India has achieved almost one-fourth of its total geographical area as forest cover according to the forest survey by the government of India. Birdwatching and Tiger safari in India are some of the must-do activities on your visit to a National Park. India is the best country in Asia for tiger safari tours because of conservation efforts and almost 3000 tigers in the wild. During a wildlife safari tour in India Big five that can be spotted are Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Leopard, One-Horned Rhino, and Asiatic Elephant.

India is also a Birders paradise as 1357 species are recorded as of 2021 out of which 81 are endemic to the country. Some famous cultural tourist circuits like the golden triangle of North include New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. There are some magnificent parks close to the destinations of the Golden triangle such as Corbett & Ranthambore National Park. Wildlife sightings in most National Parks in India are subject to the luck, skills, experience, knowledge of the guide, drivers, and naturalists, zones booked for safari, and choice of safari in the National Park. Booking a safari is a tricky and tedious task due to the limited no. of vehicles allowed in a single shift of morning and afternoon safari.

The person visiting must be aware of the distance between various gates from the lodge, accessibility of core zones, and buffer zones of the National Park from different gates, during a certain shift of the safari. Don’t worry here’s a list of 7 must-know things before going for a safari in Corbett & Ranthambore National Park.

1. Booking of the Tiger Safari Permits

Entering a National Park or any wildlife sanctuaries requires a valid permit or ticket issued by the state forest department. Some of the National Parks use online bookings of their available slots of safari vehicles. Only specific numbers of Jeeps and canters are allowed for safari on a specific day. The safari booking opens in advance for both the National Parks for a particular date of the safari. Both the parks have an online website and offline counters for booking permits which are managed by the state forest department.

Ranthambore National Park

The regular safari bookings for morning and afternoon shifts, Full day safaris from 06 AM to 06 PM, and half day from Morning till 1230 PM at Ranthambore. Tiger Safari in Ranthambore is open 365  days in advance from the date of the safari. Zones 6-10 are accessible in the months of monsoon in India and zone 1-5 are closed for safari because of puddles and mud on tracks due to rain.

 

tiger safari in Ranthambore 2

 

Corbett National Park

Some zones are open throughout the year like Dhela, Jhirna, Garjiya, and Phato which are even open during monsoon season. The online booking of tiger safari permits, in general, opens about 2 to 1.5 months in advance from the date of the tiger safari.

 

Safari in Jim Corbett 4

 

2. Types of Safari

As it is strictly prohibited to walk inside the National Parks of India. The availability of different types of There are fewer options for different types of safari in National parks safari option as it’s dependent upon the landscape, availability of a lake, river for a boat safari, and rules laid out by the forest department for tourism activities. As no construction work is allowed inside the National Parks of India.

Ranthambore National Park

In Ranthambore the only way to do a safari is either on a Gypsy or jeep or an open canter which is issued by the state forest department. There is an option of doing either a full day or a half-day safari at Ranthambore National Park. The tourist can explore more areas with fewer restrictions and more time spent inside the jungle as compared to a regular safari in two shifts of morning and afternoon.

Corbett National Park

In Corbett, the only way to do a tiger safari is either on a Gypsy or jeep or an open canter which is issued by the state forest department.  There are no Full day or half-day safari options in Corbett National Park.

3. Zones for  Safari

As per the Honorable Supreme court of India, only 20 % of the forest area can be used for tourist activities like Safaris and the rest area is majorly for the conservation of wildlife. Booking a safari is a tricky and tedious task due to the limited no. of vehicles allowed in a single shift of morning and afternoon safari. The person visiting must be aware of the distance between various gates from the lodge, accessibility of core zones, and buffer zones of the National Park from different gates, during a certain shift of the safari. It is important to be aware of the zone booked for safari is for “core zone” or “Buffer zone.

  • Core Zone: Mainly for conservation and protection of wildlife and natural resources.
  • Buffer Zone: Adjoining area to the core. Might be allowed for activities such as Ecotourism, Plantation, and sometimes even grazing of livestock by locals.

