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Growing wildlife tourism in India- Explore top safaris in India in 2024

India has emerged as a better alternative to the wildlife tourism hubs of Africa and Latin America.

With 106 national parks and 544 wildlife sanctuaries dotting its territorial landscape, India is one of the world’s greatest wildlife destinations.

These national parks and sanctuaries brim with a dense range of flora and fauna and are home to some amazing creatures from the animal and plant kingdoms native to this region.

These include the majestic Royale Bengal Tigers, giant Asian Elephants, fish-eating Gharial crocodiles, the endangered one-horned Indian Rhinoceroses, the reclusive Himalayan snow leopards, Asiatic lions, and Indian Gaur (Bisons).

With rapid advancements in transportation, communication, and tourism infrastructure in recent years, India has emerged as a better alternative to the wildlife tourism hubs of Africa and Latin America.

Picking up your safari style and theme
Nestled in the fringes of India’s legendary wildlife destinations like Ranthambore, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Kaziranga, and Taboba, are some top-notch state-of-the-art safari-themed resorts and accommodations that are at par with anything that you will find in Africa or the Amazon.

Many of them are inspired by the tradition of the royal hunting expeditions of the Maharajas of India. Some replicate the grand colonial safaris of the British colonial era. Yet others concentrate on an eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious brand of safari tourism.

With so many options spoiling you for choice, you can book a safari theme catered specifically to your preferences and style. For more details, checkout this luxury wildlife tour lndia company with all the detailed guidelines .

Top safaris in India in 2024
While the awesome Royal Bengal Tiger remains India’s marquee safari animal, other creatures like Indian leopards, one-horned rhinos, and Asiatic lions are also drawing a larger number of wildlife lovers.

Here is our definitive list of the best tiger safari destinations in India in 2024.

1. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan: For the Royal Bengal Tigers
The former hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur is one of the biggest national parks in North India and is considered among the best tiger-spotting destinations in all of India.

Sprawling over 400 sq. km. the Ranthambore is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers, Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear, Marsh Crocodile, Caracals, Jungle Cats, Golden Jackals, Indian Flying Fox, and many other amazing creatures.

Best time to go
November to March is the peak tourist season in Rajasthan, and that is when the national park gets the most number of tourists, but the best time to go is in April and May when the summer is at its peak.

Tigers and other animals tend to stay close to water holes and reservoirs to keep themselves hydrated and beat the heat. This makes spotting elusive predators much easier than during other months of the year.

But be warned that mercury may rise up over 100 °F during April and May. If you cannot brave such heat, visiting during the winter (November to March) is also not a bad idea.

Note: The Park remains closed between 1st July – 30th Sep every year due to the monsoon season..

Best place to stay
The aptly named Aman-i-Khas is a throwback to the royal hunting expeditions of the Maharajas of Jaipur, who arrived with their elaborate royal entourage, to hunt game in style.

Offering private daily jeep safaris, this fine safari-themed establishment comes with high-class luxury, a large swimming pool, a spa, multiple restaurants, and 24/7 room service.

2. Kaziranga National Park, Assam: For the One-horned Rhinos
The Kaziranga National Park in the northeastern state of Assam is the planet’s last remaining abode of the endangered one-horned Indian rhinoceros. Thanks to the conservation efforts at the national parks, their population has grown to 2,613 (up from 2,401 in 2015).

With a topography characterized by marshlands, moist broadleaf forest, and elephant grass, Kaziranga is also a great natural habitat for a wide range of birds, reptiles, and mammals. It has also been recognized by UNESCO as an “Important Bird Area.”

Best time to go
November to April.

Best place to stay
Borgos The Wild Haven, Kaziranga: The Borgos is a mere 8-minute walk from the main entrance of Kaziranga National Park. Its Jungle-luxe-themed architecture is inspired by the local Assamese eco-friendly traditions. Surrounding by the forest. The Borgos is a world-class luxury safari accommodation.

3. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Named after the renowned conservationist and hunter Jim Corbett, this national park is India’s oldest (established in 1936 during the British Empire era).

It still remains one of India’s most prominent national parks and is an important partner and executioner of the “Project Tiger” launched in 1973 to preserve and expand the populations of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild.

Jim Corbett also has the distinction of having the highest density of tigers per square kilometer. 252 tigers live within the reserve, and a total of 266 use the reserve area.

This national park is located in the lesser Himalayan Mountain ranges at an average height of 1300-1400 ft above sea level. A total of 586 species find their home here. Notable among them are the Indian elephants, fishing cats, deer, Himalayan Black Bears, leopards, jungle cats, pangolins, and langurs.

Best time to go
December to March.

Best place to stay
The Taj Corbett Resort & Spa, operated by the ever-dependable Taj Group of Luxury Hotels, a leading name in the hospitality section in India, is one of the best places to stay in Jim Corbett.

It offers daily jeep safaris and amenities like swimming pools, a luxurious spa, a fitness center, a sauna, multiple fine dining options, and outdoor experiences like archery, off-roading tours, bike rides in the mountains, and a unique jungle survival course.

4. Safaris Galore in Madhya Pradesh: Pench, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh
The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is the ultimate Safari destination in India. The state is home to a whopping 12 national parks, 24 wildlife sanctuaries, 7 Tiger Reserves, 3 Alligator Sanctuaries,2 National Fossil Parks, and 3 Biosphere Reserves.

