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Lion, tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and co

Animal Watching in India

Of course, encountering animals in their natural habitat is not comparable to a visit to the zoo.

A lot of patience and also a portion of luck is part of spotting a rare predatory cat or the largest land mammal in the world. But once you see one in the middle of the Indian jungle just a few meters away you, the feeling is indescribable.

Admittedly- this elephant did not meet us in the jungle, but in a temple in Hampi

It is a unique fascination to observe animals in their normal habitat and to be able to develop an idea of how these animals really live.

Bandhavagarh National Park in Madya Pradesh is famous for its tigers

India has an incredibly large and diverse natural space to offer. Huge national parks and nature reserves across India protect rare species in the animal and plant sector. But also outside the national parks you will find very special creatures in India. So it is not uncommon to see dolphins in the Arabian Sea at the coasts of Goa or Kerala. The bird life in India is probably – also due to the many migratory birds – one of the most species-rich in the whole world. I have often met bird researchers in the Himalayas or in the southern part of Kerala, who have travelled to India specifically for bird watching.

Bird reserve near Mysore

Also bears in the mountains high up in the north or rare venomous snakes, such as cobras, can be seen in India, although a certain distance here is certainly desirable, as long as one is not travelling with professional accompaniment.

I myself live in the Himalayan region, but unfortunately I have never been lucky enough to see a brown or black bear.

I came across snakes every now and then in southern India. Even a cobra snaked along the side of the road. However, to my relief, I was in a car at the time. In the paddy fields of south India, however, one should exercise some caution due to the poisonous snakes!

However, if you also want to see the big animals, you should visit the Indian national parks.

All kinds of monkeys can be found everywhere in India

Depending on the species, there are different regions and periods in India in order to have the highest possible chance of animal scouting. In the western state of Gujarath in the Gir National Park you will come across the rare Indian lions. In the large state of Madya Pradesh you often can spot tigers in one of the three national parks Bandhavagarh, Kahna and Panna.

On Tiger Safari in Madya Pradeh

Also, Rathambore National Park in Rajasthan is a great address for tiger sighting! In the Ganges you can see river dolphins and in the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala it is mainly elephants that cross your path in the Bandipur and Periyar National Park. Near Mysore there is the bird reserve Ranganathittu, in whose waters the crocodiles like it very much.

A Cocodile in the Ranganathittu Bird Reserve

The Kaziranga National Park in Assam in the northeastern states of India is something very special. Here you ride on elephants to see the rare unicorn rhinos.

On safari in Periyar National Park, Kerala

If you want to see a snow leopard, it is best to come to Ladakh or the Himalayan region of Spiti in the winter months of January and February. Here you live in small Buddhist villages at an altitude of about 4000 meters and go face cold and while being search for the snow leopard.

Who is lucky meets bears during a trek in Himlaya

A little further south, there is the “Great Himalayan National Park” and those who are lucky will spot bears.

In the following I have listed  the best national parks, the most favorable periods and their “inhabitants”.

1 Bandhavgarh National Park Madhya Pradesh Tiger October-June
2 Bandipur National Park Karnataka Elephants October-May
3 Corbett National Park Uttarakhand Tiger October-June
4 Gir National Park Gujarat Lion October-June
5 Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh Bears, Snow leopard Year
6 Hemis National Park Jammu and Kashmir Snow leopard June-October
7 Kanha National Park Madhya Pradesh Tiger October-June
8 Kaziranga National Park Assam Wet horns, Elephants, Tigers October-April
9 Panna National Park Madhya Pradesh Tiger October-June
10 Periyar National Park Kerala Elephants October-May
11 Pin Valley National Park Himachal Pradesh Bears Year
12 Ranthambhore National Park Rajasthan Tiger October-May

Wild elephants in Bandipur National Park

I am happy to organize a two- to three-week trip to India with a focus on Indian wildlife. Please contact me so that I can incorporate your individual wishes and interests into the trip.

A possible two-week round trip could look something like this:

Delhi- Agra (Taj Mahal)- Rathambore (Tiger)-Udaipur-Ahmnabad-Gir National Park (Lions)- Ahmnabad-Mumbai-Mysore (Crocodiles)- Bandipur (Elephants)- Goa (Delfine).