From spotting snow leopards in the Himalayan foothills to blue whales in Mirissa, clients visiting India and Sri Lanka can enjoy enriching wildlife experiences, says Abra Dunsby
Where? While only 3,200 tigers remain in the wild today, 70% of them live in India, so a trip there offers clients the best chance of seeing one. Ranthambore national park is home to more than 60 tigers, and the park’s northerly location fits well with clients on Golden Triangle itineraries. The central state of Madhya Pradesh is another strong option. It’s dubbed the ‘Tiger State’ due to its 25 wildlife sanctuaries, 10 national parks – including tiger-rich Bandhavgarh and Kanha – and six tiger reserves.
Best time to visit: October to April for Ranthambore. The park is closed between July 1 and September 30 each year.
Top tip: Nikhil Chhibber, India product manager at Inspiring Travel Company (ITC) recommends clients opt for half-day game drives by Jeep. “For these, there’s no zone restriction, so travellers can move freely around zones one to five of Ranthambore, and once regular safari vehicles have left, only five Jeeps are permitted to remain, making it less crowded.”
Book it: ITC offers an 11-night Tigers and Leopards with Relais & Chateauxv Hotels trip, which includes visits to two of India’s most famous tiger reserves – Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore – and two nights in Delhi. Prices start from £3,595pp including flights, private transportation by car and train, and safari activities. inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk