Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Pettitts Travel UK 01892 515966

India Wildlife Holidays

India’s vast size houses a variety of habitats, from high mountain and desert to tropical jungle and forest. In addition, the country hosts three of the world's biodiversity hotspots: the Western Ghats in the south, the Himalayas in the north, and the hilly ranges bordering India and Myanmar in the east, each having numerous endemic species. It’s no surprise then that India is home to approx. 350 species of mammal and over 1200 bird species as well as many amphibians, reptiles, butterflies and other insects. World-renowned for the magnificent tiger, India has a large number of rare or endangered species including leopard, Asiatic lion, blackbuck antelope, one-horned rhinoceros, sloth bear and elephant.

The rugged national parks of Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench, and Satpura in central India, popular Ranthambore in Rajasthan and the oldest wildlife reserve in the country, Corbett National Park, all have growing tiger populations and are the best places to see this mighty animal as well as leopard and wild elephant. Panna, in central India is predominantly dense deciduous forest set along the Ken river and is one of the best places to see gharial crocodile. To the west, in the desert state of Gujarat, Gir Forest National Park is home to the rare Asiatic lion and blackbuck antelope can be spotted in the grasslands of Velavadar National Park. In the wild and remote north east, the world-famous Kaziranga National Park is located on the banks of the Brahmatputra river and is home to one-horned rhinoceros and river otters. Manas, close to the border of Bhutan, has grasslands, thick deciduous forest and rivers making it rich in biodiversity and has the world’s largest population of Bengal florican. In South India, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains Nagarhole and Bandipur National Parks. Nagarhole is a beautiful reserve with a range of habitats including deciduous forest and swampland and is noted for its leopard population. Bandipur is one of the best places to see wild elephant.

Prolific birdlife across a range of habitats provide fine birdwatching opportunities with endemic and migratory species, from flamingos and cranes, hornbills and bee-eaters, to fish eagles and rollers. Notable birding locations include the forested and little-visited Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary set in the Himalayan foothills, Nalsarovar in Gujarat, the largest wetland bird sanctuary in India, the rarely visited Dibru-Saikhowa and remote Nameri National Parks in Assam as well as the Western Ghats which run parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. The butterflies of India are stunning with over 1000 species found across the country.

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Wildlife Holiday Experts

We have many years’ experience in creating tailor-made wildlife holidays. Whether it’s highlighting the best time of year to spot that elusive animal or suggesting the most impressive national parks to explore, we have all the inside knowledge and expertise when planning this type of holiday.

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Your Wildlife Holiday in India

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The wildlife of India can be experienced in different ways; in national parks and tiger reserves jeep safaris are the most common, where you join an experienced naturalist, driver and fellow visitors to enter the park. Exclusive, private jeep safaris are available in some reserves, these are particularly recommended if you are a keen photographer or have target species in mind. Boat safaris can be taken at Nagarhole National Park, to spot wildlife that lives on the river including marsh crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds as well as wildlife that ventures out of the forest to quench their thirst at the river bank. Satpura in Central India is the only national park where walking safaris are permitted, providing an unforgettable and intimate experience of the forest and its wildlife. All safaris are regulated and limited in number to conserve the wildlife and environment and it is recommended to book well in advance to secure these.

The best times to spot wildlife are at the beginning and end of the day, when animals and birds are at their most active. Hence safaris are scheduled for early morning and late afternoon, adjusted for sunrise and sunset throughout the year. Staying at a lodge that is close to an entrance to a national park or tiger reserve allows you to maximise your safari time and minimise travelling time. Many lodges offer guided walks within their grounds, enabling you to familiarise yourself with some birdlife as well as trees, plants and butterflies. Plus some lodges have verandas, machans and viewing platforms giving you another option to spot wildlife when not on safari. Wildlife isn’t restricted to the many national parks, tiger reserves and sanctuaries throughout the country. There are many enjoyable viewing opportunities, particularly birdwatching, in the rural countryside, at hill stations and especially in the tea and coffee growing regions, where staying in small, relaxed homestays or on tea estates provides a tranquil way to experience the flora and fauna of the area.

From October onwards reserves teem with life with cooler temperatures and lush vegetation following the monsoon. Mid-April to June sees a rise in temperature and as foliage dies back wildlife viewing can sometimes be easier, particularly for leopard, tiger and greater one-horned rhinoceros. Wildlife is often drawn to fewer waterholes and waterbodies too. When to time a trip depends on a number of factors, including if you have key species to target and we can advise and tailor your trip accordingly.

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