safari-experience-in-keoladeo-national-park

Explore Keoladeo National Park with Thrilling Safari Rides

Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is a birdwatcher’s paradise in India. This avifauna sanctuary is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Locally also known as Ghana, the 29 square kilometers of the park comprises woodlands, swamps, wetlands, and dry grasslands. Together, they make for a home to 366 bird species, 50 species of fishes, 379 floral species, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species, and 7 turtle species. Besides, the park sees migratory influx – the most peculiar of them is migratory waterfowl, which visit the park every year during winter.

The park, which is also interestingly a human-made and maintained establishment, was not always like this. It was once the waterfowl hunting ground for the royalty and the British but was later converted (in 1971) into a retreat for its resident and migratory birds. Who knew that the place would flourish with so many diverse bird species and be known as one of the best bird areas in the world?

Why is the Keoladeo Safari Experience so Unique?

Unlike in other national parks, the focus here is on exploring the site in a slow-paced manner on rickshaws or tongas so that you get ample time to get in the vibe of the place and see the beautiful & rare bird species. Secondly, because the park is majorly known for birds, you wouldn’t expect, but you’ll see other mysterious animals show up time and again during your exploration.

Visually, it is a semi-arid region with artificial swamps, meadows, tropical and deciduous woodlands, and bushes. As stated, you’ll often be surprised by the sudden sightings of spotted deer, sambar deer, jackals, and nilgai, making your safari experience even more exciting. As for the birds, if you visit from August to October, the park becomes a breeding ground for the resident birds – you’ll get to see innumerable of them, and from October to February, you’ll find many migratory birds. Before heading out to the types of safari available in Bharatpur, you should know the exotic birds you are looking for.

Keoladeo’s Famous Birds Checklist

As you explore the wilderness with your binoculars, you should be particularly mindful of sighting certain rare birds, which you can then go back and brag about among your friends who have sighted them. Starting with, keep an eye on white-breasted kingfishers. It will be a spectacle to see them catching fish. Then, you will find many beautiful pelicans—the most famous one being Great White Pelicans, which are easy to spot in the park.

Other popular species of birds found here are the Lesser Whistling Duck, White-headed Duck, Bar-headed Goose, Greylag Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Common Shelduck, Marbled Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Baikal Teal, and Falcated Duck. Likewise, around 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park – no wonder the place is called a bird watcher’s paradise!

Types of Safari in Keoladeo National Park 

To fully witness the splendor of Keoladeo National Park, you can book a few of the safari options available in the park. The types of safari in Keoladeo are stated below. Also, no matter the kind of safari, you have to carry your binoculars and a good wildlife camera! Seriously, why wouldn’t you? How are you going to sight those beautiful birdies in their natural habitat and not get a good close-up and shots with a good binocular and a DSLR camera?

  • Rickshaw, Tonga & Bicycle safari
  • Walking safari

Rickshaw, Tonga & Bicycle Safari in Keoladeo National Park

Witnessing the splendor of Keoladeo on rickshaws, tongas, and bicycles is the most preferred here. This is because you can have complete freedom in where you want to go and where you want to focus. Also, these safaris are very quiet, which allows them to get close to birds and other animals like deer, which you’ll see during the tour.

Either hire a rickshaw or tonga (bonus: rickshaw-wallahs and tonga-wallahs are no less than guides themselves and know everything about the forest) or rent a bicycle to explore on your own. You’ll also have ample time to explore these tools. These are available for hourly rental at the park’s entrance gate. (For charges, read below.)

Important tip: It is recommended that one opt for a licensed rickshaw safari, as the Rickshaw pullers have over 15 years of experience as forest guides. Unlicensed rickshaw pullers usually don’t have much knowledge about birds and the forest.

Walking Safari

Of course, you can enjoy the lush green views of the park on foot. The length of the route is 11 km; in the first 5 km, you’ll see most of the birds, particularly if it’s the tourist season. The reason why you should opt for this is that you are completely on your own and not reliant on such as a rickshaw-wallah or otherwise! For safety purposes, it is best if you go as a group if you are going on foot. Also, for your information, around the 5 km mark, you will find a canteen where you can refresh and then move ahead.

Tip: It is recommended only for people who are really physically fit because it is not easy to scale the place on foot. It might compromise your birdwatching experience.

Entry fee at the gate

The park charges nominally for its limited safari options (the fee differs for Indian and non-Indian visitors). The ticket is INR 75 for Indian tourists and INR 500 for foreign visitors.

As for safari, you can hire a cycle for INR 50 per visit. Rickshaw / Tonga is INR 150 per hour. (All prices may vary at the time of booking.)

Note: Two-wheelers are not allowed inside the park, so you must leave them at the parking area if you are coming by one.

Safari Booking Process & Documents Required

You can book a safari online. You can reach out to a good tour operator who can take care of the entire booking process for you.

As per the law, you must carry a copy of your identity proof to reserve safari tours and the original ID proof during safaris.

Travel Tips for the Bharatpur Bird Tour

  1. Several tourist centers are outside the sanctuary’s main entrance, which you should explore as part of this tour.
  2. If possible, plan a visit to Bharatpur from October to February, when you can witness beautiful migratory birds.
  3. Keep your essentials always with you – binoculars, hats, water bottles, and glasses.
  4. Go for exploration only in the morning and evening hours.
  5. During winter, it gets very cold. Along with warm clothes, it is best if you wear globes – particularly so if you are carrying a tripod or DSLR, which quickly catches a cold and makes it tough to hold for long.

Thus, you must have realized by now that Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is an experience in itself! A lot of fun and excitement await you on your Bharatpur tour! So don’t wait any longer, and contact Indian Visit now for the best customizable Keoladeo tour packages!

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Flora and fauna in Keoladeo National Park

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