Adventurous wildlife tour in India
The uniquely diverse topography and climate of India provides a natural habitat for an equally varied amount of wildlife, flora and fauna.
When touring wildlife parks in India, game drives tend to take place in the early mornings, setting off just before sunrise and in the late afternoons. It is worth bearing in mind that it can be very chilly in the early mornings in the national parks until the sun burns through to warm you up, and warm clothing is essential. Usually, when staying at lodges and camps in or near the parks, all meals and game drives are included. It is essential to pre-book game drives before visiting a wildlife park.
Wildlife Parks of India
- Corbett National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Ranthambore National Park
- Kaziranga National Park
- Nagarhole National Park
CORBETT NATIONAL PARK
Corbett National Park is staggeringly beautiful and lies in the Siwalik Hills, at the foot of the Himalayas, in Uttaranchal. A ‘home away from home’ for the great hunter turned naturalist, Jim Corbett, it was following his advice and guidelines that the park was established in 1936. With thick jungle forest creeping down the valley sides, carpeting the hills, the Ramganga and its tributaries snake their way through the countryside. Our 2 preferred lodges are Infinity Resorts situated in the Himalayan foothills on the banks of the Kosi River. Surrounded by the Kumaon Hills of western Uttar Pradesh, it reflects a high standard of jungle accommodation. Claridges Corbett Hideaway offers comfortable cottages with sitting rooms, verandahs and cosy log fires, scattered around the premises. A swimming pool sits in the middle of the gardens and a central lodge houses the dining room with a lovely verandah overlooking the river below.
Corbett is accessed by road from Delhi or by a shorter journey from Nainital or Rishikesh. The park is open from 15 November to 15 June.
KANHA NATIONAL PARK
Kanha National Park established in 1955, is set in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. The hugely varied terrain provides a natural habitat for an equally varied selection of game, especially tigers. One of the park’s success stories is the recent nurturing of the swamp deer (known as ‘Barasingha’) population which has vastly increased over recent years. Luxurious Banjaar Tola is situated along the banks of the river directly overlooking the heart of Kanha. The two elegant camps of nine suites each have their own tented sitting area. Singinawa is lovingly looked after by a charming couple, that provides sincere service to their guests. The 12 cottages are scattered around the woodland and are replete with antique furnishings, and the main lodge is where it all happens at night. The guides and naturalists here are exceptionally well informed and friendly.
Kanha is accessed by road from Raipur, Nagpur, Kawardha, Pench and Bandhavgarh (long but pretty drive). The park is open from 1 November to 30 June.
BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK
Bandhavgarh is situated in the north of Madhya Pradesh and was established in 1968. Originally the private hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Rewa, it is now an exceptional place on earth to spot Indian tigers both from a vehicle and from elephant back. The vegetation comprises bamboo breaks, open grassland and mixed forest, over undulating terrain. Mahua Kothi sprawls over 40-acres. Guests enjoy the natural settings within their luxury suite (kutiya) boasting private courtyards and warm furnishings in a natural setting. Morning and afternoon safaris by jeep or elephant back, nature and cultural walks or cycling through local villages. Emphasis on sustainability and the environment is found at Samode Safari Lodge where the 12 comfortable, stylish suites and villas are discretely hidden within the peaceful grounds. There is a small watering hole at the property attracting a myriad species of birds and animals in the evenings and early mornings.
Access to Bandhavgarh is by road from Khajuraho or Kanha (a long but pretty drive). The park is open from 1 November to 30 June each year.
RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK
Ranthambore National Park established in 1955, situated on the south-eastern most ridges of the Aravalli hills in India. These dry, deciduous forests once the preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, enclose not only tiger and leopard but herds of sambar and prolific bird life. Forest hills rise up around you and the 1000 year old fort broods silently over the park and is visible from miles around. The Oberoi Vanyavilas is possibly one of the most luxurious ‘safari camps’ in India. Sher Bagh, a member of Relais & Chateaux, is a dreamy camp of 12 ‘shikar’ tens, each with its own verandah. Tents are arranged around a garden, tented pavillion and camp fire with fabulous views of the surrounding hills and countryside.
Ranthambore is accessed by road from Jaipur, Agra, Gwalior and Kota or by train from Bharatpur, Delhi and Jaipur. The park is open from 1 October to 30 June.
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Kaziranga National Park is situated in the remote north-east, in the lush, green state of Assam. It is stunningly beautiful and occupies an area on the fertile plains of the Brahmaputra River, against a backdrop of the towering Himalayas. It has a wonderfully unexploited atmosphere and is home to the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros which, until fairly recently, was on the brink of extinction. Wild buffalo, swamp deer and hog also abound, along with many fish species in the broad rivers. Charming Wild Grass Lodge is a small, rural lodge comprising 18 rooms in the 2 lodges and 3 separate tents, surrounded by dense vegetation. Diphlu River Lodge is perched above the Machan river, overlooking the national park. The combination of individual and semi-detached air-conditioned cottages with private thatched verandahs, are retreats after day trips in dugout canoes, camp fires and sundowner evenings.
Kaziranga is accessed by road from Guwahati, Tezpur and Jorhat. The park is open from October to April.
NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
Nagarhole National Park is one of a group of parks situated in the forests of southern Karnataka. Established in 1955, it has a backdrop of the Brahmagiri Hills and the dammed Kabini River forms a large reservoir which provides an ideal habitat for a distinctive and varied selection of wildlife of India. Here is the Cicada- Kabini which is a charming old, colonial style building, sitting on the banks of a river. With rooms in the main lodge and in separate cottages on the riverbank, it has a slight air of neglect but the setting more than makes up for it. Dining is in the main lodge, on a verandah overlooking the river. Nestled on the banks of the Kabini River, Orange County Kabini provides an elegant and comfortable retreat following a day’s safari. Each cottage has its own courtyard with either a private plunge pool with Jacuzzi. Sit out on the verandah and relax in the peace and quiet while watching the gentle flow of the river, then take a ride along the banks of the river on ‘Meenakshi’, the resort’s resident elephant. Guests also may enjoy taking a coracle ride or witness a tribal dance.
Nagarhole is accessed by road from Mysore. The park is open all year round.