Experience the magic of wildlife in India and create memories that will last a lifetime

India Unbound, with its two decades of expertise, has honed the art of providing exceptional wildlife experiences to its guests. Extensive knowledge and dedication to excellence ensures that each trip planned in India’s diverse natural landscape is safe and full of adventure. 

India is a country that boasts an incredibly diverse and rich wildlife. Exploring wildlife in India is not just about going on jungle safaris and spotting animals. It’s about immersing yourself in the essence of the wild while making your stay and travel more comfortable and eventful.

When going on a wildlife tour in India, visitors are usually escorted by knowledgeable naturalists and guides. These safaris take place early in the morning or in late afternoon, when tiger activity is at its highest. Travellers may also come across wild animals like deer, wild boars, leopards, and a variety of bird species in addition to tigers.

With an Indian game drive safari, you can have an amazing time.

Embark on a gripping journey through the heart of India’s mesmerising wilderness with private game drives safari. Witness the majestic animals roaming freely in their natural habitat as you venture deep into the wild. Create special memories with the unique experience of wildlife tours in India with India Unbound’s specialised itineraries.

Discover the thrill of Indian Tiger Safaris.

An Indian tiger safari is a thrilling expedition into India’s countryside with the express goal of seeing the magnificent Bengal tiger in its native environment. With multiple national parks and wildlife reserves where these famous big cats roam freely, India is home to more than half of the world’s population of wild tigers. Go on a tiger safari in India and see these magnificent creatures from up close as you marvel at nature’s amazing creation.

Here are our suggested itineraries for tiger tours in India however given the highly specialised nature of wildlife tours in India we prefer to create tailor-made itineraries to match individual interests and requirements – please get in touch via the enquiry form or email to tell us about your plans.

Wildlife of North & South India

A unique wildlife tour of India created specifically for wildlife enthusiasts. This 16-day tour includes visits to four of India’s most rewarding National Parks – Satpura, Kanha, Kaziranga and Nagarhole – and covers the states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka.

View Trip »
TAGS: Central North (Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh), East (West Bengal, Sikkim and Orissa), Far North (Himalayas), North – general, North-East (Assam and beyond), South - general
Discover The Untamed Beauty Of Kerala’s Wildlife Tour

Experience the incredible natural beauty of Kerala in South India, on this two-week private tour.
With around 5% of Kerala’s total surface area devoted to the protection of wildlife, the state is home to an amazing variety of plants, trees, and wild animals.

This is an ideal trip for anyone wanting to get close to Kerala’s beautiful natural environments. Experience a range of ecosystems, from rainforests and grasslands to rugged peaks, and engage in activities from rainforest trekking, bamboo rafting and wilderness camping, to animal, bird and butterfly watching.

View Trip »
TAGS: In-depth, Kerala, Off-beat, Scenic, Wildlife

National Parks of India 

India is indeed home to some of the best tourist places, with many popular national parks that attract international visitors. These national parks of india showcase the country’s rich biodiversity and offer unique experiences. For wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers, travel in India presents an abundance of opportunities for wildlife safaris and nature-based activities and experiences.

While the tiger is the best-known resident of India’s national parks, the country is home to an abundance of flora and fauna ranging from birdlife to sloth bears, reptiles, big cats, mammals and many more. Wildlife travel in India is more than just tiger safaris.

Planning an adventure tour and visiting one of India’s national parks are all you need.

Some of the best wildlife tours in India may include seeing the one-horned rhino in Kazaringa National Park, taking a tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park, snow leopard tours in India, and for bird-lovers seeing one of India’s hornbills. These are just a few wildlife experiences, however our expertise spans the breadth of wildlife travel in India. Depending on your interests we can create an itinerary that focuses on trekking in the Himalayas, tiger safaris in central Indian national parks, bird watching tours in South India or wildlife experiences that are suitable for travelling with children in India. As a highly experienced wildlife tour operator in India we can also incorporate wildlife activities into a general tour of India that includes a mix of wildlife, cultural experiences and sightseeing.

This page has two parts: detailed information such as what to expect, when to visit, pros and cons and accommodation options for the four key national parks of Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and Rhanthambhore in central India. This information is based on our repeated and extensive reconnaissance of these national parks. If you’d like more information relating to bird-watching tours of India, or other parks of India, or a specific wildlife experience not listed here, please contact us at mail@indiaunbound.com.au

The second part, immediately below, are links to our suggested itineraries for wildlife tours in India.  

