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Satpura National Park is rich in biodiversity – sightings of sloth bear, leopard, bison (gaur) and wild dog are particularly good, and there is a wide array of flora and other fauna.

Satpura is starting to emerge as one of India’s most intriguing wildlife destinations. Not many travellers venture here yet, and you can enjoy watching wildlife from hides around the park. Tigers stalk the park's terrain, along with prey species such as nilgai and sambar. These are less habituated to human presence than in other reserves; they are shy and even harder to see, however the delightful environment makes Satpura a worthwhile addition to any itinerary.

Other wildlife you may see includes species such as: sambar, chital, bhedki, nilgai, four-horned antelope, chinkara, wild boar, tiger, blackbuck, fox, porcupine, flying squirrel, mouse deer and Indian giant squirrel. Among the various birds, hornbills and peafowl are common. The flora consists of mainly of sal, teak, tendu (much prized for wrapping India bidi cigarettes), Indian gooseberry, mahua and bel trees, stands of bamboo plus a variety of grasses and medicinal plants.

This is central India’s least-known national park, established in 1981 and located in Madhya Pradesh state, 210 kilometres (or some four hours drive) from the state capital, Bhopal, and 55 kilometres from Piparia, the nearest railhead. The reserve covers an area of 524 square kilometres, which is trebled by the adjoining sanctuaries of Bori and Panchmarhi, creating a unique highland ecosystem. The rugged terrain consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines and dense forests ranging in altitude from 300 to 1,352 metres.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: sloth bear, wild dog, nilgai, sambar, leopard
  • Where: Madhya Pradesh State, India

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Jungles, Tigers & Taj

India is an ideal destination for families. Who hasn’t read The Jungle Book and not dreamed about coming across a tiger in its luxuriant jungle? Imagine seeing a sloth bear, bathing with an elephant, or canoeing down a jungle river? And, for a grand finale, there’s the majestic, unsurpassable Taj Mahal.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,695 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Walking in the Steps of Sloth Bears

A gentle and rewarding walking safari in the land of sloth bears and wild dogs, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. For tiger fans, a visit to Pench at the end of the trip is a highlight, with almost guaranteed sightings from your safari vehicle.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,695 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Forsyth’s Lodge

Small and stylish, this eco-friendly property has been built with environmental and community considerations in mind. There are 12 air conditioned cottages with en suite bathroom and verandah, and the exceptionally attentive staff is supported by in-house naturalist guides.

Reni Pani Forest Lodge

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge is an exquisitely designed conservation and wildlife focused lodge located close to Satpura National Park. Set in 15 hectares of striking forest, it offers 12 luxury cottages, a jungle pool located along the seasonal stream, and waterholes that attract several species of birds and animals.