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Indian Wildlife Tourism: How to book a Jungle Stay and Safari?

book a Jungle Stay and Safari

Indian Wildlife Tourism: How to book a Jungle Stay and Safari?

This article explains about how to book a jungle stay and safari across Indian national parks, mainly the popular ones. The need for this article is due to umpteen calls, emails, messages we get which are almost in a way distress calls as they would have chosen the wrong way and ended up in wrong resorts, probably did not book the safari or ended up booking the wrong safari or the wrong resort or both wrong and ended up messing up their hard earned holidays and hard earned money and went back home utterly disappointed and upset. Let’s do some basic homework before booking a Jungle Stay and resort. I will explain Dos and Don’ts for each of the popular national parks in India where most people visit. I will also point out common mistakes people are doing currently and then answer each of the issues, how to tackle it Sanctuary by Sanctuary.

[BTW as part of this class, you have to download our app – please don’t consider this as a self promotion for the app but a holiday-saving exercise. App is free and also Ad-Free, so I won’t make any money form your App download but extremely helpful for you and you will thank me later – trust me on this. Install  WildTrails India App]

Common issues we see in Jungle Stay and Safari bookings for Indian National Parks

  • things work very differently in North versus Central versus South, but people make the assumptions they work similar and trying to book stay and Safari – wont work
  • in South generally you book the right resort, safari comes as a part of the package and very rarely safari is separate. But in central two are decoupled and just booking a resort and turning up on that day will be a beginning of a disastrous holiday
  • in North, in spite of all online bookings and decoupling of safaris and stay, there are “unwanted couplings” which makes it almost impossible to book online and have to go via an agent  (more on this later)
  • in South, All Safaris are always conducted by Tourism Dept. and Forest Dept. but separately. Tourism dept. Safaris are always linked to staying in their resorts or *only associated resorts* and not all resorts (be very careful when you book) and the Forest Dept. Safaris are usually always Canter Safari with no online booking facility (except Bandipur)
  • People always end up booking wrong resorts in the South and the cry about it (we get many many distress calls every week who fell for this trip but it’s too late for us to help them).
  • In Central and North, they always book a safari gate and a resort which is probably 100 kms (or 3 hour away) away from the gate as they have no clue that safari gates can be 100-140 kms apart and then do last minute booking in a new resort at expensive rates foregoing the booked one
  • Still many people book safari at various different gates hoping to maximize their chances of sightings and again same mistake, morning safari one gate and afternoon safari in another gate which is some 100 kms away – impossible to go there and then do safari and then get back to hotel
  • Lot more such issues – anyways I have listed for each popular sanctuary on how to go about

How to go about to book a Jungle Stay and Safari across Indian National Parks – all the Popular ones?

There is no “one size fits all” solution unfortunately. Mainly because the forests and its management comes under state government and they implement the way they feel is right and there is no central board or a committee of all states where they discuss all these and hence we need to do a lot of home work before we visit these national parks. As I always say “What cannot be changes has to be endured” 🙂 Yes we can change and have tried it but realized that trying to change the way government works will happen when the when the pigs fly. While the pigs are trying to fly, we will adjust to what exists today there 🙂

1.Kabini Nagarhole National Park, Tiger Reserve & an Elephant Reserve

  [Karnataka, South India, approx. 230 kms from Bangalore]

Safari at Kabini without a Stay

Very tricky here. Safari is always conducted by Tourism Dept and associated resorts BUT NOT all resorts in Kabini. Also open jeep safari is only via Tourism Dept, lodges and other associated lodges, it is always canter (mini safari bus). So ideally don’t just book for these resorts in any tourism portal. To be frank, ideally, book via WildTrails India App as it lists only tourism dept lodges and associated lodges and has displayed what are the safari options too for each of the resort and its cost.

