Here’s why this Odisha naturalist thinks wildlife tourism will peak now


Durgesh | (Photo: Durgesh Kumar Singh)

It’s time for wildlife tourism to shine, especially with people avoiding crowded places and escaping into the forests (like the few Bollywood celebrities who did the same for the New Years). “The other novelty offered by wildlife is a break from city life”, recalls Durgesh Kumar Singh, naturalist and founder of Myristica tours, a company that designs circuits. “Odisha’s wildlife has two aspects. First there are popular sites like Satkosia Tiger Reserve and Simlipal National Park. But I personally recommend other lesser-known places – Bhitarkanika National Park for saltwater crocodiles, the shores of Rushikulya for nesting olive groves and hatching, Bichitrapur for its mangroves, fishing cats and small fauna, etc. ”, explains the 38-year-old man.

When it comes to animal tourism, it’s the big animals like tigers and leopards that attract tourists and Odisha is for those who have seen them all and are looking for more. “It’s definitely still the best kept secret,” says Durgesh who has worked with Taj Safaris in various locations across India. And those who opt for wildlife tourism aren’t exactly looking for luxury. Clean sheets and hygienic food are what they need, as they will be outside most of the time anyway. Indeed, now is the perfect time for wildlife tourism to see the push it has been waiting for. “The lockdown has affected my customer base, those who have the time and money to explore. But we’re positive things will pick up soon,” says Durgesh who sued KIIT IT in 2005. “We have our own. bouquet to offer, which is very different from Kanha Tiger Reserve and Ranthambore National Park and people are slowly realizing that, ”he says.

He was part of the Odisha waterfalls project too

But how many of us are aware of all of this, really? Durgesh realizes this and wants to change things. Therefore, he is currently developing educational materials that will help raise awareness and educate the next generation about the treasure that is Odisha. But it’s too early to go into specifics now, so he continues to tell us what else kept him busy during the lockdown. He has hosted several webinars like the one conducted by Global Discovery Schools and passed a forest quiz conducted by the Karnataka Forest Department.

Durgesh and the two bird species he reported:
– Large-billed green pigeon: Usually found in Simlipal, he photographed it in Satkosia and its proven range extension
– Yellow-bellied Warbler: He was the first to report this bird to Odisha in 2009

To learn more about him, visit


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