India’s Top 12 Places for Wildlife Safari Holidays
Amid the noise of the horns, the chirping of the birds fades away,
Amid the tall concrete buildings, the green heavens fade away,
Thus, now it’s high time to enjoy a genuine wildlife getaway.
With more than 99 national parks, 40 tiger reserves and 450 wildlife sanctuaries, India has cosseted enthralling species of fauna and flora. Be it the mountains of Uttarakhand or the deserts of Rajasthan, every nook and cranny of India embraces rich wildlife. Especially, if you are eager to get a sight of the big striped cats – the tigers, India is the ultimate destination to visit.
In case all this has made you excited and you are thinking to spend some time amidst the wilderness of the respective nation, you are at the right place. Mentioned below are India’s top 10 places for enjoying unforgettable wildlife safari holidays. Read and take a virtual tour.
1. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Stretched across 1,334 square kilometers, the Ranthambore National Park is a home to the royal predators dwelling in the royal land of Rajasthan. Tigers being the main attraction of the park easily fetch the interest of wildlife photographers. While enjoying a safari in Ranthambore, you will be enthralled by the sight of these cats prancing freely and absorbing the warmth of the desert. In addition to the tigers, there are various other wild beings like Sloth Bears, Wild Boars, Sambar and so on that lure tourists.
Best Time to Visit: The park remains open from October to June, but the ideal time to sight tigers is March – May.
2. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
The journey of the Jim Corbett began in 1936, when it was announced as Asia’s very first National Park. Thereafter, in 1974 it was established as the first Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger, and since then the saga hasn’t seen a full stop. Residing in this oldest established national park is the most furious member of the cat family, the Tigers. People from different parts of the world visit Corbett just to get a glimpse of these brilliantly dangerous cats. Besides tigers, Jim Corbett National Park is a habitat of Fishing Cats, Serow, Goral, Himalayan Tahr and several other fascinating wild species.
Best Time to Visit: Visitors are welcomed from Mid November to June end, and the best time for tiger sighting is March to May.
3. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Do you wish to get the spectacular vista of the Royal Bengal Tigers? If yes, come and bask in the wilderness of the Bandhavgarh National Park. Owing to the presence of the striped cats and various other exotic fauna species, Bandhavgarh is counted among the best places for wildlife safari in India. In the past this place worked as a hunting ground for the royalties, but with time the scenario has changed. Presently, Bandhavgarh is a protected area wherein different wild beings can live and prosper intrepidly.
Best Time to Visit: You can visit the park between mid October and June, but if you are there just for the big cats, March to May is the ideal season.
4. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
While the Sher Khan of the Jungle Book roars in the pages, the tiger of Kanha roars in the real woods. More popular as the Mogli land, Kanha is the place that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s best ever classic – the Jungle Book. Be it Bagheera (Black Panther), Baloo (Bear), Kaa (Python), Hathi (Elephant) or Sher Khan (Bengal Tiger), every character of that best seller emanated from the real time inhabitants of the Kanha National Park. Thus, it would not be wrong to state that the wonderful terrain of Kanha is among the perfect places that boast of rich and vivid wild creatures.
Best Time to Visit: The gate is set open from mid October to June, the peak time is March to May, as you get to see the royal cats.
5. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Wish to get a glimpse of one of the most exotic animals – The One Horned Rhinoceros? If your answer is yes, visit the Kaziranga National Park. Spread across 429.69 square kilometers, the Kaziranga National Park is a home to world’s largest population of One Horned Rhinoceros. This place is far away from the human inhabitance and perhaps that is why wildlife is flourishing so beautifully here. Along with the giant Rhinos, Elephants, Bears, Panthers and various pretty birds dwell in the Kaziranga National Park. All this is quite sufficient to justify Kaziranga’s title as one of the famous World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Best Time to Visit: November to end of April is the ideal time to explore this park.
6. Sunderban National Park, West Bengal
Have you ever seen a tiger swimming in the water? Have you ever even heard of it? If not, then you must travel around the Mangroves of the Sunderban National Park. Be it the crown for cosseting world’s largest forest cover of the Mangroves, or for forming India’s largest tiger reserve, or for boasting a tiger populace that has adopted an amphibious lifestyle, Sunderban owns them all. Perhaps no more words are required to state that this park is certainly among the ultimate destinations for enjoying wildlife holidays in India. Further, it is also UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, and by now you know the reason behind this honor.
