Priya Sivaram: A ride with the Wild

We had the pleasure of meeting Priya Sivaram, a true wildlife enthusiast and nature lover. Bring out the animal lover in you and dive into this conversation over a cuppa with Priya Sivaram as she takes us through her trip at the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagpur.

Archita – Hey Priya! When did you visit the Wildlife Sanctuary?

Priya – We were over there around the New Year. We went on the 31st of December and celebrated our New Year’s over there.

A – Oh wonderful! So did they do something special around the new year?

P – They had a bonfire. Usually, during winters at night, they have bonfires in their resort and everybody sits around it and exchanges their stories. As such they had nothing special for New Year, it was just a quiet evening below the canopy of a star-filled sky.

A – That sounds delightful. So why did you choose to go to a sanctuary? Are you an animal lover?

P – Yes! Very much! My husband and I are wildlife enthusiasts. In fact, we try to visit at least 4-5 wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the year. Before Nagzira, we had been to this place called Umred, which is a tiger sanctuary. Umred is also near Nagpur. It’s about an hour’s drive from Nagpur. So we were there from 24th to 27th of December. After coming back, we left for Nagzira on 31st December and came back on the 4th of January. A – Wow that’s a lot of travelling! How was the weather like in January?

P – It was the first week of January so it was pretty cold. We were told that a week earlier it was a lot colder but by then the temperatures had risen a bit. So we were slightly lucky to get better weather.

A – What was your mode of transportation? What were the accommodations like?

P – We went from Mumbai to Nagpur by air and from Nagpur, we took a car straight to Nagzira. It’s a 2 and a half to 3 hours drive from Nagpur. The place we stayed at was a tented camp. And when I say tented, I mean just the skeleton of a tent. It had proper flooring, furniture and even a toilet inside! It’s called Nagzira Nature camp and it’s run by Amit Sharma. They have around ten to twelve tents there.

A – So it must be fun sitting around the bonfire every night. Did you talk to get to talk to other people about their experiences?

P – Yes. All the guests generally sit around the fire and discuss the day’s events and also share each other’s wildlife experiences.

A – So how did you prepare for the travel? Any specific research that paid off?

P – Yes! It is very important to get your facts right before such trips. My husband did most of that. We found out the best time to go there and then there are TripAdvisor and a lot of other websites where you get to know in detail about all the decent places to stay. Also, we keep a track of the areas where the tiger sightings have been good and try to go to those zones in the forest. As for packing, we took binoculars and caps with us, which really helped.

A – What kind of animals did you see there?

P – Tigers are the main attraction. There are also leopards, sloth bears, Jackals and then there are a lot of herbivores like the spotted deer, sambhars, Indian gaurs. We also saw various reptiles and insects.

A – And you saw all of them? Because I heard you went to seven or eight safaris.

P – Yes we did. Generally, when we go to a wildlife park we do a minimum of six drives.

A -The most memorable experience in Nagzira?

P – See, nothing surpasses seeing a tiger. When you see a tiger that’s an amazing experience. In one of the drives, we were around ten to twelve jeeps, waiting on the road as one of the vehicles had seen a tiger cross a dry river bed and disappear into a thicket nearby. We were all trying to look for any kind of movement in that area which would give away the tiger’s location. We weren’t able to get a proper view from where our vehicle was standing, so we moved ahead a little. We were all focusing ahead when suddenly we looked behind and the tiger walked past, crossing the road. So ours was the only jeep which actually saw the tiger. It was a very very memorable experience. A – You have been to so many safaris, are there always so many people?

P – Most of the wildlife parks are crowded throughout the year except for the times when the parks are shut like during the rains. We went to a place called Jamtara in Pench. That was the only resort in that area. So when we saw a tiger there, ours was the only jeep around. But otherwise wherever we’ve gone, unless we’ve been really lucky to be the only ones to be there, there’s always a crowd.

A – So did it ever happen to you that you swayed from the tracks or something like that?

P – No, the forest rules are very strict regarding staying in the zone that has been allotted to you. Also if you enjoy and love wildlife you’ll never do anything like that. 20% of the forest is open to the public. The other 80% is called the core area where vehicles are not allowed.

A – What do you think made this trip a successful and memorable experience?

P – We really liked the resort and we had a very nice naturalist called Amit Dongre. He has grown up in these forests and knows them inside out. So it depends a lot on the naturalist – if the naturalist is good then the whole trip becomes very very interesting.

A – Any tips for people who are going to Nagzira? Something that you learned from your experiences that you’d like to share?

P – Wildlife is very unpredictable actually and if you’re focusing only on the tiger there’s a chance you’ll be disappointed. Tigers are solitary animals – so it can be really difficult to spot them. Also one needs to do a minimum of four to five drives inside the forest to be able to see a variety of its inhabitants. And then again the forest has so much to offer. Every time you go to the forest there’s something new you’ll see. Nature is amazing, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open.

A – It was an absolute pleasure to meet you! Do tell me about your future trips and wishing you happy travels!



Our history goes all the way back to early 50s. Prrem and Aloo Vazirani – an accomplished couple who chased after their wanderlust bug. She was a doctor, he was a businessman, and both were filled with a desire to explore the world.

Hello Traveller!

Don't leave just yet!

Our travel clothing will take your wanderlust to the next level.

Claim your RS.500/- coupon now.

Simply fill in below to unlock this exclusive offer.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

The Kosha Journal will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.