The forests and grasslands of the Corbett National Park

The Corbett National park and surrounding forests are in the foothills of the Himalayas. The area is mainly covered in large natural teak forests on steep sided valleys through which run various water courses. The rivers are in full spate during the monsoon season making the area virtually impassable, with the summer bridges through the park removed prior to the monsoons to preserve the timbers and stones for the following year.

The forests are thick with trees although surprisingly thin in vegetation below the tree level in most cases. I say surprising, but perhaps if one thinks about it the leaves high up in the trees are catching most of the sunlight preventing the species on the ground floor from receiving the all important sunlight.

There are grasslands which have thick tall grasses, where wild life can seek shelter during the daylight hours. This tends to be a very goo area for wildlife sightings and the search for the tiger in particular.

The numbers of people going to view the wildlife is strictly controlled as the park is managed on the basis that the wildlife come first. Indeed there is an inner core area of the park where no visitors are allowed. It is reserved for the animals alone. The park officials are very strict by only allowing the vehicles to remain on the roads. If you deviate even a few feet off the road trying to get a better view of an animal you run the risk of being thrown out of the park. Our Guide was extremely conscious to make sure that he did not break any of the rules as his licence to operate (and hence his livelihood) was in jeopardy.