For the adventurers and explorers both uninitiated and seasoned, the opportunity to venture into the lap of nature is one that brings with it an immense amount of excitement. While there are numerous destinations around the world that offer this thrill, one such location that is sure to be on the top of the list is the Indian subcontinent. 

India is home to some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna. Chief among them is the rare and regal Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera Tigris). Once an endangered species, the effort was taken by various tiger reserve initiatives have succeeded in making the country home to 80% of the world’s tiger population. 

If you are seeking a unique safari experience in India, start by picking any one of these 5 best tiger sanctuaries.

#1) Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – Central India

Tigers at Kanha National Park

Prime tiger territory, Kanha is one of the largest national parks in Central India. It is thick with shrubs, climbers, and creepers running over tree branches, which creates a dense canopy of greenery, punctuated by several lakes and water holes. Naturalists believe that as tiger numbers start to dwindle, Kanha (along with Corbett and Nandhaur) will remain one of the last tiger populated jungles. The Kanha-Pench tiger corridor is one of the healthiest and safest passages of migration for these felines and as a result, strong and resilient genes proliferate here.

Kanha has over 500 hard ground swamp deer, thanks to a massive conservation effort. It also has a sizable population of Gaur (The Indian Bison) and Leopards. The dense foliage and grass is a perfect habitat for these stealthy animals to stalk their prey. The other major predator in Kanha is the Wild Dog, known locally as the Dhole. Primates and reptiles are plentiful and the birding in Kanha is mind-blowing. There are over 300 species of birds in Kanha. One constantly sees flashes of color as Teals, Hornbills, Warblers, Bee-Eaters, Barbets and many other birds cross your line of vision. Several birds of prey, especially eagles, abound in Kanha as well.

Activities to take part in: Jeep safari, sightseeing at Bamni Dadar sunset point, explore Kanha museum, visit Chipli range.

Best time to visit: Between November and February 

Tour duration:  5 nights/6 days

 

#2) Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh – Central India

Tiger Sighting at Bandhavgarh National Park

Thick bamboo groves are interspersed by groves of Sal and Mahua trees whose scent mingles with the jungle’s earthy fragrance. Bandhavgarh blends several species of vegetation including tropical moist and tropical dry deciduous forest. As a result, it has become a breeding ground for over 600 species of flowering plants. Over thirty-five species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 75 species of butterflies, and of course, the ultimate predator – the tiger.

Today, Bandhavgarh has one of the highest population densities of the tiger in the world. It is a key reserve for the Project Tiger wildlife conservation initiative. The Dhole (Indian Wild Dog), Bengal Fox, Leopards, Mongooses, Hyenas, and Jackals are the other predators that roam the forest. It is also rampant with several species of deer, wild boar, squirrels, bandicoots, and primates. Bandhavgarh is a raptor haven. Bird lovers, beware. You may never leave this enchanted forest. From Sapphire Flycatchers to Golden Orioles, the Indian Hornbill to the Hoopoe, it’s a kaleidoscope of vivid hue and cry.

Activities to take part in: Visit Baghel museum, sightseeing at Climber’s point, explore Bari gufa cave, picnic at Cheshpur waterfall. 

Best time to visit: Between April and May 

Tour duration: 5 nights/6 days

#3) Corbett National Park, Uttaranchal – North India

Elephants at Corbett National Park

Corbett’s landscape and legend lend itself to the wildlife lover’s imagination. It is the oldest national park in India. This park is named after Jim Corbett, who was ironically a big game hunter turned ardent conservationist, who spent several years in the area and came to call it his own. This park is a natural habitat for herds of elephants, tigers, the Asiatic Black Bear, Leopards, and several other species.

It was also the first ​park to launch the Project Tiger wildlife conservation program and is one of ​the thirteen parks that make up the World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s Terai ​Arc Landscape program. Corbett is critical for the survival of three of the ​Indian ​subcontinent’s big game species, which include the tiger, the Asiatic ​Black Bear and the Asian Elephant.

Several species of deer, otters and the extremely rare Himalayan Pangolin inhabit this terrain. Corbett has its fair share of reptiles and its star species include the King Cobra and large breeds of Pythons that are capable of eating prey as large as a deer. Several migratory birds flock here in the winter months and you can often find herons, ducks, and egrets. One of the rarer inhabitants of the bird family that is found in Corbett is the Great Indian Hornbill. It is the largest among the eight species of hornbill that are found in the Indian Subcontinent and is a majestic bird – especially when it is in flight.

Activities to take part in: Jungle safari, fishing at Ramganga river, white water rafting in Kosi river, picnic at Corbett Falls.

Best time to visit: Between November and February

Tour duration: 5 nights/6 days

#4) Tadoba National Park

Wild Animals at Tadoba National Park

Tadoba is a dense and deep jungle, and one of the best places in India to spot the tiger. Lush and full of greenery, the enormous water body deep within the park is an ideal and idyllic spot to wait and view its wildlife. Tadoba is fantastic for birding, especially waterfowl. It’s also home to an unusual population of rare spider species – some of which are only found here! Tadoba is also home to several rare and exotic species of butterflies and a host of extremely unique insects.

Tadoba is a thick Teak forest, and its terrain is undulating, as it stretches across the Chimur Hills. Several species of trees with innate medicinal properties also grow wild in this forest. A variety of felines, large and small, as well as marsh crocodiles, pythons, cobras, vipers, terrapins, and the star tortoise, are found here.

Activities to take part in: Jeep safari, Boat ride in Irai lake, visit Ramdegi temple, indulge in Saoji cuisine, 

Best time to visit: Between March and May

Tour duration: 4 nights/5 days

#5) Ranthambore National Park

Tiger Sighting at Ranthambore National Park

The dry deciduous forests of Ranthambore, interspersed by some of India’s largest and oldest Banyan trees, evoke an aura of romance. Scrubby foliage and thorny brush give way to grasslands, which make up this beautiful wilderness. Nestled within the Aravalli mountain range, it has over 500 species of plants and is a thriving ecosystem.

Ranthambore is teeming with wildlife and is one of the best-known parks for tigers. The park is also full of other species of flora and fauna, particularly deer, primates, birds and crocodiles. Over two hundred species of birds have been recorded, both resident and migratory. The park’s many water bodies draw a large number of birds to their banks. Waterfowl like pelicans, storks, ibises, and cormorants are often seen, especially in the winter season.

Activities to take part in: Gypsy safari, hike up Ranthambore fort, explore Lakarda and Anantpura, visit the Ranthambore School of Art, take a hot air balloon ride.  

Best time to visit: Between April and June

Tour duration: 4 nights/5 days  

Ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime? Book a wildlife sanctuary tour with Tiger Safari India. Our range of tour packages will have you exploring the most exciting and best wildlife sanctuaries in India.

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Sharad Vats

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. Buy now on Amazon

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