Satpura is one of the few reserves in India that allows a guided walk through a section of the park. With two local guides armed with lathis, hooters and pepper spray to ward off any uninvited guests to our walking party, we set off exploring the forest! It is actually quite interesting to see the forest on foot as one can appreciate the smaller creatures of the forest floor that one would miss from the jeep. We saw the Funnel Spiders handiwork, a Diamond-backed Lizard cleverly camouflaged against the bark of a tree and were educated on the skat and dung of animals.
Along our walk we came across many Cork trees. The bark of the tree is as light as a cork. There were many Jamun trees with fresh leaves and the lovely Ghiria tree in bloom. Every now and then there was a Ghost tree (Karaya Gum Tree), eerily snaking its branches towards the sky! Also saw an Amla tree and an Achar (Chironji) tree. The blooming Mahua tree was intoxicating the air! The crown of the trees was definitely the Flame of the Forest with its beautiful orange flame flowers! This tree, also known as Palash tree, is associated with spring time. The dry forest comes alive with the vibrant orange colour of the flowers.
As the sun went down and cooled the air, we reached the point from where we started. The magical sunset as we crossed the river, cast on us a warm glow….a perfect finale to an exciting trip.