The morning sun was beating
down hard as we made our
way back to the Kisli park gate,
but it had been a few hours
well spent. The four of us had
had a quiet but delightful drive
through the meadows and malevolent
sal forests of the Surhi
range of Kanha, where statuesque
barasingha abounded
and the sal heartwood borer
beetle Hoplocerambyx spinicornis,
was doing its best to kill
whole groves of trees. The trip
had been a revelation. Seldom
can I remember a drive
with such a sense of ‘wildness’
seemingly all to myself, free of
the usual camera-laden tourists
like me. We had stopped,

we had watched, we had listened
– often for half an hour
at a time – all our senses concentrated
on the infinite sights
and sounds of the jungle. Yes,
the driver had become a little
fidgety, the guide a bit bored,
but I was elated.
That morning I had what
I wanted as a tourist and customer.
Isn’t customer satisfaction
the ultimate objective of a
quality safari drive? Here was a
responsive, customer–focused,
informative driver and polite
park guide, succeeding within
well thought out and applied
vehicle routings – even
with 1,33,660other visits last
Let’s remind ourselves
where and why parks were
originally created – for conservation
and recreation. It was
right here in India after all that
the first park was created in Bori
Sanctuary in 1865, in what is
now the Satpura Tiger reserve.
This was seven years before
any were declared in the Unites
States – too often credited as
the original forerunners.
Yet for decades the agencies
constituted in the two
countries to oversee these
precious landscapes have run
them in completely different
ways. In the United States they
encourage you to visit, design
clever ways to help you enjoy
their natural rhythms, allow you
time to reconnect with nature
away from modern contraptions,
through camping, hiking,
biking and nature trails,
kayaking and rafting, clever
signposting, mapping and
even refuge huts. They make
sure that you are prepared
and able to have an amazing
time, and ideally fall in love with
a place, so you come back
again, spending your dollars to
help the park authorities to preserve
them – ad infinitum.
In India it’s been exactly
the opposite. Close off the
most fabled landscapes, restrict
you to small areas, make
you as inconvenienced and
often as uncomfortable as possible
travelling around, staying
inside or doing anything of
great interest within them. Fur



5th & 6th Januray 2019.



India's First Adventure and Travel Show
8th & 9th December 2018.

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