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Rajasthan Tigers. Indian Safari

Updated on December 13, 2014

Indian Tiger Safari

Ranthambore National Park has been a tiger reserve since Project Tiger started in 1972 and was formerly the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur in Eastern Rajasthan. It is now one of the best places to see Tigers in India, although a sighting is far from guaranteed, as I found out. There is also a lot of other flora and fauna to see and wonderful luxurious campsites in which to stay.


This article is a review of this wonderful destination in Rajasthan, India, travel tips advice, recommendations and photographs of Ranthambore National Park and its flora and fauna.


See also...

Asian Photo Gallery


Asian Hotels


Asian Vacations Destinations


Ranthambore National Park

Tiger Tiger...?

Ranthambore National Park sounded perfect in the brochure. It has been a tiger reserve since Project Tiger started in 1972 and was formerly the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur in Eastern Rajasthan. I have been on several safaris and there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing a drink with wildlife, with a gin and tonic in my sticky hand sitting in a lodge, watching large cats partaking in their equivalent of tiffin at a water hole. I have, however, never seen tigers in the wild, despite having been to India in the past, so I booked a five-day visit to Ranthambore a couple of years ago, as part of a two-week trip to Rajasthan.

Ranthanbhor:

There are about 40 tigers and 40 leopards in the Tiger reserve and it is claimed to be one of the best places to view them in the wild. The total area of the park is 1,334 sq km surrounded by mountain ranges and with two rivers running through it and several man-made lakes, it has an incredibly diverse selection of wildlife species including sloth bear, jackals, jungle cat, monitor lizards and hundreds of species of bird. To add to the wonderful scenery, flora and fauna there are also many ruins of a fort built about 1,000 years ago. Lake palaces and fortifications being gradually reclaimed by dense deciduous forest make a wonderful backdrop for wildlife viewing.

Ranthanbhor:

Map of Rajasthan - Map of India showing Ranthambore National Park, Delhi and Jaipur

show route and directions
A markerNew Delhi, India -
New Delhi, India
get directions

B markerJaipur, India -
Jaipur, India
get directions

Getting There

Travel in India is not easy and can be dangerous. On my previous business trip to India I was involved in a total of four minor car accidents: A bus, two cars and a motorbike. The driver didn't even stop for the bike, but spent ages being shouted at by the enormous number of people who got off the bus. Ranthambore is, however, relatively easy to get to and we didn't have a single accident. We even had seat belts in the cars. We were picked up by a driver (prearranged from the UK) in Agra and driven to Bharatpur Junction railway station, stopping off at Fatehpur Sikri for a quick tour of the royal palace and temples, which is certainly worth a visit. We took the Nizamundin Kota Express from Bharatpur Junction to Sawai Madhopur. A pleasant safe journey compared to going by road, although not as good as the very best business trains in India, which are fantastic. On arrival we were pounced on by porters who would not take no for an answer and ran off with our bags, much to our annoyance. We had packed light and didn't need help (and more to the point, I hate tipping) We got the bags back once the appropriate ransom had been paid.

Accommodation

A jeep from the Sher Bagh "Hotel" came to collect us from the station and dropped us off near our "room". It may claim to be an hotel, but it's really a very posh campsite. The accommodation consists of huge white tents, and to protect the environment there are few permanent structures, except for the main building, which also has a roof terrace bar and restaurant. I have camped many times before at Glastonbury Festival, high up in the Andes in Peru and out on the plains in Botswana, surrounded by lions and honey badgers, but this was very different. These were luxury tents with bathrooms, electricity and a veranda with comfortable chairs and a walking stick in a pot with which to fight off the tigers. As the evening approaches all of the guests (and we really did feel like guests here) wander over to a "bar", a clearing in the forest, for the medicinal gin and tonic. Excellent Indian buffet food was served later in the dining tent.

Luxury Tents:

Top Quality Digital SLR Cameras

The Safari

Guides, transport and a driver are provided by the hotel, for the safari game drives. The guides constantly communicate with each other and with wardens on foot to optimize the chance of a tiger sighting. For environmental reasons the jeeps are usually shared between four guests, with two rows of seats behind the driver and guide. We were driven at break-neck speed through the park for several hours a day, morning and afternoon for four days, chasing the illusive tigers. We rarely stopped for anything else, unless we shouted out and demanded to stop. The monkeys, antelope and other wonderful sights seemed to be of little relevance to our guide. Not a single tiger in sight. Each evening we compared notes with the other guests, and eventually we realized that we were the only four people there who hadn't seen a tiger. Sightings were mostly rare and brief, but at least the others had seen and possibly photographed these wonderful creatures. We were extremely disappointed, and the staff at the hotel arranged an extra game drive on the morning of our departure, but again with no success.

