On Tiger Safari
For all the trials and travails facing the world’s tiger population, it’s gratifying to know that there are sanctuaries where they are protected and allowed to grow. Even better, there are exotic locations such as Northern India’s Ranthambhor National Park where travelers can see them in the wild.
Ranthambhor National Park is one of the many highlights of AutoVenture’s nine-day tour of India, which includes Mumbai, Jaipur, Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds and India’s capital of Delhi.
But few adventures can match driving on safari in an open jeep into the tiger’s terrain. Spread over 243 square miles, Ranthambhor National Park is a network of lakes, rivers and deep crags. But for the best chance of seeing the tigers in the wild, you need an enthusiastic and experienced AutoVenture guide who knows the land and the history of the park.
At the top of the park, 700 feet in elevation, is the 10th century Ranthambhor Fort, which once served as the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Today, it’s ruled by the great, striped cats. In addition to tigers, guests often see deer, wild boar, crocodiles, gazelle, monkeys, mongoose, peacocks and other birds.
After a morning and evening safari, you’ll retire to the Sher Bagh luxury camp, neighboring the tiger reserve. You’ll relax in hand-stitched tents that evoke the classic 1920s and conjure up the imagination of what life must have been like on safari in the days of the Raj. Inside, your quarters are furnished with Edwardian furniture and the well-appointed, lavish bathing quarters are praised as “hedonist delights.” It’s an experience that will make you purr with pleasure.
Ranthambhor Tiger Reserve is the largest expanse of dry deciduous Anogeissus Forest left in India.
The reserve is home to 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 40 species of reptiles, 300 species of plants, and 45 adult tigers and 16 cubs.