India is home to over half of the world’s population of tigers. It remains one of the best places to see the majestic Bengal tiger, a symbol of strength, agility and grace, a combination that is unmatched by other animals The Bengal tiger was declared as the National Animal of India in April 1973.
Experience an adventure and let your adrenaline run by going on a Tiger Safari. See the magnificent striped felines in their natural habitat, learn about their existence and survival in the national parks across India.
Indian tigers, or commonly known as Bengal tigers, they are the most common tiger and number about half of all the wild tigers. They are found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar.
They live in a wide range of habitats including high altitudes, tropical and subtropical rainforests, mangroves, and grasslands.
These tigers mostly hunt at dusk and prey on medium to large animals such as gaur, water buffalo, sambar, chital or mottled deer, and wild boar. Due to habitat destruction and hunting, the tigers are now classified as endangered animals.
Bengal tiger’s characteristics and lifecycle
An average male Bengal tiger can weigh around 420 pounds and has a body length of 9 feet long including the tail. A female Bengal tiger is not significantly smaller than the male, weighing 310 pounds and 8 feet long including the tail.
The development stage of Bengal tigers will last up to three and a half months where they will be concealed in the den provided by their mothers. The cub is allowed to venture out of the den when it reaches two months old where it will be trained in hunting skills.
When they reached the age of 2 or 3, they will become fully independent of parental control and form their territory.
Bengal tiger’s hunting and diet
Bengal tigers are nocturnal by nature. Usually, they will approach their prey from the side or behind and attack their neck. They will then either sever the spinal cord or pounce with a suffocating blow to kill the prey.
The tigers are carnivores in nature. They hunt medium and large-sized animals, such as wild boar, badgers, water buffaloes, deer goats, small elephants, sambar, chital, gaur, nilgai, and rhino calves.
Bengal tiger’s conservation
Bengal tigers face extreme threats in the wild. They are hunted for trophies and for their body parts to be used for medicinal purposes. They are also hunted if they prey on domestic livestock. Due to habitat destruction and hunting, Bengal tigers are now classified as endangered.
In India, conservation efforts have been made focusing on stopping poaching as well as protecting areas and wildlife corridors that tigers use.
See tigers in the wild via a jeep safari
Beyond India’s buzzing and bustling cities, you can venture out to explore the country’s wildlife. One of the most popular safaris is by jeep to see the Bengal tigers in their natural habitat. Not only is the iconic Bengal tiger – one of the top-draws for safari-goers, but you will also enjoy an array of other wild animals and the grasslands.
Ranthambore National Park is one of India’s biggest and most renowned national parks. It is known to be the best tiger spotting location of India. The park offers open jeep safari services as well as canter services.
Jeep safaris are available in almost all of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across India. On the safaris, you will go with other groups of tourists or individuals and are accompanied by an experienced naturalist.
Most safaris are available from October to June twice a day. The morning safaris start from 5.30 to 6.30 am and the afternoon safaris commence around 2.00 to 3 pm. Each safari will be between 2 to 4 hours.
You can book the jeep safaris through the national parks’ online websites. Foreigners are recommended to book their safaris 90 days in advance.
With Asia Highlights, we can help make your planning easy. By booking with us we can secure your tickets and arrange a private transfer from your hotel to the national park. No stress and no fuss – just bring your passport, camera and shoot!
Best places to spot tigers in India
There are many national parks located across India where you can see the Royal Bengal Tigers. Some of the most famous ones are the Ranthambhore National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Tadoba National Park, Jim Corbett National Park, and Satpura National Park.
Most of these parks are open from October to June as they are closed from June to September due to high monsoon levels. Some parks like Corbett National Park are open throughout the year. Aside from the Bengal Tigers, the parks are also home to other wildlife such as a variety of birds, deers, and other jungle cats.
||Best time to visit
|Ranthambhore National Park
||Jungle cats, Indian fox, crocodiles, leopards, sloth bear, and jackals
||April to May
|Bandhavgarh National Park
||Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
||Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, ratel, gray mongoose, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, tiger, wild pigs, spotted deer, sambar, chausingha, nilgai, chinkara, gaur, dhole, the small Indian civet, palm squirrel, lesser bandicoot rat, common langurs and rhesus macaque
||April to June
|Kanha National Park
||Sloth bear, leopards, Indian wild dog, and barasingha
||April to June
|Tadoba National Park
||Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, , spotted deer, barking deer, chital, marsh crocodile, Indian python, Indian cobra, grey-headed fish eagle, crested serpent eagle, peacock, jewel beetles, and wolf spiders
||March to May
|Jim Corbett National Park
||Nainital District, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand
||Great pied or hornbill, orange breasted green pigeon, and white-backed vulture, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, and yellow-throated marten
||March to June
|Satpura National Park
||Madai, Sarangpur, Madhya Pradesh
||Leopards, black buck, wild dogs, golden jackals, Indian bison, and porcupine
||April and May
Ranthambhore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks in the country. The park is a protection site for tigers and a top tiger reserve. Aside from that, it is also home to other animals such as jungle cats, Indian fox, crocodiles, leopards, sloth bear, and jackals.
Covering an area of approximately 400 square kilometers, the forest landscape inside the park includes lush shrubby vegetation, arid lands, greenery, grasslands, ravines, valleys, hilly terrain, river channels, lakes, and water holes.
Ranthambore National Park provides 2 safari services, the 6-seater jeep safari, and the 20-seater Canter safari. Two safaris are carried out each day, one starting at 7 am and the other at 2.30 pm. The safari duration will be about 3 hours.
Even though the park is open throughout the year, February and March have a pleasant climate, the best months to spot a tiger is during the months of April and May.
