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Encounters with the King of the Jungle

You’ll be able to feel the atmosphere of the jungle change when a tiger is close. The air fills with the sound of animal warnings and you can feel the tension as a tiger enters their territory. On your tiger-watching safari, your first glimpse might just be the white flecks of hair on the tiger’s ears as he stalks through long grassland, occasionally catching a flash of bright orange or black.

We track down forest pathways that are the favourite haunts of our feline friends. Using local guides with intimate knowledge of the tiger’s natural habitats, we maximise your chances of watching one of these remarkable endangered big cats in their natural habitat.

Steve Winter Tiger

Where do Tigers Live?

Bengal Tiger: Home to 80% of the world’s tiger population and over 50 designation Tiger Reserves, India is the best place to see tigers with around 3,000 tigers.

Siberian Tiger: Found only in the mountain forests of eastern Russia, the Siberian tiger has adapted to the harsh climate, long winters and high latitude.

The Best Parks in India to see Bengal Tigers

  1. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh: Formally the wildlife reserve of the Maharajas, Bandhavgarh has one of India’s highest tiger populations. Home to around 60 tigers despite its smaller size, there is a good chance of seeing a tiger on safari here alongside the beautiful forests and hills. Here you can also see leopards, 250 different bird species and a huge variety of butterflies and reptiles. You can reach Bandhavgarh with a 2-hour flight from Delhi plus a 4-hour drive, and we would recommend staying in Samode Safari Lodge. If you are less focused on tigers and want an all-round Indian wildlife experience, head further south to Kanha and Satpura National Parks.
  2. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh: One of the best kept national parks and the home of around 500 tigers, Kanha National Park is one of the best places to see tigers. Also known as Kanha Tiger Reserve, the park is famous for its dry-land swamp deer and abundance of large prey. Other wildlife such as sloth bears, Indian elephants, bison, leopards, and hyenas can be found here amongst the rolling grasslands, bamboo forests, meadows and streams. You can reach Kanha with a 2-hour flight from Delhi plus a 4-hour drive, and we would recommend staying in Banjaar Tola.
  3. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan: In Ranthambore, sightings of the 81 diurnal tigers can be frequent as they are active during the day. One of the most famous of the national parks, the centre of Ranthambore is home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ranthambore Fort. This park is the closest to Delhi so can be part of a golden triangle tour or Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur. Because of this, the park can get very busy, so be sure to book in advance and be aware it can feel more touristy than other parks. Sujan Sher Bagh Camp offers luxury and proximity to Ranthambore National Park.

TIG Sl India Bengal Tiger Credit Steve Winter

When is the Best Time to see Bengal Tigers in India?

February, March and April are the best time to see tigers in India, when the temperature begins to soar. With the increase in temperature comes less water and drier, dustier land with less foliage. As the water supply decreases, wildlife tends to congregate around the last remaining waterholes, making it a good time to see and photograph the wildlife within the parks. Our expert guides are trained to track majestic tigers in India's tiger parks and you can enhance your tiger journey with stays at unique and beautiful lodges.

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The Bengal Tiger

  • The largest of the big cats, the Bengal tiger reaches four metres in length and weighs in at around 300 kilograms.
  • Tigers have an unmistakable and unique black striped pattern over orange fur which helps them to stay camouflaged as they lay in wait for their prey. No two tigers will have the same stripes, similar to the fingerprints of a human.
  • Generally they are solitary animals, except during mating season and when the female has cubs with her.
  • Renowned for their strength and power, tigers hunt alone taking medium to larger prey, travelling long distances to catch buffalo and wild pigs, as well as other large mammals.
  • They are one of the few cats that are very comfortable in water often swimming or lounging in the shallows to cool off.
  • Females give birth to litters of between two and six cubs at a time and proceed to look after them for about two or three years, after which they leave to find their own territory.
  • Bengal tigers can be hunting through the forests and tall grasses of the Indian jungle where their stripes help camouflage them. Growing up to 10 feet in length, they really are a magnificent sight to see.

Bengal Tiger Conservation

Despite historically living across huge parts of Asia, tigers are endangered to critically endangered with only around 3,200 animals left in the wild with three subspecies already extinct (Balinese, Javan and Caspian Tiger).

Due to hunting and disforestation, Bengal tiger populations have reduced, from hundreds of thousands to just a few thousand. National Parks across India have set conservation areas to protect these magnificent creatures and therefore tiger watching safaris are truly unique. Launched in April 1973, Project Tiger is a conservation scheme by the National Tiger Conservation Authority which established nine tiger reserves. Today, there is 47 tiger reserves.

Siberian Tigers

Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are the largest cats on earth. Not much is known about them as evidenced by the fluctuating statistics from different sources. An adult male has an average length of 13.1 feet including the tail, and typically stands at 3.28 feet tall. They usually weigh between 180 to 300 kilos, and females are much smaller, usually weighing between 100 and 166 kilograms. To survive the cold temperatures of the Taiga, Siberian tigers have a thicker coat than their cousins from the south, especially around their paws and neck where they have a small mane.

Our Siberian tiger safari is all about being in the same habitat of these magnificent big cats. We put you in the right place at the right time to capture footage of them in their natural habitat, and explore their terrain. Working with conservationist Alexander Batalov is the best experience you can get. He has an incredible knowledge of the big cats, and will guide you through their territory in safety. The camera traps are very important for estimating the tiger population figures and on this trip you will learn first-hand about the conservation efforts to protect these endangered animals.

TIG St India Tiger Photocechcz

Why book your tiger safari with NWS?

Working closely with conservationists, we can offer the change to join habituation safaris and more. Our exclusive network on the ground links us to all the best lodges in the region and we are often able to add that little NWS twist to your trip, transforming it into something really special.

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