What is the best place to go for a tiger safari and wildlife tour in India?

There are 110 listed national parks in India and 50 are tiger reserves. The tiger reserves are governed by Project Tiger, which is administered by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The following provides you detailed information about four national parks that are tiger reserves where you can enjoy a tiger safari in India.

  • Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh – India

  • Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – India

  • Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh (MP) – India

  • Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan– India

#1 Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh – India

Size of the Park: 1200 square km – 411 square km of core area out of which 20% is open for tourists.
Founded in:
1975

The following lists all the important details about Pench National Park that you should be aware of.

  • Is it worth visiting Pench National Park in India?

  • What can you expect from a visit to Pench National Park?

  • When can you visit Pench National Park?

  • How long is the safari in Pench National Park?

  • What jeeps are used for wildlife and tiger safari in India?

  • Can I have a private tiger safari in India?

  • Which is the best park gate to enter Pench National Park?

Is it worth visiting Pench National Park in India?

The park is unique in terms of setting due to the teak forest that dominates its flora. It has many varieties of other deciduous trees. As such, leaves shed by late summer making it a dry deciduous park. i.e. during the month of May the park looks rather naked as all the leaves are shed providing extremely good visibility for tiger sightings while on safari.

The Pench River flows across the park making it both picturesque and a great habitat for wildlife including tigers. Often visitors can spot tigers submerged in shallow waters of the river. Trees such as Crocodile Bark tree, Mahua Tree and Flame of the Forest enhance its uniqueness.

It is said that the park was the inspiration for the famous English author, Rudyard Kipling, to write the well-loved and well-read Jungle Book, giving the park its fame and thus making it a popular tourist destination. Community water holes and the animals described in the Jungle Book are quite visible for visitors, therefore making the Jungle Book all more of a reality.

There are rocky terrains, which are inhabited by leopards although leopards remain shy and elusive as opposed to the Tigers. The park is known for its significant sightings of the Asiatic Wild Dogs.

Taj Baghvan Pench

Pench National Park

What can you expect from a visit to Pench National Park?

Ideal backdrop for sightings: Teak forest, deciduous trees and lack of undergrowth providing greater visibility into the forest.

Jungle Book in reality: The Park is synonymous with Jungle Book, making it an interesting place for visitors who know the novel.

Unique Sightings: The Park has significant sightings of Asiatic Wild Dogs and is considered as the best park in Madhya Pradesh for these sightings.

Park is compact: The area open for public is relatively small and the entire park can be covered in two safaris giving visitors greater opportunity for sightings.

Easy accessibility to the airport: It is the closest park to Nagpur airport – a drive of about 100 km or 2 hours.

Great choice of accommodation: There is a range of accommodation to select from at Pench including luxury, tented camps (Baghvan – Taj Safari Lodge, Pench Tree Lodge, Jamtara Wilderness Camp) to value for money accommodation (Pench Jungle Camp).

Not overly crowded: The quality of safari is great as the park is not over crowded and the number of vehicles is controlled. A maximum of 40 vehicles can get into the park during safari times.

No Camera fees

Pench Tree Lodge

Pench Tree Lodge

Taj Baghvan Pench

Taj Baghvan Pench

 

 

 

 

 

 

When can you visit Pench National Park?

Like all parks in Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park is open for visitors from 01st October to 30th June and closed from 1st July to 30th September when the monsoon arrives.

01st October – 28th February – Winter (season)

1st March – 30Th June – Summer (season)

The park is closed for visitors on Wednesday afternoons

 Busy times:

Summer: February, March and April

Winter: November

The rest of the times are quite active although late summer is patronised mostly by local tourists. The park is generally not overcrowded and allows visitors free movement unless there’s a tiger sighting when that particular location attracts all nearby jeeps.

How long is the safari in Pench National Park?

The daily timings are governed by sunrise and sunset; accordingly, the park informs the lodges and safari drivers of safari start times. This is applicable to all national parks in Madhya Pradesh in India. For instance, in the late summer the morning safari commences at 0530 am and the park is open till 1100 am. The afternoon safari commences at 1600 pm and finishes at 1900 pm. Generally morning safaris are wrapped up by 0930 am in summer.