 

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is a unique park that has its zones numbered and not named. Initially, it only had 5 zones, however, as the park gained popularity and got attention from wildlife enthusiasts, the park was expanded to accommodate 10 zones. Each of these 10 zones is thriving with unique flora and fauna. A total of 144 jeeps and canters are allowed in all 10 zones each shift of morning and afternoon safari. Zone 1 to 5 are located closer to each other and zone 6 to 10 are located on the other side after crossing the town of Sawai Madhopur.

 

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park

 

Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park is divided into seven zones. All seven zones cover different sides of Corbett National Park with each having a separate entry and exit gate.

The zones of Corbett National Park are

 

Zone Name (Booking)Entry/exit gateNo. of vehicles allowed Morning shiftNo. of vehicles allowed: Afternoon shift
Dhela (Online)Dhela3030
Jhirna (Online)Dhela3030
Bijrani (Online)Amdanda3030
Gajiya (Online)Gajiya3030
Dhikala (Online)DhangariOnly 4 Canter from Ramnagar)Only 4 Canter from Ramnagar)
Durgadevi (Online)Durgadevi1515
Sonanadi (Offline)Vatanvasa5050
Sitabani buffer (Offline booking same day)Sitabani5050
Phato (Offline booking two days earlier)Phato 5050

 

Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park

 

4. Flora and Fauna

Ranthambore National Park

Flora

It is situated between the Aravali and Vindhya hills. The fauna hair is typically dry deciduous forest. Dhok is the most prominent tree some other trees like ronj, ber, salai, occasional mango groves, palm trees, and Banyan trees give Ranthambore its unique flora. The large lakes inside the national parks with some crumbling ruins of their past glory, be it chhatris or cupolas, like palaces or old guard posts makes it a photographer’s delight.

 

Fauna

The are 40 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles, and 320 species of birds. The top 10 wildlife species to spot at Ranthambore National Park are

 

S. No.MammalsBirdsReptiles
1TigersOriental Honey BuzzardBengal Monitor Lizard
2Sloth bearRufous TreepieMarsh Crocodile
3HyenasIndian PeafowlIndian Chameleon
4LeopardsGolden OrioleSpectacled Cobra
5Jungle catChestnut-bellied sandgrouseSaw Scaled Viper
6JackalsCrested Serpent EagleWolf Snake
7Wild boarSpoonbillIndian Rock Python
8SambharPainted storkRussel’s Vipers
9Spotted deerWhite-necked storkGreen Keelback
10Indian hareGreen PigeonCommon Kraits

 

Corbett National Park

Flora

Corbett National park is situated in the hilly districts of Pauri Garhwal and Nainital of the northern state of Uttarakhand.  Flora of Corbett National park is confined chiefly to the Bhabar tract type of Siwalik hills. There are different types of vegetation all along the varied topography which comprises hilly and riverine areas temporary marshy depressions, plateaus, and ravines. Sal trees can be found in lower hilly ridges and flat valleys. There is a large flora to be spotted from more than 100 species of trees, more than 50 species of shrubs, and 33 species of bamboo and grass found in Corbett National park.

The riverine area is clothed in shisham Khair and others. On the higher ridges, some trees are commonly known as bakli, chir, anauri, and gurail along with bamboo can be found.

Fauna

Corbet National park has 50 mammals 580 species of birds 25 species of reptiles have been recorded in CorbetTop 10 wildlife species to spot at Corbett National Park are

 

S. No.MammalsBirdsReptiles
1TigersBarheaded GooGhariyal
2Asiatic ElephantsHimalayan RubythroatMugger Crocodile
3LeopardsGreat HornbillIndian Rock Python
4SambharLong Tailed BroadbillKing Cobra
5Spotted deersBrown DipperCommon Krait
6Barking DeersBlue Tailed Bee EaterBurmese Python
7Yellow-throated  MartensPallas’ Fish EagleBengal Monitor Lizard
8Himalayan Palm CivetChestnut Headed Bee EaterIndian Wolf Snake
9Sloth bearKhaleej PheasantRussell’s Viper
10Leopard CatLineated BarbetIndian Cobra

 

5. Specific Rules

Arranging a safari in National Parks of India is challenging as these forests is under direct administration of the state forest department. There are many restrictions or rules like in movements within the forest, entry-exit gates, and many more which are to be taken into account before booking a safari at any zone of the National parks. Both the vehicles use the same designated safari tracks in their allowed zone The safari vehicles are not allowed to change their allotted zone and the vehicles are allowed to roam anywhere on the network of routes in their allotted zone. The time at the beginning of the safari is dependent on Sunrise and sunset and continues for almost 3.5 hours.

