Of this area, the core- about 940 sq km- is the national park; around it is the buffer zone. Porcupines, jackals, sloth bear, jungle cat, macaque, Dhole (wild dogs), bison and a stunning spectrum of birds inhabit Kanha, and make a trip to the sanctuary a must for any wildlife enthusiast. It is a truly thrilling experience, made more so by sightings of the tiger, 'gaur', or even the tiny mouse deer (muntjac) or the rare hard ground Barasingha, found only in Kanha. Go bird watching on a misty winter morning, and you're likely to see beauties like the racquet tailed drongo, crimson breasted barbet, crested hawk eagle and golden oriole.
Kanha Tiger Reserve is closed to visitors during the monsoon months, from July to November. Winter, between November and January, is a comfortable time to visit the park, when the weather's pleasant. April to June is when the summer sets in; it can get pretty hot at this time, but if you're a die-hard wildlife fan, this is when a visit can reward you with satisfactory wildlife-watching at the park's waterholes.
Best time to visit:
February to June the cool season is much more comfortable and still very good for wildlife. (The park is closed from July 1 to 31 because of the monsoon)
For those planning a visit, a stay of at least three nights is recommended in order to have a good chance of seeing the more elusive animals - although, of course, a brief visit will also be very interesting.