Best Time to Visit: The Park remains open throughout the year; however, for getting the perfect glimpse of the amphibian tigers the best time is October to April.
7. Gir National Park, Gujarat
The Gir National Park is among the most sparkling jewels of Gujarat’s treasure trunk. If you ask anyone about the Piece de Resistance (center of attraction) of Gir, the unanimous answer would be – the Asiatic Lions. The Gir National Park is the only home to the populace of Asiatic Lions, and thus these big cats considerably contribute to India wildlife tourism. Along with the Lions, the park inhabits around 32 species of mammals, 300 of birds and 26 of reptiles. Hence, Gir is bestowed with rich biodiversity and the same is responsible for the increasing number of visitors in the park.
Best Time to Visit: October to May end is regarded as the best season to visit the respective park.
8. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Established as a National Park in 1983, Pench is one of the best places to spot tigers frisking around with a carefree attitude in their eyes. When the big and furious predators rumble, it is more like a declaration stating ‘this is my kingdom’. In this kingdom of the tigers, reside various other wild beings like Leopard, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Crimson-breasted Barbet and so on. Further, Pench has been an inspiration for BBC’s documentary – ‘Tiger: Spy in the Jungle’. This documentary speaks a lot about the flourishing wildlife of the park.
Best Time to Visit: The park’s gates are set open from mid October to June, and the best time to sight tigers is March to May.
9. Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Be it the Spotted Dear, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Black Buck, Sambar, Four Horned Antelopes, Porcupine, Smooth Otter or Pangolin, every member of the wild world can be seen enjoying a wonderful stay in the Satpura National Park. All those who simply fall for adventure must visit this national park, as the terrain is very rugged and is further complemented with peaks of sandstone, slender gorges, ravines and dense jungle.
Best Time to Visit: October to April is the ideal season for visiting this park.
10. Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
Declared as a National Park in 1955, Tadoba is a wonderful place to enjoy wildlife safari holidays in India. Located within this park is a beautiful lake encircled by lush mixed deciduous forests and undulating hills. This lake is so stunning that it stands among the main attractions of the place. Coming to the wildlife of this park, the inhabitants of Tadoba include Tigers, Barking Deer, Hyenas, Gaur, Leopards and so on.
Best Time to Visit: Though the park remains open from October to June, the best time to spot tigers is March, April and May. As during this time the vegetation becomes dry and animals make their way to the park.
11. Bandipur National Park
Karnataka’s popular national park is an ideal place for a wildlife safari holiday in India. This biodiversity rich wildlife reserve is situated amidst the beautiful surroundings of the famous Western Ghats on the Mysore-Ooty Highway and covers an area of about 874.2 sq km. Bandipur is home to a sizable number of tigers and other animals like gaur, sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild dogs, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, malabar squirrel, porcupines and the black-knapped hare. The national park is also ideal for birdwatching as it is houses numerous birds including jungle fowl and green pigeon. Bandipur is also one of the top wildlife reserve known for efficient eco-conservation.
Best Time to Visit: Bandipur National Park can be visited between the months of October and June as the weather remains quite pleasant.
12. Nagarhole National Park:
Spread in an area of over 643.39 sq. km, Nagarhole National Park is an important wildlife reserve of Karnataka. The national park along with Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park make one of the biggest biosphere reserves in India called Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Nagarhole is known mainly for its surreal landscape that comprises of rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The park is home to wild animals like tiger, leopard, wild dog, sloth bear, hyena spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope , gaur, wild boar and elephant and shelters about 250 species of avifauna making it a perfect place for a wildlife safari vacation in India.
Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Nagarahole is between September and May. During the monsoon months the park undoubtedly becomes verdant, but the roads are rain-soaked and muddy, and thus the access gets difficult.
All the above mentioned national parks are bestowed with exotic species of fauna and flora that entice travelers to visit these destinations. Furthermore, with more and more efforts being made for the conservation of wildlife, the beauty of these protected areas is mounting brilliantly. Thus, without much ado, pack your bags and bask in the wilderness of the Indian National Parks.
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