The population of tigers, the largest of the big cat species, is sadly in a precarious state. Land encroachment and the obscenity of poaching to meet the ludicrous demands of ancient medicine have left an indelible mark on the future of this magnificent beast. However, due to the herculean efforts of conservationists, charities and tourism, it is still possible to see tigers in the wild. Seeing a tiger in the wild is by no means guaranteed, but when – if – you do see that flash of fiery orange in the undergrowth, it’s a truly wondrous moment. Nothing compares to the visceral thrill of seeing a real tiger up close. The first encounter, that magical moment when you lock eyes with one of these precious big cats, stays with you for life. Due to a huge effort by conservationalists, some of whom we’ve been involved with for many years, there are even reports that tiger populations have increased for the first time in over a century.
The best places to watch tigers are Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Ranthambore. Tiger safaris are done by vehicle and although not offering the profusion of game you may find in Africa, our wildlife trips to India offer plenty of other flora and fauna to enjoy, as well as a good chance of a sighting of this elusive and endangered predator.
Wildlife Tours in India
16 Daysfrom£ 3,249
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
A comprehensive wildlife tour of India's best tiger parks
India is home to more than half of the world’s wild tigers, and a key component in plans to grow the population. So it’s arguably the best place to see tigers in the wild. Of course, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed tiger sighting, but here are a few of the best national parks in India for tiger safaris:
Bandhavgarh National Park: This wildlife sanctuary in the state of Madhya Pradesh boasts the highest density of tigers in Asia, with more than 50 animals spread out over 100 square kilometers. The Park also offers wildlife lovers a chance to spot a host of other species, including chital deer, wild boar, nilgai antelope, Indian bison, wild dog, leopard, blue bull, Indian fox and bear.
Kahna National Park: Another Madhya Pradesh park, Kanha famously provided inspiration for The Jungle Book. Established in 1955 and covering 750 square miles, the picturesque park’s wide open meadows offer scenic sightings of a diverse array of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, common langurs, striped hyenas, pangolins, and an endangered deer species called the hard-ground barasingha, another great conservation story that you won’t find anywhere else.
Ranthambore National Park: One of India’s largest national parks (828 square miles), Ranthambore is a favourite among photographers due to the fact that you can find tigers, leopards, and ancient ruins of a fort where the animals are often spotted. The Park also has three lakes where copious wildlife congregates, including sloth bears, hyenas, Indian foxes, jackals and crocodiles.
The whole trip was amazing. The organisation was great, guides superb and game viewing simply stunning.
It was very hot, much hotter than I expected but the activities were early morning or evening which made everything bearable. The wild camping days were great fun, if very basic, but a great experience. Our guide Onary was a fantastic cook and some of our best food was in that wild camp.
A holiday of contrasts -the hubbub of Kathmandu, the magnificence of the Annapurna range and the luxury of the Bahari Jungle Lodge in Chitwan.
We had a superb tour guide in Kathmandu who was happy to answer any question and who took us to see the living goddess! Our original hotel was very average but we were moved to the much more upmarket Yak and Yeti for the final night, which was the original hotel when we booked the trip and is now advertised for future trips.
I really enjoyed the trekking experience, the scenery was spectacular, the lodges were very comfortable, the food really good and the staff excellent. Our guide and porters were amazing, it was very sad bidding them farewell.
Chitwan was a complete contrast, much warmer, very luxurious. We were kept busy there. The jeep safari was my favourite, fortunately we did this early in the morning when the park inhabitants are more lively. To get to the National Park we simply took a boat across the river from the lodge, so easy! We didn’t see a tiger but saw several one horned rhinos, including a mother and calf whom we observed for some time. It would have been great to have one more day there to chill, to enjoy a dip in the pool, to sit on our balcony of our lovely ‘hut’.
Our last full day, the ‘approximately 5 hours’ on a coach turned into about 8 hours on a holiday, a day when traffic is much quieter than normal. We did not arrive in Kathmandu until about 4pm, it left little time to do anything before our farewell meal. I would have preferred to pay a little extra to fly! It was a disappointing end to our holiday.
My family saved up money to have a holiday of a lifetime. We were promised in the brochure and online that this was a Premium holiday with 4/5* hotels, an expert guide and superb mountain views. This was not the holiday we received in many areas. Some parts such as the trekking and lodges were excellent but as you will see below in my comments a lot fell short of what we had paid for and I would not book another ‘premium’ holiday with Exodus again.