7 October 2019
What are the chances of seeing a tiger on safari in May and June at the national parks in central India?
The national parks of central India pose many unique opportunities and challenges in the months of May and June. At this time of the year it is late summer when temperatures rise, leaves fall from the trees and every living cell looks forward to the monsoons and replenishing rains. Most visitors to India tend to travel at other times of the year – preferring cooler months around November to January. However, not everyone can visit India at that time of the year. So what can you expect from a wildlife safari in May and June in central India if this is the time of the year you can travel? For starters, you can expect better rates from hotels and lodges so you can splurge on a better lodge and enhance your overall wildlife experience. But what about the tigers – afterall, that’s what everyone wants to see right?
Our clients often ask us what it is like to travel to see wildlife during this period. Our team travelled to three of Central India’s wildlife national parks at the end of May this year and these are their travel tips from the first-hand experience.
What time of the year is best to see a tiger in India?
Among other sightings, tiger sightings drastically improve during the latter part of summer in Central India, especially in May and June when the average temperature rises from 40° to 45° degrees. Almost all the Central Indian parks have deciduous trees. By late summer these trees shed all their leaves leaving the park without leaves on the trees. Lack of thick foliage makes the ideal setting for sightings as visitors can now view far into the forest. Tigers walk down the paths to waterholes daily, mostly in the afternoons creating many great sightings for visitors. These Big Cats tend to lie on the grass snoozing or dig into their prey during other times.
Parks are less crowded
One of the things we really like about travelling in May and June is that the wildlife parks generally tend to be quieter and less crowded. Because there is less rush, there is better attention to detail. You can take your time for viewing whether it be mammals, birds or the majestic tiger.
Great opportunity to take photos for tigers in India for wildlife photographers
If you are a professional photographer this is one of the best times to visit the park. You are likely to encounter other like-minded people carrying heavy, long lenses calmly with a kind of self- assurance of guaranteed sightings. The love for photography and unique clicks can be a drive to go during this time. With the parks being less crowded, the trees bare and great sightings photographers are drawn to the parks during May and June.
Lodges offer great service
During May and June as visitors drop the occupancy rates are low at the wildlife lodges. This is a great opportunity to get better rates and enjoy all the facilities at the lodges. Less occupancy means that the staff also has more time to pay even greater attention to detail and there’s more one to one time with the naturalists. Ask us about securing great rates at one of our preferred wildlife lodges during summer.
What are the challenges to visiting Central Indian National Parks in May and June?
The heat is the biggest challenge.
The temperature during the day can rise up to 45˚, quite unbearable if you are outdoors in the middle of the day. Safaris in the summer start early and return to the lodge mid-morning. Hydrating well, staying indoors and a long dip in the pool during the day and afternoon are the best option to beat the heat. There are plenty of cool places to relax at the safari lodges. In Central India, it is a hot, dry heat. If you can’t stand the heat and don’t cope with it – then this may not be the best time of the year to visit India. For more details about India’s weather – visit our India FAQs page.
Travel tips for dealing with the heat in Central India summer:
Make sure you carry hydrolytes, take cotton clothing that’s light and comfortable, sun hat and sunscreen. We will plan your private tour to maximise the kinder temperatures within the day, which are generally mornings and afternoons.
For detailed information about the national parks and tiger safaris in India – visit our Wildlife dedicated information section on our website. You can reach it by clicking here.
If you are interested in wildlife tours of India – our suggested itinerary Wildlife of Madhya Pradesh maybe of interest to you. Wildlife of India is a 16-day private tour of India that will take you to four of India’s best national parks – an ideal tour for keen wildlife travellers.
You may also like to read our other wildlife blog –
You may also be interested to know which are our tips for the best places to visit in India.