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Home » Travel » Latest News

An Indian safari at Gorewada Forest

By 2015, wildlife enthusiasts would be able to comfortably enjoy an Indian safari, replete with animals such as leopards, blackbucks and chinkaras, driving barely 7 km from Nagpur.

The 1,914-hectare Gorewada Reserve Forest is being rapidly developed as a zoo and safari by the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM), a wholly-owned company of the Maharashtra Government.

Over Rs 700 crore would be required for developing the forest.

Commercial and tourism-related activities around the forest will be carried out by a public-private project (PPP) company in which FDCM will hold 51 per cent equity. The PPP will also receive Rs 100 crore in viability gap funding from the Centre and State Government.

An official of FDCM told Business Line that tourists would be able to enjoy the Indian safari by travelling in customised vehicles.

VARIOUS HABITATS

They would first encounter a specially designed desert habitat with chinkaras, wild asses and blackbucks, and then proceed to a site similar to the Indian woodland and forest habitats.

In these areas they would encounter animals like sambar, nilgai and gaur.

Predators like the leopard would be kept in a safe enclosure, while Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceroses and sloth bears would be kept in huge enclosures surrounded by a safety moat, the official said.

AFRICAN SAFARI, TOO

An African Safari is also on the cards, to be set up after the Indian safari is well established in the forest.

Tourists would be able to see big African animals like the giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest and ostrich roaming in surroundings similar to the African Savannas.

Carnivores like the African lion and wild dog would also be kept in moated enclosures, the official added.

The Maharashtra Forest Secretary, Praveen Pardeshi, told Business Line that work had already commenced at the site and areas like the 21-km forest walk had already been set up.

The Central Zoo Authority had approved a master plan for creating an international-standard zoo at Gorewada, he added.

A tender had also been called for appointing international consultants, who would guide in creating a detailed project report, Pardeshi added.

The report would be sent to the Centre for approval. It is an incremental project, and will be developed in phases.

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