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>  The Skytrak Tiger project

Take part in grassroots tiger conservation in India's Kanha National Park from £1995/ per person

The Great Tiger Project is a rare chance to experience an in-depth and hands on introduction to tiger conservation in the wild. The project is situated inside the prestigious Kanha National Park, one of the most well maintained national parks in India and perhaps the best places to see Bengal tigers in the world. Kanha is a spectacular setting - a picturesque blend of forest, meadows and open water that provided Rudyard Kipling with inspiration for The Jungle Book. It is home not only to a significant population of tigers, but also a myriad of bird species, leopards, sloth bears, Indian wild dog and rare barasinghaswamp deer.

Volunteers on the project will spend 2 weeks in this beautiful setting, staying at the sumptuous Singinawa Jungle Lodge with experienced tiger conservationists Nanda and Latika Rana. They founded the lodge and restored 58 acres of degraded land around the property, situated on the periphery of Kanha Tiger Reserve, so that now it too attracts the emblematic cat. The aim of the Ranas and the project is to demonstrate just how tourism, conservation and community development can go hand in hand, and how a world class lodge can be ecologically responsible, playing a positive role in saving the critically endangered tiger and protecting fragile ecosystems.

In addition to walking and vehicle based safaris within the wildlife reserve, volunteers will take part in all manner of tiger conservation, wildlife management and community focused initiatives during their time on the project. This will include tasks such as setting up and checking camera traps, learning how to read animal tracks, educational talks, assisting at a local school, taking part in a scheme in conjunction with a tribal village to help them minimise their carbon footprint and meeting local artists and artisans to learn about the importance of their work to the region’s culture.

Project Summary

Focus: Tigers

Location: Kanha National Park, India

Arrival and starting point: Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

Start dates: 
6th - 19th March 2014: 6 spaces remaining
 

 

Day 1: Following arrival into New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, volunteers will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the hotel. 

Day 2: Fly to Jabalpur before being driven to Kanha National Park. Settle in at Singinawa Jungle Lodge with a welcome lunch.

Day 3: Morning safari into Kanha, then an afternoon helping at the village school before setting up camera traps to record animal movement.

Day 4: Safari game drive in the Kanha Tiger Reserve. In the afternoon, volunteers carry out buffer zone walks to study animal movement and habitat use at the edge of the park, checking and setting up camera traps.

Day 5: Game drive followed by visiting the local school to assist in English and environmental education. Later, volunteers will head out into the forest to learn to make impression pads for monitoring animal movement.

Day 6: Morning safari followed by visiting a project site where locals are taught how to make sustainable charcoal fuel from Latana and forest waste. After, volunteers will head out to check their camera traps.
Day 7: Game drive followed by a visit to a Baiga tribal village for a guided tour to learn about their lifestyle, philosophy, culture and relationship with the forest.

Day 8: Morning safari before visiting Kumadehi village, where there is a project that is working to turn the village plastic free. After, volunteers will visit the local village market and then spend time checking up on the animal tracking devices.
Day 9: Today volunteers will spend the day on an outing to Phen Sanctuary, a key area at the core of Kanha and important link in the continuous corridor between Achanakmar, Kanha and Pench tiger reserves. 
Day 10: Today’s safari will be a trek on a nature trail in Kanha Tiger Reserve for bird watching and also learning to track animals, followed later by checking the camera traps and impression pads.
Day 11: Volunteers will spend the morning visiting the forest nursery in the national park’s buffer zone for early morning bird watching and visiting the local school. Lunch will be followed by an afternoon safari into the park.

Day 12: Volunteers will spend the morning learning about Gond art, culture and lifestyle, meeting painters, sculptors and potters. After lunch volunteers will assist school children with art projects. 
Day 13: This morning will be spent on one last safari into Kanha Tiger Reserve. After lunch there will be a wrap up discussion on the Singinawa experience before a leisurely evening and a farewell dinner by the riverside.
Day 14: Transfer in the morning to Jabalpur airport for flight to Delhi to board your international flight to your home destination or onward travel. We can also assist you in booking further travel arrangements in India.

 

Volunteers will engage in a wide variety of activities as part of the project, involving themselves with the local community and supporting areas of conservation. Alongside this productive volunteering you will have many opportunities to see the beautiful big cats during numerous safaris within the park.

Volunteers can expect to take part in the following:
• 4x4 safaris
• Walking safaris
• Wildlife monitoring
• Assisting in environmental education programmes
• Assist in setting up camera traps
• Make impression pads to monitor animal movement
• Lectures/talks
• Tribal village visits

 

The Great Projects are extremely excited to be offering The Great Tiger Project, our first foray into India and chance to work with tigers in what we hope will become a regular volunteering fixture. We have chosen to partner with Nanda and Latika Rana at Singinawa Jungle Lodge due to their decades of experience in tiger conservation and their outstanding work regenerating the land surrounding the lodge which they purchased when it was degraded and over grazed. Today, tigers, dhole (Indian wild dog), and barasingha are all now regular visitors on the land.

The programme combines wildlife conservation with community work aimed at reducing human-animal conflict and a number to initiatives to promote more sustainable and alternative living for those living on the edge of Kanha National Park. 

As well as a number of safaris, volunteers will assist in tracking animals on foot and from a 4x4 vehicle, recording the movement of tigers and other wildlife by setting up and monitoring camera traps, and taking impression pads of animal tracks. They will also become well versed in all aspects of tiger conservation through talks by the Ranas covering subjects from the impacts of tourism on tigers to the illegal trade in tiger body parts.

The project will see volunteers become engaged with local communities through working with children in a local school, helping locals make a more sustainable fuel source, a visit to the tribal museum, assisting in an on-going project making a village plastic free and meeting local artists.

Volunteer donations will be used to take tribal children from the local school into the national park, to purchase camera traps for the monitoring of tigers and other mammals in the buffer zones of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, and for providing essential health care to villagers.

 

What is the climate like in Kanha?

In October and November, mornings can be cold so it is recommended that you bring warmer clothes in multiple layers for game drives in open vehicles. For the safari element jungle greens, khaki and browns are recommended.

Where does the donation go?
The donations will be used to take tribal children into the Park, to purchase camera traps for the monitoring of tigers and other mammals in the buffer zones of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, and for providing essential health care to villagers. 

 
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