Looking to book a tiger safari in India?
If you’re a nature enthusiast, wildlife photographer or explorer looking for your next adventure, a tiger safari in India should definitely be on your bucket list.
The sheer excitement that envelopes you when you come face to face with the world’s apex predator is something that cannot be put in words. It is a high that is to be experienced. There isn’t another animal with such power and charisma and with the ability to evoke such strong emotions as the Royal Bengal Tiger.
However, it is important to understand that you can’t simply venture into the wild with hopes of catching this big majestic cat in action. To tackle this in a safe way for both adventurers and the tiger species themselves, tiger tourism has to be done in a way that is ecologically conscious and responsible. This is why it is important to choose the right tiger safari operator for your first trip to the Indian subcontinent.
This guide will help you book your first Tiger Safari and get the best out of the experience.
Love for tigers has grown faster than what the national parks could handle in India. While the overall tourism in India has grown by about 5%, Tiger tourism has seen an increase of about 12-15% consistently over years. The main reason behind such numbers is the growing love of Indians towards their wildlife. With 1.3 billion Indians the number of tiger lovers is not small by any margin. Let us not forget the nature and wildlife lovers from all over the world also coming to India to see the tigers. Our apex court understood this and put in some strict regulations in 2012 to guide tiger tourism.
Carrying capacity of the national parks was calculated subsequently. Wherever the number of vehicles going to the park were found to be high, they were curtailed. Lots of parks lost close to 50% of the vehicles. Currently tourism happens in only about 20% of the national parks. The remaining 80% is totally pristine and devoid of any human activity.
More Tigers Equals More Tourism
It was in 2006 when Sariska National Park was declared to be bereft of tigers. In 2008 Panna National park took the same route. This brought in a lot of attention towards the tigers. The Government acted swiftly, with major steps being taken to rehabilitate tigers in these two parks. With increased attention and conservation measures tigers once again roared in these two parks. People surged back to the national parks after hearing this news.
Besides India is the only tiger country where the chances of sighting tigers is certain. The enhanced awareness of the tiger numbers over the last 6-7 years have further increased the tiger tourism. Now the question How and when to book a tiger safari in India becomes extremely relevant.
Today, there are 6 highly popular nature parks in the Golden Triangle circuit of India that are considered ideal for spotting tigers.
Corbett National Park
Home to the royal bengal tiger and the country’s most famous and oldest national park. It currently houses more than 215 tigers, making it the largest in that number. It is also unique for its jungle lodges and vast stretch of sightseeing locations.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Tigers roam about freely in this park, making an ideal tourist destination for those who are keen to catch a glimpse in the natural habitat. What was once a royal hunting reserve, soon became a key player in Indian wildlife tourism.
Pench National Park
If you’ve read Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, why not have a first-hand experience of what the famous author was inspired by. Pench is one of the most diverse national parks in India. There is always something to feast your eyes on here
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore is a popular pick among tourists for its relatively short travel time and close proximity to the city. It is also one of the first national parks to witness a healthy rise in tiger population.
Tadoba National Park
The newest addition to the growing list of tiger reserves in India. Tadoba is one of the few parks that allows tourists to get a very close look at wildlife.
How and When to Book a Tiger Safari in India?
You must consider booking a tiger safari tour a good 5-6 months ahead of travelling to the destination. Why so early? Simple, because many parks allow the safari permits to be booked online 120 days before the safari date. And with limited safari permits they get booked very fast. If the safari has to be booked 120 days before you should be sure of your holiday even before. By this time you should have given all your identification details and deposits to your tour operator if you wish to see a tiger in the wild. Some parks also allow booking 90 days in advance as well.
Find the Right Tour Operator for Booking Your Tiger Safari
Another key aspect to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable tiger tour is to find the right tiger safari operators. The best tiger tour operators are the ones that have built a good, strong relationship with the safari guides in every tiger sanctuary. A systematic, well thought out tour structure that details the entire tour with full transparency is also important to know your exact itinerary.
Tiger Safari India offers the best bang for your buck, with a full-fledged itinerary that ensures you get the ultimate tiger tour experience with the higher chances of catching a glimpse of tigers in the wild.
The tours at Tiger Safari India are curated by Sharad Vats and team who have been involved in the wildlife tourism space since 30+ years. As an avid Wildlife enthusiast, conservationist, and Wildlife photographer himself, Sharad is one of the pioneers of sustainable wildlife tourism in India.
Check out our range of tiger tour packages for more details.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.