Ranthambore Fort:

The park is wonderful and the Ranthambore Fort extremely impressive. The accommodation and relaxed evenings cannot be faulted, but the guides rarely spoke and were perhaps the worst I have encountered on my travels. I may however have slightly biased opinion because we really were very unlucky not to have seen a single tiger in four days. I would recommend going to Ranthambore, but bear in mind there is always the chance of being disappointed.

A Tiger! (Unfortunately not a wild one. This was in captivity in Jaipur)

Advantages: Wonderful setting, scenery, flora fauna and accommodation

Disadvantages: Didn't see any tigers

Summary: Disappointing

A related article was also published on Helium


Ranthanbhor:

Indian Photos, Gifts and Souvenirs

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    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 5 years ago

      Great Lens. I love Ranthambore and its safari. Thanks for sharing.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Incredible

    • rangiiria profile image

      rangiiria 6 years ago

      I would love to go on safari at this park. Your photo's are excellent, great lens :)

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      Hi Andy,

      I have returned to your lenses because their content brings me great peace and contentment in this difficult world, they remind me of eternal values seen through the medium of our fellow users of this earth. Thank you again.

      David.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 7 years ago from Idaho

      I love these type of safari's and would love to see this one, beautiful photos!

    • profile image

      silvia2009 7 years ago

      Amazing pix!

      I heard a lot about Ranthambhore National Park of Rajasthan.

      In fact, next month I am planning to visit India with the help of www.southalltravel.co.uk

      And it is scheduled in my travel literary.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great photos. I had never heard of Rajasthan so once again you've taught me something. My favorite Tiger is the Clemson Tiger.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      All of the big cats are fascinating, they way they move is marvelous. Love the photos but the one on Ranthanbhor is my favorite.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Those monkey pictures are quite something! Andy, I surely have enjoyed your many unique and so creative lenses. Your photography is superb.

    • profile image

      Floraluniverses 8 years ago

      Great work and beautiful photos!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      They are beautiful animals.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      What beautiful animals. I would love to see a tiger up close and in the wild.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 9 years ago

      Good work 5 stars, stay in touch I've got a new website coming (not squidoo) and with our new president I think we will survive!

    • SylvianeNuccio1 profile image

      SylvianeNuccio1 9 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I love nature and animals. superb pictures too.

    • anthropos lm profile image

      Lamar Ross 9 years ago from Florida

      I love the Rajasthan area, especially Khajuraho. Thanks for joining ”Anything and Everything Travel” Group. We look forward to seeing your other travel related lenses in our group. Keep up the good work. For a categorized list of my travel lenses and other lenses see my Lensography..

    • profile image

      guideontravel 9 years ago

      Rajasthan is really beautiful state beside the landmarks and historical places wild life also flourish here. In the state you will have 8 or 9 good centuries to explore the rajasthan wild life.Although you will have good guide there however you can keep a good text Guide on travel belonging to the visiting places.

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 9 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Beautiful lens and I loved the pictures of the tigers. Such regal creatures! 5*s

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 9 years ago from Covington, LA

      A great adventure. Sorry you didn't see a wild tiger. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 9 years ago

      I really enjoy all of your lenses and look forward to seeing more! :)

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 9 years ago

      wonderful lens gorgeous photos, I would have fun even seeing a tiger in captivity. I loved it.

    • profile image

      Mayflowerblood 9 years ago

      Now i know were to do a quick refernce on places to travel =]

      awesome lens

    • profile image

      squidtwo 9 years ago

      How fascinating. I'd love to go on safari...well, if I didn't have to put up with many bugs! lol. Thanks for sharing

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Great pictures of animals...

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 9 years ago

      Fantastic, beautiful lens!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Sounds like a wonderful trip. Very nice lens, the story is what makes it a personal experience and therefore far more interesting than just something from wikipedia. Great photos too. 5***** for another superb lens.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      Beautitul lens. Lots of ways to shoot wildlife.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I'm sure glad that you've been able to travel the world and capture wonderful photos that you share. I love looking at photos of tigers and the one you have here is real nice, they all are. *****

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I'm sorry you didn't see a tiger. I would be disappointed too. Welcome to All Things Travel.