“You sway to the left and then to the right, as the Elephant you are on trudges through the tall grass (Elephant Grass or Pennisetum Purpureum)which you can actually touch from your perch. The mahout guides the big beast through trails and thickets and orders it to stop. Stop it does – right in front of the famed INDIAN ONE HORNED RHINOCEROS with her calf ! The Rhino snorts, looks at you and decides to disappear into the thicket with its young-ling in tow.
Welcome to the Kaziranga National Park, the World Heritage Site. Its 430 sq. kms. of swamps and grasslands with tall thickets of savannah elephant grass and patches of evergreen forest support the largest number of Rhinos on the subcontinent and gives you one of the highest wildlife viewing probabilities of any wildlife park from the back of an elephant or from a four wheel drive vehicle.
BUT KAZIRANGA IS NOT ALL ABOUT RHINOS. Apart from 60% of the worlds INDIAN ONE HORNED RHINOCEROS, the Park sustains half the worlds population of genetically pure Wild Water Buffaloes, over 1000 Wild Elephants and perhaps the densest population of ROYAL BENGAL TIGERS, anywhere.
Kaziranga is also home to some 500 species of birds. It is Raptor Country, a BIRD WATCHER’S PARADISE.. The Crested Serpent Eagle, Palla’s Fishing Eagle and the Greyheaded Fishing Eagle circle the skies and the Swamp Partridge, the Barheaded Goose, the Whistling Teal and Bengal Forrican, Storks, Herons and even Pelicans play in the water.
The easy accessibility to wildlife is the secret of Kaziranga’s popularity and is almost midway between the two major cities, Guwahati and Dibrugarh amidst the undulating landscapes of world’s oldest tea gardens outside China.
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