How to Prepare for Khangchendzonga National Park Safari (Complete Guide)

You want to prepare yourself for the magnificent wildlife safari at Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim, India. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or travelling with your family, these are the necessary things you need to know.

Carrying necessary supplies and planning well in advance for the trip is the best thing to do. For an amazing experience, it is best to know the right time and ways to reach there. Whether you are Indian or not, make sure to have the necessary permits for restricted Areas.

Wildlife safari lets you connect with the beautiful part of nature. The national park in Sikkim, India, has unique, beautiful parts of nature to explore and give you some amazing experiences. However, you want to prepare for your adventure properly, so below, we have provided details to help you in the journey.

Getting there

Kanchenjunga national park has a good network of infrastructure that connects it with some major cities, airports, and railway stations. The nearby cities offer a wide range of public and private transport within or beyond the city. If you decided to travel by air, then the nearest airport is situated at Bagdogra in Darjeeling. Some popular flight carriers like Indigo, Go Air, Air Asia, and Air India operate from Bagdogra. You need to travel to Gangtok by road via cab, bus or private vehicle from the airport. You can also rent bikes to experience the amazing views of our Himalayas.

Railway service is also available at New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Junction, 120 km away from Gangtok. A 4-5 hours bus journey is available from the railway station using highway NH 31A (Sevok – Gangtok). The nearest towns are Yuksom in the west and Chungtum in the north, both within 20 km from the park.

How to reach the kanchenjunga national park from Gangtok

There are different ways to reach Gangtok, and the same can be used to travel ahead. The most common and easy way is to get a taxi or cab for the 45.9 Km journey to the park. Private vehicles and other mediums are also available depending on your hired travel agency. Public bus service is available, but the timings and frequency are not fixed. Renting vehicles are immerging as an exciting option but make sure you have the proper guidance. A taxi is the safest and convenient option to choose, as you can also pre-book it for your trip.

Before you book your tickets, it was always a good idea to know the ideal time to visit the park.

  • Spring season (April to mid-May)/ In Winters from September till Mid-December
  • 6:30 am morning to 12:00 noon
  • Evening 3 pm to 6 pm
  • Sunday Closed

Although the park is open 24 hours, it’s better to go in the daytime to have better visibility and security from wildlife animals.

Distance between major cities and the park:

CitiesDistance from Park
Gangtok45.9 Km
Darjeling66 Km
Yulsom34.3 Km
Lecham23 Km
Chungthang32.5 Km
Delhi1085 Km

Fees and Charges

IndianINR 350/ per head for first 7 days (40 for additional days)
ForeignersINR 560/ Per Head for first 7 days (80 for additional days)
StudentsINR 80/ Per head for first 7 days (20 for additional days)
GuideINR 10 per day
Tent pitchingINR 50 per day
Bed Charges in Log HutINR 100 per day
Still Camera (Simple)INR 30/-
Video cameraINR 1000/-
For Movie or Professional camerasINR 35000/-
*All the prices above are in Indian Rupees Only

Accommodation:  Park has forest rest houses of 20 people’s capacity with pre-booking required at forest officer office. Many hotels and restaurants are available at Gangtok, Pelling, Lachen, Mangen, and other nearby Towns. Jungle Camps and resorts are also available depending on your need within or beyond the town and close to the park.

Tips while making a Checklist for your wildlife safari

Paperwork: Non-Indian residents need permits to visit restricted areas from the state wildlife department, while Indians need to obtain inner line permits. Also, your Passport, visa, and travel insurance are essential. Always treat them as your babies during your journey. Keeping a small notebook with emergency contacts is recommended.

Clothing: Please make sure your skin is well covered with warm & quick-dry clothes.  The weather is pleasant in summer, but in winter, it falls below 0 degrees Celsius. During Spring, Warm, lighter colour and airy clothing are ideal for avoiding being bitten by mosquitos. Also, make sure to have durable shoes with other accessories.

Electronic gadgets: Sharing experiences through social media or capturing memories can be possible only if you carry a proper camera and other accessories. Do not forget spare batteries, memory cards, and portable chargers for your trips, as they can make or break your whole experience.

