Taj Safaris has launched a new conservation initiative offering naturalist walks with members of the Pardhi tribe in India’s Panna National Park.
The hotelier, which is part of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, has been working with the Pardhi community to train them as naturalist guides who will be leading walking safaris through the park, which is famous for its tigers.
The Pardhi tribe used to be involved in poaching leading to tigers nearly disappearing from the park in Madhya Pradesh a decade ago. But this changed following the implementation of strict anti-poaching laws allowing the tiger population to recover to reach numbers as high as 45.
Training members of the tribe to become jungle guides is creating a new way for them to make a living – 20 Pardhis have now fully qualified as guides.
The Walk with the Pardhis experience will be available for guests staying at Taj’s Pashan Garh lodge when the park reopens on 16 October.
Nagendra Singh Hada, area director of Taj Safaris, said: “We have harnessed the three Ts – tigers, tribes and tourism – to create a successful sustainable initiative.
“Taj Safaris is celebrating the Pardhis’ natural affinity with the forest by teaching them to use their skills to conserve their fragile eco-system, ultimately creating a new livelihood for the tribe in the tourism industry.”