KOHORA, April 10 - Preparations are on at Kaziranga to make the visit of British Royal couple Prince William and Princess Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to the famed national park a special and memorable one. The Royal couple will pay a two-day visit to the State on the eve of spring festival Rongali Bihu.
According to sources, immediately after their arrival on April 12 at Tezpur airport, some 90 minutes drive from Kaziranga, the Royal couple would be ferried to Difflo River Lodge adjacent to the Kaziranga National Park for their two-night stay.
Reaching Kaziranga, the Royal couple after a brief refreshment will have a glimpse of local cultural dances of Bihu and Jhumur that will be performed by troupes from Kuthori and Hatikhuli areas respectively. Interestingly, no outside troupes have been invited for cultural performances since the Royal couple is interested to see the performances of only local people living near the Kaziranga National Park.
On April 13, Prince William and Princess Catherine will undertake a Jeep safari in the western range of Bagori for two hours and during the safari inside the park, the Royal couple is like to interact with the frontline forest staff guarding the national park. The senior officers from the State Forest department as well as officers from the Kaziranga forest authority will accompany the Prince and Princess.
They will be briefed about the population of fauna inside Kaziranga, including the one-horned Indian rhino which is a Schedule 1 wild animal under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Forest officers, the sources said, would also brief the Royal couple about the management of Kaziranga.
Sources further added that after their lunch, which will have vegetarian food because of Prince William�s preference, the Royal couple will move to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), under the Wildlife Trust of India, at Borjuri near the national park, and visit the Elephant Clinic Centre there and interact with veterinary doctors.
Prince William and Princess Catherine will also have a glimpse of wild animals getting rehabilitation and treatment which were rescued during floods and other anthropological situation. After a brief deliberation with the CWRC officials and staff about the standard protocol being followed to treat the wild animals in stressed conditions, the Royal couple will have direct talks with the villagers of New Ram Terang Goan where the people were recently shifted and settled from their original place of living, at the initiative of the WTI, in order to keep the existing elephant corridor intact. The original village was Ram Terang Goan that fell under Karbi Anglong district. They are also likely to visit a model village at Panbari near Kaziranga at the end of their daylong programme.
On April 14, the British Royal couple will fly to Paro in Bhutan and then move to Thimphu. Sources said that Prince William is likely to go for tracking in Bhutan hills.
PTI adds: The Royal couple will be served Assamese cuisine during their visit to the State. �We are very happy and honoured that Prince William and his wife will visit the Kaziranga National Park and we have decided to give them a taste of Assamese cuisine and hospitality,� said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati.
�Since they are coming during the Rongali Bihu, pithas (rice cakes) and larus (sweetmeats) will be definitely served, besides other Assamese delicacies,� added Gogoi who will receive the Royal couple at Tezpur airport on April 12 giving them a traditional welcome.
Meanwhile, the banned ULFA (Independent) in a statement has welcomed the visit of the Royal couple and hoped that their visit to Kaziranga may be a �turning-point to save the rhinoceros whose plight in its habitat is a matter of great concern.