Some of the places to stay near Ranthambhore National Park are Sher Bagh and Oberoi Vanya Vilas. Both of these places offer Wi-Fi connection, spa treatments, and a campfire ground. There is also a dining tent, swimming pool, and a bar in Sher Bagh.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park boasts a tremendous amount of species like the Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, ratel, gray mongoose, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, tiger, wild pigs, spotted deer, sambar, chausingha, nilgai, chinkara, and gaur.
The park has three major zones which are Tala, Bamera, and Magdi, covering an area of 105 square kilometers and a buffer area of approximately 400 square kilometers. The landscape includes steep ridges, undulating forest, and open meadows.
Jeep safaris are available where you will enter one of the three zones of the park. Two sessions will be held during a day, one at around 6 am and then around 3 pm. The duration of the safaris will last around 3 to 4 hours.
The park is open through the months of October to June, but the best time to spot the tigers will be from April to June.
You can opt to stay at Bandhav Vilas or Mahua Kothi when visiting Bandhavgarh National Park. Some services provided by these places include swimming pool, laundry services, spa treatments, and Ayurvedic massages.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is one of the many tiger reserves in India and is considered as the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. The park is home to a major population of the Royal Bengal Tiger, sloth bear, leopards, Indian wild dog, and barasingha.
Kanha National Park covers an area of 940 square kilometers. The landscapes of the park include lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows, and ravines.
You can take the jeep safaris where you can explore the exotic wildlife and backwoods of Kanha National Park. The safaris are held twice a day, one at 6 am and another at 3 pm. Each safari will be approximately 4 hours.
April to June will be the best time to go for a tiger safari in this national park.
When visiting Kanha National Park, you can stay at Tuli Tiger Corridor. Tuli Tiger Corridor offers luxuries Royal Tents which are equipped with modern facilities such as air-conditioner, king-sized bed, TV, private dining lounge, mini bar, and contemporary bath with modern fixtures.
Tadoba National Park
Tadoba National Park is notably Mahaashtra's oldest and largest national park. You are able to see wildlife ignclud Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, chital, marsh crocodile, and Indian python.
The park is spread over an area of 1727 square kilometers and is overshadowed by teak and bamboo, and with a magical landscape of rugged cliffs, marshlands, and lakes.
Tadoba National Park offers Gypsy and Jeep safaris. They are held twice a day, the first at 6 am and the other in the afternoon at 3 pm. The safaris will be around 3 hours.
The summer months which are from April to June are the best time for you to spot the tigers.
Some places to stay near Tadoba National Park are Svasara Jungle Lodge and Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge. The rooms at these places are equipped with air-conditioning, luxury beds, TV, and private elegant bathrooms. There are also outdoor gazebos at both places for an outdoor dining experience.
Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park of India. It is home to more than 650 endangered species of birds such as the great pied or hornbill, orange breasted green pigeon, white-backed vulture, and Asiatic black bear.
The park covers an area of about 520 square kilometers, comprising of hills, marshy land, a large lake, riverine belts, and grasslands.
You can choose between 2 safaris in the park, the jeep safari or the canter safari. Two safaris are held each day, with the first one at 6.30 am and the other in the afternoon at 1.30 pm. Each safari duration will be approximately 4 hours.
The park is open from October to June, and the best time to go for a tiger safari is from March to June.
You can stay at the Aahana Resort when visiting Jim Corbett National Park. Some facilities in this resort include a multi-cuisine restaurant featuring Indian and Chinese cuisines, swimming pool with jacuzzi, and a trampoline area.
Satpura National Park
Satpura National Park is home to 1300 species of flora including teak, sal, tendu, mahua, bel, and bamboos, as well as different species of animals like four-horned antelope, bhedki, rhesus, monkey chinkara, wild boar, buck, fox, flying squirrel, and Indian joint squirrel.
Spreading across an area of 524 square kilometers, the rugged terrain of the park consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines, and dense forests.
Jeep safaris are available in the park. There will be two sessions in a day, one at 6 am and one at 1.30 pm. The safaris will last for 4 hours.
October to March are the most pleasant months to visit this park, but April and May will provide the best wildlife sightings, including the tigers.
When visiting Satpura National Park, you can stay at the Forsyth Lodge. The lodge provides recreational services such as a swimming pool, mini library, evening bonfires, as well as laundry services.
How to choose a tiger safari
To get the best tiger safari experience, it will require an extensive planning process.
The first step is to select the right place to visit. There are 166 national parks located across India. The areas with the most amounts of tigers are around Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, so you may want to consider visiting parks around these areas such as Ranthambore and Kanha.
The next step is to consider what time of the year should you go for a tiger safari. The best time to see tigers is on the months of April, May, and June. During this period, water sources dry up and vegetation dies, which makes it a great time to spot the tigers.
You will also need to consider whether you solely want to see tigers or have an all-around experience. Tiger safaris can be established within a sightseeing tour or they can be the main purpose of a holiday.
The third thing you need to consider is whether you will be joining a small group or taking a tailor-made trip.
Joining a small group will mean having set departure dates, a fixed itinerary and usually traveling with around 12 people in total. Going on a tailor-made trip will allow more flexible travel dates and standard accommodations.
The final step will be to book your trip in advance. There is a huge demand for tiger safaris, so it is important for you to book ahead. It is recommended for you to book 9 months in advance.
India is a land of culture and contrast. It’s also a land of amazing safari tours. If you are looking for an adventure, then go on a tiger safari. Whether it's your first time on a tiger safari or you want a better experience for your India trip, let Asia Highlights help you with your plans.