I have booked a trip to the Corbett National Park next weekend. Despite my aversion for package trips, I had opted for a package trip this time. The main reason for taking a package is that the trip ensures confirmed accommodation at the Dhikala Forest Rest House (FRH), which is 35 km inside the park.
The package is offered by KMVN
, an agency of Utrranchal Tourism. Being a Govt. agency, they only offer accommodation in the FRHs located deep inside the park. If you have a look at the map of CNP, you will observe that the park is divided into 3 zones : the Core Zone, the Buffer Zone and the Tourist Zone. The packages offered by private operators are for resorts located in the buffer zone, which is actually is on the periphery of the park. Therefore, if you take a private package, you have almost nil chance of getting into Dhikala zone which is part of core zone. All that you will have to satisfy is with trips to smaller ranges in tourist zone like Jhirna and Birjani. But I feel, if you do not get to stay inside the jungle or get a chance to visit the core zone, there is very little adventure.
The 2N/3D package ex-Delhi is all inclusive. The rate is Rs.5000/- plus taxes @3.22% for adult. It includes transportation from Delhi by car / coach, all veg meals, accommodation at Dhikala FRH and safaris. I went to the KMVN Office located at Barakhamba Road, CP, New Delhi, looking to book accommodation only. But when I heard of the details of the package, I had no second thought. The package frees me from many headaches such as booking train tickets, collecting gate passes at Ramnagar and then bargain prices for hiring a jeep for 3 days. One piece of information is that all passes for CNP are issued at the CTR Office located almost opposite the Ramnagar bus stand. The Dhanagiri gate that takes you into the core zone areas is 18 km from the town.
CNP had its own website which was very informative. Unfortunately it had been hacked. However, the KMVN site has some of the information from the old site. You can check out the site. The rates have not been updated. But as of now I highly recommend this package. I will share my experiences on return.