How to Travel Better in 2021: Conscious Wildlife


Go tiger spotting in Madhya Pradesh’s Panna National Park, or be one with nature in Assam’s Orang National Park—but how does one practice ethical wildlife tourism?

 


Be one with nature in Assam’s Orang National Park, on the banks of the Brahmaputra river. Photo by: Nejib Ahmed/shutterstock

Wood-side Wonders at Orang National Park

Assam

On a trip to Orang National Park on the northern banks of Brahmaputra River in Assam, my family and I stayed in an Inspection Bungalow in the heart of the wild. The modest two-room circuit house faced the thick jungle and had open grasslands as its backyard. So as to not impact animal activity, the IB depended on dimly lit solar-powered lamps at nightfall. After dinner, we sat outside facing the grasslands. Without artificial light, our senses were doubly alert to the swishes of the swaying elephant grass, the brightness of the stars above, the odd cry from the wild, and a constant song of crickets. The prospect of elephant-back safaris, which is usually the highlight of such trips, paled in comparison to our more natural, magnified sense of being one with nature that night.

—Paloma Dutta

 

Orang National Park is a 110 km drive from the Guwahati airport, where taxis and rental cars are available. The Divisional Forest Officer, Mangaldoi Wildlife Division, and Range Forest Officer, Orang National Park, can be contacted for booking government accommodation within the park (forest.assam.gov.in/). November-March is the best time to visit. Entry fee is Rs200 per head and safaris operating between 7.30-9.30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. can be booked at the park gate.

 

‘How to Travel Better in 2021’ is a comprehensive list of Indian destinations worth exploring in the coming year, and has been reported by the editors and contributing writers of National Geographic Traveller India. Read all the entries on our digital forum or new National Geographic Travell India app here.  





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