Although Kanha National Park in Central India is a conservation unit chiefly focused on the Bengal tiger but tourism plays substantial role in revenue generation. This recreation in the park is regulated and subject to terms and conditions shaped by a number of rules.
The regulations are under the advise of the Supreme Court of India and subject to be implemented at the behest of NTCA or National Tiger Conservation Authority. This body is supreme functionary of the Project Tiger Program initiated by the Government of India.
The park is divided into core or critical tiger habitat and the outer ring or buffer. Twenty percent of the core is subjected to tourism as demarcated by the local forest department. This area is subdivided into four zones and in order to visit each zone a permit is required. The permit is issued by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh. Safaris are conducted on open jeeps with capacity to seat six people on a ride inside the core. Two safaris are conducted in a day, one in the morning and the other in the evening.
The permits can be secured from MPOnline website which is portal belonging to the State Government. The prerequisite for securing permit is the ability to pay online. A well made plan as to which zone to visit in the morning or evening safari. This has to be done in advance if you are a newcomer than take suggestions from the hotel you are going to stay at in Kanha or the tour operator. There are various articles and websites available for you to go through and find out.
Once online at the portal you need to fill the form which requires you to submit personal details of yourself and those accompanying you on the jeep safari. The most important document is a passport for overseas visitors and a photo ID for Indians. These details have to be submitted during the filling of the form. While this is done you can choose the date, time and zone as well. Then followup with the payment online using credit/debit card or Internet Banking. This done your permit for that ride is secured. You can now take a print out of the permit. If you do not wish to go through the hassle of booking you can submit all details at MPOnline Kiosk and get your permits through the agent.
During the safaris you have to carry the relevant papers along with the original passport or photo ID. All co-passengers will need to do the same. On the ride you are allowed to carry a camera or a handycam/binoculars but no guns or inflammable articles.
You can hire a naturalist but a forest guide will always accompany the jeep it is compulsory at Kanha National Park. You have to keep to your zone and cannot trespass. Throughout the safari you have to remain seated on the jeep and cannot alight anywhere except at the central canteen with toilet facilities.
Remember the number of permits issued per safari are limited hence book well in advance.