[Forest Dept also conducts safari via Canter here but very painful process and very limited seats and not suited for visitors and more suited to people staying nearby – I request visitors to just exclude this option]

Any questions, email us to kabini@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

 

2. Bandipur National Park, Tiger Reserve & an Elephant Reserve

  [Karnataka, South India, approx. 240 kms from Bangalore]

Safari is conducted by Tourism Department and associated resorts BUT NOT all resorts in Bandipur. Also open jeep safari is only via Tourism Department, lodges and other associated lodges, it is always canter (mini safari bus). So ideally don’t just book for these resorts in any tourism portal. To be frank, ideally, book via WildTrails India App as it lists only tourism department lodges and associated lodges and has displayed what are the safari options too for each of the resort and its cost.

prince of bandipur

Forest Department also conducts safari via Canter here and can be booked via online portal -bandipurtigerreserve.in but when I last checked, security check fails and it says not to venture into that portal 🙁 Ideally go there and get the tickets and if you go early, you might get a Gypsy too. Exact location and times are mentioned in the WildTrails India App.

Any questions, email us to bandipur@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

3. Nagarhole National Park, Tiger Reserve & an Elephant Reserve

  [Karnataka, South India, approx. 235 kms from Bangalore]

Safari is conducted by Tourism Department as well as Forest Dept. Fortunately tourism department has not (yet) coupled staying/resort and the safari yet.

Nagarhole safari

[Photo credits Vyshak]

You will mostly get jeep safari (duration 3 hrs) via tourism department and canter safari (duration 1.5 hrs) via forest department,

So you can stay anywhere close by and still manage a good safari here, Exact location and times are mentioned in the WildTrails India App.

Any questions, email us to nagarhole@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

4. Tadoba National Park and Tiger Reserve

  [Maharastra, Central India, approx. 120 kms from Nagpur]

One of the best managed parks in the whole of India. Extremely simple way here is to go to the booking portal or WildTrails India App, choose the right safari gate, book the Gypsy exclusively for your group and then book the resort attached to the gate and that’s it – you are done. That easy.

Shivanjari Tadoba Tigers

Only issue is, it has 12 safari gates and all are spread across the park and are 100 to 140 kms apart and you cannot mess up the gates and the resorts. Also confusion happens on which gate to choose and again WildTrails India app puts the TSI or what we call Tiger Sighting Index which gives the previous 7 days sighting percentage and that gives a very good idea of which gate to pick. The app also lists all resorts attached to a given gate and all types – from budget to medium to luxury, and also its distance from the gate.

Any questions, email us to tadoba@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

5. Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Maharastra & Madhya Pradesh, Central India, approx. 100 kms from Nagpur]

Like Tadoba, pretty easy to book but issue is that it is spread over two states and you need to go to a different portal to book for Maharastra gates and a different portal to book for Madhya Pradesh gates. Or easy way it to go to WildTrails India App, book any gate there based on Tiger Sighting Index [TSI] [Tiger Sighting Index which gives the previous 7 days sighting percentage and that gives a very good idea of which gate to pick]

Frequently Asked Questions about Pench Safari

Choose the right safari gate, book the Gypsy exclusively for your group or you can book share option too in Madhya Pradesh counterpart, and then book the resort attached to the gate and that’s it – you are done. That easy.

The WildTrails India app also lists all resorts attached to a given gate and all types – from budget to medium to luxury and also its distance from the gate.

Any questions, email us to pench@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

6. Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Madhya Pradesh, Central India, approx. 180 kms from Jabalpur]

Like Tadoba & Pench, pretty easy to book. Just pick the gate/zone that has very good tiger sightings [go to WildTrails India App, book any gate there based on Tiger Sighting Index [TSI] [Tiger Sighting Index which gives the previous 7 days sighting percentage and that gives a very good idea of which gate to pick]

Once you choose the right safari gate, book the Gypsy exclusively for your group or you can book share option too and then book the resort attached to the gate and that’s it – you are done. That easy.

munna t17 kanha

The WildTrails India app also lists all resorts attached to a given gate and all types – from budget to medium to luxury and also its distance from the gate.

