Generally during the off season at Kaziranga National Park accommodations are easily available at these Hotels, Resorts, Lodges and Guest Houses of Kaziranga. However, during the peak travel season viz. from November to April, it is recommended to book ahead and paying in advance at these accommodations to confirm availability of your stay here. Mentioned below are some of the Deluxe Hotels, Resorts, Guest Houses in Kaziranga National Park.
Climate and Best Time to visit Kaziranga
Kaziranga National Park being surrounded by trees and fresh tea gardens has a pleasant and favorable climate across the year. The weather at Kaziranga can be classified into four primary seasons (i) Spring (ii) Summer (iii) Monsoon and (iv) Winters.
The summer season at Kaziranga lasts from May to June when the weather remains dry with temperatures ranging from 18 degree celsius to 35 degree celsius.
The spring season in Kaziranga lasts from the months of March to April when the weather remains quite favorable. It will be slightly warm during the day and the temperature gradually decreases to a fine and pleasant one by evening. Visitors to Kaziranga National Park prefer this season for their visit mostly the holidays fall during this season too.
The monsoons in Kaziranga are very severe. Couples with the heavy showers and the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra river, the park gets flooded with water from the months of July thru September. Temperatures too are hot and humid during the monsoons at Kaziranga National Park.
Towards the end of the month of September the monsoon winds in Assam recede and this brings a huge respite the fauna of Kaziranga National Park. The water levels start receding and new flora start to bloom at Kaziranga. The Park management of Kaziranga National Park get completely busy to prepare the surroundings and safari area of Kaziranga for the upcoming tourist season. The park is reopened to public generally in the first week of October.
December marks the starting of the winter season at Kaziranga National Park and it lasts upto mid March. The weather during this time is cold and perfect for the Jeep Safaris during the day and afternoon session at Kaziranga National Park. Adequate warm clothing is necessary during the winters especially for the Elephant Safari in the morning.
The Best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is from the months of November to April.
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Kaziranga Wildlife Tour Packages
Tiger sighting at the Eastern Range of Kaziranga National Park
When you are visiting Kaziranga National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the abode of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tigers, you can be rest assured that your jungle safari experience is going to be one of the most thrilling experiences you will ever have. Any National Park in India is known for a particular animal species that is inhabiting the forest reserves of the place and while many of these National Parks across the country are known for its population of the Royal Bengal Tigers, it is not a guaranteed opportunity to tourists that they will get to spot the flagship animal species on their jungle safari ride into the forest reserves of the park. However at Kaziranga National Park, where the flagship species is the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, guests can be assured that they will have a guaranteed sighting of this animal here at Kaziranga National Park on just one jungle safari ride. Kaziranga National Park is divided across four principal safari zones at the Central (Kohora), Western (Bagori), Eastern (Agoratoli) and the Burapahar range and also two other ranges have been added at Biswanath and Panpur and even the natural trail at Chirang. However, the most popular designated safari route inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park remains at the Central (Kohora) and Western (Bagori) zone as these two places have the majority of the Hotels, Resorts and Homestays across the area and therefore guests coming to Kaziranga National Park prefer to stay at these places and go for a safari ride close by to their place of stay and also the proximity of the market and the available restaurants being a reason as well.
When you are travelling from Guwahati or Shillong towards the Central area of Kaziranga National Park, once you cross the Burapahar range of the park and are driving towards Bagori, there is a viewpoint across the place and if you stop here and get to the viewpoint you will be able to spot the Rhinos of Kaziranga National Park grazing on the open fields along with various other animals and bird species and so it can be said that at Kaziranga National Park, it is not necessary that you will need to go for a safari ride inside the park to spot the flagship species of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and instead you will able to spot it on the road journey itself without having to go inside the park as well – a feat not many National Parks across the country can guarantee. This is what makes Kaziranga National Park a very popular tourist attraction of not only North East India but also the country as well and today Kaziranga sees a good number of tourists from across the World to sight not only the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros but also the Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes, Asiatic Elephants, Hog Deers, Swamp Deers, Hoolock Gibbons, Capped Langurs and also the 495 species of birds that are present inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park.
