Travelling to an Indian safari destination is a little different than visiting a city or a beach holiday. There are so many national parks each of them with their numerous rules and regulations. Most of the national parks are also located further away from major cities and even though most of the jungle lodges are well equipped, it is always essential to be prepared.
Having sent many people on Indian safaris, here are a few frequently asked questions by the guests.
1. Will I see a tiger?
Out of all the questions we get asked this has to be the most popular. We have been on plenty of safaris over the last few years and have been very lucky with some great tiger sightings but there have been occasions where we have missed seeing a tiger.
More often than not you are likely to see a tiger. Here are a few reasons why.
- The naturalist (your safari guide) is experienced in finding and seeing tigers.
- Tigers are creatures of habits, for example when a tiger wants to drink water, the tiger is most likely to go back to the same location.
- Tigers are attracted to strolling on roads because there are no hedges / thorns to obstruct them. Hence, a nice open road is where you are more likely to see a tiger.
Having sent many people on safaris, we have found one unusual pattern in people’s behavior that allows them to see a tiger. If you have a positive expectation, of seeing a tiger and feel the connection with the jungle and you are not in a state of desperation, then the jungle will respond by showing you their most treasured animal, the tiger. This is not scientifically proven but will certainly increase your chances of seeing a tiger.
2. Which is the best park to visit and why?
A lot of people have different requirements and needs. For example, most people that have children prefer to visit a national park, which is not too long a drive from an airport or railway station. There are other people who want to specifically see certain birds and animals.
If you are unsure about which park to visit, then please give us a call and we will be able to advise you on the best park for you to visit
3. Can I decide on extra safaris when I reach the lodge?
It is better to book all your safaris ahead of time as they are very likely to be fully booked when you reach the resort.
On the occasional visit there may be a safari available, but this is a rare event. We highly recommend planning and booking all your safaris in advance.
You will find either two or three safaris scheduled per day depending on which jungle you visit.
If there are two safaris, the morning safari typically starts at around 5:30 a.m. and the afternoon safari usually starts around 3:00 p.m.
If there are three safaris, then the morning safari typically starts at around 5:30 a.m., the middle one is around 9:00 a.m and the afternoon one is usually at 3:00 p.m.
The number of safaris differ from park to park, when you are about to book your trip, please give us a call and we will help you plan the safaris you require.
- Time of year
- Location/ Climate of the park
Time of year
For bird lovers and watchers a great time to visit some national parks is from October to February to see a lot of migratory birds.
For most tiger reserves, the best times to visit would be March to June. This marks the beginning of the dry season and the heat of the summer sets in driving the animals to the few remaining waterholes in jungle where there is a good chance to spot them.
Location / Climate of the Park.
Planning your trip based around the location/ climate of the park is essential. The climate of the park is dependent on the location of the park.
Corbett National Park and the Madhya Pradesh National Parks in the winter are incredibly cold as compared to Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks based in the south of the country.
The climate of the park also determines game viewing. The general rule is the hotter it gets the better the chances of seeing the tiger, as the summer season leads to scarcity of water and the majority of game viewing happens around the remaining water holes.
This does not mean winter is not the right time to visit these parks. We have had clients go in winter and have had some amazing tiger sightings. The cold/milder weather during the winter months (November to February) is a beautiful time to visit the jungles as well. T
he winter months transform the jungle with some animals even displaying their new winter coats (including tigers) . Driving through the jungle with the early morning winter mist all around you is a surreal feeling.
If you are unsure about the right time to visit a certain national park, give us a call and we will be happy to guide you through it.
5. Can you customize trips for us?
Yes, absolutely! We can customize your trip according to your needs and requirements. We always keep our packages flexible so the clients have the final say in exactly how they want to proceed with their booking. For example, we have a lot of clients who will plan a 4 day trip with 7 safaris and some who will plan the same trip with 5 safaris. We are always here to help and make suggestions based on our experience.
A lot of factors go into planning a great safari experience. A few of them are as follows
1. The purpose of the trip?
Majority of queries come from families, specially parents with young children who want to take their kids on safaris and have a very specific requirement. As the children are usually young they generally tend to choose a national park which is the most convenient and quickest to get to as it keeps the travel time low and is less tiring for the children. As a trend we have seen majority of families choose Tadoba and Pench more often than not due to its proximity to Nagpur Airport .
Some queries are very specific. For example, a photographers group travelling, lays more emphasis on maximizing how many safaris they get in the number of days, distance and proximity to an airport is not considered that important. However, the animals they would like to photograph also determines which national park to choose.
2. The budget of the trip?
This is also a very important criteria in deciding how to customise your trip for you. Safaris are expensive and we understand each client has a different budget in mind for planning their trip. Knowing the budget also helps us plan your trip better and more efficiently.
Please give us a call and we will talk to through the many options available and how to best plan your safari according to your needs.
6. How are safaris conducted? Are they safe?
Safaris in the Indian Jungles are monitored regularly and operated efficiently by the Indian Forest Services. There are limited open gypsies allowed to enter the park (numbers vary from park to park).A forest guard who is a representative of the Forest department along with the hotel naturalist/driver who accompanies you as well accompanies each car.
A lot of people are skeptical when they are told that safaris are conducted in an open jeep but we assure you that it is extremely safe and over the years there have been no incidents that indicate otherwise. There is also a very safe distance maintained between your jeep and the animals in the jungle.
If you have any more questions as to how safaris are conducted, please give us a call and we will help you.
7. What should I pack for a safari?
Most of the national parks are located further away from a major city even though most of the jungle lodges are well equipped , it is important to be prepared. You must carry the essential things required for a safari holiday, like a hat, a pair of sunglasses, a good pair of binoculars etc. You must also remember to carry all your medication.
Here is a link to a comprehensive SAFARI PACKING CHECK-LIST that you can download and print.