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tiger safari

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1. Posted by tripster (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

This thread is marked as being about India

I am getting confused about where best to do tiger safari?I wastrying to decide between Corbett and rathambore but now I see that you can also ( I know it's very rare) possibly spot them in Periyar national park too. My itinary currently is delhi-agra-varanasi (definite), big Q-mark over safari (Corbett/rathambore) then Kochi-appeley-varkala- maybe hillstation- Periyar IF i don't go to tiger reserve in the north.

appreciate any advice, thanks!

I realise I've been on here a LOT lately with variations of the same query - itinaray-related but it really helps me to make my mind up! Thanks!

2. Posted by LisaOnTheRoad (Full Member 2 posts) 6y

This is definitely up my alley! First, when are you going? Looks like March/April? How long do you have planned for wildlife? and are you a 'wildlifer'? It is never definite that you'll see a tiger, but your best bets are in Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh. Neither are among my fav parks, because it is pretty much a tiger circus of vehicles. Periyar is pretty much impossible to see a tiger, or much else actually. Unless you go to the less frequently travelled area and trek into the forest, you are sitting on a bigish, noisy, smelly boat, chugging around the park. We've seen more there sitting on the porch of our lodge. Park is very pretty and different tho.

If you are a wildlifer, and are already in Varanasi/Agra circuit, and have time. Can consider driving from Agra to Orccha (MP hotel in fort is fun, specially if you stay in the Maharaja/Maharani suites). Then to Khajuraho & Panna (beautiful park on a river -- not well travelled. Tigers but not many, but better chance of sloth bear and leopard. Excellent birding), then Bandhavgarh (about 4-5hr drive). Bgarh used to be one of my fav places to see tigers, but this last year and a half, tourism pressures have made it more like Ranthambore. Not so much a wildlife experience, but a tourist train of in to see tigers. Very high likelihood of seeing tigers here tho.

Another alternative is Kanha. Beautiful big park, with wide variety of terrains. If you're there for 2 or 3 nights, you can most likely see a tiger because they regularily have the "tiger show". Where you get onto an elephant that takes you to where a tiger has been tracked for about 10 minutes. Kanha is also in MP, most easily accessed from either Jabalpur and Nagpur. Have the tiger show in BGarh too, but not so well organized, and often not available.

I'm not a fan of Ranthambore personally. Good park to see a tiger, but crowded into vehicles and the naturalists are generally not very knowledgeable. Still, if time is short, it is an easy Shatabdi train trip from Delhi, well serviced with hotels, and a beautiful park. Nearby Sariska (3-4 hr drive from Delhi and Ranthambore) is a stunning park, with loads of leopards. Reintroduced tigers, but not many, so not a high siting chance. If you are going to Ranthambore, make sure you book early and get a jeep. Once they're booked you're left with a cantor (basically a cutoff mini-bus holding 16 tourists) which is not great. You can easily and cheaply book the jeeps yourself online once you know your dates.

If you want more options, or have a timeslot you want to fill with park stuff, let me know. I'm in India right now -- just back from Bharatpur and Sariska -- so not regularily checking email, but will check in. Also can recommend some places to stay at the above, for most there is a variety of options depending on budget and preferences.

Good luck,

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4. Posted by citybell (Full Member 419 posts) 6y

Forget seeing a tiger in Periyar umless you are lucky one in a million.!! However suggest you visiting Thekkady.

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 6y

If you are looking for the best one, Bandhavgarh is your best bet as it has the highest tiger density of all the parks. Kanha is much bigger with on the whole more tigers but more spread out as well.

I did both earlier this year (March) and although it is sometimes busy with vehicles, the experience is not spoiled in my opinion. I saw 4 tigers in Bandhavgarh and 1 in Kanha, spend more time in Bandhavgarh though and did more tiger safaris. If you are travelling alone, it is much easier to hook up with other travellers in Bandhavgarh. The small town is just in front of the main gateway and there are numerous budget travellers and places to stay.

Check my India photo gallery to see what you can expect;)

Have fun!

6. Posted by tripster (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

I'm going in January 2011! I know it's prob not the best time to go on safari but the best time for me take time off this year,
was really hoping to avoid a tiger "circus" as u say. I have had that experience before buthave also had the less trampled experience.Obviuosly would prefer the latter. Howver, I am travelling alone and organising most of my trip as I go and don't want too much difficulty either as I have only 3 weeks total.

I get the impression it would be best doing what you suggest by jeep.Is it really realistic to hire driver if alone? Would imagine this would be expensive if not with others.

7. Posted by tripster (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

PS - does nobody rate Corbett then?

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 6y

Quoting tripster

I get the impression it would be best doing what you suggest by jeep.Is it really realistic to hire driver if alone? Would imagine this would be expensive if not with others.

It is expensive, costing around €60/US$85 for a 3-4 hour drive!

9. Posted by tripster (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

Thanks for all the info. While this is really good advice, when I looked at my planned itinary, I reckoned that, in the end, despite the probable OVER-kill, that Rathambore is nearest and thus handiest for this trip.

Thanks though and if \I ever come back to India the other parks in MP sound great.

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