Panna park is pristine, quiet and beautiful – one of India’s natural treasures. The tree-lined Ken River that winds through the reserve for over 55km forms the focal point of all the animal activity in Panna. Fish eagles, cormorants and darters fish and swim along the banks, and most of the animals come down at some point in the day to drink from its cool, clear waters.
Boat rides provide an opportunity to view the ruins of temples and ancient hunting lodges of the maharajas. Crocodiles, monitors and snakes bask on the riverbanks in the jungle-filtered sun.
Beyond the river, a diverse 543km2 landscape of gorges, plateaus, dry deciduous forests and grasslands support a wide diversity of wildlife. Panna is home to six species of cat – tiger (rarely sighted), leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, rusty spotted cat and caracal. Throughout the day, the grasslands are dotted with spotted chital deer, sambar and nilgai; and the denser thickets shield wild boar and monkeys. Panna is a great birding destination where more than 200 species are found, from majestic raptors such as eagles and buzzards to the enigmatic smaller birds like colourful bee-eaters and the hovering-and-diving Kingfishers.
Nearby Pandav Falls | The call of Fish Eagles along the river | Seeing Peacocks in the wild
The Ken River is renowned as one of the cleanest waterways in India