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Pench National Park

Planning a trip to Pench National Park? The we got you covered. Before we even start giving you the details let me tell you safaris are expensive, so better to plan in groups. Read our post to find tips to save money as much as possible. Pench National Park is in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of MadhyaPradesh in India. Pench shares its border with Maharashtra, so you will be able to visit a portion of Pench in Maharashtra state as well. Kipling’s The Jungle Book is based on Pench Tiger Reserve. We decided to go to Pench National Park during the Republic Day, long weekend.

How to reach Pench National Park

Taxi ride towards Pench
Pench Taxi ride from Khawasa

You can take a train or flight to Nagpur from all the major cities in India. Mumbai or Pune has bus service as well to reach Nagpur. From Nagpur you need to book a cab or take Ola/UBER outstation to go to Pench. Ensure your final destination is Pench, Madhya Pradesh. A cab ride will cost you ₹2k-₹2.5k. Your Hotel or resort can also send a cab to pick you up.
We took the Duronto train from Mumbai & reached Nagpur station at around 8 AM.

There is a budget way of traveling to the national park, we availed it during our journey. You need to reach at the private bus stop going towards Madhyapradesh. These will be long distance buses so they might not agree to take you, but you have to convince them. We managed to convince them by agreeing that we will not take up any seats of a long distance traveler. They dropped us at Khwasa, 7km away from our resort and charged ₹100 per person. From the highway we took a car to drop us to the hotel at ₹400. Luckily, we just made it on time for safari and found out the cheapest way to reach Pench at ₹600.

Where to stay at Pench

Tiger and Woods Roar Restaurant
Tiger and Woods Roar Restaurant

In Pench we stayed with Tiger And Woods Resort, trust me you will love this place. After a tiring and complicated day this place refreshed our mind from the moment we stepped inside.
We booked this place online 5000 per day includes food and stay. There are other options as well but this place is closest to Turiya gate. If you are going to Pench, make sure you book a place nearby to your Safari gate. Please book your meals as well, cause definitely it will be middle of nowhere so no restaurants nearby. Budget stay option will be governments stay Kipling’s Corner, but have to book it much ahead.

Safari Booking Details

Sambar passing By
Sambar passing By

We already pre-booked four safaris from Turiya gate from link MP Forest Online. You can book a full gypsy or book individual seat. You need to submit your booking details at the gate where a gypsy will be assigned to you. If you book share safari, then you need to wait till all the passengers arrive, even after the gate opens. Our two safaris were shared (1st Day Afternoon, 3rd Day Morning) and 2 Full safaris on second day. If you’re not into photography we will suggest to go on a shared Safari as that will be easy on the pocket then booking a full Gypsy.

Full cab booking cost ₹2500 for permit plus cab rental is ₹2500 and guide charges either ₹300 or ₹500 based on guides experience. If you share the cab, cost gets divided by six person cost approximately ₹883 to ₹916 per person. We would like to re-iterate safaris are expensive, even on sharing. If you book the full cab, then they come and pick you up from your hotel for free. Just show the bookings details in the hotel reception. For shared you have to arrange for the transport to the Gate.

Ideal Itinerary for Pench National Park

Jackal at Pench National Park
Jackal at Pench National Park

Itinerary for Pench National Park from Madhya Pradesh Side should be like this. You need to book your stay near Turiya gate for 2nights at least. If you are a photographer or wildlife enthusiast we will recommend 3 nights stay. Make sure to reach by afternoon so that you can take the 3pm safari on the day of arrival. Total 4-6 safaris on the basis of the number of nights you plan to stay. The next day you can go for both Morning and Afternoon safari. On the day of departure do a morning safari and post lunch head towards Nagpur railway station or airport. You need to cover buffer zones as well in case planning an extra night stay.

Budget Travel Tips

Peacock at Pench National Park
Peacock at Pench National Park
  • Safaris are expensive so travel in a group
  • In Pench National Park there are less/no options of home stay, so target the Government stay for cheaper rate
  • Book the meals as well, because there are no restaurants nearby and specially for dinner it will challenging to look for food at night.
  • Not into photography? Book a shared safari. To reach the safari gate club with other guests in the hotel and rent a car. Rental will be Rs.500.
  • Traveling during Dec-Feb, it’s going to be really cold and dusty, take proper jackets and face cover masks.
  • Reach the gates well in advance and try not to make your co-passengers wait.
  • Safaris are unpredictable you may or may not encounter any wildlife, so be prepared. Ideally you should go on at least 4-6 safaris to spot a tiger.
  • Indian safaris are of limited time 4-5 hrs max, so utilize the time fully rather spending it on breakfast or pee breaks.
  • Check the park timings. Click here.
  • Follow the Park guidelines and rules, Click here.

Read more on Safaris

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Ramit Sengupta
10 months ago

Nicely drafted. Love the video. But I would love to see more pictures. Actually your Husband is one of the best in photography, so I love the still photography more.
Informative post. Must read before you visit. Based on my experience at Kanha and Bandhavgar I would like to add that online Safari booking must be done well before. Don’t expect to get the Safari tickets on the spot, it’s like Tatkal of train tickets. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

Kaustav Banerjee
Kaustav Banerjee
10 months ago

Hey Anindita, got to know about your blog from Ramit’s FB post. great that someone talks about budget trip and give the details. I also travel a lot across various jungles and ofcourse with a super tight budget. I went to Pench several times & I would like to suggest few things here. Because the most important part here is sharing information for enthusiastic people. 1. People should try Khursapur segment of Pench. Its in Maharashtra side and needs to be booked from Maharashtra eco tourism website. The jungle layout is all different there with more tiger sighting chances with… Read more »

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