A tour of the Sundarbans is equal parts peaceful and adventurous. On the one hand, you are far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city; the only traffic fishing boats on the rivers and the incessant horn honking is replaced by bird calls. On the other, you’re visiting a jungle, complete with predatory wildlife including the famed Royal Bengal Tiger.
Even if you don’t spot any tell-tale stripes, there is still plenty of wildlife to make traveling the Sundarban Forest interesting. The birds alone are worth the journey. Hundreds of species of birds call the Sundarbans home, to hear all their unique voices is something you won’t soon forget. There are 8 species of Kingfishers alone, not to mention Parakeets, Herons, Pelicans, and Storks. If you are even remotely interested in Bird Watching, a trip to the Sundarban Forest is a must.
If you’re hoping to see animals of the four-legged variety, you will not be disappointed. Chital deer are frequently spotted dashing gracefully among the trees while crocodiles roam the banks and small monkeys climb through the leafy branches above.
Some of the most impressive wildlife aren’t in the sky or the grass, they’re in the freshwater streams and rivers that wind through the forest. Keep your eye trained on the water and you might catch sight of a Fresh Water Dolphin. These dolphins are smaller than their salt water cousins, but no less acrobatic or impressive. They are however one of the most endangered species of the Sundarban Forest and in the world. In late 2011 the government of Bangladesh declared three separate areas of the Sundarban Forest as dolphin sanctuaries in an effort to protect the elegant river animals and hopefully encourage the species growth.
One of the most interesting animals to spot on a tour of the Sundarban Forest is the Mud-skipper. Aptly named, this fish is just as active on land, or in the mud, as it is in water. In fact, it’s completely amphibious. These adaptive fish use their fins to move on land, in a skipping motion. They are also quite strong, able to flip their bodies up to two feet in the air. Truly a marvel to observe.
A track of Bengal Tiger. Sundarbans mangrove is the largest mangrove in the world covering both India and Bangladesh. This is the only mangrove tiger land in the world.
For the adventurous, the Sundarbans offer unparalleled hiking and trekking opportunities. Whichever style of travel you prefer be sure to consider not only safety, but the environmental impact of your visit. In either instance, you should travel with an expert guide to the Sundarbans in order to get the most out of your experience, and as with any natural treasure, endeavor to leave the area as you have found it.Whether you hope to spot a wild animal, experience an ecological marvel, have a grand adventure, or even just relax while taking in the beautiful flora and fauna, a visit to the Sundarban Forest in Bangladesh is a true experience.