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The best places to see tigers in India

When and where to see India's most iconic animal.

Danielle

Danielle

Intern
Published on

09 Nov 2018

Read time

5 minutes

Group Of Tigers At Ranthambore

One of the first things that pop into people’s heads when they think of India is the Bengal tiger. This big cat, distinctive with its orange and black striped coat, is iconic to the country, and something that many travellers want to see whilst on holiday out here. And for good reason. Whilst most people have seen tigers in zoos, you can't compare seeing one in captivity to coming across one in the wild. Poaching and loss of habitat has caused this beautiful creature to become endangered, with just 2,500 wild Bengal tigers left. However, there are still a few areas in India that are good places to go in order to discover these creatures in the wild.

Here are some of our favourites:

Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh National Park, located in Central India, has the highest density of Bengal tigers in the country. The National Park is forested, which enables visitors to have a real Indian jungle experience. Other animals that may be seen include jackals, nilgai (the largest species of Asian antelope), wild boar and chital.

When to Visit?

The park is only open for part of the year, during mornings and afternoons, between the 15th October and 30th June. The best times to go on a jeep safari in Bandhavgarh tends to be early morning (dawn - 10 am) and late afternoon (4 pm until the evening), as this is when animals are the most active. The most popular months are between October and March during India's winter, when temperatures are more pleasant.

Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park

Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park is located in the Rajasthan region and provides a good chance of witnessing Bengal tigers during daylight hours. The national park is quite hilly, and safaris can take place in either a canter or a jeep (we recommend the latter). If you're doing the Golden Triangle trip then a side visit to Ranthambore can be easily accommodated. If you have time, it's a must-see! Ranthambore is also dotted with ruins, such as Ranthambore Fort, reminding visitors of times gone by and meaning that the National park offers a brilliant blend of both nature and history.

When to Visit?

The park is open from the beginning of October to the end of June, and the opening hours may vary, again depending on the time of year.

Ranthambore Tiger
Ranthambore Tiger
Ranthambore National Park Ruins
The majestic ruins of Ranthambore
Male Tiger At Ranthambore
Ranthambore is the place to go for tigers

Kanha Tiger Reserve

Located in Central India, and now being called one of the world's best wildlife areas, Kanha Tiger Reserve contains both jungle and open grasslands, and gave Rudyard Kipling the inspiration for his 'Jungle Book'. Open jeeps are the recommended form of travel when exploring the reserve, although elephant safaris are also available.

When to Visit?

Kanha is open from 16th October to 1st of July with varying daily opening times. The reserve is always closed on Wednesday afternoons and during the Holi festival.

Tiger In Kanha National Park
Tiger in Kanha National Park

Tadoba - Andhari Tiger reserve

Both the largest and the oldest national park in the Maharashtra area, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve contains forests, lakes, valleys and meadows and has quite a high density of tigers. In this reserve, tigers are best seen from open top jeeps, along with wild dogs, sloth bears and many more species.

When to Visit?

The reserve is closed from 1st of July to the 15th October and daily opening times vary. Visitors to the area should note that the reserve is always closed on Tuesdays. The best months to see tigers are March, April and May.

Tiger And Cubs
Sometimes you might be lucky enough to see tiger cubs

Jim Corbett National Park

In the foothills of the Himalayas, India's oldest national park comprises various habitat types including hills, riverine belts, marshes and grasslands. Home to a large number of Bengal tigers and other rare animals such as fish eating crocodiles and the smooth coated otter, this national park is popular amongst wildlife lovers. The Jim Corbett National Park is also one of the only parks in India that permits visitors to say overnight within the boundaries.

When to Visit?

Apart from the Jhirna safari zone, which is open the entire year, all areas of the national park are closed between 15th October to the 30th June. The daily opening hours vary.

Bengal Tiger
The beautiful Bengal Tiger

Kaziranga National Park

in 2006, Kaziranga National Park was declared as a tiger reserve due to an increase in numbers of the Bengal tiger. As well as sheltering tigers, the national park is also a haven to the one horned Indian Rhino, another threatened species. Kaziranga contains approximately two thirds of this rhino's worldwide population, with more than 2200 individuals living within the boundaries of the national park. Off the beaten track, Kaziranga is situated in the North East of India, and contains vast swathes of grassland.

When to Visit?

The park is closed from the 1st of June to the 1st October. No matter the time of year, the daily opening hours remain the same with morning and afternoon game drives available. The best time to visit is in the winter months, between December and February.

One Horned Rhino
One horned rhino
Tiger In Grasslands
Tiger in Kaziranga

How do I visit these national Parks?

The best way to see tigers in India is by an organised jeep safari with a guide. Self driving isn't usually an option in these national parks, and the guides will know where to go for the best chances of spotting tigers. Many parks have good accommodation options so you can either incorporate a visit as a day trip on your India itinerary, or spend a little longer if you want to see as many of these majestic creatures as possible.

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