To know the Best Places for Tiger Photography in India is a common subject in the minds of both new and familiar to Indian wildlife. Tiger is one of the most popular and enigmatic animals, and there is no doubt about it. Seeing a tiger in the wild is a magical experience and would satisfy any nature lover especially if you are a Wildlife Photographer. The Beauty and Power that this animal reflects are like no other.
There are over 50 tiger parks in India. The Tigers population is growing in India. There are about 1400 tigers in tiger reserves around the country which is the highest in the world.
However, there are only a few parks where you have a chance of seeing a tiger in a few safaris. Some parks are better than others. The top one position keeps changing from year to year based on various factors. I can positively say that for the past few years Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore, and Tadoba have been the consistently best tiger parks in India. There are other parks that in some years have been very good like Corbett, Kanha, Pench etc.
The top position is usually held by the park that has the maximum favorable conditions happening in that year. The first condition and the most important one is the no of tigers in the tourism area. A good tiger year also depends on no of young tiger cubs. Many young cubs (5-15 months) then we have always had great sightings. Bold and habituated tigers are good for photography. Water holes in summer season attract tigers. In peak summer seasons good waterholes are the best places to find tigers.
Best tiger parks are also those that we can access, the best areas of some parks are often not available to the majority. Most of the best tiger parks are divided into various zones to avoid crowding, and only a few zones are good.
My best list considers some of these factors.
Following are some of the best tiger parks in India. This is my view and experience and others may have a different opinion.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is one of the best parks in India today for tigers and tiger photography situated in Rajasthan, Western India. The main reason is for the last few years, the wild tiger populations have increased in this park. The good news is many of the Tigers territories overlaps the tourism area. The bad news is it’s divided into 10 zones and safaris have to be booked 3 months in advance for the zone you wish to enter. While in some zones tiger sightings are frequent, in others it is difficult or even rare to see a tiger. Getting the right zone is as important as going to the right park for tigers. Ranthambore is complex both as a park and its rules and you need to know this park to get the best out of it. Its also one of the slightly expensive ones.
Bandhavgarh National park
Bandhavgarh is the most famous Tiger Parks in India, spread in Vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. It is a small park, consists of a core area of 105 sq km and a buffer area of approximately 400 sq km of topography vary between steep ridges, undulating forest, and open meadows. It used to be one of the defacto parks for Tiger Photography and Filming for more than a decade now. It has been very popular with National Geography and recently with BBC. The density of the Tigers at Bandhavgarh is quite high but has declined over the years like everywhere. Due to various reasons both natural and man-made, there has been a decline in tiger population over the years, especially in the tourist areas. Even with fewer tigers in the tourism areas compared to other parks, the sightings and photography chances here are second to none. In fact with skilled people, it will still give the best quality tiger photographs. The landscape of Sal forest here provides with greener backgrounds compared to Ranthambore which is Dry and more open.
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR)
Tadoba Andhari is a pristine and unique eco-system often referred to as “The Jewel of Vidharba” situated in Maharashtra, India. In recent times due to its healthy population of tigers and their regular sightings, Tadoba has become a favorite with those who have already seen tigers in other popular parks. Besides Tigers, there is a high chance of seeing a sloth bear, dhole (wild dog) in this forest. It’s primarily a bamboo forest with scattered patches of trees and also a few open meadows.
Summers here are the hottest among the tiger parks mentioned so if you are not used to high temps then avoid this park after March or April. May & June are usually around 44-49 Deg Celcius in the Afternoons.It is relatively new to mainstream tourism and there are very few good accommodations.
There are no zones in this parks which give us chance to go anywhere in the tourist area although there are multiple entry gates and can get a little crowded inside the park when a tiger location is already known.
My Favourite and Best place for Tigers Photography is Bandhavgarh due to various reasons both natural and rules and the way the park functions. In my judgment of all these parks, the most reliable and easy to predict is the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Besides that, I also like the greener Bandhavgarh forest compared to the dry and deciduous Ranthambore although it’s a personal preference. Ranthambore National Park is slightly difficult to predict for a new person as you need to know the park and tiger movements unless you are going with a tiger expert like wildlifephototours.com. The reason is that Bandhavgarh is small has only 3 zones and 2 are usually good while Ranthambore has 10 zones out of which 4-5 are good in any season. Knowing and getting the safaris to the best areas is the first step to a successful trip. Tadoba is great however due to no zones it can get a little crowded at times. If you can ignore the crowd and work your way with good people its got great potential.
IF you have been to both Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore parks then you can go to Tadoba which is again great for tigers and other wildlife.
If you are first time visitor then booking the park in the below order is best. The best is to book through a expert like wildlifephototours who will guide you to the best park in that year. Click for the Best Tiger Tours in India. See the Best of Tiger Photography on our Tours.
This is my order of the Top 3 places for tigers photography currently.
Also read the Best time to see and photograph tigers in India.