Guwahati, Nov 1: Elephant safaris have been put on the roll for the tourists in the current season at Kohora Range of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Tiger Reserve in Upper Assam on Sunday eleven days after the park reopened on October 21 for tourists.
The UNESCO world heritage site has been closed for tourists since March in view of the COVID-19 pandemic besides floods in the subsequent period.
The park had resumed only jeep safari services in two ranges - Kohora and Bagori – during its reopening on October 21 while keeping the elephant rides suspended briefly.
“We have resumed the elephant safaris this morning with only 10 elephants. The number of rides will be enhanced on the basis of the response in the coming days,” Kaziranga National Park Director P. Sivakumar told the media on Sunday.
“As against 100 percent booking (for 40 seats per day under Kohora range) for the elephant safaris, only 37 seats have been allowed for occupancy by adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols,” Sivakumar said.
The KNP director further informed that privately-owned elephants would subsequently be allowed to undertake safaris at the Bagori range of the park after November 10.
“Some parts of the flood-hit Bagori range have to be cleared which is why we have taken some time to allow private elephant safaris to operate there,” he said.
Tourists from both Assam and outside the state, including foreign tourists, have thronged in large numbers since the park reopened eleven days back.
“Cheering news to start the day with as @kaziranga_ authority has restarted the much awaited elephant safari from today. Welcome you all to get amazed at the majestic Kaziranga,” tweeted Assam Environment and Forest Officer, Parimal Suklavaidya.
Meanwhile, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary under Kaziranga Tiger Reserve was reopened for 2020-21 tourist season on Saturday Director.
The KNP authority, meanwhile, geared up to reopen Agoratoli and Burapahar Ranges of the Park Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve for tourist season 2020-21. All bridges and roads within those ranges which were damaged due to flood, are being repaired in the war footing.