If you love nature, wildlife, and exotic creatures, Madhya Pradesh is one destination you cannot miss. Here are a few we recommend:

  1. Bandhavgarh National Park
    Located in the Vindhya Hills, Bandhavgarh (105 sq km)—the former hunting ground of the Maharaja of Rewa—is the home of the mythical White Tiger.
  2. Kanha National Park
    Kanha was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s legendary story “The Jungle Book”. Sprawling over 940 sq km, this national park in the Maikal Mountains is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers, Indian leopards, sloth bears, Barasingha (swamp deer), and Dhole (Asian Wild Dogs).
  3. Pench National Park
    This national park sprawls over 758 sq km and is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers, jackals, wild gods, wild boars, Indian leopards, striped hyenas, Gaurs, and the Indian wolf.

Best time to go
October to April.

Best place to stay

  1. Samode Safari Lodge, Bandhavgarh: This jungle-themed resort is small, cozy and eco-friendly. It comprises 12 standalone villas with private yards, a front garden, and all the indoor amenities of a contemporary hotel.
  2. Banjaar Tola, Kanha: Operated by the Taj Group, Banjar Tola is located on the fringe of Kanha National Park. It comprises of two camps. Each camp comes with 9 safari-themed tents. The establishment also boasts a private Sal Forest that sprawls over 90 acres and is home to a wide range of birds and animals.

5. Sundarbans, West Bengal
The Sundarbans comprise 102 small islands in the Ganges Delhi of West Bengal. It is home to a national park, a tiger reserve, and a biosphere.

Due to its importance as a unique wildlife and plantlife habitat, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987, and as a “wetland site of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention.

Creatures found in Sundarbans: Royal Bengal Tigers, hawksbill turtles, chameleons, monitor lizards, saltwater crocodiles, Ganges River dolphins, Indian pythons, King Cobra, and Chinese Green vipers.

6. Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Panna National Park and Tiger Reserve is located on the banks of the Ken River in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It also houses the Ken Gharial (fishing-eating river crocodile) Sanctuary.

Panna is considered one of the best tiger-spotting places in all of India. Other faunas at Panna include Indian leopards, chinkaras, Sambar deer, sloth bears, Asian palm civte, and rusty-spotted cats.

Best time to visit
October to June.

Best place to stay
Pashan Garh, A Taj Safari: Inspired from the architectural tradition of the local Panna tribe, Pashan Garh comprises 12 dry-packed stone cottages equipped with modern amenities.

Each cottage gives you a splendid view of the Panna Jungle. You can climb up to its amazing lookout tower for birdwatching and views of the forest.

Facilities at the establishment include: air-conditioned luxury cottages, a swimming pool, multiple restaurants, guided nature walks and safari tours.

7. Kabini, Karnataka
Located in the Kodagu region of Karnataka, the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is the abode of the Black Panthers. It is considered one of the finest wildlife destinations in South India. Its Forest Reserve area is also a great place to go elephant-spotting and enjoy other exciting adventure sports like biking, boating, fishing, and river safari in the Kabini River.

Best time to go
November to February.

Best place to stay
The Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge is the best place to stay in Kabini. It is flanked on two sides by the Kabini River. Its strategic location between the Bandipur and Nagarhole National Park gives you an opportunity to enjoy two safari experiences.

The architecture of the Evolve Back is inspired by the tradition of the local Kadu Kuruba tribe and is modeled after the local Habis village with hut-styled spacious rooms, pool huts, bars, multiple restaurants, a spa, a large outdoor swimming pool, and Ayurvedic Massage Centre.

8. Tadoba, Maharashtra
The Tadoba National Park is named after the god “Tadoba” worshipped by the indigenous Gond Tribe that lives in these highlands of Central India. The Gond people believe that the mighty god resides in the dense and intimidating jungle of the highlands.

Its Tiger Reserve is famous for its sizeable tiger population.

Best time to go
October to June.

Best place to stay
The Red Earth Tadoba is the best place to stay. It boasts a 15-acre private forest and stone cottages that are built from locally sourced materials using local architectural tradition.

Safari timings – Open & closed months – All you need to know
Most national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are closed for maintenance and rehabilitation during certain times of the year—usually the monsoon (July-September). Massive rainfall and the possibility of floods and other natural calamities also factor into the decision to close them to the public.

However, dates may vary for each national park. Please be sure to check the official website of the national park before making plans.

Ranthambore and all national parks of Madhya Pradesh (Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench, Panna) close from 1st July to 30 September for the monsoon break. They are also closed every Wednesday afternoon.

Jim Corbett National Park is closed from 16th June to 15th November. Kaziranga closes from May to October due to floods.

Tadoba closes every Tuesday, and from 1st July to 15th October. Sunderbans is not ideal for a visit during the monsoon months when the region gets flooded.

Private safari versus a group safari
If you prefer to book a private safari, it operates through a 6-seater Gypsy vehicle. Group safaris tend to be bigger and may comprise 20-30 persons, sometimes even more.

A safari or game drive in India lasts around 3 to 4 hours. Usually, there are two safaris during the day.

The “morning safari” runs from 6 am to 9 am, and the “afternoon safari” runs from 3 pm to 6 pm.

What to wear
Wear loose-fitting clothes in colors that blend easily with the surroundings. Avoid bright colors.

Neutral colors like Khaki, light brown, or tan are good for a safari. Be sure to wear a safari hat and a pair of sunglasses.

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