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.