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India Tiger Safari - Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks (Photo by Dr Mike Leary Ohwin)

Indian Tiger Safari

One of the essential Indian travel experiences, a tiger safari is a must for all wildlife enthusiasts.

With over half the world's remaining tiger, there's no better place than India to witness these most elusive and endangered of creatures in the wild. Yet planning a tiger safari can be challenging. There are close to 40 reserves and parks in India that are home to tiger, and the experience offered by each varies dramatically. Our India safari specialist, Sarah Williams, has an in-depth knowledge of India’s many tiger reserves and can help you plan a safari that visits the best of them.

There are currently an estimated 1,400 tigers in India. This population is spread across 39 National Parks and tiger reserves, though we recommend just a handful of parks where the chances of seeing wild tigers are increased and where other wildlife - such as chital and sambar deer, wild boar, Indian bison, nilgai, leopard, wild dog and Indian fox - can also be observed. Several of India's tiger sanctuaries are, sadly, very poorly maintained, but there are a number of reserves, such as Dudhwa, Satpura, Ranthambore and Pench, which provide a chance to see tigers in their natural habitat, amidst other wildlife and undisturbed by human contact. We can ensure that your tiger safari visits the best, most conservation-friendly parks in India.

The wildest of these national parks, such as Dudhwa and Satpura, offer a true wilderness experience away from the crowds. However, the size and the density of vegetation in such parks mean that tiger sightings are never guaranteed. On the other hand, several of India's reserves claim to offer guaranteed tiger sightings but function more like zoos.

A happier balance is struck by a number of the smaller and more popular National Parks, such as Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh, which have comparatively healthy populations of wild tiger and sparser vegetation that allows for easier sightings. These parks offer excellent wild tiger-viewing opportunities, though sightings are never guaranteed. For those with time, combining a visit to one of these latter parks with a wilder, more remote park such as Dudhwa or Satpura - where walking and fly-camping expeditions as well as 4x4 game drives are possible - can make for a fabulous safari.

Whichever parks you choose to visit, careful planning is essential. India is a sizeable country, and travel can be daunting. We will work with you to make the most of the time you have available and to incorporate the sights and experiences that particularly interest you.

A tiger safari can be combined with a traditional sightseeing tour focusing on India's fabulous cultural and historical highlights – see our main India pages for sample itineraries and inspiration. A tiger safari in India also combines brilliantly with a visit to the mountain kingdom of Nepal, just a short flight away, where you can extend your safari with a visit to wild and remote Bardia National Park or with a trekking holiday in the Himalayas. There's an endless variety of options so call or email us today to discuss a tailor-made itinerary built around your interests.

Photos used with the kind permission of Dr Mike Leary-Ohwin, who travelled with us to India in 2015. See more of Mike's fabulous photos on his flickr page.

Example itineraries in Indian Tiger Safari

In Search of Tigers

Prime tiger country, Madhya Pradesh in central India is the location of several of India's most famous tiger parks. On this 10 day safari you will visit Pench, Tadoba and Kanha National Parks.

Dudhwa Wildlife Safari

Experience the most remote and beautiful of India's National Parks, Dudhwa, in the far north of the country close to the border with Nepal.

Eye to Eye with the Indian Tiger

9-day Indian Tiger Safari, visiting Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore National Parks. These National Parks, among India's biggest and most beautiful, are home not just to Tigers but also Jackals, Leopard, Desert Cats, and Indian Foxes.

Rhinos, Tigers and Tea

This scenic Indian adventure encompasses bustling cities, lush jungles, and jagged mountaintops. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Delhi; explore the forests and grasslands of India's jungles as you set out in search of tigers, monkeys, sloth bears at Kanha and Kaziranga National Parks; stop-off in Kolkata en route to Glenburn Tea Estate, situated in magnificent scenery among the rolling foothills of the Himalayas; and roam acres of tea fields and private forests.

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