An Ultimate Guide To Jim Corbett National Park Tour
India’s first national park is also the most diverse in terms of terrain, flora and fauna. Spread on a sprawling 1318 sq. km of wild forests, the Jim Corbett National Park is famous not just among the locals or the frequent tourists from the National Capital but all over the world. This international fame was bestowed upon it after Jim Corbett (after whom the park is named) wrote the book ‘The Man-Eaters of Kumaon.’ Read the book if wildlife is your area of interest, or even better – plan a wildlife vacation to the jungles of Jim Corbett!
The deep riverine, hilly terrains, verdant landscape, and grasslands of the park make for a cornucopia of nature’s stunning scenery. You can spot reptiles, primates, deer among the many animals grazing through the jungle and enjoying their natural habitat. Plus, there is a plethora of activity apart from wildlife safari that will pique your interest.
Are you excited about that wildlife safari and all the other activities awaiting you at Corbett? Plan out an itinerary with the activities you want to do as there are five zones here, each offering unique experiences.
Where is Jim Corbett National Park?
Where is Jim Corbett National Park? For the uninitiated, it is located in Ramnagar, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, a North India state. It is around 230 km from Delhi, drivable under six hours, making it an excellent weekend getaway to escape the city’s hustle-bustle.
What are the five zones of the park?
Sequestered depending on the terrain, the type of flora and fauna you will find here, and the activities you can do in each of them, knowing a bit about the park zones is always a good idea.
- Jhirna Zone – If bear spotting is on your plan for the day, this zone is perfect. It was added to the central national park in the 1990s but is still popular among tourists. Moreover, it is open year-round, making it the ideal place to escape even when you don’t go for the leading tiger safari.
- Dhela Zone – The most recent addition, however, is Dhela Zone. Added in 2014, this zone is located at a distance of 13 km from Ramnagar. With endless green expanse, rich and diverse biodiversity, this zone is open year-round. Check beforehand for a safari if you do plan to do one.
- The sidelines perch Dhikala Zone – The most significant part of the park, the Dikhala zone, is the Patil Dun Valley. While panoramic views accompany you at every step, it is the thrill and anticipation of sighting tigers chasing deer that will keep you reeled in when you are in this zone. A safari in the Dikhala zone is an unmissable affair.
- Durga Devi Zone – If you consider yourself an ardent birdwatcher, do not miss out on the Durgadevi zone. The varying altitudes of this zone make it a perfect spot for this coveted activity. The river flowing the zone is also home to Mahsheer, an endangered bird species.
- Bijrani Zone – The most visited zone of the park, Bijrani is closest to Ramnagar and offers tourists a chance to spot the Royal Bengal Tiger in its natural habitat. Jeeps are permitted here almost throughout the opening season of the park. The picturesque landscape is a mix of dense forests, river plains, and open grasslands, ensuring you have enough scenic beauty on your safaris.
What are the timing and prices for Safari?
It is advisable to check the timings before booking as the park may be temporarily closed or observing precautions and curfews instead of the pandemic. As per the park’s official site, a jeep safari for six pax (Indian tourists) costs INR 3800, and for foreign tourists of 6 pax, it would cost around INR 9000.
The Jim Corbett National Park timingsare from morning 6 AM to 9:30 AM and evening 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. These timings are liable to changes depending upon the season. It is also imperative to obtain the required entry permits for the different zones before you arrive for your wildlife vacation.
What is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park is from November to February. These are the winter months of North India and is punctuated with balmy afternoons with just the right amount of warmth. Moreover, all the zones are open in these months, ensuring you can pick and choose or do an extended staycation to experience all the park’s thrills.
All the things you should and can do here!
While jeep or canter safari is a given when people plan a trip to Jim Corbett National Park, it is the lesser-known that equally exhilarating activities will ensure you stay here for a long time. One such water sports in Corbett National Park that should be on your itinerary is river rafting in Kosi. Of course, you can only do this in the monsoon season, which is from July to September so planning your trip around that time is ideal if you want to try this daunting yet memorable adventure.
To make the most of your Jim Corbett National Park tour, camping is highly recommended. A night under the starry sky, in the deep forest with nothing but the gurgling of the river to keep your company makes for an ideal wildlife getaway. You can either opt for permanent cottage lodges peppered on the park’s periphery or build your tent in the Sitabani forest.
When you are camping in the park, go for a bird-watching tour to spot the rarest of migratory species that fly in from places as far away as Siberia in the winter months. With over 650 myriad species of birds found in the park, this activity is not only thrilling but fruitful if you are ready to walk for long hours.
Last but certainly not least, the most rewarding activity you can and should try in the Sitabani forest of the park is trekking. You can even try rappelling and river crossing while you are on your nature trails in the park.
How to reach Jim Corbett National Park?
By Air: Pantnagar airport is the nearest to the park, at around 50 km, and Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is the nearest international airport, at a distance of about 230 km.
By Rail: The nearest railway station with connectivity with major cities is Pantnagar, at a distance of approximately 60 km. You can arrive via train and book a cab/taxi to reach the gate of the zone you wish to visit.
By Road: You can either make a road trip from Delhi, Dehradun and other nearby cities or simply take the local busses. All of which is the recommended mode of travel to reach Jim Corbett National Park.
Travel Tips for the discerning traveller
Whether this is your first or your nth trip to Corbett national park, a wildlife vacation is different from another kind of travel. Thus, make sure you are fond of adventure, walking for long stretches and are patient when you do go on safaris or bird-watching tour. Moreover, you must try to incorporate other activities in your trip so that your entire trip’s entire value is not focused on just tiger spotting, as it is rare and happens by chance.
Of course, since you are travelling post-Covid-19 and the virus’s status remains dynamic, check-in before the officials as to what all tests and documents you will need before travelling. This will ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip to the jungle.
Lastly, pack light, go with an open mind and enjoy the sheer experience of being in nature. Also, check out Travel Now by digibank for comparing prices, tariffs of hotel and flights to ensure you are well-prepared before the journey. Exclusive offers are running on the site. Check them out right here.