You have always wanted to see a tiger up close or maybe you have seen one in a zoo somewhere during your travels. But it is nothing compared to sighting a tiger in a jungle, in its natural habitat and that too out of the blue. The adrenalin rush, the excitement you feel combined with a tiny bit of fear is just something that one needs to experience and cannot be shared via a post.
I have been on quite a few safaris, not as many as some of the others, but I’ve had my share and in fact am ready to say “ok am done, enough! Why? Because people are crazy, most people who come to jungle safaris behave like
- am entitled to see a tiger and throw a hissy fit if they don’t see any.
- if one jeep has sighted a tiger, immediately calls go out to the others in the area and all other jeeps swarm in with their engines revving and making crazy levels of sound
My very 1st safari in India was Corbett, back in Dec 2018 with friends. We took the train from Delhi to Ramnagar, and then an auto to the resort. In the wee hours of the morning, 5.30 am we were ready and on the jeep towards the gate. The earlier you are there, the better your chances of getting a clean glimpse of the jungle and what it has in store. We sighted a 12yr old tigress Sharmili, and she walked right past our jeep into the jungle. She was a grandmother [has passed on since then]. Since then, I have travelled to Panna, Sunderbans, Tadoba, Ranthambore and Dhudhwa – sighted tigers in almost all, but the last one. Also managed to sight Sloth bears, leopards, Wild dogs, different kinds of jungle cats, vultures, hornbills, woodpeckers, kingfishers and several other species of birds & animals. Each and every safari is unique, the jungles & the landscape are so different, mesmerizing and memorable.
Here is a post I’ve put together from my experiences with a few pointers for others who might be headed for their 1st safari this year in India.
India is home to some of the most diverse and incredible wildlife in the world, and a jungle safari is a great way to see it up close. However, it’s important to be respectful of the animals and the environment when you’re on a safari. Here are some tips on how to behave and what to expect:
- Be respectful of the animals. This means staying quiet and not making sudden movements, as this can startle the animals and make them dangerous. It also means not feeding or touching the animals, as this can disrupt their natural behaviour.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This means paying attention to where you’re walking and what’s around you. There may be wild animals in the area, so it’s important to be careful.
- Stay on the designated paths. This helps to protect the environment and prevents you from getting lost. Stay in the jeep and get off only when the jeep stops at a designated spot – for restroom, or a short break [ which will be announced by the guide]
- Leave no trash. This means packing out all of your trash and not disturbing the natural environment.
- Be prepared for anything. The weather can change quickly in the jungle, so it’s important to be prepared for rain, heat, and cold. You should also bring plenty of water and snacks.
Here are some things you can expect to see on a jungle safari in India:
- A wide variety of animals. Jungles are more than just tigers. you will see elephants, deer, bears, monkeys, peacocks, other birds and many more.
- Beautiful scenery. The jungles of India are home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, including lush forests, towering mountains, and crystal-clear rivers.
- An unforgettable experience. A jungle safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. Being silent, just soaking your surroundings and being in the present is what the safari is all about and what I love about them.
If you’re looking for a fantastic wildlife experience, a jungle safari in India is the perfect way to go. Just be sure to follow these tips to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Here are some additional tips:
- Go with a reputable jungle guide – You can get them when you book your safari rides. every jeep will have a driver and a guide. This will help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Book your safari in advance- This is especially important during peak season. [esp for places like Tadoba which is the most popular, you need to book well in advance, esp for the main gates]
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear – You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. Nothing fancy, nothing bright, no heels or shiny clothes or jewellery that makes a lot of sound.
- Bring a camera – if you love photography, either use your phone or carry your camera with lenses. Some jungles have rental options near the gates.
- Carry water and snacks – since the safari rides are between 2-4hrs, its always good to carry a bottle of water and some snacks to nibble on [between meals]
- Respect the jungle – be mindful of the surroundings, stay silent and don’t make noise ever. There are animals and birds all around, and they have sharp hearing. Also, if you make noise, you won’t be able to hear them.
Which was the jungle you’ve been to or where did you have your 1st Tiger sighting?