Have you ever seen a tiger hunt? They are smart, stealthy and unpredicted. Stalking prey and waiting patiently. Inching closer by the second they pounce when you least expect it. Watching an animal in its natural habitat is an incredible experience which will leave you with goosebumps. Our wildlife is one of the many gems of nature that we possess and it is up to us to protect them. If you’re looking to book a safari, here are our picks in India.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
This park is located 130 Km away from the capital city of Jaipur in Rajasthan and stretching over 1334 sq km. Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in North India. A former hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, The national park is now a major wildlife tourist attraction. In the middle of the park sits the Ranthambore Fort that was built in the 10th Century. There are a number of ancient temples, mosques, and burial tombs near the fort. The national park was famous for it’s large tiger population which has been dropping over the years. The park organises Tiger Trail and bird watching safaris. You can spot sloth bears, leopards, foxes, jackals, crocodiles and over 300 species of birds.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
This is the oldest National park in the country. Earlier christened as the Hailey National Park in 1936 it was renamed Jim Corbett and British- Indian hunter and tracker turned conservationist. He established the park to protect the endangered Bengal Tiger. The park was also the first to come under the “Project Tiger” initiative launched by the Indian government in 1973 to protect the Bengal Tiger from being poached to extinction. The reserve spans over 520 sq km and is one of the few Indian wildlife reserves that allow overnight stays. The night safari here is particularly poplar. The famous tiger territory is open to visitors all year round. The park is home to 488 different species of plants and a wide diversity of fauna.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1985, this national park hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinos. The park also has the highest density of tigers in protected areas around the world and was declared a tiger reserve in 2006. Along with the giant Rhino, the park is also home to other animals such as elephants, bears, panthers and a number of different bird species.
Gir National Park, Gujarat
Home to the majestic Asiatic Lion, Gir national park is one of the oldest national parks in the country. The Asiatic Lion also known as the Indian Lion is smaller than its African cousins. Gir is the only natural habitat for these lions, the government has initiated a special lion breeding centre to preserve the species. Established in 1965 the park spreads across 1412 sq km. Nearly half the forest is dominated by Teak trees, around 400 different species of plant have been found and recorded in this forest. A safari in the park also gives the opportunity to spot other animals such as leopards, bears, cobras and jackals among many others.
Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The park is named after the Pench river that flows through it’s centre. It divides it into two almost equal hemispheres. Situated in the southern region of the Satpura range, this ecological safe haven shelters 285 species of migratory birds. Ever wanted to meet Sher Khan himself? Rudyard Kipling based “The Jungle Book” on this very forest. A safari in Pench national park one of the best places to catch a glimpse of leopards and tigers in their natural habitat, it has also been part of “Project Tiger” since 1992. The park also protects 4 species of the now endangered vultures.
Animals have been the victims of human actions ever since man discovered fire and invented the wheel. We have hunted animals for medicinal use, caged them for our amusement and even poached them for their skin. According to a survey in 2016, global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% in 40 years. “We know what the causes are and we know the scale of the impact that humans are having on nature and on wildlife populations. It really is now down to us to act” says Dr. Mike Barrett. head of science and policy at WWF.
If you want to enjoy the sight of animals being, well, animals, zoos where they are confined and traumatised is definitely not the place to do it. The best way to observe an animal in all it’s natural glory is in the wild. Book a safari today.