Tiger Safari Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, India
The Ranthambore National Park located in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India with an area of 282 km² is home to 67 Bengal tigers and their cubs. Considered to be the best place in the country for tiger spotting and the presence of around 300 species of birds make this is a popular place for wildlife photography lovers.
How to book a safari in the Ranthambore National Park
The public can visit 20% of the park on authorized safari excursions, these are available from October to June, there are two visits a day, early morning and afternoon. It is best to book online and in advance on the official government website. When booking you can choose the vehicle, between the 20 seater canter or the 6 seater gipsy and the zone of the park 1 to 10. I booked 4 safaris on 4 different zones to experience the different landscapes and was lucky enough to spot tigers on 3 of the 4 safaris.
- You will need a face mask or a scarf that you can use to cover your mouth and nose, no matter if you are on a canter or gipsy there will be a lot of dust.
- Light clothes, hat, sunglasses and plenty of water, temperatures can go up to 48ºC you will need as much water as you can take in a backpack. There is usually a stop to use the washrooms inside the park.
- Memory cards, battery, good lens/camera.
- Be hopeful of spotting a tiger but it is not guaranteed so do not obsess over it, make sure to enjoy the landscape, some of the oldest banyan trees in India and the other animals in the park.
How to reach Sawai Madhopur
Sawai Madhopur is located at around 3 to 3 and half hours (about 140 km) from Jaipur, the closest airport.
I travelled from Mumbai central station on a 13-hour train journey aboard the Rajdhani Express. Ticket fares vary from around 1714 for a seat on a 3-tier AC class to 3940 on a first class AC class, there are discounts for children and senior citizens. The journey is pleasant, the train is comfortable, safe and the toilets are clean. Bottled water, meals including ice cream :), bed linen and a hand towel are provided on board, there are power sockets, curtains for privacy and individual lights. Enjoy the landscape and the sunset from the train.
Where to stay in Sawai Madhopur
I couldn’t be happier with my choice to stay in the Nahargarh Ranthambhore Hotel, Set in a 16th-century-type fortress, this upscale hotel features spacious and airy rooms, gym, spa, 2 swimming pools, terraces, patios and green spaces for a truly palatial feeling. An excellent option for those looking to hire a place for a family function, the place is just perfect to celebrate unforgettable occasions. The restaurant serves a wide selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner with fresh roti, naan or paratha made to order. I had a chance to taste some of the most delicious and traditional Rajasthani dishes here, like the dal baati churma, the gatte ki sabzi and the sweet moong dal halwa. Everything at this property deserves a 5-star rating, especially the friendly and attentive staff. If you have booked your tiger safari online let the reception know, they will make all the arrangements for the pickups.
Visit the Trinetra Ganesh Temple
Located inside the Ranthambore Fort, a mid-10th century UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013, the Trinetra Ganesha Temple is one the most renowned and oldest temples in Rajasthan. Hindus from around the world come to this temple to worship Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is auspicious to send the first invitation to a wedding to Lord Ganesha in this temple, it is believed the couples who do so are blessed with a happy marriage. If you visit this temple you will have a chance to see those invitations. Keep 3 to 4 hours to visit the temple it is well worth a visit, there are stalls nearby where you can buy the offerings, leave your shoes and wash your hands before entering the temple.
If you have any additional tips, questions or want to share your experience please write in the comments!