Full day safaris

Full day safaris are optional and can be arranged on request. Special permits are needed. A full day tiger safari in India in national parks such as Pench are recommended for photographers and keen wildlife travellers. For general visitors half a day safari is ideal.

Kenn River Lodge Jeep

Kenn River Lodge Jeep

 

 

 

 

 

What jeeps are used for wildlife and tiger safari in India?

The three national parks of Madhya Pradesh – Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh – use Gypsys and Mahindra Scorpio 4 x 4 jeeps that are converted especially for safaris. The Gypsys are small and can carry four people at the back comfortably. The Mahindra Scorpios are larger, therefore can contain up to 6 people in the rear two rows of seating. Due to its spaciousness and size, Mahindra tends to be more comfortable. (You may see a couple of large buses that are driven into the parks belonging to Madhya Pradesh Tourism where visitors up to 20 or more can be carried in these vehicles. This is an option local tourist on a budget would use.)

Both vehicles are completely open with no roofs, so in summer the drives can get very hot and in winter the drives become cold, especially during early morning hours at the start of the safaris. (So be sure to carry hats, sunglasses and a jumper with you, depending on the season). The naturalist generally drives the jeep during the safari. On few occasions, you may have a driver and the naturalist will sit with you at the back.
Safari bookings are made online, however, you don’t need to worry about that, as we’ll book and arrange all your wildlife tours in India for you.

Kings Lodge India

Kings Lodge India

Taj Banjaar Tola Kanha

 Taj Banjaar Tola Kanha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I have a private tiger safari in India?

Most tiger safaris in the parks of central India are shared. Here is a brief explanation of how they work.

The wildlife lodges you are staying at coordinate safaris and the jeeps you will take and the naturalist who joins you come from your lodge. Most lodges have highly experienced and enthusiastic wildlife naturalists. The jeeps are shared; therefore, you will share the game drive with two or more other guests from your lodge. This is common to all the parks in Central India.

A local guide from the national park will also join the safari at the entrance to the park (Park Gate) as a practice. The role of the local guide is to spot and explain about the flora and fauna and share local knowledge. For instance he/she may show Mahua Tree and explain how the locals use various parts of it. However, it’s worth noting that the local guides may have English so the explanations may not take place or be limited.

Which is the best park gate to enter Pench National Park?

There are three gates to enter the Park.

  1. Jamtara Gate
  2. Karmajhiri Gate
  3. Turia Gate – closest to Nagpur

Each of these gates is allocated a number of safari jeeps. Turia is the main gate, hence most popular. As there are no demarcated zones and the park is relatively small, the game drive will take the visitors across the park irrespective of the gate they entered from. However, entry and exit must be from the same gate as per the booking.

  1. Jamtara Gate.     : 4 jeeps
  2. Karmajhiri Gate : 6 jeeps
  3. Turia Gate           : 34 jeeps
Sightings

When is the best time to see a tiger in Pench, India?

Recommended best time for best Tiger sightings: February to April and May.

As the temperature rises to 40 + degrees in May and the leaves completely fall, the frequency of tiger sightings increase. However most foreign travellers would find the heat unbearable and prefer to travel in April instead.

Note: Tiger sightings are year around. Based on the season one would get different experiences altogether, therefore worthwhile travelling during different seasons in the case of repeat visits.

Other sightings

Best time for birding: October, November to mid-December

Other species to see in Pench

Pench National Park is home to many other species including large mammals such as Leopard, Sloth Bear, Chital/Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Asiatic Wild Dog, Sambar Deer, Wild Pig, Rhesus Macaque, Hanuman Langur and over 250 of migratory birds including waders, Ruddy Shelduck and sand pipers.

Details on the eco system in Pench National Park

The park consists of a teak forest. Additionally it has many varieties of deciduous trees. The leaves shed by late summer making it a dry deciduous park.

Pench River flows across the park making it both picturesque and a great habitat for wildlife. Trees such as Crocodile Bark tree, Mahua Tree and Flame of the Forest enhance its uniqueness. There are number of tribal communities on the buffer zone of the park who use the parts of trees, flowers, wood for their daily existence and livelihood. Due to its teak forests and deciduous trees it stands out as the driest park in Madhya Pradesh.

Kanha Earth Lodge

Pench National Park – Tiger Safari

 

 

 

 

How can I get to Pench National Park?

