The Hidden Secret of The Buffer Zones

We often get asked by guests while planning their Indian safari holiday… What is the “Core Area” and the “Buffer Area” of the national park and whether it is worth visiting the buffers?

So… What is the difference between the “Core” and the “Buffer” and why are most of the parks across the country, divided into these zones?

The “Core” forms the Critical Tiger Habitat, where there are very strict rules and regulations in place to protect tigers and wildlife in this area. Entry and exit of vehicles and people is highly controlled and nobody can enter this zone without a permit. There is constant patrolling and monitoring by the forest department to ensure that the rules are followed.

The “Buffer” is the area surrounding the “Core”.  They are created to control man – animal conflict, as a lot of the neighbouring villages still depend on the forests for their livelihood.  Here, the villagers are still allowed to graze their cattle in certain areas and to fell wood. The buffers, also help create a community-based conservation effort, as a large part of the buffer permit fees go to the villagers surrounding those areas. This not only encourages them to protect the jungle’s flora and fauna but also provides an alternate means of income.

The “Buffer” areas are generally not frequented by tourists under the assumption of not being part of the park and having no animals. However, this is not true. Having gone on many safaris in these areas, we can tell you from immense experience, that the buffers are the hidden jewels of the Indian jungles.

Tadoba National Park is blessed with rich buffer areas having amazing wildlife.  In Tadoba’s buffer areas, we have had the good fortune of seeing some amazing wildlife with almost no other safari vehicles, giving us the feel of a private game reserve and thus making the safari experience special. We have been lucky to spot leopards, bears, gaurs, wild dogs and even the tiger.

The next time you plan your safari holiday to Tadoba National Park, we would highly recommend taking at least a few drives in the buffer areas.

Here are a few photos and videos from our visits to the different buffer zones of the Tadoba National Park.


If you have a question or want help planning your safari to Tadoba and its various buffer zones,  call us or email at:

Phone: +91 9833867127

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