Jeep safari


Jungle safaris can be done in different ways at India like boat safari, walking safari, cycle safari, horse safari, jeep safari  etc. At Madhya Pradesh, some of the popular ways to do jungle safaris are jeep safari, walking safari, boat safari, canter safari. Among all, jeep safari is most popular way to explore the tiger reserves as it is ideal combination of speed, power and accessibility. Safari through jeep  allows fast access to critical tiger habitat thus increases the probability of tiger sighting at national parks in Madhya Pradesh. Rapid movement inside forest and easy to wider and better view of the forest , makes jeep safari more popular mode of safari. 

Seating Capacity of safari jeep

At Madhya Pradesh national parks, most widely used safari vehicle is Maruti Gypsy vehicle. As per rule of Madhya Pradesh forest department, maximum 06 tourists, above 05 years can be accommodated in a safari vehicle under jeep category. If any child is 7th person, with age less than 05 years (carry birth certificate), can be accommodated. Any 7th person above 5 years of age, will not be allowed for safari drive. In addition to this, one driver and one safari guide will be accommodated in a safari vehicle. Thus in full capacity, total 08 person will travel in a safari vehicle. First row is for vehicle driver and guide. Second and third row of seats are for tourists. 

Color of safari vehicles

All the safari vehicles, used for jungle safari drives are first registered with park management. Here all the vehicle documents will be checked and if found as per rules, they are enrolled for safari drives. Here safari vehicle owner have to follow all the rules and specifications laid by forest department. All the safari vehicles are given one serial number and accordingly there records are maintained thus we will find one serial number sticker on both the side of safari vehicle. They also specify the vehicle color thus here in Madhya Pradesh, we will find safari vehicles in jungle green color.

safari vehicle in Madhya Pradesh

Power of safari vehicles

All the safari vehicles used for jungle safari drives are 4x4 wheel drive jeeps. This is required to drive safely in challenging routes of forest trails. At safari zones, roads are kept is natural conditions and tar or cement are not used. Similarly certain safari zones are more hilly with rocky trails thus in order to drive under such challenging conditions, we need a powerful safari vehicle with 4x4 wheel driver power.

Why open to sky vehicles used ?

During jungle safari drives at national parks of Madhya Pradesh, we will notice that majority of the time, safari vehicles remain open to sky with no sheet covering to protect from sunlight. Here coverings sheets are used only during some expectation of some rainfall, during safaris. It could be strange for those tourists who were frequent visitor to African safari reserves. Here in India, forests are dense with tall trees, offering shelter to birds, mammals and shade to ground thus being a safari tourist, we have many things to see on these tall trees thus covering the vehicle could be a obstacle in sighting. Good sighting means more opportunity for wildlife photography thus, shades are not used, even during summer season.

Benefits of safari on vehicle

In compare to walking safari or cycle safaris or boat safaris, jeep safari option is more popular and widely used by tourists. There are many reasons behind this popularity like:

  • Comfort: Jeep safari is more comfortable than walking safari or cycle safari option. Here we need not to do more physical work and utilize our energy in animal tracking and nature photography.
  • Accessibility: Jeep safari option is the best medium to better explore the forest. We can penetrate the dense forest area in less time and while maintaining our safety. As walking and cycle safaris demands more physical energy thus they are slow and due to safety reasons due to presence of predator species, it can be done in limited tracks or areas only. Through boat safari, we can visit only that part of forest which have water presence, required for boating.
  • Safety: Jeep safari is more safer than walking safari or cycle safari. Due to safety constraint, we can visit more by jeep and less by walking or cycle safari. Boat safari is comparatively better but have constraint of limited area visit.
  • Applicability: In Madhya Pradesh, we have many popular tiger reserves like Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench, Panna etc. They all have river presence but still walking safari or boat safari is not possible to implement in all these tiger reserves due to many reasons like safety concern, area of river is not in tourism zones etc. Due to high level of safety and better accessibility, jeep safari can be implemented in normal or difficult terrains also.
  • Time saving: Jeep safari allows fact access to forest in compare to walking safari, cycle safari or boat safari. Tourist or photographer want to visit more in less time to have more opportunities and knowledge. 

Challenges with safari on vehicle

It is true that jeep safari mode  of  jungle exploration is more popular among tourists but other modes of safaris like boat safari, walking safari etc have there own importance and benefits over jeep safari. Let's understand them one by one:

  • Economical: With the continous increase in jeep safari charges, now it is not affordable to low budget or middle class visitor, unless or untill they are in group. Boat safari or walking safari or cycle safari are still affordable to low or middle class tourists thus we can easily plan for it.
  • Better observance: Due to slow mode of safari in walking mode or through boat, we get better opportunity to notice each and every thing more clearly and minutely. We have better chance of birds, insects or reptile sighting. We miss such details in jeep safari, due to its fast movement.
  • Adventurous: Factor or thrill and suspence is more in walking or cycle safari as we were in almost helpless situation at natural habitat of big cats. For adventure lovers, it will be a different level experience.
  • Unususal accessibility: Jeep safari is possible only on pre-decided tracks in which a vehicle can run thus have limited accessibility challenge. While walking or boating, we can even explore those parts of forest which are not accessible by vehicle thus here we have advantage of more accessibility than safari jeep.