Any questions, email us to kanha@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

7. Bandhavgarh  National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Madhya Pradesh, Central India, approx. 165 kms from Jabalpur]

Like Pench & Kanha, pretty easy to book. Just pick the gate/zone that has very good tiger sightings [go to WildTrails India App, book any gate there based on Tiger Sighting Index [TSI] [Tiger Sighting Index which gives the previous 7 days sighting percentage and that gives a very good idea of which gate to pick]. It is always either Tala or Magadhi.

Once you choose the right safari gate, book the Gypsy exclusively for your group or you can book share option too and then book the resort attached to the gate and that’s it – you are done. That easy.

bandhavgarh tigers

Once you choose the right safari gate, book the Gypsy exclusively for your group or you can book share option too and then book the resort attached to the gate and that’s it – you are done. That easy.

The WildTrails India app also lists all resorts attached to a given gate and all types – from budget to medium to luxury and also its distance from the gate.

Any questions, email us to bandhavgarh@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

8. Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Rajasthan, North India, approx. 165 kms from Jaipur]

Unlike Tadoba, Pench, Kanha or Bandhavgarh, my experience has been pretty bad trying to book Safari online and is next to impossible. Not sure what is going on there. As of today (May 2017), better to find the right agent to book safari tickets over there and also attached resorts, Will turn out to be very very expensive but there is no way out.

ranthambore tiger

Nevertheless we have described detailed step by step procedure to book in the WildTrails India app. Give it a try and you might be lucky. We also have added Tiger Sighting Index [TSI] [Tiger Sighting Index which gives the previous 7 days sighting percentage and that gives a very good idea of which gate to pick]. Best of Luck!!!

Any questions or need right agents to book, email us to ranthambore@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

9. Jim Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Uttarakhand, North India, approx. 235 kms from New Delhi]

Unlike Tadoba, Pench, Kanha or Bandhavgarh, my experience has been pretty bad trying to book Safari online for Corbett. Also just safari is of no use unless combined with the Dikhala guest house. All private resorts outside is far off and you miss a lot of sightings and is next to impossible. Best is to find the right agent to book safari tickets and the inside the forest guest houses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kanha Safari

Any questions or need right agents to book, email us to corbett@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.

10. Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve

[Assam, North East India, approx. 190 kms from Guwahati]

I am yet to try out Kaziranga. Sorry about it but will soon update here but I have added all details about gates, how to reach there, sightings, resorts etc in the WildTrails India App.

Kaziranga one-horned Rhina

Any questions or need right agents to book, email us to kaziranga@wildtrails.in or call us on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444.


Further Info:

If you need further info on any of the national parks or need further help to plan a visit to any national park/wildlife sanctuary in India not just listed here, or you want us to help you book safaris and/or stay with, contact us any time via an email to info@wildtrails.in  or call us any time on +918030178142 or WhatsApp us @ +919901175444. Also please do install WildTrails India App or read the below related blogs.


Related Useful Blogs About “How to book a Jungle Stay and Safari across Indian National Parks”:

Inexpensive Tadoba Safari

Popular Wildlife Getaways ex-Nagpur

How to plan a weekend trip to Tadoba?

What is the difference between Tadoba Core and Tadoba Buffer Safari zones?

How to book a safari in Tadoba?

Tadoba Safari Gates

Tadoba Safari Timings

Tadoba Calling??

Interview highlights with GP Garad, Field Director, CCF Tadoba Tiger Reserve

The RIGHT & ONLY way to book Jungle Resorts and the Safari!!

Help Tadoba Safari booking

Top 5 India’s Tiger Reserves

Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

How to pick the Right Kanha Safari Gate?

 


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PS: Please be a responsible wildlife tourist; No littering, No sounds, No feeding, no getting down from the safari jeep (when on safari), No phone calls. Remember that we are visiting their home and when we are there, let’s follow their rules.

[The WildTrails India App is the best way to get all the details about Indian wildlife sanctuaries (best travel times, safari details, animal sightings, forest accommodations pairing, wildlife related activities, prices, etc). Learn more about WildTrails of India here. ios App is here. Android is here, and Web is on the way. Please do like us on our facebook page here.]

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