Many travellers dream of seeing an Indian Tiger in the wild. It is something that you’d pray you will not miss!
It is indeed a thrilling experience to spot a tiger in the wild, but you will enjoy your trip more if you acquaint yourself with few expectations. In this article, you’ll discover tips and the do’s and don’ts when you go on a jungle safari in India. Take note, some of the tips are for first-timers too!
Get to know the park
BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK is situated in Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the tiger reserves where you have a chance to spot the Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. Also, when it comes to picturesque safaris, India’s Bandhavgarh stands second to none.
Surrounded by sal and bamboo forests, you can sometimes see amazing felines resting under the shades. This is one of those opportunities where you can get close-up shots of these fantastic beasts. Other species you can spot in Bandhavgarh National Park are Sambars, Indian wolves, the gray langurs, spotted deers, and pythons, among other animals.
India has worked hard to develop a workable solution to let the natural environment of the safaris and the human scale of the villages co-exist. Your safari experience in Madhya Pradesh may still involve some inconveniences, but the once-in-a-lifetime experience will make up for that. You’ll get to see a safari in the heart of India, where you’ll have personal interactions with locals, observe the national parks’ landscape, meet dozens of wild animals and floras, and learn about wildlife protection.
Before the safari
The safari is not a zoo. While you’re going on a wildlife adventure in the jungle, there are no guarantees on what you will see. Likewise, you cannot expect that tigers will be waiting for you at the national park gate. So, please do keep these few things in mind.
You should practice carrying your ID with you all the time. Most national parks, including the Bandhavgarh National Park, would ask you to present your ID when entering the park. While you’re rarely asked to present an ID during a safari tour, it’s better to just bring one with you anyway.
National parks in India mostly have zones, and you are only expected to stroll within them. This is done to scatter the jeeps safely throughout the forest to prevent the animals from getting affected. But fret not; there is still much more to see in the jungle than tigers. Several species of birds, deer, wild boar, jackals, wild dogs, and even leopards are present in some areas. You just have to widen your interests, which will make going on safaris more exciting.
There are also park rules that need to be followed, so make sure to familiarize yourself with them. Most, if not all, parks will not allow you to walk in the jungle, nor are you allowed to get down from the jeep. Smoking inside the jungle is considered an offense. You also cannot play music inside. Pay attention to the instructions of your guide and follow them religiously. When your guide says no, it means no, and there is a reason for it. So, follow the rules.
Speaking of guides, your forest guide and driver go to the forest daily. Most of them live in the nearby villages. Since they are familiar with the area and have undergone various wildlife training, they know a lot about the forest. So, when they ask you to keep quiet or make no sudden movements, pay close attention.
During the safari
Expect to wake up early during safaris. Animals move in the cooler hours, and they are most likely to follow the sun. If you signed up for a morning safari, prepare yourself to wake up during ungodly hours and be early at the park gate.
There are no two same safaris. Just because you joined one before does not mean you’ve already seen it all. So, we recommend always to remain curious. There is so much more to the forest if we care to look beyond the tigers. Just poke your nose around while firmly seated in the jeep and ask questions. The forest may reveal a lot of secrets through your guides and naturalists.
Another obvious tip that we might add to this list is to avoid littering. We also highly suggest donning clothes that blend well in the jungle. Bright colors, while Instagrammable, attract certain creatures. So, keep a low profile by just wearing safari-worthy clothes. In the same vein, perfumes, especially the strong ones, are highly discouraged.
There are no stores within a safari zone so make sure also to bring necessary supplies like food and water ahead of time.
It is easy to be mesmerized by what you see in a safari, and we can certainly understand that, but do not let the beautiful scenery distract you from the things around you. Always be vigilant; you may sight a snake silently moving around. In other words, be careful of your surroundings.
After the safari
Aside from making sure to check all your belongings, we hope that you’ll feel nothing but gratitude after a day’s worth of safari. So, the question is, what if you didn’t see a tiger? Then, you can come back for another safari and try your luck again. For now, just appreciate and enjoy what you’ve witnessed!
You can spend the rest of your trip in the city, enjoy the fresh air, and experience what the Indian community has to offer.
Some of you may already have an idea of the expectations and tips we mentioned in this article, but for those who are still trying to set their expectations about the Indian safari, we hope that you learned a lot!
Go and enjoy your tiger/jungle safari. And don’t stop at one; go back to the jungle. Be the guest that guides will love to have!
For the most exciting safari tours, you can reach out to us at Innes Wildlife Photography. Led by Wildlife Photographer Dalida Innes, you will not only experience safari in the Indian way but will also have an exciting learning experience about wildlife photography. Come and check out our packages at https://www.inneswildlife.com/tigerphotographytour