Nemophilist: One who is fond of forest or forest scenery. Discover your inner nemophilist in the magical forests of India. Get to know the depths of these lush green jungles and the wild and beautiful flora and fauna that inhabit it.
Picture yourself walking through landscapes that are filled with the most vibrant species of exotic birds, or on the back of a jeep, your eyes deep in concentration as you try to focus on the majestic tiger crouching behind the bushes. Exploring these ancient forests is an exciting, exhilarating and always surprising experience. India is filled with wildlife sanctuaries and it doesn’t matter which one you choose to explore because each one has the capacity of charming you in its own unique way. There are a variety of ways you can choose to explore. In some forests, you can walk jungle trails while in others you can go on safaris or spot game from the back of a 4x4 jeep. Then there are the forests that have water ways and invite you to explore their depths on boats big and small so that you can watch animals come to watering holes and lie around restfully in the day without disturbing them. There are parks and reserves in virtually every state of the country. However, the better known ones are the larger ones simply because of the variety of wildlife they contain. These include the Corbett National Park, Bandhavgarh, Gir, Kanha, Kaziranga, Ranthambore and Sunderbans National Parks. Bear in mind that you are unlikely to catch any major sightings through the monsoon, so the rains are best avoided. The peaks of the summer are also when animals prefer to keep to the shade, although you may catch some precious moments as they advance towards watering holes. The milder months are ideal to visit any of the parks in the country. February and May are the ideal months to maximise your chances of viewing the animals. If you are looking to visit a bird park, it’s worth noting that the water birds nest between August and October, making this the best period to go birding. Before heading to a wildlife park ensure that you read up on the habitat, and also the behaviour patterns of the animals. This not only helps with the sightings, but also enhances your safety. Carry plenty of medication and first aid, and also some rope, a pen knife and torch. Take with you plenty of mosquito repellent cream, swathe yourself with sunscreen and never ever feed the animals or try to attract their attention. It is best to travel with an experienced guide who will look out for you, and also take you on the best paths to ensure you enjoy as many sightings as possible. He is also the best resource for you to gain insights into the folklore surrounding the park. Finally and importantly, make sure you head off into the forests with a reliable operator who gives all the necessary importance to the environment and to safety, both yours and the jungle’s.