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Best 7 National Parks for Tiger Safaris in India (Tips & Map)

India is the best place to see wild tigers. It enjoys 70% of the world's tiger population and has over 50 tiger reserves.

If you are a wildlife and nature lover, don't miss a wildlife safari tour in one of India's national parks.

The majestic Bengal tigers are the main stars — one of the top-draw animals for safari-goers, but you will also enjoy an array of other wild animals and the grasslands.

Jeep safaris, the most popular way to see the Bengal tigers in their natural habitat, are available in almost all of the national parks across India.

Read on for more information about tiger safaris in India covering the best national parks, best times, and other tips.

1. Ranthambore National Park — Most Popular

Ranthambore National Park Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and best national parks for spotting wild tigers and other animals, such as jungle cats and Indian foxes.

It is close to Agra and Jaipur. The convenient location makes it easy to include in a classic golden triangle trip (of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur).

Moreover, Ranthambore National Park features sparse forest cover and open grassy meadows. A wider and unobstructed view increases the chance of seeing a tiger.

  • How to get there: about 170 km from Jaipur (3½ hours' driving)
  • Location: Rajasthan (a state in northwest India)

Get more information about How to Plan a Trip to Rajasthan 2024 (Beyond Itinerary Tips)

2. Kanha National Park — Most Wildlife

Kanha National Park Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park is considered the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh (central India).

if you are interested in seeing more varied wildlife and a scenic jungle landscape, Kanha National Park is a good choice.

The dense forest, which provides good shelter for its tigers, may lead to less chance to spot a tiger.

  • How to get there: 2 hours' flying form Delhi to Swami Vivekananda International Airport and 4½–5 hours' driving from the airport
  • Location: Madhya Pradesh (a state in central India)

3. Bandhavgarh National Park — Highest Density of Tigers

Bandhavgarh National Park Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park is another popular national park for tiger safaris in Madhya Pradesh.

Bandhavgarh National Park offers the best chance of seeing tigers as it has a higher density of tigers. So, it is also a good choice if you are aiming at spotting tigers (and quickly). It is more remotely located than Ranthambhore and Kandha.

Besides Bengal tigers, it boasts a tremendous amount of species like the Indian guar, the world's largest bovine. You can also enjoy a guided walking safari to explore nature (not the tigers!) from up close.

  • How to get there: 1½ hours' flying from Delhi to Jabalpur Airport and 3½–4 hours' driving from the airport
  • Location: Madhya Pradesh (the state in central India)

Read further about planning a trip to India>>>

4. Jim Corbett National Park — Rich Activities

Jim Corbett National Park Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is India's oldest national park, where you can find every geographical landscape, from marshy swamps to hills, from riverine belts to lakes.

Though it has over 200 tigers, it is not easy to see them in the dense foliage. It is more for wildlife and nature lovers than tiger sightseeing.

It is also the one of the only national parks in India where you have the opportunity to stay inside the park in over-100-year-old forest lodges.

Apart from tiger safaris, you can enjoy other outdoor activities like nature walks, cycling, river rafting, and rope courses.

  • How to get there: about 250 km from Delhi (5 hours' driving)
  • Location: Uttarakhand (a state in central north India)

5. Tadoba National Park — Night Safaris

Tadoba National Park Tadoba National Park

Satpura National Park is notably Maharashtra's (the state in central west India's) oldest and largest national park.

Tadoba National Park is not as big, but has one of the highest populations of tigers in India. This means you would have a good chance of seeing a tiger.

Tadoba National Park also offers a night safari experience, which allows you to observe nighttime wildlife like rusty-spotted cats, civets, and a variety of owls.

There is also good chance to see the shy sloth bear and wild dogs. You can also find some of the Central India's best native woodland bird species in this forest.

