India is like the perpetual bag of wonders, where you have a plethora of amazing natural and wildlife wonders locked away, just for you to open and enjoy. The vast array of wildlife safaris in India, national parks and sanctuaries leaves a wildlife lover speechless and wanting for more.
Today, we are going to open a different bag of wonders — India as the wildlife and safari hub. It is always great to see animals in their natural habitat, so that you can learn a lot about how they live and also the opportunity to marvel at the little intricacies in which God has created them.
6 Best Places for Wildlife Safaris in India
1. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki
If ever you are touring Kerala, make it a point to visit Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary, a sanctuary noted for its rich ecosystem with an impressive collection of flora and fauna, including star tortoise, grizzled giant squirrel and spotted deer.
The ethnic diversity of the sanctuary can be attributed to its location; it is located in the rain shadows region of the Western Ghats. The large repository of medicinal herbs and plants is another speciality of the region.
The most attractive feature of the sanctuary is the guided trekking to the deciduous forests. Apart from occasional glimpses of wildlife, you can also feast your eyes on the birds and butterflies.
You can enjoy night safaris, stay in tree-top houses, enjoy sumptuous meals sourced from organic ingredients and breathe in the fresh air.
2. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore National Park is best known as the land of tigers. It is also one of the largest parks in the state and a haven for photography enthusiasts. There are plenty of dry areas within the forest, but what makes the national park stand out is the occasional snatches of colours, the gravel roads and the historical forts.
Apart from the majestic tigers, you can feast your eyes on Indian flying foxes, sloth bears, desert cats, mongoose rattles, five-stripped palm squirrels, and of course a healthy collection of reptiles, leopards and jackals. The most noted feature of the park is that you can watch the animals roam free and wide.
They are not confined to any particular location. Bird watching is another favourite sport of the people visiting the park, and you can see a rich collection of exotic birds including flycatchers, nightjars, grey hornbills and flamingos. Also worth visiting the site is the Ranthambore Fort, recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and situated five kilometres inside the park.
3. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
The Kaziranga National Park in Assam is one of the most sought after wildlife destinations in the country, and is well-known for its one-horned rhinoceros.
Yes, that’s true.
One-horned rhinoceros are found not just in Jurassic park, but here in India too. It is believed that the park houses 2200 one-horned rhinoceros within its premises, and it comprises of about 2/3rd of the one-horned rhinoceros population.
UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site in 1985, and in 2006, it was declared a Tiger Reserve. The features that make this park unique from the rest of the parks in the world are the marshlands, the huge expanse of elephants grass and the dense tropical moist broadleaf forests.
Of course, and a good variety of aquatic flora, and the majestic Brahmaputra River also add charm to the national park.
4. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Among the best wildlife safaris in India is this park. Visiting Bandhavgarh National Park would take you right into the beauty of nature and bountiful wildlife. A haven of wild tigers, you can indulge in magnificent safaris including night safaris while on a tour of the wild.
The core area is 105 square km, with a buffer area of about 400 sq. km. Consisting of steep ridges, open meadows, undulating forests and plenty of hilly terrain.
It is believed that the forest was once the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. You will most probably be able to watch a tiger walking majestically in front of your vehicle during the safari; certainly a sight to behold.
You can enjoy either a jeep safari or an elephant safari; both are equally good, and you will be able to see bountiful, untouched virgin lands and incredible flora and fauna.
5. Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad
Located at Wayanad, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is a delight for wildlife lovers. Being a significant part of the Nilgiri biosphere, the park plays an important role in protecting the wildlife and its indigenous flora. Tholpetty is one of the wildlife sanctuaries in Wayanad, the other being Muthanga.
On a night safari at Tholpetty, you can surely witness the Indian bison, wild elephants and gaur.
6. Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh
In the luscious Satpura ranges of Madhya Pradesh lies the Satpura National Park, unique in nature with a stunning eco-system. The national park has been awarded the prestigious TOFT Wildlife Tourism Award for being the most visitor-friendly wildlife destination. The terrain of the natural park is extremely beautiful with deep ravines, dense Sal, water-filled gorges and sandstone peaks.
You can enjoy glimpses of tiger, chinkara antelope, sambar deer, leopard, porcupine, sloth bears and an extremely stunning variety of avian population consisting of hornbills and peacocks.
These are some of the best and most popular wildlife safaris in India. The varied topography of the country is a major reason for the lush greenery and richness of its forests. Enjoy your wild ride to these parks.