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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: