India tiger safaris
Price is per person sharing. All accommodation, transfers, food as described, guides, game drives, domestic flight.
Description of India tiger safaris
This India safari holiday travels to three of India’s most prestigious Tiger Reserves, in search of these beautiful big cats. You’ll enjoy game drives in Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench National Parks, which are all found in the state of Madhya Pradesh. You will also have time to explore New Delhi at the start of this holiday, so you can see some of this great city’s famous sights. From here, fly to tiger country.
Tigers are not the only species you can hope to see while on safari. These three national parks are home to leopards, sloth bears and wild dogs, too, as well as Indian gaur, sambhar, wild boar, cheetal, languor and a huge number of birds. This safari holiday supports local conservation work, through membership of TOFT Tigers (Travel Operators for Tigers).
November, February, March and April are the best times to go on tiger safari in India. May can be very hot, but wildlife sightings are great now as undergrowth dies back and animals head to dwindling water supplies to drink. October is also possible, while December and January tend to be less busy and popular, but morning game drives in open jeeps are cold.
Do chat to us about your interests and requirements and together we can create the perfect trip. The accommodation is four star, with a mix of lodge styles throughout the holiday, but you can upgrade to five star. Families are welcome and children under 12 years enjoy a 50% discount on adult prices. There are no hidden extras, and we aim to give you an all-inclusive price, with any later additions clearly shown on your itinerary.
Check dates, prices & availability
1 Reviews of India tiger safaris
Reviewed on 23 Feb 2018 by Peter Brown
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The game drives are clearly the highlight. Don't expect to see huge herds of wildlife roaming open savannah like you do in Africa. Much of the terrain is hilly and heavily forested (particularly at Bandhavgarh) so sightings can be difficult and infrequent. However be patient, there is plenty of wildlife to see and the sightings you do get will generally be up close. You also get a lot of time in the parks, 6:30 to ~11.00 (with a pick nick breakfast) and 15:00 to ~18:30. All but two of my fifteen drives were private. You pick up a different Indian Forestry Service Guide each time you enter the park. Some speak English, most don't, but they are all incredibly skilled at spotting wildlife. For six drives my driver was also a naturalist. For another seven there was a separate naturalist who joined us. Either way all the naturalists have good. English and can translate what the guide is saying if necessary.
The lodges at Bandhavgarh and Pench are small, relaxed, cosy and welcoming. They blend tastefully into the forest. The managers speak good English and are
constantly on hand should you need anything. At Kanha the hotel has impressive public areas and extensive gardens including a lake, but it is a hotel, not a jungle lodge and personally I found it a bit big, impersonal and cold, It was also the only place where communication proved difficult, although they always drag someone out of the office to deal with you eventually.
All the lodges have a pool. All the rooms have shower, en-suite, mains electricity and tea making facilities. At Bandhavgarh and Pench you also get a private terrace and it was pleasant to sit out and watch the many butterflies and birds.
Food in the lodges is mostly local Madhya Pradesh cuisine. You get a Dahl, Paneer, a couple of vegetable dishes, one non vegetarian choice (usually chicken or fish) plus rice, poppadoms, and freshly made nan or chapatis, with desert to follow. Sometimes there's a western dish, often pasta. The chocolate cake at Pench is wonderful. (But then everything about Pench is wonderful).
The transfer drives take several hours but I found them delightful. The cars were comfortable and air conditioned, the drivers polite and friendly. The roads are good, the scenary is pretty and constantly changing and there's always lots going on to look at.
I went for the wildlife, not to see Dehli, but actually I was amazed by the place. Lots of traffic true, but also huge green open spaces and magnificent buildings. My driver was fantastic.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
It's difficult to change money in Madhya Pradesh and credit cards aren't widely accepted, so do carry plenty of rupees. There's a good Thomas Cook desk at
Dehli baggage reclaim. Budget ~20,000 INR in tips for guides, drivers and naturalists if your game drives are private.
Buy a prepaid local sim card (~900 INR for 350 mins, available 24/7 from the Airtel desk outside Dehli Arrivals). The Dehli team are highly professional and
are very keen to be of service, so its a good idea to be able to contact them easily.
Bring lots of warm clothes. It's 30C by mid morning but it's properly cold pre-dawn in an open jeep. Start in sweater, hoodie, fleece, ski jacket, wooly hat, scarf, gloves, blanket (yes all of that, I'm not joking) then peel off layers as it warms up.
Power sockets in Madhya Pradesh take BS 546 round 3 pin plugs so bring an adapter.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The holiday provides employment for many local people and their families.
Entry into the National Parks is tightly controlled and animal welfare appears to be the priority.
The lodge at Pench is very environmentally focused. The food is locally produced where possible, some of it on site. They also have their own 50 acre eco park and offer guided walks. The manager is a naturalist with 30 years experience.
The holiday is provided by a small family run company formed by British wildlife conservationists.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was a wonderful trip, constantly exceeding my expectations, and I enjoyed every minute. I will remember my tiger and leopard sightings for the rest of my life.
PlanetEach safari provides a real wildlife viewing and conservation experience. By opting for a safari with us, safari guests are already helping to contribute towards our conservation work. Profits from your safari go to support local projects. Local teams of wildlife conservationists are actively involved in wildlife and environmental conservation projects within the reserves we visit.
The owner of Jamtara Wilderness Camp, Pench National Park follows in the footstep of his respected conservationist father and places emphasis on preserving the delicate eco-system of the forest. This luxury camp is beneficial to the surrounding communities and wildlife. Reni Pani is a small lodge owned and run by two brothers who are keen wildlife enthusiasts and avid conservationists. Located in the buffer zone of Satpura Tiger Reserve, it is an excellent example of a contemporary wildlife and conservation-focused camp. The lodge operates to high environmental care standards and is active in involving the local community in the benefits of conservation and to show guests the ‘bigger picture’ of the wildlife experience in India. The lodge is actively involved in the endangered Barasingha or Hard Ground Swamp Deer relocation program from Kanha to Satpura. They also collaborate with ‘Under the Mango Tree’, an NGO that trains forest communities to practice beekeeping so that the local villagers have an alternative income in order to wean away from complete dependence on wild forest products.
Profits from this safari supports Travel Operators For Tigers (TofTigers) a non-profit campaign set up in 2003 to protect tigers, wildlife and wilderness through sustainable tourism.
PeopleWhile on safari we recommend that visitors buy locally produced goods and support local artisans. In this way, visitors are able to help sustain the local community, contribute towards conservation and enrich their own lives. During each safari there will be opportunities to purchase goods from local artists, market stalls and restaurants in keeping with the ideals of fair trade.
Our guides will advise on a ‘fair price’ if requested, however it is worth noting that a relatively small sum can make a huge difference to peoples lives and guests are asked to consider this when bargaining with market stallholders.
Our safari staff are all recruited locally and encouraged to develop within the organisation to achieve their goals and where applicable to produce conservation based items for sale (100% of the proceeds going to the originator). Local rangers and guides are employed at all levels. This safari also supports community education programs in South East Asia via our local partners.