WHEN TO VISIT
For those seeking out tigers and elephants, the best time to visit India’s national parks is from March until the end of May when the weather is hottest. If you’re looking for a more comfortable stay weatherwise, the ideal month is March as the heat tends to get more intense in April and even more so in May. For the really keen wildlife lovers who can stand the heat, April till June is a great time though. With comfortable temperatures in mid October to February, it can also be a pleasant time of year to go. Our best advice is to avoid mid December until late January as the mornings are very cold and mist tends to make sightings harder.
TIGERS, ELEPHANTS AND MORE
The highest likelihood of seeing tigers is in both Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh national parks. Due to Ranthambore’s close proximity to Delhi and the famous Golden Triangle, it does get quite congested though. Bandhavgarh is a beautiful park deep in the heart of Madhya Pradesh and is known as the number one park for tiger sightings, though game drives can sometimes become somewhat of a tiger chase meaning you could potentially miss out on the stunning scenery and other amazing wildlife. ETG’s favourites for tiger spottings are the beautiful Kanha and Nagarhole national parks, which offer great all around wildlife sightings, birding and unique insights into rural life. Tadoba is also very good for tigers and is much less visited.
To get the best chance to witness the majestic Indian elephants, head to the southern parks of Bandipur and Nagarhole. Both have good tiger populations and numbers are increasing, particularly in Nagarole.
For a really immersive wildlife experience with insights into rural life and all important relaxation, ETG recommends an extended stay in one of Madhya Pradesh’s parks, such as Kanha or Satpura. Otherwise, spend a week or more exploring two of Madhya Pradesh’s parks or Nagarhole and Bandipur.
For more unique opportunities to see tigers and the one horned rhino, Dudhwa and Kaziranga national parks are great options in North and North East India. If you’re looking to relax amongst safaris and explore local village life, Dudhwa is particularly great.
India is a wonderful destination for birders; you can discover an incredible, diverse range of species throughout the country. Corbett (with the added plus of tiger and elephant populations) and the surrounding areas of Pangot and Vanghat are wonderful, as are the western ghats bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu with Valparai being particularly abundant in bird life.
For the more off-the-beaten track wildlife opportunities, such as the leopards and flamingoes of Rajasthan and elephant corridors in South India, speak to your ETG expert.