I must confess I hadn’t heard of Satpura National Park, I had heard of all the big parks in Madhya Pradesh like Bandhavgarh, Pench and Kanha, but not Satpura. It is a relative new-comer on the MP wildlife scene and it is because of this that it makes it such a fabulous place to visit. There are very few people there.
About 3 hours drive from Bhopal, it is quite a pleasant drive through small towns to reach the park. The big surprise is that to get to the park you have to cross a river, certainly unexpected, but what a lovely way to enter this peaceful park.
Across the river is the forestry office where we picked up a jeep and headed into the jungle. Whilst Satpura has about 40 tigers, I could see driving through the park that it would be almost impossible to see one. The area is dense with trees and shrubs and all wildlife seemed to be a bit scarce. It was so nice to be in and around nature though and I thoroughly enjoyed the clean air, greenery, parakeets and kingfishers flying in and out and the anticipation that a beast could be just around the corner. What also made Satpura National Park lovely to visit was that there was no one else in sight. Even when I went on safari in little known Wayanad we passed plenty of other jeeps in our path, and it just detracts from the experience of being in the wild.
Whilst I didn’t see a tiger, I certainly did see some wildlife like Indian Bison, deer, some lovely birds, a crocodile and the highlight for me …. a turtle. What made the turtle so great was how it glistened like a mirror ball in the sun! Below includes both a close up and a wide shot of that disco turtle.
One of the things that makes these kind of jungle safaris so much fun is how well camouflaged the animals actually are, there is always that feeling that something is watching you. In this instance there were about 15 monkeys watching us, how many can you see in this photo?
On the way home we passed by the town of Budhni and on the street side were about ten stalls all selling the same brightly coloured toys. I had to stop and take a look at these fantastic children’s toys, all made locally with wood and painted in such detail. The helicopter pusher was my favourite but it almost came up to my hip, so was a little too big for me to carry home unfortunately.