Kaziranga National Park is viewed as a complete holiday destination for many tourists who come to spend time with their family to not only enjoy their time at leisure but also to get the opportunity to be a part of this UNESCO World Heritage Site to see some of the most rare and endangered animals and bird species that this park boasts of a successful conservation story. For visitors to stay, the area around Kaziranga National Park at Kohora and Bagori offer many luxurious resorts and hotels that are ranging from budget stays to high end luxurious resorts and hotels as well. Certain deluxe properties around Kaziranga National Park offer four star amenities and two of the most sought after properties for stay are the Borgos Resort and IORA the Retreat and both these resorts are located near the Central Safari zone of Kaziranga National Park. The Diphlu River Lodge that is a one of the other premier properties that had the opportunity to host Prince William and Kate Middleton is another very beautiful property to stay during your visit to Kaziranga National Park; Other luxury properties to stay around are Mandu – the Escape, Infinity Resorts, United 21 Grassland Resort, Landmark Woods Kaziranga, etc. Other budget accommodations are the Bonhabi Resort, TESCO Resort, Nature Hunt Eco Camp, Emerald Resort, JBs Resort, Bonvilla Retreat, La Vue Resort, Bonroja Motel, Kaziranga Holidays, Florican Cottages and many such places to stay and enjoy your vacation at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once you are here at Kaziranga National Park, ensure to explore the lush tea gardens across the place as the area around Kaziranga National Park has various tea estates and one popular one is the Methoni TE located just a little distance ahead and you can hire a cycle to explore along the tea gardens and the fresh aroma of the budding tea leaves is sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind. The area around Kaziranga National Park is inhabited by the Mishing tribe, Karbi tribe and the Tea garden tribes of Assam and you can also take the offbeat experience of Kaziranga National Park to go to visit these villages and learn about the life of these indigenous people of Assam who are mostly farmers by profession but have a big heart and welcome visitors with open arms. Catch a glimpse of the rural life of Assam that the state takes pride in and explore the lush countryside and the tall cover of the Karbi Anglong Mountains that are present on one side of Kaziranga National Park. For visitors there are two jungle safari options to embark on to visit the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park – the Jeep Safari and the Elephant Safari rides.
While the Jeep safari rides are conducted across all the forest ranges of Kaziranga National Park, the elephant safari rides are limited to the Central and Western range of the park. The elephant safari rides into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park are conducted in the early morning slots at 5AM – 6AM and the other at 6.30AM – 7.30AM and visitors can embark on the back of the elephants to go for a King’s ride into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park to sight the varied fauna of the park and sight the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros. The jeep safari rides start at around 7.30AM for the morning slot and end at around 10.30AM and again the jeep safari rides into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park commence at 1PM in the afternoon session and continue to 2.30PM to the final entry time and visitors need to ensure to come out of the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park by last around 4PM. To add more options to visitors who are thrill seekers, Kaziranga National Park authority now have introduced a trekking route inside the forests and this is the Chirang Nature Trail that is present under the Burapahar range of Kaziranga National Park. To spot the aquatic life especially the endangered River Dolphins of the River Brahmaputra, visitors to Kaziranga National Park can proceed to the Bhomoraguri safari point to enjoy a boat safari ride on the waters of the Brahmaputra River as well.
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Kaziranga National Park is undoubtedly one of the very fine National Parks in the country and the diversity of the animals at the park is a paradise for all to come and witness. The Kaziranga National Park is a pride of the tourism industry of Assam and Northeast India and the beautiful forest reserves of the place is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view for guests coming here. The beautiful plains and the flowing rivers across the area of the Kaziranga National Park is sure to leave any visitor coming here enthralled at the park premises. Kaziranga National Park is known to be home to the highest population of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and as per the data a total population of over 2400 one horned rhinos are present inside the forest reserves of the park. Apart from the rhinos one can also get to sight the Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer and the only Ape species found in India viz. the Hoolock Gibbons. Two safari modes are conducted inside the forest reserves of the park viz. the Elephant Safari and the jeep safari rides and both these rides are a thrill to witness here and we can get to admire the various species of flora, fauna and avifauna here as well. The various bird species recorded are over 495 species in number and this includes both the resident and the migratory bird species as well. Certain reptile species that one can find inside the forests of the Kaziranga National Park are the King Cobra, Indian Pythons and the Rock Pythons.
When you are on your safari rides inside the forest reserves of the Kaziranga National Park either on the elephant back or the jeep rides then you must ensure to carry binoculars that will allow you to have a close up view of the moving animals and birds that roam freely across the forest reserves of the Kaziranga National Park that you might not be able to spot with the naked eyes. Apart from your stay and jungle safari rides inside the forest reserves of the Kaziranga National Park there are many other attractions to be enjoyed on your visit to the Kaziranga National Park and this includes the boat safari on the Brahmaputra River at the Bhumuraguri area near the Koliabhumura bridge. This boat safari experience at Kaziranga National Park is the best way to enjoy the sightings of the endangered River Dolphin species of the place and you also have the opportunity to sight many more of the animal species including the Bengal Tigers that come to the banks of the River to quench its thirst. Take a tour from Kaziranga National Park to visit the Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary that is located about 3 hours drive from Kaziranga National Park at Mariani and it is one of the best places in the country to spot the Hoolock Gibbon species. The Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by evergreen forests and the beautiful tea gardens of Assam that offer a perfect opportunity for you to spot the Hoolock Gibbons in the wild that is the only Ape species found in India and there are around 106 Hoolock Gibbons present inside the forests.
