At the start of a tiger safari, people remain unaware about where to spot the big cat but the following five destinations will allow you to experience a tiger safari in India that you will never forget.
There are 40 national parks in India where tigers can be found and a hunt for ‘The Tiger’ is carried out best at Bandhavgarh National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Kanha National Park, Jim Corbett National Park and Satpura National Park.
Bandhavgarh National Park
The first step of a tiger safari is best experienced at the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, ‘Hindustan ka dil’. This place is also known as the ‘Land of the White Tiger’. I can convincingly conclude that it has the maximum density of tigers as Bandhavgarh’s topography comprises forests, open meadows and steep ridges. This place alone has over 50 tigers. Once here, you can get a peek at sambar, chital deer, wild boar, barking deer, leopard, in short, ‘wildlife at its best’.
How to reach: One can reach Bandhavgarh by road due to its connectivity with cities like Satna, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Umaria etc. The nearest railway station to Bandhavgarh is Umaria at a distance of 35 km, the closest airport being at Jabalpur, which is 200 km away.
Ranthambore National Park
Hunt for the tiger stops next at the Ranthambore National Park. The most striking feature of Ranthambore are the primeval ruins present here. One can spot several tigers and leopards at a fort situated amidst the ruins here. The definition of wild was redefined with even crocodiles being a regular here. If clicking photographs fascinate you then this is the place where you will get some of the finest pictures of the wild cat. Don’t forget to carry your camera to Ranthambore.
How to reach: Rajasthan Tourism Department has luxury buses, local buses and there is an option of private taxis also. Ranthambore can be easily reached from anywhere in Rajasthan. Frequent trains run between Delhi-Mumbai-via-Sawai Madhopur, which is 11 km from Ranthambore. The closest airport is at Jaipur, which is 140 km away.
Kanha National Park
Next stop on the list is Kanha National Park. Books in school aptly describe Kanha being one of the parks with open expanses where one can spot a tiger with absolute ease. Barasingha is another animal you can find here Kanha being the only place to house this endangered animal.
How to reach: Nearest cities to this destination are Jabalpur, Nagpur and Raipur. For reaching Kanha, National highway-7 has to be taken that connects Varanasi to Kanyakumari. The closest rail link is at Jabalpur, which is 165 km and it is also the closest airport.
Jim Corbett National Park
Being India’s oldest parks, Jim Corbett National Park is another popular tiger safari destinations that catches attention. One can spot tigers and experience jungle environs at their best while staying out in the jungle inside tents and hearing outlandish sounds made by animals throughout the night. This place is home to elephants and is termed the ‘elephant park’.
How to reach: The closest city to Jim Corbett National Park is Nainital, which is at a distance of 66 km. Closest rail link is Ramnagar, which is 12 km away and Phoolbagh at Pantnagar is the closest airport, which is 50 km away.
Satpura National Park
The final halt of the journey into the wild is Satpura National Park. This place is not frequented but there are tigers, black bucks, flying squirrels, bears, foxes et al and the most striking part of being here is that you are allowed to walk through the woods here.
How to reach: One can reach here via Bhopal or Jabalpur and the closest city is Pachmarhi. Itarsi, Pipariya, Hoshangabad and Sohagpur are the closest rail links as this destination has got three entrances and Bhopal is the nearest air link, which is 200 km away.