Karera Wildlife Sanctuary located at the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is recognised for being the only remaining refuge of the Indian bustard. The Sanctuary is largely dry and rocky and the only water source is Dihaila Jheel lake which is entirely rain fed. The lake is a source of life for both the bird and animal life and the Dihila village that lives across the park. The Sanctuary is located close to the Madhav National Park at a distance of approximately 55 kilometers from the Shivpuri region. It was notified in 1981 as a sanctuary. It is scattered over an area measuring 202 sq kms.
The vegetation at Karera is largely reverie and swamp with scatters of mixed deciduous forests. No trees except acacia are found here though ber bushes and other wild plants are found in abundance.
Main Attractions: Studies conducted showed that there are three types of the endangered bustards in the park which are Indian bustard, bearded bustard and colored bustard. You can hire a jeep safari to explore the park. Besides the bustards, blackbuck is the other celebrity animal of the sanctuary. As per the last count, there were 2000 of them from just a lowly 100 in the 1980's. Another interesting animal you will come across is the Indian gazelle.
The Sanctuary is inhabited by as many as 245 different species of birds and many more migratory birds during the winter. Water birds such as egrets, spoonbills and black-bellied river terns also live here. Other birds found here are herons, Indian robins, pintails, teals, and gadwalls as also insects like dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies.
When To Go: Karera Wildlife Sanctuary experiences tropical climate. The best time to visit is during the winter season from November to February. Summers from April to mid July get extremely hot while the monsoon from July to mid September gets very wet.
How To Get There: Gwalior about 150 kms away is the nearest airport while the nearest railhead is Jhansi which is at a distance of 44 kms. Karera is well connected by road with Shivpuri and Jhansi.
Where To Stay: There is a Forest Department guesthouse inside the Sanctuary. Alternatively, there are lodges and rest houses close to the park but if you are looking for a more luxurious option there are quite a few good hotels in Shivpuri or Jhani.