Corbett National Park is one of the oldest and the largest national parks in India. It’s terrain varies from dense forest to open terai grassland to dry riverbeds and the slopes of the Himalayan foothills.
Corbett’s biodiversity is immense. The variety of flora and fauna in the park is enormous and it’s truly a nature lover’s paradise. Corbett has one of the largest numbers of tigers in India! It’s also got large populations of Asiatic elephants, Himalayan bears, sloth bears, leopards, and a variety of bovine herbivores, primates, avians and reptiles – particularly cobras and pythons. Due to the enormity of it’s terrain, the park is divided into several zones, each of which have their own beauty and charm. That’s why one needs at least 4-5 days to explore the park thoroughly and explore the varied landscapes and biodiversity of each zone.
Zone 1: BIJRANI
The Bijrani zone is by far the most popular, due to it’s easy proximity to the entrance of the park at Ramnagar. Bijrani is full of tall terai grasses, commonly known as chaur. These grasslands are ideal territory for the tiger to make itself at home. Bijrani is a little drier than some of the other zones, but tall grasses are interspersed with dense copses of Sal, and several streams and waterbodies. The views are stunning. The sense of serenity is unbelievable. Animals are frequently sighted in Bijrani. One often spots tigers and elephants here. An abundant prey base of deer and antelope make this a terrific hunting ground for felines. Sloth bears feed on termite mounds and while the Himalayan Bear is drawn to the nectar of the Mahua trees. Safaris in Bijrani are usually by jeep and there are several tracks that the jeeps can take. Bijrani is open between October and June.
Zone 2: DHIKALA
Dhikala is one of our favourite zones for its abundant wildlife. It’s the largest zone and one of the most picturesque with large tracts of chaur grass, rivulets, streams and dense tree cover. This zone is teeming with wildlife and one usually spots elephants, tigers, birds and several species of deer, moneys and other smaller creatures. Dhikala is one of the zones that lies deepest within the territory of Corbett. The landscape is stunning and simply being inside this jungle is worth the trip. To keep traffic to a minimum, the forest department only allows safaris in a Canter (16 seater van) in this zone. We do recommend an overnight at the Dhikala Forest Lodge. While it may not be fancy, it’s certainly comfortable and affords true wildlife enthusiasts a great chance of spotting animals. Dhikala is only open between November and June.
Zone 3: JHIRNA
Jhirna is near the southern border of Corbett. It’s got a great prey base which makes it a favourite hunting ground for tigers. Jhirna is also known for it’s wild Himalayan bears, a species that is often feared more than the tiger by locals! Jhirna’s biodiversity is varied and several species inhabit the area. One of the things we like about Jhirna is that it’s open throughout the year. Jeep safaris are possible.
Zone 4: DHELA
Dhela is another zone that has opened up relatively recently for tourists. The jungle here is mixed, made up of various indigenous trees like Sal, Haldu, Rohini, Kusum, Behra, and more. The landscape is interspersed with patches of grass and dry riverbeds. Dhela is a natural habitat for several species including tigers, leopards, elephants, bears, deer, monkeys and more. The buffer area of the Dhela zone is ideal for birdwatching, thanks to the mixed vegetation that grows here. One of the other highlights is that the buffer zone offers walking and bicycle safaris through the forest. The other reason we like Dhela is that it is open year round.
Zone 5: DURGA DEVI
Far into the park, along the north east border of it’s territory, lies Durga Devi. This zone has a raw, wild appeal, which is further enhanced by the Ramganga and the Mandal rivers. In addition to the felines, elephants and birds that inhabit the rest of the park, this area is also known for it’s marine life – especially it’s otters and the Wild Mahseer. Fish eating birds are often found here including raptors like the Grey Headed Fishing Eagle. One can enjoy a jeep safari in this zone.
Corbett is also bordered by other sanctuaries such as Sitabani and Marchula, where one can explore as well. Contact us at [email protected] to plan your Corbett safari experience today!
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Sharad Vats

Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered. Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park. Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here's a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger. Buy now on Amazon

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