The famous Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve has become the first tiger reserve in India with a balloon ride over it. Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Vijay Shah launched the project officially last Friday. The Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for the large population of royal Bengal tigers, white tigers, leopards and deer. The mix of tropical forest, grasslands and Sal trees provides a home to various bird species, including eagles. To the south are the remains of the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort.
“One more adventure has been added for tourists coming to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve with the launch of the hot air balloon wildlife safari. It is the first in any tiger reserve in the country. Now, like Africa’s forests, tourists in India will also enjoy hot air balloon wildlife safari”, Shah said, after inaugurating the new service by taking a ride.
He also said that the balloon safari would be a double adventure for those visiting Bandhavgarh. Shah added that aerial views of animals, including tigers and leopards, would also be possible. This is in line with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s view of Buffer Mem Safar. After the maiden hot air balloon ride above the buffer zone in reserve, the initiative is expected to go a long way in promoting tourism in the region, as per the officials’ calculations. They also think that the project will also attract more tourists to the state.
It is the first tiger sanctuary in the country to conduct a hot air balloon safari. Now that tourists can enjoy such a ride like the forests of Africa. The Chief Minister has also mentioned that the state plans to set up such services at Kanha, Pench, and Panna tiger sanctuaries. Skywalts, the country’s first fully licensed balloon operator and a government-approved commercial hot air balloon operator, is reportedly taking the helm of the trip.
The Forest Minister added that all steps had been taken to ensure visitors and animals’ safety. He assured that the balloon operator would be allowed to provide service from a safe altitude, and landing and take-off would be allowed only within the buffer zone.