Medication: A small first aid kit consisting of bandages, scissors, mosquito repellent, or anti-bacterial cream some hygiene items are recommended. These items need to be carried in something, and a waterproof bag would be perfect. To move efficiently and with comfort in the hills, it’s always better before you start the journey at least try lifting your bag with a full load to compensate for its weight.

People make the top mistakes of not carrying essential items like water, medical supplies, proper clothing, and bug repellent. Please make sure to double check, also carrying these items in a dustproof bag will be perfect. You also want to carry it efficiently during your trip with comfort, making sure to fit these within a balanced weight bag pack.

Kanchenjunga national park is famous for: Its Innumerable flora and fauna and has an amazing diversity of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, plains, rivers, dense forests, and lakes. The Park is home to almost 18 Glaciers, including the popular Zemu Glacier, and has 17 alpine lakes. With a unique ecosystem, it is situated at the heart of 19 mountains of our Himalayas.

What to expect?

Kanchenjunga National Park, a mixed heritage declared by UNESCO, has unique natural vegetation and wildlife species diversity. Due to its moderate climate with temperatures ranging from 10-28 Celsius during spring, that is ideal for natural habitats.

Kanchenjunga National Park animals (Fauna):

The Khangchendzonga national park is home to six magnificent cat species (Snow leopard, clouded leopard, Jungle cat, Golden Cat, Leopard, and Leopard Cat). Some endangered species like Red Panda, Himalayan Blue sheep, Black bear, civets, barking deer, Marmont monkey, Himalayan Yak, Himalayan tahr, and snow leopard. These are hard to see by, but if you are lucky enough, there is a high probability of getting their glimpse. The Region is a habitat of some dangerous snakes like Russell’s viper and rat snakes.

Flora:

The forest in the reserve is rich in biodiversity mainly because of its climate. The vegetation found in the park includes alpine scrub, mixed coniferous forest, temperate broad-leaved trees, and many more. The most found species in the forest are birch, conifer, fir, maple, oaks, and willow. The khangchendzonga national park host 1/3rd of India’s flowering plants like rhododendrons, rare orchids, and primula. Herbal and medicinal plants with over 422 species like picrorhiza and rheum emodi are common and easily found in the area.

Aviflora:

Around 550 species of birds are in Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, and in 2016 a new species of Himalayan Forest thrush is found scientifically called Zoothera salimalii.  The most important birds include Sunbird, Himalayan Bearded-Vulture, Forest Eagle-Owl, Tibetan Horned or Eagle-Owl, Himalayan Golden Eagle, Satyr Tragopan, Lammergeier, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Tibetan Snow Cock, Black Eagle.

Now that you know about the Kanchenjunga national park, you can start your safari, and it’s a fantastic adventure. You make sure you are well prepared for the trip, and with the proper preparation, you will enjoy a much better experience as long as you have permits from the state chief wildlife warden and inner line permits for Indian tourists. Carry proper supplies, and you will be more than ready to tackle any difficulties, so preparation is key.

Some other attractions near the park:

Goechala (exploring Highest mountain Passes)
Chaam (Witness the Traditional dance performance by lamas)
Yuksam (coronation Throne valley and its village)

Some Important Contact information of Khangchendzonga National Park:

There is no specific website for kanchenjunga national park. You can find all the park related details on (www.sikkimforest.gov.in & www.sikenvis.nic.in ) the official website of Forest and Environment Department (formerly Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department) Government of Sikkim Deorali, Gangtok 737102, Tel/Fax: 03592-280381 Website: www.sikenvis.nic.in

For permission and further queries, you can write an application addressed to ACS-PCCF cum Chief Wildlife Warden, Forest and Environment Department, Government of Sikkim, and mail it pccf-fewd@sikkim.gov.in 

Mailing Address:

ACS -cum- PCCF

Forest and Environment Department

Government of Sikkim

Forest Secretariat

Deorali – 737102

Gangtok, East Sikkim Email: pccf-fewd@sikkim.gov.insik@envis.nic.in
Tel(O): 03592 -281877
Fax: 03592 – 281778

Here is the List of IFS Officers – Sikkim Cadre, SFS Officers, Other Officers with contact details- Forest Directory 2021

Final Thoughts

The Khangchendzonga National Park Safari seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. Aside from Animals and Nature, there are numerous places here waiting to be explored.

Make sure you plan to travel with a group and give yourself time to enjoy the experience fully.