Another popular tourist attraction at Kaziranga National Park is that of the Kaziranga Orchid Park that is a pride of Kaziranga National Park and this is the largest orchid park in India that houses various indigenous orchid species that are found across Assam and Northeast India. It is located at around 2km distance from the main town area of Kaziranga National Park at Kohora and around 600 species of orchids are known to be found here at the Kaziranga National Park. Apart from the orchid species you can also visit the section of handicrafts and handlooms, monument photo gallery, rice museum, orchid photo gallery, bamboo garden, souvenir shop and also the open stage area where regular performances of the traditional dances of Assam are performed here at the Kaziranga Orchid Park at the Kaziranga National Park. Another attraction of the Kaziranga National Park is the Karbi ethnic village that is an initiative to display to the tourists the traditions and culture of the indigenous Karbi community who inhabit the area across Kaziranga National Park and also live behind the Karbi Anglong hills that borders the area of the Kaziranga National Park and this Karbi ethnic village is must visit place. Get to witness the life of the Karbi people of Assam who have inhabited the area across Kaziranga National Park since times immemorial and they have contributed a lot towards the conservation efforts of the animals at the Kaziranga National Park along with the forest authorities and it is a very beautiful place to visit near the Kaziranga National Park.
When you are here at the Kaziranga National Park, then you must surely not miss out on a visit to the nearby tea gardens. Just on your approach to this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be greeted by a lush cover of tea gardens of Assam and one tea estate that is a must visit is that of the Hatikhuli tea estate and this is where you get to smell the aroma of the fresh tea an also you can get to see the plantations of black pepper and the organic tea as well. The lush green tea gardens across the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park is surely a thing that will soothe your eyes and apart from Hatikhuli tea estate you can also visit the Methoni tea estate as well. Your visit to Kaziranga National Park is incomplete without going for the jungle safari ride inside the forest reserves of the park to spot the various animals in the wild and the two modes of safari that can be enjoyed are the jeep safari and the elephant safari rides as mentioned as above. The jeep safari ride is a popular option and it is conducted across all the four zones of the park and the duration is for 2 hours. The jeep safari rides slot starts from 7.30AM to 10AM in the morning and then again from 1PM to 2.30PM in the afternoon. The elephant safari rides inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park are however organized only in the morning slots from 5AM to 7AM and this is a very thrilling experience and needs to be booked in advance due to limited seat availability.
So before you plan on your visit at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, you need to have certain things planned in your mind so that your visit to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam is one of the most thrilling experiences to be enjoyed and a complete family vacation as well. You need to be aware that to explore the vast forest reserves of the Kaziranga National Park that is spread across four zones it is advised that you plan your visit to Kaziranga National Park for atleast 3 days and 2 nights. On the first day you can arrive at the LGBI airport at Guwahati and you can pay a visit to the famed Maa Kamakhya temple at Guwahati and later you can continue on your drive to the Kaziranga National Park and get to stay in one of the very luxury resorts that are located outside the core forest reserves area. In case you are a budget traveler then also you need not worry because there are various other guest houses, hotels, homestays and ecocamps that cater to the budget requirements of various travelers coming to Kaziranga National Park. The next day you can go for your jungle safari inside the forest reserves of the Kaziranga National Park where you can opt for one elephant safari ride early in the morning (conducted for 1 hour) and later on a jeep safari ride (conducted for 2 hours) at one of the four safari zones of Kaziranga National Park. Though most of the tourists come to sight the One Horned Rhinoceros that is the pride of the Kaziranga National Park, many tourists also come to spot the tigers as well and also the various bird species.
Apart from the above two animals the other animals to be found are the sloth bear, jungle cat, fishing cat, leopard cat, etc. Guests who come to Kaziranga National Park often opt for both the jungle safari rides here but it is advised to book the elephant safari rides much prior to your arrival as the seats are limited and these are sold out quite early as well. The Kaziranga National Park remains opened to tourists from October to mid may and visitors come to the park across these months but the best time remains from November to April when the weather is favorable and the best time to sight the animals is from the months of March and April when the tall elephant grass are burnt down by the forest authorities. The park remains closed from mid May to September as this is the time the monsoon season arrives in Assam and the park gets flooded with the waters of the rivers that flow across the park. The jeep safari experience at Kaziranga National Park is one of the best modes of safari that is availed by the guests and it takes you across the deep forest cover and the safari lasts for 2 hours duration where you have the opportunity to sight many species of animals and birds of the Kaziranga National Park on this ride. Each jeep can accommodate 6 guests and the jeep takes you across the vast forests of the Kaziranga National Park across each of the four entry zones separately.
On the jeep safari rides inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park do not be startled when you see a rhino crossing your path or an elephant herd walking towards you or even the Tigers looking at you from a distance because these all add to the thrill of the jeep safari ride inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park. The elephant safari ride at Kaziranga National Park is the most sought after jungle safari option that is chosen by tourists and you for a thrilling one hour safari elephant back ride that is steered by a professional mahout. The elephant safari ride allows tourists to have a wide angle view of the forests and get to go close to the Rhinos of the Kaziranga National Park. The elephant back ride at Kaziranga National Park is one of the most rewarding experiences for all guests. Another fantastic experience to embark on is the boat safari ride that is a good opportunity for guests to spot the endangered river dolphin species in the Brahmaputra River. The boat ride along the river bank at the Kaziranga National Park allows guests to have more sightings of the animals that come to here to quench their thirst. Also do not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Park – the largest orchid park in India that houses over 600 species of the rare and endangered orchid species and also get to enjoy the folk dance performances of Assam here as well. A visit to the nearby tea gardens of Kaziranga National Park is a must and you can get to admire the lush green cover of the tea gardens of Assam here as well.