 

Ranthambore National Park

During a full-day safari or a half-day tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, one can explore different zones in the allotted time. A full day and half-day safari in Ranthambore National Park starts at the sunrise timing of the summer and winter seasons in zone 1-5 and should come back by 1230 hrs. for both full day and half-day safari jeep or gypsy. After lunch and refreshment full-day safari gypsies can continue to explore the forest, terrain, flora, and fauna of zone 6-10 in Ranthambore can continue here or after 1430 hrs. can back to explore zone 1-5 in search of tigers and come back before the sunset.

 

tiger safari in Ranthambore 3

 

Corbett National Park

Only Canters are allowed to do a tiger safari in Corbett from outside, which starts from Ramnagar and comes back to the same location after the safari inside Dhikala zone. To do a jeep or gypsy safari inside the Dhikala zone tourist have to book their stay inside forest rest houses within Dhikala zones for allowing a jeep safari from the Dhangari gate.

 

Safari in Jim Corbett 1

 

6. Must-visit location

Ranthambore National Park

Some must-visit spots in different zones of Ranthambore National Park are:

  • Zone 1:  Tuti ka Nalla, Amreshwar Dang, Sultanpur, Peela Pani, Gada Dub
  • Zone 2: Jogi Mahal, Phuta Kot, Phuta Bandha, Lahpur Tiraha, Nal Ghati
  • Zone 3:  Jogi Mahal, Padam Talab, High Point, Raj Bagh, Mandook
  • Zone 4: Singh Dwar, Malik Talab, Lakkad Da, Adidaant, Lambi, Tamakhan
  • Zone 5:  Singh Dwar, Anatpur, Jokha, Dhakda, Kachida, Baghda, Bakola
  • Zone 6: Kala Pani, Saran Ka Pattha, Patwa Ki Baori, Khabli, Soleshwar, etc
  • Zone 7: Chidikho, Jamoda, Kushalipura, Rajbagh Naka
  • Zone 8: Balas, Kherai, Kali, Neemli Dang, Bhat, Mahakho
  • Zone 9: Banks of Chakal River.
  • Zone 10: Aantri, Kushalipur, Bodal, Halonda, Banskhori

 

Corbett National Park

Some must-visit spots within the Dhikala zone are:

  • Sambhar road
  • Sherbohi
  • Ramnagar Reservoir
  • Nadi paar
  • Kanda road

 

7. Tiger Density

It is the estimation of available tigers within a range of 100 Sq. Km. There are some determining factors like the availability of prey, water sources, and space to hold the tiger population. As tigers are territorial animals mark their territory regularly and defend it from any intruder. The male tigers establish a large range and control multiple tigresses with smaller areas. Within the territory. There are many instances of overlapping territories of the male tigers leading to fights between two tigers ending in severely injured and even sometimes death of the losing tigers. The ways to maintain a healthy Tiger density are

 

  • Creating more space: Making more space available reduces the chances of the territorial fight between the tigers
  • Tiger Corridor: It is important for the disbursement of young tigers to the newer areas.

 

Ranthambore National Park

In Ranthambore National Park as per the Tiger Census report of 2018-19, the tiger density is  9.6 tigers / 100 Sq. Km.

 

tigers in ranthambore national park

 

 

Corbett National Park

In Corbett  National Park as per the Tiger Census report of 2018-19, the tiger density is 14 Tigers / 100 Sq. Km.

 

Tiger Cub in Jim Corbett

 

Share Via:
explore_safaris