Named after the river which meanders through the park from north to south, Pench came under the umbrella of Project Tiger in 1992. It is made up of a core area of 299 km² and a buffer zone of 464km². Situated in Madhya Pradesh to the south of the Satpura hills in central India the rolling terrain is dominated by mixed deciduous forest, teak and small areas of open grassland. With such variety of habitat Pench supports a high density of herbivores such as chital and sambar deer, important prey species of tiger, as well as large herds of gaur (Indian Bison), packs of wild dog and more than 170 species of birds.
The BBC’s Spy in the Jungle series was filmed here and Pench now operates a strict route system on morning and afternoon game drives which is working well to manage visitor pressure. Just a couple of hour’s drive from the airport at Nagpur, en route to Kanha and between Tadoba and Satpura parks, Pench is a good starting point for a wildlife tour of rural central India and also helps to break up long journeys between other parks.