The Ranakpur-Kumbhalgarh forest reserve is a treat for nature lover's. Nestled in the lap of the Aravallis, this reserve is one of the few destinations in North India which offers sightings of the elusive leopard. Mana Hotels has identified 3 - 4 locations in the reserve which offer the highest chance of sighting the animal and they are all located within a 1 hour drive from the hotel. The landscape is primarily rocky without any vegetation. This makes the sightings very clear and enjoyable. Mana Hotels works closely with the Forest Department which has in depth information about this region to ensure that the guests have enjoyable experience with the highest possibility of sighting the leopard.
Bera or Jawai: This is the most well known location for Leopard sightings in the region. Located 58 km from Mana Hotels, guests have to drive to Bera village in a hired or their own vehicle. Once at the destination, they will be transferred to a Jeep for the safari. The landscape is rocky with several hillocks making the experience adventurous. Since this is a large area, the sightings may happen from near or far depending on your luck!
Perwa: is a small village located just 32 from Mana Ranakpur. It is a very unusual location for a leopard habitat as the sightings happen on a single hill located adjacent to a village. It is hard to believe that the leopards and villagers live in such close proximity to each other without any conflict. Dont let the civilized setting of this location deceive you as Perwa offers some of the most spectacular close range views of the leopard in this region. In addition, you can cover the entire journey in a open gypsy to enhance your experience.
Chhoda: Located just 13km from Mana Hotels, this location is great for thrill seekers. With many rocky patches and undulating landscape, the Jeep ride itself is an adventure. Apart from high chances of sighting the leopard, there is a small water body in this area which is inhabited by some local crocodiles. If you are lucky, you could spot some of these as well. The forest jeeps pick you up from Mana Hotels for this adventurous ride.
Panchalwara: This area located 24 km from Mana Hotels has some light foliage and forest cover giving it a look and feel of a forest. In addition, the rocky hillocks in the area add excitement to the open gypsy rides. There is a good chance of the leopard sightings happening from close range in Panchalwara.
Timings: The leopard safari departures take place at 2 times from Mana Hotels. The morning departure is at 6:30 a.m. and the afternoon departure is at 3:30 p.m..
Covering a total area of 578 kilometres of the desert landscape, the Ranakpur Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary in Rajasthan is home to a wide variety of animals including some endangered species. The animals that inhabit the sanctuary include wolf, nilgai, jackal, jungle cat, leopards, four-horned antelope, sloth bear, hyena, chinkara, sambhar and hare. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October to June. But if you can bear the heat, come during the summer months. Because of the scarcity of water, it will be easier to spot the animals near the water bodies.
An equally vivid bird life exists at the Ranakpur Kumbhalgarh sanctuary. Birds that can be seen in the sanctuary include the grey jungle fowl, dove, parakeets, peacocks, golden oriole, grey pigeons, bulbul and white breasted kingfisher.
Jeep Safari’s and Jungle Treks are good ways to explore this national reserve.