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Big Cats in the Wild: Close Encounters on Tiger Tours

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For anyone who has ever imagined seeing the magnificent Panthera tigris in the wild, Tiger tours are the only way to safely do so. This iconic species, so beautiful and yet still in grave danger of becoming extinct, is an animal on the top of many wildlife lovers’ wish list. Tiger tours to the Indian subcontinent not only offer a huge range of opportunities and itineraries, they are also an eco-friendly and responsible way of seeing the big cat in its natural habitat.

What To Expect on Tiger Tours

There are several national parks in India that are home to a healthy population of the big cats. As well as providing jeep safaris, some offer accommodation and, by inviting visitors to the reserves, money is re-invested into the ongoing conservation efforts that preserve the habitat of the Tiger and ensure its survival as a species.

There are some excellent specialist operators with a wealth of experience running wildlife focused tours. They offer a range of itineraries, with some that can be tailored to suit a specific time frame or requirements. The best companies take only small groups on their trips, in order to promote the personal experience that comes with this kind of intimate travel. Local naturalists are employed to impart their invaluable knowledge and many are eminent experts in their field.

Involving the local community in this kind of eco-tourism encourages others, especially youngsters, to get involved in the reserves, creating more jobs and raising awareness in the surrounding areas as well.

Destinations

There are several places in India to see Tigers in the wild. Kanha Tiger Reserve is considered the best, but Ranthambore, Panna, Pench and Bandhavgarh National Parks are also excellent locations for spotting the big cat.

The wonderful thing about the various parks is that they are all unique, with each one home to a high concentration of wildlife. On any one game drive an abundance of species can be seen. Spotted Deer, Gaur, Wild Boar and even Leopard and Sloth Bear are common sights in many of the parks and make Tiger tours even more exciting. Amateur and professional photographers will enjoy the spectacular photo opportunities that present around every turn.

Optional Add Ons

India is a hugely exciting country and from any one of these reserves there are multiple opportunities for further travel. Agra and the incredible Taj Mahal are just a train trip away; the stunning palaces and Moghul fortresses of Rajasthan are within easy reach; and the magnificent temples of Kahjuraho are only a short drive from Bandhavgarh.

For nature lovers looking to make the very most of this once in a lifetime experience, it’s important to book a wildlife trip with an eco-conscious travel company. This will ensure the camaraderie of small group travel, security and ethical practice.
About author: Desiree Michels

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer with a special interest in Tiger watching. As a passionate lover of wildlife, Marissa chooses the expert-led Tiger tours organised by Naturetrek, which have brought her unforgettable sightings of a wide range of species in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

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