  • How to get there: 1½-2 hours' flying from Delhi to Nagpur and 2½ hours' driving from the airport
  • Location: Maharashtra (a state in central west India)

6. Satpura National Park — Less Crowded

Satpura National Park is a relatively less-crowded park for tiger safaris, so it is no struggle to get safari tickets, except during festivals or New Year weekends.

The tiger population in the park is thought to be around 50, but they are sometimes more elusive. Leopards, gaurs (the largest of oxes), wild dogs, and sloth bears are seen more frequently.

There you can also do a walking safari, canoeing, birding, etc.

  • How to get there: 1½ hours' flying from Delhi to Bhopal Airport and about 3½-4 hours' driving (190 km)
  • Location: Madhya Pradesh (the state in central India)

7. Sasan Gir National Park — for Lion Safaris

Sasan Gir National Park Sasan Gir National Park

What makes Gir National Park special is that it is the only place in the world outside Africa where a lion can be seen in its natural habitat.

There you can go on a lion safari by jeep to spot lions roaming free in the wild. You can also see leopards, different species of deer, Chowsingha — the world's only four-horned antelope, jackals, and many other animals, though no tigers.

  • How to get there: about 2 hours' flying from Delhi to Rajkot Airport and about 2 hours' driving (100 km)
  • Location: Gujarat (westernmost state in India)

See how to combine the tiger safari with other highlights from our itinerary ideas for 9 days10 days, 11 days, 12 days, and 2 weeks.

How to Choose a Tiger Safari

Map of National Parks in India for Tiger Safaris

There are three main factors you should consider when choosing a park for a tiger safari — the ease of getting there, the possibility of seeing a tiger, and the scenery of the park.

Bandhavgarh National Park, Ranthambore National Park, and Tadoba National Park will give you a better chance to see a tiger. Among them, Ranthambore is most recommended as it is easier to get to.

If you'd enjoy dense forest scenery more than the sighting of a tiger in open grassland scenery, with rivers, lush greenery, and other outdoor activities, Jim Corbett National Park, Kanha National Park, and Satpura National Park could be better choices for you.

If you would like a uniquely special experience (and if you are already in the Gujarat area of west India), an Indian lion safari in Sasan Gir National Park may be perfect for you.

We can help you book a tiger safari tour and arrange the transport for you. Just contact us.

A Sample India Itinerary with a Tiger Safari

A jeep safari

For first-timers, the classic route with a tiger safari includes Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Ranthambore National Park, covering India's most iconic monuments and mesmerizing landscapes with a search for wild tigers on the way.

The trip usually takes about 9 days. Here is the sample itinerary:

  • Days 1–2: Delhi sightseeing (the iconic temples, tombs, and local markets)
  • Days 3–4: Head to Agra; Agra sightseeing (the Taj Mahal, baby Taj, Agra Fort)
  • Day 5: Drive from Agra to Ranthambore; see the abandoned Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri on the way
  • Day 6: A tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park
  • Days 7–8: Head to Jaipur; Jaipur sightseeing (the ancient palaces and a cooking class)
  • Day 9: Back to Delhi for your departure

If you are interested in the itinerary, check out our 9-Day India Golden Triangle with Tiger Safari Tour for more details. You can also contact us for any questions or needs. All our tours can be adjusted to your requirements.

The Best Time for a Tiger Safari in India

Most national parks are open from mid-October to June and are closed during the monsoon season from July to early October.

For those who are especially interested in a tiger safari, the best time to visit the national parks is from April to June. This is due to drier weather conditions, making it easier for you to have the chance to spot the tigers, as they come out searching for water.

The cooler months from late November to February are the most comfortable time to visit, with pleasant midday temperatures, but vegetation remains dense and can make wildlife spotting challenging.

Experience a Tiger Safari with Us

Experience an adventure and feel your adrenaline rush on a tiger safari with us. See the magnificent striped felines in their natural habitat, and learn about their lives in a national park in India.

All our tours are customizable. We're ready to create your ideal itinerary based on your interests, group size, budget, travel time, and other needs.

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