• Bengal tiger safari, India

The best places in India to see tigers

Whilst sadly these days there are more Bengal tigers in captivity than in the wild, India is still the place to be.

A selection of national parks afford you the rare chance to spend time with this majestic cat in its natural environment. Yes, some of the national parks are not the best managed, but working with our partners on the ground, we do our utmost to provide you with the best guides and best knowledge, using lesser known and accessed park entrances, to give you a truly unparalleled experience.

Bengal tiger, Andrew James

Bandhavgarh National park

Although seeing a tiger is rare, Bandhavgarh National Park is known for its tiger sightings and it wouldn’t be unusual to spot one here. The Park is situated within the Madhya Pradesh region in Central Northern India and although a little out of the way it is fairly simple to get to. A flight from Delhi to Jabalpur takes roughly 2 hours which is followed by a 4 hour drive to the park; the journey is worth it and a must if you want to see these beautiful animals in the wild. Bandhavgarh is a small but wildlife-rich and picturesque park and is a great location for an Indian tiger safari. The ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort dominate the 800m high central plateau that look out over the rocky hilltops, monsoon and sal forests of the park that are home to a variety of fauna and flora including approximately 90 tigers, 25 leopards, chital, sambar, langur monkeys, jackals and a number of birds including the crested serpent eagle, white-eyed buzzard and parakeets! Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the newer members of Project Tiger but its history is believed by some to date back as far as the 1st century BC; with its numerous cave systems and ancient ruins, discoveries are still being made today! The park has the highest density of tigers in India and is one of the smallest parks. There are estimated to be one tiger to every 4km, which makes the chances of sotting them quite high!

Kanha national park

Kanha National Park is also a fantastic location and one of the best places to see a tiger in India and works very well in combination with Bandhavgarh National Park. Kanha National Park is one of the biggest national parks in India and was where ‘The Jungle Book’ was set. Kanha is also located within the Madhya Pradesh region of India and is a similar distance from Jabalpur Airport. A safari here is fantastic and having two entrances to the park means you are able to drive from one side of the park to the other. The scenery here is fantastic and driving through this park searching for the tigers is truly a great experience. This striped predator blends effortlessly into the forest undergrowth making it even more of a thrill when you eventually spot one! Kanha's rich diversity of wildlife and strong eco-system makes this one of the best areas to track tigers in the wild.

Bengal tiger safari, India

ranthambore national park

Ranthambore is a fantastic tiger safari location, not only for the sightings but for the fantastic fort and the varied landscapes. As well as being one of the best places to spot the tigers in the wild, the steep rocky hills, dry forest, and grassy fields and lakes make this a fantastic location just for the scenery. There are many tigers in this park and although never guaranteed, your chances of seeing them are relatively high. Ranthambore is one of the most popular parks in India, but a recent expansion into five new areas and the addition of a new fleet of jeeps has helped to spread out visitors and encourage more tigers to cross the park's borders. Although visitor numbers are high, once you spot your first tiger you will understand why so many people travel here on a tiger safari.

Pench National Park

Tiger numbers are on the rise in this national park, making it a great choice for travellers wanting to see one of these big cats in the flesh. Visitors have a high chance of seeing the predators as they stalk their prey through the few hundred square miles of dry deciduous forest. Straddling two states located in Central India – Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – these rich hills served as the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book. Visitors to Pench have a good chance of sighting their very own Shere Khan here due to the area being prime tiger territory, supporting a rich array of prey animals like chital, sambar, nilgai and wild boar. Well-developed routes into the park make access easy.

Bengal tiger, India, Mark Henderson

Satpura National Park

Although not one of India’s premiere locations for tiger sightings, the predator’s population is growing here, and they can occasionally be seen stalking through the park’s rugged hills, forests, gorges and ravines. Satpura shouldn’t be at the top of your list if tiger sightings are the sole aim of your safari, but this seldom-visited park is a fantastic destination for those wanting to head off the beaten path and experience some of the best wildlife and wilderness that Central India has to offer. Sandstone peaks make for a dramatic backdrop, as healthy numbers of leopards, dhole and sloth bears make their way through the highlands, while mugger crocodiles lurk in coves and Indian giant squirrels flit through the trees.

Tadoba National Park

One of the biggest up-and-coming parks in India, Tadoba is another park which isn’t particularly feted for its tiger viewing but nonetheless boasts a growing population – estimates place the number at over 100. Dominated by teak forest and bamboo, this park has just a handful of lodges within its borders, making it one of the quieter parks in India, and as such an ideal destination for travellers wanting to experience true wilderness. Other distinctive Indian animals can be seen within the park’s borders – like the leopard, sloth bear, dhole and sambar – but there are also other less-common sightings to be had. Look out for migratory birds flocking to Tadoba Lake and packs of striped hyena among the undergrowth.

Bengal tiger with grey langur, India, Mark Henderson

For further information on increasing your chances of seeing tigers in the wild, please visit our page on when is the best time to see tigers in India.


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