The Great Tiger Project
The Great Tiger Project

The Great Tiger Project

The Great Tiger Project

The Great Tiger Project

12 Nights from $3,619.00

Visit the fabled Kanha National Park: home to a stunning array of wildlife, including leopards, wild dogs, and of course the famous Bengal tiger.

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Posted by Michael Starbuck on 23rd Apr 2014 7 mins

Here at The Great Projects, we love to hear how our volunteers have gotten on during their time at the projects. This month we have been fortunate enough to receive a testimonial from volunteer Angela, who visited the 'Great Tiger Project' in Kanha National Park in India this March. As the birthplace of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book', this really is a special park and one of the best places to see the increasingly endangered and majestic Bengal tiger. Have a read of Angela's review and see if it makes you want to go – it certainly does with us here in the office!

"I have recently returned from being a volunteer on the third Great Tiger Project in March 2014. I had the most amazing, wonderful time. Even from the first moment I started to enquire about this tiger project via The Great Projects' website the staff were extremely helpful in regards to my numerous questions I had about the trip, and even put me in touch with their travel partners who assisted with my flights and visa.

From the moment I touched down in New Delhi I knew I was going to have an amazing experience. There were 8 of us in the group, with a mixture of ages and backgrounds, and we all got on brilliantly as we had one thing in common - we loved big cats and we were very excited! As part of the trip our group were appointed two very knowledgeable and friendly naturalists Anant and Vibhav, who accompanied and supported us for the entirety of the 2 week project. They were fantastic and were always available to answer our many questions throughout the days - from dawn till dusk!

As part of the project, we received regular opportunities to learn more about the surrounding areas. I felt honoured to be invited to a local primary and secondary school, where the children were so welcoming. We learnt about the local cultures by visiting the homes of the local Biaga tribe and witnessing their tribal dances. We also visited a village which is located very close to the edge of the park's forest area, where we were advised how hard it is for them to live so close to the wild animals and how they are working together to be able to design strategies to be able to live alongside these sometimes dangerous animals in harmony. We also visited a tribal museum, and even a local market!

Part of our volunteer role was to assist with the monitoring of the animals within the lodge's perimeters; this research was gathered by placing camera traps around the lodge area. The animals that were captured on our cameras were a number of spotted chital deer, a huge male wild boar, a porcupine and an elusive leopard...yes you read that right…a leopard! This big cat hadn't been caught on camera for over a year so this was an amazing find. All the animals on the photos are logged and the data collated is sent back to the government to update their records and to help prove that the Park and Singinawa continue to require protection due to the animal species which they have within their grounds.

I had always dreamt of seeing tigers in their natural habitat before it may be too late, and this trip definitely helped me accomplish my dream! Kanha National Park is an absolutely beautiful place and I felt so at home there. At first the 5am start was a struggle but watching the sun rise through the trees every morning was so peaceful and so worth it. During the two weeks our group of four volunteers were lucky enough to have 7 wild tiger sightings out of the 10 safaris. We also saw a number of other amazing animals throughout the safaris: from spotted deer (or chital as they are otherwise known), langur monkeys, gaur, the rare swamp deer (or barasingha), barking deer, wild boar and hundreds of bird species - and even a couple of rear peacock mating dances!

During the trip our base was a beautiful lodge called Singinawa Jungle Lodge. Nestled in 55 acres of the Kanha National Park; it was only a short drive away from the gates of the park. The location and the design of Singinawa made you feel like you were in the middle of the jungle which was the absolute perfect setting!

The main building was appropriately decorated with lots of photographs of the animals which are found within the local area and even some local Gond art which was stunning. The individual guest cottages surrounded the main building. My cottage was even called 'Tiger'! It was perfect, very large with all the modern amenities you required for your trip away from home! The hospitality of the staff at the lodge was absolutely second to none. The hotel staff were always very happy, helpful and willing to assist no matter what our queries were. The food that the chef and kitchen staff prepared was absolutely amazing and we even had a couple of outdoor bbq nights which were very traditional – it was great to experience their whole culture!

During our stay was the Holi festival of colours and I felt truly honoured when the staff invited us to join in with them. As you can imagine it was so much fun throwing colourful paint over each other, and we got really into the spirit of things! In the evenings the lodge manager / naturalists arranged for all the guests to watch a number of very informative DVD's, get involved in discussions with local artists, local conservationists and we were even blessed to have a couple of evenings with conservationist Nanda Rana himself (one of the lodge founders).

I felt honoured that he wanted to spend time with us, and I personally learnt so much from him. It was unfortunate to hear that Nanda and Latika had recently handed over the running of the Singinawa to the Sujan organisation. However, Nanda assured us that they and Singinawa would continue to be a large part of the conservation efforts linked with Kanha National Park. I feel very blessed to have been part of the trip and I feel I have learnt so much about conservation, tigers and their natural habitats.

I am so pleased that The Great Projects have organised a fourth trip to Kanha and Singinawa in October 2014. I personally feel the combination of the 'Great Tiger Project' and the Singinawa Jungle Lodge is a perfect match. They both bring together the knowledge of the area and the need for conservation to grow as one, to assist the local population to live in harmony with the surrounding forest and wildlife. I do hope they continue to work together in partnership as I will most certainly be returning in the near future.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved, it has changed my life!"

It is so great to hear from volunteer Angela – it certainly sounds like an incredible trip and thanks so much for the photos! If you would like to find out more about the 'Great Tiger Project', which this year runs from October 15th – 29th October, please visit our project page here to enquire or book, email us on [email protected] or call us on +44(0)208 885 4987.

What's more, we love hearing from our volunteers, so if you would like to submit a review, send us some photos or a video, or give us any feedback on our projects, please don't hesitate to email sam@thegreatprojects,com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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