• Tiger, India

Wildlife in India

An India wildlife safari provides a colourful and exciting mix, with over 350 mammal species, well over 1000 bird species and some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna of which many cannot be viewed anywhere else on earth. India has over one hundred national parks to explore on your wildlife safari, created not only to maintain India’s indigenous flora and habitat, but also to protect her extensive wildlife – much of which is now under serious threat of extinction. The habitats of the country range from the soaring peaks of the Himalayas to the forests, lakes and steamy backwaters of Kerala in the south, creating a unique richness of biodiversity that will appeal to any wildlife enthusiast. 

The most feted of India's wildlife to see on safari are the Bengal tiger, snow leopard, Asian lion and Asian elephant, all of which can be spotted on specific safaris that we can arrange within your itinerary.

Bengal tiger in India by Russ MacLaughlin
Leopard, India

Tiger Tracking

Perhaps the most famous of the many Indian national parks is Ranthambore, located in the state of Rajasthan. With luck, it is still possible here to spot some of India’s last remaining wild tigers on safari – a jeep safari will be one of the highlights of your stay. There are approximately forty tigers in this reserve of over one thousand square kilometres and it is also possible to spot wild boar, hyenas and leopards, as well as a huge variety of birds. Ranthambore has become deservedly popular in recent years – although not guaranteed, your chances of tiger-spotting can be higher here than elsewhere, however, this does mean that you are likely to share any tigers you do see with plenty of other tourists. Nonetheless, the park is well-organised and a truly memorable experience.

Bandhavgarh National Park also has a relatively large tiger population, as well as a large leopard breeding population. Corbett National Park is one of India’s oldest and since it has a sub-Himalayan topography, it offers a different experience to the jungle setting of other national parks. Pench, Kanha and Panna National Parks are among the other parks known as tiger reserves, although it is worth checking the latest status of any park, since tiger numbers can vary from year to year.

To find out more about tiger conservation read about our Natural World Hero, Julian Matthews, pioneering tiger conservationist and founder of TOFTigers.

Whichever park you choose, should you be lucky enough to catch a rare glimpse of one of the last remaining tigers living in the wild in India, it will be an experience which remains with you forever.

Sloth bear baby, India
Snow leopard, India

cats, bears and elephants

Asian elephants form a significant part of Indian history and play a major role in ways of life here, with most temples being related to them in one way or another. Shorter than their African counterparts, they also have smaller ears and a more arched back. Sightings are best in Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand or the southern state of Kerala Whilst in Kaziranga National Park you may encounter the prehistoric-looking Indian rhino, also known as the greater one-horned rhino, now limited to around 3,500 in number.

Sasan Gir National Park in the west of the country is the only place in the world where you can Asiatic lions in the wild. This subspecies is has been increasing in number for decades now and has been one of India's greatest conservation success stories. Slightly smaller and darker in colour than their African cousins, Asiatic lions have a scruffy appearance that will endear them to any wildlife enthusiast.

In the north, during the winter, the snow leopards of India descend from the mountains in search of food. At this time it is possible to spot this elusive creature in its natural habitat, as well as other animals such as blue sheep and ibex. Solitary, elusive and incredibly hard to study, these remarkable felines make for once-in-a-lifetime sightings among the Himalayas.

Sloth bears have a patchy but widespread distribution in India, and are found mainly in areas with dense forest cover like Ranthambore National Park Compared to the brown and black bears found throughout Eurasia and North America, sloth bears are lankier, shaggier and can be easily identified by their fluffy mane as well as their long, sickle-like claws and elongated lower lip, which they use to hunt for insects.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to India. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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