Tiger safari in India in 2023 post covid pandemic
India experienced the second wave of Covid 19 in the month of April and May. A serious lockdown was imposed for 4 weeks, and the transmission of the virus was interrupted to a considerable extent. The positive aspect was that almost 70% of our population developed antibodies. The question that arose after this wave was on the future of tiger safari in India due to the Covid pandemic.
The medical fraternity is still coming to terms with the various variants of the virus, and the efficacy of the vaccines on them. However, one thing for sure is that the vaccine does reduce the hospitalizations and the symptoms become mild if one gets the virus still.
The average daily inoculations in India is about 4-5 million doses. By the end of 2021, India plans to vaccinate about 70% of the population (almost 1 billion). It is a huge task, but it seems doable with the availability of multiple vaccines now.
With declining cases, some countries have eased the travel advisory to India with no isolation required upon returning home. There is also talk in the Government to restart the scheduled International flights to many countries soon. This augurs well for the future of tiger safari in India due to the Covid Pandemic.
Humans are born travelers. They cannot be restricted to one city, one country, or continent for long. These exceptional times have been met by resilience by the human race and it is now a matter of time before travel and tiger safaris in India open once again to the world.
Update on some good news about Indian Wildlife:
- The Government of India has added the 52nd tiger reserve, which means more habitat for the wild tigers. Isn’t it incredible that in a country of 1.35 billion people where growth, development, highways, and industries are the buzzwords, India still finds space for its wildlife. This latest reserve is called the Ramgarh Tiger Reserve in the state of Rajasthan, which now has four tiger reserves.
- A project to reintroduce the Asiatic Cheetah in India has begun. Almost after seven decades, since the Cheetah went extinct in India, they are now being brought to the Kuno Palpur Reserve in the state of Madhya Pradesh. There is a lot of herbivore population, water, and grasslands in the sanctuary thus making it an ideal habitat for the Cheetah. We are expecting 8 Cheetahs to come to India in November. The success of this project will make India home to many big cats, with tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards, and cheetahs, apart from several small and exotic cats.
- Some states have decided to keep the national parks open even during monsoon times. This is a welcome decision as it increases revenue for the local community apart from patrolling the national park by the tourist vehicles. Tigers have not disappointed the Indian tourists who are enjoying the safaris during the monsoon. The tiger sightings have been excellent in these parks in the monsoon months. What tourists also get to see during these months is the pristine beauty of the national parks when they are lush green, and teeming with activity.
- The Leopard population has jumped from 7910 in 2014 to 12852 as per July 2021. This is an incredible hike in the numbers. It definitely goes to show the conservation measures taken by the Government, and improved census techniques. This comes after a surge in the population of tigers and lions after the 2018 census.
- The Government is planning to add more forest areas and look to increase the tiger population to 4000 in the next 10 years. Today India is home to close to 3000 tigers. Each tiger required close to 10000 hectares of land for survival. This augurs well for the future of tiger safaris in India.
Like everyone, we sincerely wish to see the back of this pandemic at the earliest and for life to return to normal and travel to begin. Please stay safe in the meanwhile. We hope to see you on the tiger safaris in India once things normalize post-pandemic.
With Warm regards
Sharad Kumar Vats
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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.