Wildlife Safaris: Tips & advice Destination
It is a dream come true to be in tiger land. The fortunate can afford it or get enough time to visit India. I believe the success of your safari begins with the destination chosen. For tiger sightings Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Ranthambhore and Corbett are best. But the first three are anytime better in my personal opinion.
Tigers being tigers are not seen sometimes and that is very disappointing. Hence avoid festivals, holidays, Saturday and Sunday. And a day or two after that. Rains, large number of tourists, seasonal burning, etc can have a negative impact on your safari and tiger sighting.
Hence visit during January and February or till March. Avoid Holi Festival which is in Feb or March? If you are a birder than hire professional birding guide the regular forest guide may not be able to help you. A good naturalist will assist you in having a holistic tour with his interpretation and trekking skills. Maintain park timing enter as early as you can if the rush is great enter half an hour later. (Thanks Peter). He is below with his camera. Have your vehicle driven slowly and silently. Keep your eyes and ears open for some unusual sound an alarm cry perhaps. Concentrate and enjoy everthing you come accross - ask the guide.
Another important factor going budget may be okay but going cheap is a no no. There are many mid range resorts in these parks. They are best, until unless you have lot of wealth. In this case go for the star hotels. The luxury resort should be able to deliver more than food and accommodation. An introduction to tribal culture, village life, wildlife films, lectures etc makes your stay more enjoyable.
Travel easy do not rush, buy essentials in a major town you land in, something that you may need in the remote areas, assure you have enough money and medicine. A luxury bus or private taxi are usual mode of travel to these tiger reserves. Avoid state transport it is much less comfy meant for tourist with strong backbone.
Hence research and make arrangement for you tiger tour in advance.
Most wildlife photographer prefer summer months in spite of the heat. Temperature control is available in your room for a price. Hence the cool stay inside is assured. Out of your cottage it is hot, hot, hot and terribly hot! No camera accessories are available in tiger parks so buy, everything before hand. For those in bird photography hire a good birder. For wildlife watching the forest guards will be able to introduce you to all mammals and some reptiles and wild trees. It is mandatory to take a forest guard in the National Parks and reserves anyway.
Avoid heavy curry dishes if you are not used to them. The mild one's may be okay. Vegetarian food and eggs should always be preferred in India. Avoid roadside and junk food, always seek a clean restaurants. Carry branded mineral water to avoid tummy trouble. Eat hot food that which has been prepared on order. Scalding hot tea and tandoori bread right out of the oven or tandoor are safer. Foreign tourists follow these precautions the most since they are not immune to pathogens found in this country. Eat lot of fruits - the one with peel.
Safari Accessories: Wild Life Books
Bird Books, Warm Clothing's for extreme winter.
Binoculars, Camera, Spotting Scope etc.
Medicines including for loose stomach, fever and vomiting. I carry these where ever I travel to avoid being in uncomfortable circumstances. Pl. get it on doctor's prescription.
Some Hindi Words: Food = Khana Tea = Chai Water = Pani Medicine = Dava Jeep= Gaadi Tiger = Sher Deer = Hiren Leopard = Tendua Road= Rasta City = Sahar Ahead = Aage (will add more later.)