India Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, located in Madhya Pradesh, India, is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The reserve is well-known for its dense population of Bengal tigers as well as other endangered species such as leopards and sloth bears.
The 2014 tiger census in India counted 68 tigers here, with the vast majority of them in the 453-square-kilometer Bandhavgarh National Park, which is part of the reserve's core zone. Tiger sightings are most common from February to June. The park is closed from July to September due to the monsoon season.
The best way to explore the reserve is on a jeep safari, which allows you to get up close and personal with the wildlife and includes a knowledgeable guide. All safaris depart from Tala and travel through one of the national park's three zones: The Tala zone is entered from the village; the Khitauli and Maghdi (or Magadhi) zones are about 5.5km and 6km southwest of Tala, respectively, along the Umaria road. Each day, up to 170 six-passenger safari 4WDs (known as Gypsies) are permitted into the park. Do yourself a favor and have hotels/agencies make your safari bookings - and make arrangements as far in advance as possible, because safaris can sell out months in advance, particularly in the Tala zone.
To increase your chances of seeing a tiger, be patient and keep an eye out for tracks and signs of recent tiger activity. Morning safaris, which begin between 5.30am and 6.45am (depending on the season), are longer and produce more tiger sightings than afternoon safaris, which begin at 3pm.
Overall, a trip to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve can be an exciting and unforgettable experience for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. To have the best experience possible, plan your visit ahead of time and keep an open mind.