Closest Airport – Pench National Park is the closets park in Madhya Pradesh to an airport. It is just 100 Km away with a 2-hour drive from Nagpur Airport. There are regular short flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Nagpur, making this a convenient place to travel.

 Type of itinerary: For most visitors, Pench National Park is the first on the itinerary or the last on the itinerary focusing on wildlife in central India.

  • Mumbai/Delhi to Nagpur Airport – Pench – Kanha – Bandavgarh – depart from Jabalpur Airport to Mumbai/Delhi
  • Mumbai/Delhi to Jabalpur Airport – Bandavgarh – Kanha- Pench – Depart from Nagpur Airport to Delhi/Mumbai

Note: Some travellers used to travel up to Panna National Park from Bandavgarh, however the daily flights are not operative in Khajuraho (the closest airport). The above-mentioned national parks provide a great mix and a variety for travellers.

 Negatives about the park:

There are no obvious drawbacks to the park.

Sample itineraries which include Pench National Park:

Here are two sample itineraries that include Pench National Park. As always we prefer to create tailor-made itineraries to match individual interests and requirements – please get in touch via the enquiry form or email to tell us about your plans.

#2 Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – India

 Size of the Park: 2000 square km – 900 square km of core area out of which 23% is open for tourists.
Founded in: 1933

The information about Kanha National Park that is essential to know is listed in the following.

  • What is there to see in Kanha National Park?

  • Why you should visit Kanha National Park in India

  • About Kanha National Park

  • When can you visit Kanha National Park?

  • Daily timing of the park for safaris in Kanha

  • Can you take a full day safari in Kanha National Park?
  • Which is the best zone for a safari at Kanha National Park?

  • What is the best time to visit Kanha National Park

  • What other species you can see at Kanha National Park?

  • How do you get to Kanha National Park?

  • Negatives/ Facts to consider before you visit Kanha National Park

  • Sample itineraries which include Kanha National Park

What is there to see in Kanha National Park?

The park is unique in setting as it is remains green even during the driest months due to the evergreen Sal (Shorea Robusta) trees. Sal and Bamboo are the most prominent flora in the park. Kanha National Park is one of the most beautiful parks due to its diverse setting that includes Sal forest, rocky terrains, highlands, meadows and savannah type grasslands.

Apart from a good population of tigers the park boasts of unique species including Swamp Deer and Gaur commonly referred to as the Indian Bison.

trip-wildlife-of-madhya-pradesh-day-11-kanha

Kanha National Park

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should visit Kanha National Park in India

  • Largest National Park in Madhya Pradesh with an evergreen forest consisting Sal trees with a meadow on the highlands of the park.
  • Good tiger sightings
  • Unique sightings of Swamp Deer and Gaur (Indian Bison).
  • Great photography opportunities: diverse terrains and beautiful settings, therefore great for photographers.
  • Centrally located: situated en-route of two other popular parks (Pench and Bandavgarh) thus remaining a favourite.
  • Range of accommodation: There is a range of accommodation to select from – luxury properties (Banjaar Tola – Taj property) to high-to-mid range (Kanha Earth Lodge) to value for money accommodation such as Singinawa Jungle Lodge.
  • Unspoilt local communities: The park is surrounded by local tribal community who are not yet influenced by modernity. You may obtain a rare opportunity to gain an insight to their lives.
  • No camera fees
Taj Banjaar Tola Kanha

Taj Banjaar Tola Kanha

Kanha Earth Lodge

Kanha Earth Lodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Kanha National Park

The park has a diverse ecosystem that makes it home to a variety of wildlife. It has an evergreen forest due to Sal trees. The lower layer consists of bamboo, which stays on in the driest of the months. The hilly terrains and rocky hills are great habitat for leopards. The plateau consists of a great meadow that is home to swamp deer, spotted deer, black bucks and a range of birds. You can see a range of species in one go on the meadow. There is plenty of bird life from raptors to vultures and other small birds including Indian Pitta, Indian roller, Indian Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Lapwings etc. Kanha is the biggest park in Madhya Pradesh and its unique settings makes it the most attractive all year around.

When can you visit Kanha National Park?

Like all parks in Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is open for visitors from 01st October to 30th June and closed from 1st July to 30th September as the monsoons arrive.

