Kaziranga National Park has a huge core area of around 500 sq. km. In order to make it convenient for the visitors to explore this vast area, Kaziranga National Park and Tiger reserve is divided into four safari zones namely the Central Safari Zone at Kohora, the Western Safari Range at Bagori, the Eastern Safari Range at Agoratoli and the Ghorakati Range at Bagori. The Central or Kohora range is well known for its beels – Mihi, Kathpora, Dafflong and Borbeel and these offer some of the best birding opportunities. Winter migrants abound here. One might see as many as 50 species in just one forest round ranging from the Blue-naped Pitta and Chinese pond heron to the black necked stork and pied harrier.
The Western or Bagori range’s semi evergreen forests and its Bimali, Hadhibari and Dunga Beels are perfect for otter watching. While most people to Kaziranga National Park concentrate on these two ranges, insiders know that the most pristine and stunning part of Kaziranga is its eastern range or the Agoratoli range. Here it is where one can sight large herds of Elephants. The tall grasslands and sandy banks of the Brahmaputra river are also Bengal Florican country and if you are lucky, you can watch the mating display of this rare and endangered bird species. The Burapahar range is a but distant to the other three ranges of Kaziranga National Park. Indian Rhinoceros can be sighted across all four ranges of Kaziranga National Park.
A day trip to Panbari forest on the opposite side of National Highway 37 s a must for birding and to hear the haunting call sf he hoolock gibbons of Kaziranga National Park – the only Ape species found in India.
Elephant Safaris at Kaziranga National Park: These are offered between 5.30 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. as well as between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Jeep Safaris are available between 7.30 a.m. until 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. until 4.30 p.m. Elephant Safari rides can be booked from the Central Range at the Tourist Complex Office much prior to your visit. In winters fog and late sunrise may often cause a slight delay in safari start time.
The Kaziranga National Park management is primarily entrusted with looking out for animals and not tourists. Visitor’s demands are therefore, justifiably, secondary to the serious business of anti-poaching, fire control, monitoring and research. The Forest department headquarters at Bokakhat however, manned by helpful staff who guide visitors to the tourism department ot to one of the many well run private lodges of Kaziranga National Park. Tourists are wisely restricted to specific routes accessible through fixed entry gates and exit gates at Kohora, Bagori and Agoratoli. This keeps the core area of the Kaziranga National Park sacrosanct. In addition to Elephants, light vehicles transports visitors who must always be accompanied by armed forest guards of Kaziranga National Park. Such trips and stops at the strategically located watchtowers in the oursit zone, serve to monitor fires and also the anti-poaching patrols at Kaziranga National Park.
Best Season to Visit Kaziranga National Park: October to Mid May
With tourism at its peak in the months of December and January here at Kaziranga National Park, planning your tour in the month of February or March might offer a better experience.
How to get there:
By Air: Jorhat (90 km) is the nearest airport to Kaziranga National Park. Kaziranga is two hours by road from Jorhat and 4 hours by road from Guwahati.
By Rail: Jorhat, Furkating (75 km) and Jakhalabandha (40 km) and Guwahati (200 km) distances from Kaziranga National Park.
By Road: Bokakhat (23 km) is the nearest town to Kaziranga National Park. State transport buses travel daily between Guwahati and Kaziranga. Private taxis are also available.
Four wheel drive vehicles can be rented to drive within the Forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park. Permission must be obtained from the Range Forest Office and an armed guard must be present in every vehicle. Rides of Forest Department Elephants can also be booked. Walking inside the Kaziranga NAtional Park is prohibited but birdwatching outside the park boundary in the Reserved Forests and even along the National Highway can be a rewarding experience here.