Safari Guides in Kanha

On Game Drive or Park Safari, safari guide is the important part of drive. Maximum two game drives can be undertaken on a single day, one in early morning (begins before sunrise) & second one in afternoon (ends before sunset). Duration of morning safari is longer in comparison to evening park safari of Kanha Tiger Reserve.

In every game drive naturalist is compulsory to go with visitors inside the tiger reserve. Safari Guide or Naturalist is the person who can make your game drive a memorable one or can spoil the whole charm of wildlife trip to Kanha so he/she plays a key role in success of wildlife tour. Fee paid for game drive or safari includes rent of the vehicle, tiger reserve entrance charge and guide fee. Generally wildlife resorts have their own licensed in-house Naturalists whose services are available to guest when he is staying in Jungle Plan or request made for game drive to resort manager in advance. For those who wish to do game drives by their own, without any assistance of resort, they can get naturalist at the entrance gate of Kanha Tiger Reserve, at the time of entrance.

Duties of Guide / Naturalist

  1. Guide will accompany the assigned safari vehicle, throughout the game drive i.e from entrance to exit of safari vehicle.
  2. It is the duty of guide to inform all necessary instructions & rules to the accompanying tourists and ensure that they all followed during game drive.
  3. In case of any violation of rule, guide will be held responsible and will be penalized accordingly.
  4. It is moral responsibility of guide to provide all important wildlife information to accompanying tourists like areas inside tiger reserve, history of the park, population of animals, description of trees/grass/mammals/birds etc.
  5. In case of any emergency inside the tiger reserve, he will lead the vehicle to resolve the emergency. For example, if a safari vehicle failed inside the national park, it duty of guide to get down and inform the nearest camp for required assistance.
  6. It is moral responsibility of a guide to see, no rules of park management are violated by other safari vehicles also.
  7. During Tiger Show, guide will assist in making payment and queuing his guests for their turn to ride elephant.
  8. It is the duty of the guide to make sure that jeep driver is driving the vehicle as per prescribed rules of park management.
  9. In case, accompanying visitors is breaking the park rules like by smoking, using mobile phone or throwing litter, teasing animal, feeding animal etc, guide have right to object the tourist from doing so.
  10. Safari guide or naturalist plays key role in tiger tracking inside the tiger reserve by making use of all his experience, senses & knowledge.

Naturalist/Guides are generally freelancer young men who have passed a written & oral test of their knowledge of flora & fauna of park. Their attentiveness, way of expressing knowledge & communication skill vary somewhat but knowledge level is always good indeed. English language knowledge in-house resort guides are generally better than freelancer guides and are mostly from other locations of India. Most of the freelancer naturalists are from local tribal areas, making use of their natural skill & knowledge of local flora & fauna which is an added advantage over in-house naturalists of resorts. In some of the luxury resorts of Kanha National Park, naturalist also drives the vehicle. During monsoon season, when tiger reserves remain closed for visitors either they work for forest department on daily-wage basis or return back to their homes. Resort naturalists do take part in other activities of resort like account management or go on long-leave during monsoon season. The good thing about these naturalists, whether he is from luxury resort or a freelancer they often exchange information when any two safari jeeps pass-by, mostly about tiger-sighting or wild-calls for the tigers. Future of freelancer naturalist is not so bright, with old-age they return back to their home, make their children in to guiding field whereas future of resort-naturalist are somehow more bright as they often interact with rich-class of visitors in which often they met entrepreneurs from travel field or corporate sector. As they are mostly from outer states, more aware of outer world, business tactics, they jump into entrepreneurship like opening their own resorts or travel agency etc. On an all we can say, guide is the soul of any wildlife trip.

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