highlights and main attractions of pench national park

Pench National Park is one of central India’s lesser known, yet more accessible reserves. A quiet and secluded area for game viewing within a breathtaking landscape of the mild Satpuda Hills, criss-crossed with rivers and streams, the park was the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’.

An area of 758 square kilometres, 299 square kilometres making up the core, the park is roughly divided into east and west, dissected by the Pench River from which it gets its name and runs north to south. Nestled into the Satpuda Hills, it is in the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering the Maharashta in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara. Dominated by hills, the landscape is a mosaic of lush valleys and dry deciduous forest, with streams and, mostly seasonal, ‘nallahs’. 

The Pench River dries up at the end of April leaving small pools or ‘dohs’ to the locals, which provided the wildlife with their water, the Pench Reservoir is the only permanent source of water in this dry period.


where is pench national park?

history and wildlife

Pench National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1983, then included in the umbrella ‘Project Tiger’ in 1992. Leopards are rare sights here but tiger numbers are on the rise; this is one of the best places in India to see the species. Other predators include wild dog, wolf, jackal, hyena and jungle cat, as well as the crocodiles that frequent the waters. There is an exceptional number of deer, with chital, sambar and nilgai, then there are gaur, muntjac and langur monkeys, langoors are very common. Pench is known as a paradise for birders and it is no surprise once you learn there are almost 250 discovered species; with crested serpent eagles, white eyed buzzard, hornbills, parakeets, kingfishers, orioles, wagtails and, of course, much more. There are also fresh water turtles living in the rivers.

Enjoy jungle safaris with a drive into the park in the morning and afternoon, to experience the area at its most majestic and lively. Nature walks give you the option to really explore the smaller things, helping you appreciate the full richness of the park. You can also go in search of tigers and other wildlife on game drives and enjoy cultural walks and village visits in the area. 

Baghvan Lodge is our recommended accommodation, a luxurious lodge with a safari romance in the air, and it can organise your activities within the park.

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