One of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India, Kaziranga National Park famous for its majestic one-horned rhinoceros, is all set to open for tourists on October 21, a day ahead of Durga Puja celebrations after a gap of almost eight months because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. It is said to be the longest shutdown in its 112-year history.
“This is the longest period of closure for KNPTR. Usually, the park remains closed from the end of May because of annual floods. However, this year, it was shut for an additional two and half months due to Covid-19,” said P Sivakumar, director, KNPTR.
According to the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) authorities the UNESCO World Heritage site would be formally inaugurated by Chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal in an opening ceremony. It has been decided that only the Kohora and Bagori ranges of the park would be reopened for tourists initially.
A new set of rules and regulations will be imposed as per the Centre’s directives upon reopening. Wearing face masks and face shields will be mandatory for the tourists as well as for the Jeep drivers, guides and other Forest employees. Only 50 per cent of the usual capacity will be allowed for Jeep Safari. However, elephant safaris won’t be allowed to operate during the first few days of the park’s reopening and may resume only from November.
All tourists will have to go through a screening process and anyone detected with Covid-19 symptoms such as abnormal body temperature or with flu will be segregated and handed over to local health authorities.