01st October – 28th February – Winter (season)

1st March – 30Th June – Summer (season)

The park is closed on Wednesday afternoons. 

Busy times:

Summer: February, March and April

Winter: November

Other times are quite active although late summer is patronised by local tourists. Although the park attracts a large number of visitors, due to its efficient administration of safaris, it never feels overly crowded encouraging free movement for visitors.

Daily timing of the park for safaris in Kanha

The daily timings are governed by sunrise and sunset; accordingly, the park informs the lodges and safari drivers. This is applicable to all Madhya Pradesh parks. For instance, the morning safari would commence at 0530 am in the late summer, and the park is open till 1100 am. The afternoon safari commences at 1600 pm and finishes at 1900 pm. Generally morning safaris are wrapped up by 0930 am in summer.

Can you take a full day safari in Kanha National Park?

Full day safaris are optional and can be arranged on request. Special permits are needed. Recommended for photographers. For general visitors half a day safari is ideal.

Which is the best zone for a safari at Kanha National Park?

 There are three gates to enter the Park.

  1. Sarhi Gate – North Gate
  2. Mukki Gate – South Gate
  3. Khatiia Gate – West Gate

Each of these gates is allocated a fixed number of safari jeeps. Khatia is the most popular gate as it is centrally located. 80 vehicles can enter the park for any safari from this gate. There is a strict code of conduct within the park where vehicles can travel only at 20 km per hour. The vehicles are tracked with GPS. Each vehicle is assigned a zone (there are 4 zones) and they can only travel within these zones.

trip-wildlife-of-madhya-pradesh-day-12-kanha

Best Zone For A Safari At Kanha National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the best time to visit Kanha National Park?

 Best times for tiger sightings in Kanha

Recommended best time for best tiger sightings: February to April and May.

As the temperature rises to 40 + degrees in the month of May most foreign travellers would find the heat unbearable and prefer to travel in April instead.

Note: Tiger sightings are year around, but never guaranteed. If you are a repeat visitor, you want to consider travelling in a different month to your previous trip so you can experience the park during a different season.

Other sightings

Recommended best time for bird watching in Kanha: October -November to mid-December

What other species you can see at Kanha National Park:

The park is famous for Swamp deer, which were extinct some time ago and now re-introduced and thriving in the meadows, Gaur (Indian Bison), and over 39 species of mammals such as Black Buck, Deccan Gazelle, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Wild Pig, Rhesus Macaque, Hanuman Langer and over 300 species of birds including migratory birds who fly down from Himalaya, Siberia and Mongolia make Kanha National Park their home. Bats, rodents, snakes, honey badgers, porcupines and vultures are too in sight as if you are lucky to spot them.

How do you get to Kanha National Park? 

Closest Airport – The nearest airport to Kanha National Park is Jabalpur, which is 160km away, a 3 hour 30 minute drive. There are daily flights from Delhi to Jabalpur.

 Type of itinerary: For Most visitors Kanha National Park sits in the middle of their itinerary

  • Mumbai/ Delhi to Nagpur Airport – Pench – Kanha – Bandavgarh – depart Jabalpur Airport to Mumbai/Delhi
  • Mumbai/Delhi to Jabalpu Airport – Bandavgarh – Kanha- Pench – Depart via Nagpur Airport to Delhi/Mumbai

Note: Some travellers used to travel up to Panna National Park from Bandavgarh, however the daily flights are not operative in Khajuraho (the closest airport). The above-mentioned   national parks provide a great mix and a variety for travellers. 

Negatives/ Facts to consider before you visit Kanha National Park:

The demand for visitation is high into the park. As there are strict controls it is important to book the safari in advance to access the best zones.

There are a large number of villages in the buffer zone, mainly consisting of Baiga and Gond tribes. Although some of the villages have been relocated away from the parks it remains a challenge to fully relocate as the villagers’ lives have been long based on the forests and its surroundings.

Sample itineraries which include Kanha National Park:

Here are two sample itineraries that include Kanha National Park. As always we prefer to create tailor-made itineraries to match individual interests and requirements – please get in touch via the enquiry form or email to tell us about your plans.

#3 Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh (MP) – India

Size of the Park: 1600 square km – 790 square km of core area out of which 20% is open for tourists.

Founded in: 1968 

These are the key facts about Bandhavgarh National Parkthat you should be aware of.

