Nestled in the heart of India, Pench National Park spans across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, offering a captivating haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Renowned as the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book," this biodiverse sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park is characterised by dense forests, serene rivers, and vast meadows, creating an ideal habitat for species like tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and a plethora of bird species. Safaris through Pench National Park provides a unique opportunity to witness these creatures in their natural habitat while immersing oneself in the enchanting landscapes that inspired one of literature's most beloved tales.

During the peak safari season in winter, Pench National Park draws a multitude of tourists, and to cater to the growing interest, the destination has expanded its offerings beyond traditional game drives. In West Pench, Kolitmara has recently introduced hot air balloon rides, providing a novel experience for nature enthusiasts. Visitors to Kolitmara can now revel in panoramic views of forested hills, expansive farmlands, and the meandering River Pench from the skies. Situated amidst this picturesque landscape, the reserve not only features jungle safaris but also offers boat rides on the backwaters of Pench Dam. Spotting tigers is a rare delight, and observing them from the air adds an exciting dimension to the experience. Kolitmara stands poised to be the first tiger reserve in the country to incorporate adventure sports within its buffer zone, introducing paramotoring and hot-air balloon tourism, marking a pioneering initiative in adventure tourism within a tiger reserve.

About Hot-Air Balloon and Paramotoring

Nestled along the Pench River, Kolitmara has often lived in the shadow of Sillari in the east, a preferred destination for tiger sightings among tourists. However, capitalizing on its natural beauty, Kolitmara is carving its niche as an adventure hub, providing a distinct viewpoint of the expansive blue sky and its surroundings. Pench's Deputy Director, Prabhu Nath Shukla, highlights the allure of Kolitmara, surrounded by dense forests and tribal villages, creating a picturesque backdrop for thrilling adventures. The supervision of paramotoring flights and hot air balloon rides ensures a safe experience. Paramotoring involves a one-on-one experience with the pilot, while hot air balloon rides accommodate groups of up to four individuals, enhancing the allure of Kolitmara as an emerging adventure destination.

The local advisory committee, led by Nagpur Division Commissioner Vijayalakshmi Bidari, has granted approval for the adventure sports project within the buffer zones of Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. The official launch of paramotoring and hot air balloon tourism in Kolitmara, which took place in the last week of December, positioned Pench as a potential trailblazer, becoming the first tiger reserve in India to cater to such adventure tourism within its buffer zone. Financed by the District Ecotourism Fund, the project is anticipated to generate employment for 15 locals and is a collaborative effort between Maharshi Adventure Sports, Gondia, and the Kolitmara Eco-development Committee.

Visitors can now relish the panoramic beauty surrounding the River Pench from an elevated perspective, capturing the allure of dense forests, tribal communities, and the picturesque landscape of Kolitmara. Positioned on the opposite bank of the Pench River from Sillari in east Pench, Kolitmara often goes unnoticed as tourists predominantly flock to Sillari for tiger sightings. Nevertheless, the scenic richness and natural splendour of Kolitmara are now accessible to tourists, who can experience the vast open sky and the surrounding beauty through activities like paramotoring and hot air balloon rides.