Established in 1975 and a dedicated tiger reserve since 1992, Pench National Park in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is rich in wildlife, but its dense forest cover makes animals trickier to spot, meaning it doesn’t see as many visitors. In fact, if you travel a little out of season, it can feel as though you have the whole park to yourself.
Pench is most famous for being the likely inspiration for The Jungle Book
, but it sees relatively little tourism compared to other parks nearby, making for a greater sense of wilderness.
Surrounded by Gond tribal villages that worship the forest and its inhabitants, Pench was the natural place for the BBC to film tiger cubs coming of age in their Tiger – Spy in the Jungle series, but there are also leopards, jackals and even wolves here preying on deer and antelope. You have to work a little harder for your wildlife sightings in Pench, but the value of skilled naturalist guides here cannot be overstated either.
Find out more in our Pench National Park travel guide.