  • What can you see at Bandhavgarh National Park?

  • Reasons why you should visit Bandhavgarh National Park:

  • When can you visit Bandhavgarh National Park ?

  • Daily timing of the park for safaris in Bandhavgarh

  • How can you book a full day safari in Bandhavgarh National Park?

  • Which is the best place to see tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park?

  • What is the best month to take a safari in Bandhavgarh?

  • Wildlife of Bandhavgarh

  • Facts about Bandhavgarh National Park

  • What is the easiest way to get to Bandhavgarh National Park?

  •  Negatives/ facts to consider about the park:

  • Sample itineraries which include Bandhavgarh National Park:

What can you see at Bandhavgarh National Park?

The park has the highest density of tiger population in India which was a Royal Fort long years ago thus obtaining its name brother’s (Bandhav) Fort (Garh). It is one of the busiest parks due in central India attracting a large number of tourists in both summer and winter seasons.

Although park is synonymous with tiger sightings, it has a wide range of other animals including Gaur, which was reintroduced to the park in recent times. The natural springs in the park help to supply much needed water in the driest months of May and June. Such water holes attract thirsty animals including tigers making it a great place for overall sightings.

Samode Safari Lodge

Samode Safari Lodge

Samode Tiger Bandhavgarh

Samode Tiger Bandhavgarh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons why you should visit Bandhavgarh National Park:

  • Best park for tiger sightings in Madhya Pradesh due to higher density of tigers
  • Good range of accommodation to select from – High-end properties (Samode Safari Lodge, Mahua Kothi – Taj Property) to high-mid range (Kings Lodge, Tree House hideaway)
  • There are interesting historical monuments inside the park including Lord Vishunu’s reclining statue on a seven hooded serpent that is believed to have been constricted in 10th century A.D
  • Great photography opportunities for tigers
  • No camera fees

 

Tree House Hideway Hotel

Tree House Hideway Hotel

Taj Mahua Kothi

Taj Mahua Kothi

 

 

 

 

 

When can you visit Bandhavgarh National Park ?

Like all parks in Madhya Pradesh, Bandavgarh National Park is open for visitors from 01st October to 30th June and closed from 1st July to 30th September as the monsoons arrive.

01st October – 28th February – Winter (season)

1st March – 30Th June – Summer (season)

The park is closed on Wednesday afternoons. Full day safaris are possible on Wednesdays

 Busy times:

Summer: February, March and April

Winter: November

The park attracts large number of local tourists year around.

Daily timing of the park for safaris in Bandhavgarh

The daily timings are governed by sunrise and sunset; accordingly, the park notifies the lodges and safari drivers. This is applicable to all national park in Madhya Pradesh. In the late summer months the morning safari starts at 0530 am and the park is open until 11 am. The afternoon safari commences at 4pm and finishes at 7pm. Generally morning safaris finish by 0930 am in summer.

How can you book a full day safari in Bandhavgarh National Park?

 Full day safaris are optional and can be arranged on request. Special permits are needed. Full day safaris are great for photographers or avid wildlife enthusiasts. In general, for most visitors half-day safaris are ideal.

Tigers

Tiger Bandhavgarh

Which is the best place to see tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park?

Park Gates

There are three gates to enter the Park.

  1. Tala Gate – Zone 01
  2. Maghadi Gate – Zone 2
  3. Khitauli Gate – Zone 03

Each of these gates is allocated a set number of jeeps that can enter during the safari timings. Tala gate is the most popular gate: 60 vehicles can enter the park for any safari from this gate. Each vehicle is assigned a zone (there are 5 zones) and they can only travel within these zones.

What is the best month to take a safari in Bandhavgarh?

Sightings

Best times for Tiger Sightings

Recommended best time for best Tiger sightings: February to April and May.

As the temperature rises to 40 + degrees in the month of May most foreign travellers would find the heat unbearable and prefer to travel in April instead.

Note: Tiger sightings are year around, though never guaranteed. Visiting the park at different times of the year will provide different experiences. Therefore, if you are returning to the park or a repeat visitors, consider visiting at a different time of the year to you last visit so you can see the park at a different seasonal cycle.

