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Tadoba and Pench


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After travelling 4 weeks trough india last december, we decided to spend another 2 weeks in central india, as we didnt had that much tiger sightings the last time. Since we had 6 drives at nagarhole, 4 in corbett and 3 at ranthembore with 2 sightings...So we went right in the best time for tiger sightings in the harsh Indian summer.


Btw. the onlinevisa for india allows now multiple stays and entry over one year.


Tadoba April 28 to May 3

We stayed at tiger king Resort which was only a 2min drive from the kolara gate, which offers safaris to the tadoba core and buffer zone. We booked all our 9 safaris over the Resort. We had their nauralist with us, who was a great guide due his wie Knowledge about the eco system and his pesonality.


The Resort was more the value for money choice. We had a big room with ac and warm water. The Food was rather solid with packed breakfast for the safaris, vegetarian lunch and dinner with a chicken dish. 



  • 5 Tadoba Core Zone trough Kolara gate
  • 3 Tadoba Buffer Zone trough Kolara and Madnapur gate
  • 1 Alizanza Buffer gate


The most important first. We got tiger sigthings at all safaris. Average was 2 sightings per drive. At the Tadoba Core Zone we saw the more "famous" tigers like Maya and Cubs, Matkasur, Chota Matka, Choti Taras Cubs. Sometimes we where the only jeep and sometimer there where around 15 or so. At the Buffer Zones we had equally good sightings with usually 3-4 foor other jeeps around us.



  • 11 different tigers with 20 or so sightings
  • 2 packs of dholes seen at the core area
  • 2 sloth bear sightings at core are. One bear was close to our jeep for a few minutes while searching for Food.
  • no lepards seen.There is a melanistic lepard roaming around at kolara core zone at the moment. Other people had sightings when we were there.
  • No reptiles beside some mugger crocs at the tadoba lake



  • mobile phones ara banned from tadoba, which makes the atmosphere a bit more relaxed, while the guides focus on their job and cant check the phones for sightings etc. So ist better to have a lodge Naturalist with you, since you can`t choose the guide from the park.
  • the Infrastructure was very good at the core zone regarding toilets and tables for a breakfast break and more simple at the buffer zones.
  • the duration of the safaris where around 4h.
  • the heat was challenging. The Peak was 45c. So bring a hut, dusk mask and plenty of water.


Pench May 4 to May 10

We had a gret stay at Pench Jungle Camp. Which is a 5 min drive away from the Touria Core Gate. They organised all our 9 Safaris at Pench and we had theire formidable Naturalist with us on all drives.

The Resort offers nice and big Rooms with great Food and the Always smiling staff fullfilled all our extra wishes like some lime pieces for our coke or baking extra muffins for our flight to dehli. Would definetly stay there again.



  • 7 Drives at Touria Core Gate
  • 1 Night Safari at a Buffer Gate
  • 1 Drive at Khursapar Gate


Our first drive was a great start with a long but distant sighting of 3 subadult cubs. But at least we saw 3 tigers. The next 5 drives where dry concerning cats. There where Alarm calls on all safaris and we missed one tigress by a minute. Had some other interesting Wildlife sightings like owls, vultures, jackals, Grey honrbills etc.

We went with big hopes to the night safari, since the nights before a Tigress with her 4 subadults cubs was sighted, but we didnt had any luck. The night safari is famous for Wolves, but they didnt get seen often anymore since a year or so. On our first they at pench at car from our Resort, saw a couple of Wolves through the day at Touria. Which seems to be the first sighting since 5 or 6 years there. They where also seen the next day. 


Anyway the last day at pench was quite different then the days before. In the morning safari we went to a spot at the pench river where the famous tigress collarwaly has been seen with her tiny cubs. After 15min of waiting we saw a huge male tiger on the other side of the river. About 10 min later we saw a pack of around 7 dholes at the other river side. Another minutes later an elephant of the forrest Department was Looking for Collarwali at the riverbed and found her. We could her roar and then she came out behind some rocks an gave us a nice sighting. On the way the to brakfast spot we managed to spot an other pack of dholes.


On the afternoon drive at kursaphar we had 3 more tiger sigthings. A female gave us quite a show in a waterhole close to the road. So we had 5 tiger sightings in one day after 5 drives without a cat sighting.



  • 8 sightings of different tigers
  • 2 packs of dholes
  • 1 small Indian civet on the way back after the night safari
  • Lots of birds like owls, vultures, grey hornbills




  • the drivers at pench are not allowed to drive more than 30km. the guide gets a gps which records the speed, covered route and the time the car is at one spot. Guides and drivers are getting fines and suspensions for missbehaviors, which increases the Quality of the drives.
  • Leopard sightings seem to be more common than tiger sightings. But we had no luck. Could be the temperatures of 42c played a role. The weeks before they where frequently seen.
  • Overall we saw less herbivores especially gaurs at pench then in tadoba. 
  • The BirdLife was better at Pench
  • Touria zone has some of the best toilet facilities I have ever seen at a reserve in India
  • at the night safari are like 5 jeeps allowed but the guides where higly depending on the phone which was not that good for the safari experience. Spottlighting was not allowed.


Will add some Pictures later or tomorrow. It`s time now for some fastfood at delhi aerocity :-)


Equipment Sony RX10M3










Edited by marcox
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Wow, looks like you had some great sightings. 🙂

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Great sightings and photos. Pench also was very kind to us when we were there but we did have similar "downtimes".

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Sounds like a blast! Lots of tiger, dhole and what a great sloth bear sighting. The notion of night safaris in India is a very interesting one too.

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A fine combo of parks with great sightings!

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Some really great sightings and photos! We were in Pench in April and they told us that the temperature had caused a drop in the number of animal sightings. We did get to see tigers, but also had a drive where we saw absolutely nothing. :) 

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On 5/17/2019 at 3:47 PM, Kirstine said:

Some really great sightings and photos! We were in Pench in April and they told us that the temperature had caused a drop in the number of animal sightings. We did get to see tigers, but also had a drive where we saw absolutely nothing. :) 

What did the temperature do to cause the change in sightings?  Increase or decrease?

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Decreasing for leopards. In the weeks before there was a chance of 80-90% to see them in a drive. We had no sightings in our 9 drives.

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@Atravelynn - The temperature was MUCH higher than normal, which decreased the number of sightings quite drastically. When we arrived at our lodge, it was pretty much the first thing that the manager said. However, it did not matter so much to us, as we had some great sightings in Kanha and only had two drives in Pench. Plus one of the sights we did have was of a tiger with a kill. :)

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Tiger on a kill.  If it got hot enough, it could be a barbecue!

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