Number of possible activities, at Bandhavgarh national park, varies from lodge to lodge. Some activities like jeep safari, night safaris are managed by park management thus available to all, irrespective of the fact where you are staying. Other activities like nature walk, village visit, cycling, butterfly safari, star gazing, birding walks are all resort driven thus availability of such activities will depend upon the fact where you are staying. Usually luxury and deluxe resorts and lodges offer more such activities in compare to budget resorts. So you need to check the possible activities at any particular resort, before booking room on it.
Variation on safari charges is very common experience at any national park. Their is not one particular reason behind this. We often concludes that this variation is due to varying degree of variation in service charges. Safari charge is just one out of many reasons. Now a days, local safari vehicle operator union has decided to fix one fee from entry gate only. If you will call the vehice to your resort for pick & drop then as per distance of resort from ticket counter (safari vehicle base), they will charge additional fee. This fee will vary as per distance. For this they maintain a distance-fee chart whose copy is provided to almost all the local resorts so that they may know the additional fee and suggest their guests. If anybody want to avoid such additional charges then they can do so by reaching entry gate by own vehicle and hire the safari vehicle from ticket counter office. Apart from this, we will notice huge difference safari charges among resorts, located adjoinint to each other but vary category like if a budget resort is adjoining to luxury resort which means pick & drop charges should be same but still safari cost varies. Here main reasons behind this difference is additional services and quality of services. Luxury resort offers better quality of service, like in-house naturalist, high quality breakfast (for morning safari drives), specialized safari vehicie, safari guide of choice etc. Due to roaster system in which safari guide and safari vehicle are provided to applicants as per sequence and not as per choice. If you want vehicle or guide or both by choice they you can do so by paying halting charges which increases safari charges significantly. To know more about roaster system, read our dedicated web page on it.
Yes, it is possible to reach Bandhavgarh national park by local transport option like public carrier bus. Here we have to note that long ditance buses are not passing through Bandhavgarh national park thus in most of the cases you have to change buses to reach Tala village of Bandhavgarh. Similarly after sunset, bus service is unavailable to do not try bus traveling after sunset. Here you also need to know about location of your resort/hotel at Bandhavgarh. Many resorts are away from main road by 2-5 kms. In such case you, after deboarding the bus, how you will reach such resort, will be important question to be answered in advance. Walking toward such remote resorts will be risky so better to call the resort to arrange some vehicle for you. At forests, there is no guarantee that predators will not meet at regular foot trails.
Elephant safari in Bandhavgarh is difficult for normal visitors. As we all know that elephant safari is possible only through forest department trained elephants only. Such elephants are very less in number and basically used for patrolling purpose. Thus usually not offered to tourists. If you want elepyhant safari then process is to submit an written application to Field Director office at Umaria town. If they will approve your application, then only you will get the chance to do elephant safari. Most of the requests are rejected thus better to look for other modes of safari in Bandhavgarh. Being a wildlife lover, we should try to avoid this mode of safari.
Canter safari is nothing but a open bus safari. It is basically a sharing mode of safari in which department offers booking on per seat basis. Its online booking option is not available for public thus it is for walk-in visitors to do the permit booking from ticket counter only. Here permit booking is possible from Tala ticket counter
In normal days, Bandhavgarh fort visit is not allowed for tourists. Being a tourist, by carrying Tala zone permit, we can go up to Shesh Shaiya point at Bandhavgarh hill. Bandhavgarh fort is approx 2.5 km further to Shesh Shaiya point. Fort visit is possible only when Saint Kabir followers gathers at Bandhavgarh on their festival date and track through Tala gate to Kabir temple site, close to Bandhavgarh fort area. In normal days, fort site remains closed for visitors.