Other sightings

Recommended best time for birding: October -November to mid-December

Wildlife of Bandhavgarh

 Bandavgarh National Park is home to many other species including Leopard, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Wild Pig, Sambar Deer, Gaur and over 289 species of birds including Sarus Crane (largest in India), Drongos, Grey hornbills, Malabar Pied Horn Bill, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Stork Bill King fisher, raptors and vultures to name a few.

Samode Bandhavgarh

Samode Bandhavgarh

Facts about Bandhavgarh National Park

At Bandhavgarh Sal, Bamboo and deciduous trees dominate the eco system. They shed their leaves in summer and park becomes dry. The park has natural springs and rocky terrains including rugged topography that was Gondwanaland. Some rocks formations date back a million years in time.

What is the easiest way to get to Bandhavgarh National Park?

Closest Airport – The nearest airport to Bandhavgarh National Park is Jabalpur, which is 160km away, a 3-and-a-half-hour drive. There are daily flights from Delhi to Jabalpur.

 Type of itinerary: For most visitors Bandavgarh is the starting point of their itinerary for a wildlife tour of India.

  • Mumbai/Delhi to Jabalpur Airport –Bandavgarh – Kanha – Pench depart from Nagpur Airport to Mumbai/Delhi

However, some opt to finish up with Bandhavgarh NP

  • Delhi/ Mumbai to Nagpur Airport – Pench – Kanha – Bandavgarh – depart from Jabalpur airport to Delhi/ Mumbai 

 Negatives/ facts to consider about the park:

Bandhavgarh is extremely popular; therefore the demand to visit the park is high. As such, it is important to book your wildlife tour of India in advance in order for us to secure safari slots and access the best zones for you.

Bandhavgarh and a wildlife safari could be added to our suggested central India tours – India’s Hidden Heart and Backroads of India: Delhi to Mumbai

Sample itineraries which include Bandhavgarh National Park:

Here are two sample itineraries that include Bandhavgarh National Park. As always we prefer to create tailor-made itineraries to match individual interests and requirements – please get in touch via the enquiry form or email to tell us about your plans.

You may also like to read our recent travel blog on choosing the best park for a wildlife tour in India.

 #4 Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan– India

Size of the Park: 392 square km –The park is divided into 10 zones for visitors
Founded in: 1980

These are the most important details regarding Ranthambhore National Park that you need to know.

  • What is unique about the park

  • About Ranthambhore National Park

  • Is it worth visiting Ranthambore for a safari?

  • When can you visit Ranthambhore National Park

  • Full day safaris

  • Other wildlife species you can see at Ranthambhore

  • How do you get to Ranthambhore?

  • Negatives/ facts to consider about the park

  • Tipping and wildlife tours in India

  • Sample itineraries which include Ranthambhore National Park

What is unique about the park

The park was a royal hunting ground of the Maharajas and has earned its reputation for great tiger sightings. Having a deciduous forest and surrounded by rocky Aravalli mountains, the park makes a great habitat for Bengali tigers and sightings.

The park has interesting heritage sites including the Ranthambhore Fort and three red temples that were constructed in 12th and 13th centuries.

Tiger Safari Ranthambhore

Tiger Safari Ranthambhore

Is it worth visiting Ranthambore for a safari?

  • Best park for tiger sightings within the Golden Triangle.
  • Great a range of accommodation to select from – luxury hotels in Ranthambhore (Vanyavilas – Oberoi) to high-mid range (Khem Villas) and value for money accommodation – (Fateh’s Retreat).
  • Easy access by train and by road
  • No camera fees 

When can you visit Ranthambhore National Park

Ranthambhore National Park is open for visitors from 01st October to 30th June and closed from 1st July to 30th September as the monsoons arrive.

In some instances, zone 6-10 may open up during the monsoons. This is done at the discretion of the forest.

01st October – 28th February – Winter (season)

1st March – 30Th June – Summer (season)

Khem Villas

Khem Villas

Busy times:

Ranthambhore is busy at all times as it is easily accessible by travellers visiting India’s Golden Triangle. The park attracts a large number of local tourists year around as well.

Best times for Tiger Sightings

Recommended best time for best tiger sightings: February to April and May.

As the temperature rises to 40 + degrees in May, many foreign travellers would find the heat unbearable and prefer to travel in April instead.

Note: Tiger sightings are year around, though never guaranteed.

