Sundarban

he Sundarbans forest, located in the southwest of Bangladesh, is one of the largest continuous blocks of mangrove forests in the world. Covering an area of 6017 sq. km, it is part of the world’s largest delta, which has been formed from sediments deposited by the rivers Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra, which converge in the Bengal basin.

Two thirds of the forest are in Bangladesh, while the western part belongs to India. River channels, canals and tidal creeks, varying in width from a few meters to 5 kilometers in some places, cover about one third of the total area of this forest. Even the land areas of the Sundarban forest are subject to tidal inundation, especially during spring tides. The monsoon season is hot and humid, during the winter months it is mild and dry.

The entire area is covered by fairly dense mangrove forest. There are small patches of brackish marshes on emerging islands and riverbanks, and sandy areas with grasses and low shrubs on some of the outer islands. The two dominant mangroves are Heritiera fomes and Excoecaria agallocha, but there are at least 25 kinds of other plant species in this magical forest.

The Sundarban Forest comprises the largest remaining tract of habitat for the Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris). The numbers of tigers living here is unknown, as no reliable scientific study has been carried out.

About 42 other species of mammals are found in this forest. Among these are Rhesus macaques, clawless otters, leopard cats, fishing cats and spotted deer. The Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is common in most rivers. The Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) occurs in areas with higher salinity.

Over 270 species of birds have been recorded in the Sundarbans, including about 95 species of water birds and 35 species of birds of prey. Commercial fishermen commonly catch over 120 species of fish.

No less than 50 species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians are known to occur. The Sundarbans now support the only population of the estuarine or salt-water crocodile (Crocodylus parasus) in Bangladesh. The population is estimated at less than two hundred individuals.

The Sundarbans mangrove forest provide a diversity of minor forest products, such as golpata leaves, hental poles, honey, beeswax, grasses and shells, which are of considerable economic importance. Honey collecting from wild honey bee colonies of the Asian Giant Honeybee, Apis dorsata, has been practiced for centuries in the Sundarbans mangrove forests.

The entire region is extremely important for its forestry and fisheries production, minor forest products, wildlife conservation, and protection against coastal erosion and cyclonic storms.

All our itineraries are based on Dhaka-to-Dhaka travel and most of them include accommodation, transport, meals, guides and entrance fees.

With the following itineraries we have tried to cover most of the interesting aspects of Sundarbans. However, if you have any other specific interests or requirements, which are not covered by our itineraries or if the quoted periods do not match your schedule, please let us know and we shall arrange alternatives for you.

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