“An insight on the land of Bagheera…the melanistic leopard”
What are Black Leopards?
While many are thrilled at the sight of a black leopard, little do they know its true identity. Some even call it a black panther! This misconception is quite common.
A black panther in all sense of reality does not exist. A black leopard is primarily a melanistic leopard born to regularly spotted leopard parents. Although melanistic, the black leopard has the same pattern of spots as any other leopard. There are no solid-black big cats.
To witness this special beauty, one needs to be aware of where to find it, what are the chances of sighting it, what will it cost you to see it, and more. We’re going to help you answer all of these questions and book your Black Leopard Safari in India.
Where to find black leopards?
A Black Leopard Safari in India will be most fruitful in Nagarhole National Park.
About Nagarhole National Park:
Nagarhole National Park forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Together with Bandipur National Park, Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Wayanad, it is one of the last remaining and best-protected habitats for endangered species like the Black Leopard.
How to Reach Nagarhole National Park?
The best way to reach Nagarhole National Park for a Black Leopard Safari in India is via flight. You can take an international flight directly to Bangalore Airport (Kempegowda International Airport).
The airport is also very well connected to major destinations via domestic flights within India, for instance, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and more.
Best time for a Black Leopard Safari in India
The best time for a Black Leopard Safari in India is between the months of March and April. A 06-08 day stay is recommended for having the best possible chances of spotting this elusive cat.
Nagarhole is known for it’s Canter Safaris. This is conducted twice per day – in the morning & in the afternoon. The canter can accommodate around 15 – 20 people at once.
The population of Black Leopards in India
While the exact number has not been documented, Black Leopards are increasingly making their presence felt across parks other than Nagarhole National Park. There have even been sightings of this melanistic cat in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Tamil nadu), Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra), Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary (Goa), Silent Valley National Park (Kerala), Manas/Kaziranga National Park (Assam) and even Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh).
Black Leopard Safari in India – A bespoke tour by Nature Safari India
The black leopard safari in India is a simple 06 Nights/07 Days itinerary that follows the following tour plan:
- Day 01 : Arrive Bangalore (Flight)
- Day 02 : Bangalore – Nagarhole (flight + 270 kms/6.5 hrs drive)
- Day 03 – 06 : In Nagarhole National Park
- Day 07 : Nagarhole – Bangalore Fly Back (270 kms/6.5 hrs drive)
This black leopard safari in India also gives you the opportunity to not only witness the enigmatic cat, but a broad diversity of Indian Wildlife, some of which are:
- Royal Bengal Tiger: The Royal Bengal Tiger is considered by many naturalists as one of the most powerful apex predators. You catch a glimpse of this big cat in action at the Nagarhole National Park.
- Asian Elephant: It is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. They inhabit dry to wet forest and grassland habitats in 13 range countries. Asian elephants have adapted to surviving on resources that vary based on the area.
- Giant Squirrel: These four-pound tree dwellers, native to India, have an unusual method for storing their food. Instead of storing nuts and seeds in larders underground, Indian giant squirrels create caches of food high up in the treetops.
- Birding in Nagarhole/Kabini: Nagarhole National Park is also an IBA – Important Bird Area and over 300 bird species are recorded here including some of the endemics of South India. Southern India is the land of endemics, with species found only in the area – celebrated are the Birds, Reptiles, and the Amphibians which are simply beautiful and rather unique.
While touring the black leopard safari in India, one can always astray to a dedicated birding tour in the western ghats. The Western Ghats is one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. It’s a land gifted with undulating tropical forests, rolling tea estates and stunning shola forests. It is this diversity in the landscape and the ecology of the rainforest that has given rise to enthralling endemics that are on everyone’s wish list. The Birding in Western Ghats tour is curated as a celebration to many of these remarkable beings: From The Malabar Whistling Thrush, the White-bellied Minivet, Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the Sri Lanka Frogmouth to the exquisite Malabar Trogon, the Indian Pitta and the Great Hornbill.
FAQs about the Black Leopard Safari in India
- What is the best time to see Black Leopards in India? The best time to visit Nagarhole or Kabini for a Black Leopard Safari in India is between the months of October and May (non-monsoon months). While this is a generic period to witness the best of Indian Wildlife, experts say one should visit between the months of March and April to get the best possible chances of sighting the Black Leopard.
- What is Nagarhole/Kabini famous for? Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best Wildlife National Parks in India, famous for sightings of the melanistic leopard and an abundance of birdlife.
- Where can I stay on my Black leopard Safari in India? We recommend three of the best lodges for your black leopard safari in India:
- Evolve Back Kabini
- KAAV Safari Lodge
- Kabini River Lodge
- What is the cost of doing a Black Leopard Safari in India? The cost of doing a Black Leopard Safari in India greatly depends on your requirements, for instance, the number of days you wish to travel for, the number of safaris you wish to take, the number of people travelling with you, the kind of accommodation you select and more. However, to get a rough estimate, you can always check out our bespoke Black Leopard Safari Tour.
- Other than the black leopard, what other species can I witness on the black leopard safari in India? The important predators and carnivores in Nagarhole National Park are the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Ussuri dhole, Sloth bear and the striped hyena. The herbivores are chital, sambar deer, barking deer, four-horned antelope, Indian Gaur, Wild boar and Indian elephant. Other mammals include the gray langur, bonnet macaque, jungle cat, slender loris , leopard cat, civet, European otter, Indian giant flying squirrel and more. Over 250 species of birds are found at Nagarhole National Park.
- How can I book a black leopard safari in India? Please write to us on [email protected] and we can help you with multiple tiger safari India itineraries inclusive of Kabini and other destinations too.