Daily Timing of the park for safaris

  • 01 Oct – 31 Oct – 0630 – 1000 (morning safari) 1430 – 1800 (afternoon safari)
  • 01 Nov – 31 Jan – 0700 – 1030 (morning safari) 1400 – 1730 (afternoon safari)
  • 01 Feb – 31 March – 0600 – 0930 (morning safari) 1430 – 1800 (afternoon safari)
  • 01 April – 15 May – 0600 – 0930 (morning safari) 1500 – 1830 (afternoon safari)

15 May – 30 June – 0600 – 0930 (morning safari) 1530 – 1900 (afternoon safari)

Full day safaris

There is an option to take a full-day safari in Ranthambhore National Park – which may appeal to wildlife photographers and exceptionally keen wildlife fans. A special permit is needed for a full-day safari in Ranthambhore and can be arranged on request. For most visitors a half-day safari is ideal.

Ranthambhore Safari

Ranthambhore Safari

Safari bookings

Safari bookings are managed online. However, the process is controlled by local authorities and as such is not necessarily transparent. Booking need to be made well in advance due to high demand so that the appropriate pass based on the zones can be obtained. There are 10 zones in operation at Ranthambhore.

Safaris at Ranthambhore National park are managed by the park administration. When your safari lodge/ hotel books your safari, the park will send the safari jeep with a driver and a local guide to pick you from the lodge. You will be informed of the pick up times on arrival in Ranthambhore at the lodge or by your local representative. Most safari jeeps in Ranthambhore are the 4-seater Gypsys. The safaris are shared with others (which is decided by the park administration) so guests from other lodges may join you during your safari. You are picked up from the hotel/ lodge and dropped back after the safaris. A local guide is allocated to each safari along with the driver.

Park Gates

There are three gates to enter the Park.

Zone 1-5 – Main entrance

Zone 6-10 – Entrance from the new town

When is the best time to see a tiger at Ranthambhore?

Best times for Tiger Sightings

Recommended best time for best tiger sightings: February to April and May.

As the temperature rises to 40 + degrees in May, many foreign travellers would find the heat unbearable and prefer to travel in April instead.

Note: Tiger sightings are year around, though never guaranteed.

Other wildlife species you can see at Ranthambhore 

Ranthambhore National Park is home to many other species including leopard, sloth bear, spotted dear, blue bull, sambar, Deccan Gazelle, Blue Bull Hyena, Golden jackal, and over 320 species of birds including Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Common Kingfishers, Indian Grey Hornbills, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Asian Palm Swift, Parakeets, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Crakes, Snipes, Dove, Sandpipers, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles etc.

Wildlife_Tiger

Wildlife_Tiger

 

 

 

 

 

About Ranthambhore National Park 

The park has high number of deciduous trees and typically represents Rajasthan’s dry terrains. It is surrounded by the rugged Aravalli Mountains. The entire park is rugged and has isolated spots that are lustrous and green. However, there are few months of greenery after the monsoons before going back to its original appearance.

How do you get to Ranthambhore?

Closest Airport – The nearest airport to Ranthambhore National Park is Jaipur. The park is easily accessible by train with Sawai Madhopur station only 15 minutes away.

 Type of itinerary: Most itineraries include Ranthambhore National Park in a tour of the Golden Triangle, which includes the cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

Negatives/ facts to consider about the park:

Demand to access the park is high, due to its accessibility. It is important to book safaris ahead of time to access the best zones. In our observations, we have seen rules are regularly broken to obtain better tiger sightings.

Tipping and wildlife tours in India

Should I tip my naturalist and local guide after a safari in India?
Tipping is always an option – never compulsory. However, the local guides at all parks do expect a tip, particularly if you have been lucky enough to see a tiger. As a general guide we suggest a tip of around 300 rupees to the local guide and a tip of about 500 rupees for the naturalist.

Ranthambhore Safari

Ranthambhore Safari

Sample itineraries which include Ranthambhore National Park:

Here are two sample itineraries that include Ranthmabhore National Park. As always we prefer to create tailor-made itineraries to match individual interests and requirements – please get in touch via the enquiry form or email to tell us about your plans.


We hope you find this detailed information about the best national parks of India to visit useful as well as our travel tips on where and when to go to take a tiger safari in India. If you’d like more information about travelling to other parks for wildlife tours of India contact us at mail@indiaunbound.com.au

India Unbound is well-known for being the greatest travel operator in India and for offering specialized itineraries across the country.