Tiger Safari in India

Indian Tiger Reserves

The big cat still survives in India in its reserves meant for conservation and protection. Since the last century the number of tigers in the wild has come down drastically from more than a hundred thousand to less than two thousand.  

The animal now survives in the protected areas created by the Government of India. These are notified as National Parks and Tiger Reserves the latter under the Project Tiger Program. Most the parks are managed by the State Governments as conservation units with constant research in place. Nevertheless tourism is a substantial part of the park activity and large number of tourists visit them every year.  

Tiger in India

Indian Bengal Tiger

Tiger at Rest
Credit: Teerath Singh

The tiger population has declined due to rampant destruction of its habitat and hunting. In recent times poaching posses a major threat to the animal.  

Best Places to See the Tiger in the Wild

National Parks

The country has a large number of National Parks spread all over its length and breadth. Many of these parks are home to the tiger. These places are situated in various states of India. Some of the most popular places for safaris are as follows:

  • Corbett Tiger Reserve - Uttaranchal Pradesh
  • Ranthambhore National Park - Rajasthan
  • Kanha National Park - MP
  • Panna National Park - MP
  • Pench National Park - MP
  • Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve - MP

The destinations have a high probability a sightings on tiger safaris in India. These are the best habitats of the big cats and the breeding success is almost hundred percent. Since tourism became popular in these reserves the infrastructure received a big boost.  Now well established mechanism is in place for tracking tigers and other big game. Besides wildlife watching the destinations are popular for birding as more than two hundred species could be discovered on an extended trip. 


BBC Film

An amazing film on tigers in wild India.

Open Jeep Safari

Jeep Safari
Credit: Teerath Singh

Tourists watching tigers on road in an open jeep.

Safari: What To Expect?

Depending upon the destination you will get to see other animals besides the tiger. This needs a stay of about three days. Read in advance about the place and find out the interesting species that you should target to see. If not provided by the tour operator you could hire a local guide for animal watching and birding.

Some of the major attractions in India are:

  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Snow Leopard
  • Wild Elephant
  • Asiatic Lion
  • Wild Ass
  • Bison
  • Swamp Deer
  • Sambar Deer
  • Wild Goats
  • One Horned Rhino
  • Lion Tailed Macaque
  • Water Buffalo
  • Golden Langur

There are many endemic species that one can encounter on a wildlife trip.  The tour can lead you to places which do not have the tiger but offer sightings of interesting animals listed above.        

How to Organize a Safari?

Tiger Safari

Although there are many tour operators in India that organize tours for wildlife watching, you could go at it alone. First you have to decide where to go since India is a big country, and the reserves are situated at a distance.

Once you have decided the destination you should use the State Website to find out the Field Directors office address and reserve your safari in advance.  Similarly you should look for hotels online and book the one you find suitable and affordable. The hotels will help in booking safari if you have already not done so.

In case of MP or Madhya Pradesh you can book the safari online using the MP Online Portal.  While booking the safari in MP you can choose the entry gate. These parks are divided into various zones to prevent cluttering of vehicles inside.  You can book a preferred zone if you have an idea about the habitat.

You have to book the jeeps as well since only vehicles registered with the park authorities are allowed to enter. In all these matters you hotel staff can help you. If you are booking the visit through a tour operator in India than all the formalities are taken care of by the company. Many offer affordable package for wildlife watching and birding.         


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