Kanha National Park, India

Kanha is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh, India’s heartland state, and is best known for its protected barasingha, Indian swamp deer, that once faced extinction but now roam its grassy plains in herds. Royal Bengal tigers also tread the śāl- and bamboo-covered forests – keen adventurers can take advantage of the open-top Jeep safari, for unhindered views of Shere Khan and his cronies.

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When to go

Kanha National Park is open to visitors from 15 October–30 June annually. The best time to visit is between November and February, when tropical temperatures cool and monsoons have subsided. However, tiger sightings are more likely between March and May, when the lush greenery is beginning to dry, and their stripes are easier to spot.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    British Airways, Qatar and Virgin Atlantic fly direct from London Heathrow (and most major cities in Europe) to Mumbai or Delhi. From either, you can connect to Jabalpur Airport, the closest to Kanha National Park. SpiceJet fly direct from Mumbai (around a two-hour journey). Direct flights from Delhi with SpiceJet or Alliance Air arrive in just under two hours.
  • Trains

    Overnight train services run from Mumbai and Delhi to Jabalpur rail station, which is just over a three-hour drive to Kanha National Park.
  • Automobiles

    It’s a three-hour drive from Jabalpur Airport to Kanha National Park, but most hotels offer private transfers. Driving in India can be a white-knuckle ride; prepare for scooters, trucks, tuk-tuks and cattle criss-crossing the lanes.