Nagzira is on the Eastern part of Maharashtra, which borders Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. This area of the country comprises some of the last remaining pristine forests of India – other than of course the Western Ghats, North East and widely distributed and unconnected patches.
Recently, Nagzira’s protection status received a strong impetus when it became the part of Navegaon – Nagzira Tiger Reserve, complimenting the excellent habitat that has supported a strong wildlife population including the charismatic tiger.
The charm of Nagzira lies in the forest department’s simple accommodation located on the banks of the central lake. In the absence of electric supply, basic lighting is provided by solar energy. But this has meant that there is no loud music and only the interested and motivated tourists come here. So if you are thinking of a great wildlife holiday, you should really consider Nagzira.
Birding in Nagzira holds a special magic with a number of birds flocking to the lake side by the afternoon. A number of eagles descend on the waters for a drink, while orioles, drongos and ground thrushes can be seen bathing. The calls of the hungry chicks of the resident grey headed fish eagle need to be experienced once in your life time.
Amongst the mammals, a strong herbivore population of spotted deer, sambar deer and gaur have supported a healthy predator presence. Tigers and leopards can be frequently spotted – but the main appeal of this forest lies in understanding their presence. Pugmarks on the mud roads, droppings by the roadsides, territory marking on trees and bushes – similar to that the dogs do on the tires and poles, indicate the presence of big cats. Often the alarmed calling deer, langurs and peacocks tell us that a predator is on the prowl. They keep the jungle denizens posted of the lurking danger. This calling can also lead you to a lucky sighting of an elusive big-cat.
Two other very charismatic animals of Nagzira are the wild-dogs and sloth bears. Both these animals are also frequently seen in these beautiful jungles. While wild-dogs can be seen in large groups – planning meticulously to make their next kill, sloth bears are generally seen roaming the forests solitarily or females can be seen in company of their cubs. Many tourists are also greeted by the wonderful sight of sloth bears cubs hitch-hiking on their mother’s back.
The forests of Nagzira boast of a diverse vegetation. While it is the northern limit of Teak, a number of these trees that were planted in the past can still be seen. However, other trees like the Mahua, Ain, Jamun and Bombax give colour to the green glory. Needless to mention, Bamboo is most predominantly seen here. The best time to see the beautiful forest would be immediately after the park reopens after monsoon, where the greens are luxuriantly growing and are supporting the diverse life forms of Nagzira. While the summers make a large portion of this forest bare – it is this that helps in better sighting of animals.
October 1 - January 31 -- 7 am to 6 pm.
February 1 - June 15 -- 7 am to 7 pm.
June 16 - September 30 -- Closed.
For most of the year, temperatures are moderate and pleasant.
The best time to visit is during April and May.
Getting there :
The nearest airport is Nagpur.
The nearest bus stand is Sakoli, 22 km away.
Close by railway stations are Nagpur (122 km), Gondia (45 km) and Bhandara (75 km).