India Wildlife Safaris
An Indian wildlife safari is not just about tigers . . . but who would say no to a chance of seeing one?!
A male tiger was sunning himself on a rock and a female tiger lay under a tree with two 18-month old cubs. Five samba deer came closer and closer until one cub launched herself, caught a deer and took it into the lake where a crocodile tried to steal it!
India has about 550 wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves covering just 4% of the land. There are roughly 500 mammal species and 2000+ bird species including some very special species, some of which are endangered and nearly all of which are struggling for habitat, including: Bengal tiger, wild elephant, Asian one-horned rhino, Asiatic lion, snow leopard, sloth bear, red panda, great Indian bustard, forest owlet and Siberian crane.
Here is a list of our favourite 24 reserves:
Bandhavgarh – Bandipur - Chambal Sanctuary - Corbett - Desert - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve - Eravikulam - Gir - Hemis - Kanha - Kaziranga - Keoladeo Ghana - Little Rann of Kutch - Nagarhole - Pench - Periyar - Ranthambore - Sariska - Satpura - Silent Valley - Sunderbans - Tadoba - Valley of Flowers - Velvadar
Each of the wildlife sanctuaries has a reason why you should visit, so our India experts always tailor-make wildlife safaris. That way you get the right reserve for the type of wildlife you’re looking for and you can also choose your preferred style and standard of accommodation.
So, whether you a keen birder, or longing to search for red pandas, hoolock gibbons or majestic tigers, let us advise you of the best place and best time to go to India to search for wildlife. Here are a few pointers, and you can also check out our Travel Guide to Big Cat Safaris or some of our many blogs, but best of all, just pick up the phone and call for a chat!
- Tigers: India has 50 tiger reserves, however the one with the highest population – Sunderbans – is not the best place to start if you want to catch a glimpse. That honour changes now and then, but usually in the top positions are the reserves of: Kanha, Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh and Tadoba, which are all in central India (other than Bandhavargh in the north).
- Birds: Keoladeo Ghana N.P at Bharatpur is one of India’s best birdwatching reserves, and one of the Siberian Crane’s winter habitats. To find the rare Great Indian Bustard you need to head for Rajasthan’s Desert National Park, but sadly, this large bird is on the very edge of extinction.
- Rhinos: The Indian one-horned rhino’s main stronghold in India is Kaziranga N.P in Assam, north east India. Chitwan in Nepal is the next most important sanctuary for them. Kaziranga is also home to a good number of wild elephants, swamp deer, hoolock gibbons, Malabar giant squirrels and more.
- Snow leopards: To stand a chance of a glimpse of the rare snow leopard you need to head for Hemis National Park in the Himalayan state of Ladakh. You’ll also find Tibetan wolves, lynx, yak and ibex here. But be warned, it’s hard work. Read more in our Big Cat Safaris Guide.
- Asiatic lions: Once wide-ranging, in India Asiatic lions can only be found in Gir N.P in Gujarat. There only about 500 Asiatic lions left worldwide.