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Wildlife Sanctuaries

When people think of wildlife in India, the tiger is probably the first thing that jumps to mind. However, the tiger is but one of the highlights that Indian forests have to offer. Other species that you can see include pandas, gaur, nilgai, the Asiatic elephant, the one-horned rhino, hyenas, bears, black buck, leopard (including snow and cloudy leopards), Tibetan wild asses, bharal (Himalayan blue sheep), barasinghas, monkeys, wild dogs, foxes and lots more. With over 1200 species of birds, birders are well served too.

With this plethora of wildlife and birdlife, and a variety of terrains ranging from snowy mountain lands to arid deserts to grasslands to thick jungles, every national park or sanctuary in India offer a unique and extremely rewarding experience to avid wildlife lovers.

Depending on the needs of the photographer, some parks may be better suited than others - for example, someone interested in a wildlife photography workshop may be better off visiting a different park than a pro looking to build coverage of specific subjects. Also, a park that is good for game viewing may not necessarily be the best for wildlife photography.

Our wildlife trips are geared with photography in mind - we understand the need to be in the park as early as possible in order to catch the magic light. We know the best time of the day to shoot the nesting eagles (from a safe distance, of course!). We're prepared with extra memory cards, CD/DVD burners, beanbags, tripods, heads and even spare bodies and lenses.

Some of the benefits of a Photo Safari India tour:

  • Expert guides who know photographers and their needs
  • Private vehicles
  • Best routes for shooting, for the given time of day and year
  • Shooting tips from experienced professionals
  • Quality, unhurried game viewing

Not all tours are the same!

The main parks visited by us are:

Ranthambhore NP

Ranthambhore is probably one of the most popular parks in India, and with good reason. Located in the eastern part of Rajasthan, this park offers excellent sightings of most of its resident species, including tigers, leopards, raptors, crocodiles, sambar, gazelle, wild boars, jackals, foxes, sloth bears, chital and more. Th drier, less dense terrain provides excellent photo opportunities, and 3 lakes and several old ruins inside the park add a sense of atmosphere and history to the place. A centuries-old fort stands atop a hill overlooking the park. Today, an occasional leopard walks where once stood kings and armies, but the walls and battlements of this magnificent fort are still capable of evoking visions of those days long past.

With its combination of wildlife, landscapes and history, it is no wonder that Ranthambhore is a favorite for film and documentary crews from the world over.

Corbett NP

Nestled in the foothills of the Kumaon Himalayas, Corbett is one of the oldest, and most beautiful, national parks in India. Named after Jim Corbett, the famous hunter, this park has the highest bio-diversity among all the Indian parks. Tigers, elephants, gaur, sambar, chital, foxes and many more species can be found here.

Most visitors rate Corbett as one of the most scenic parks of India, and if you want to see the most variety of animal life, this is the park for you.

Bandhavgarh & Kanha NP

Getting to Bandhavgarh takes a bit more time than getting to Corbett or Ranthambhore, but it is time well spent. This small national park has the highest density of tigers in the country, and if it is big stripey cats that you want to see, this is the place for you. Daily, the rangers track & report the most recent tiger movements, and visitors are then taken either via jeep or on elephant-back to this area, thereby maximizing their chances of seeing the big cat.

Not far away is Kanha NP, the largest national park in India, which also has a very sizeable number of tigers as well as a wealth of other game. Together, these two parks make for a very productive itinerary for wildlife lovers and photographers.

Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary

Regarded as one of the premier bird sanctuaries in Asia, this small park has a large number of resident species year-long, but really comes alive in the winter months as the residents are buttressed by the arrival of large number of migrants. A single day of birding can yield as many as 150+ species, includingsuch rarities as Solitary Lapwing, Indian Courser, Imperial, White-tailed, Greater and Indian Spotted Eagles, Darters, Black-necked, Painted and Asian Openbill Storks, Common, Sarus and Demoiselle Cranes, Dalmatian Pelicans, Black Bittern, Greater Painted Snipe, Large-tailed, Indian and Grey Nightjars, Dusky Eagle Owls, Marshall's Iora, Siberian Rubythroat and Brook's Leaf Warblers

Along with the water birds for which it is famous, jackals, sambar, chital (spotted deer), pythons and turtles also sighted regularly, making this small and laid-back park a really great destination for photographers.

The best part is that this is one of the few sanctuaries which can be explored on foot or on cycle-rickshaw, allowing you to work at your own pace for as long or as littl time as you want.

Kaziranga NP

Located in the north-eastern state of Assam, Kaziranga is the last remaining bastion of the one-horned Indian rhinoceros. This placid animal, hunted mercilessly for its horn, can be seen regularly in the tall grass of the park from atop an elephant. Tigers and elephants can also be spotted, along with large numbers of water birds, including the rare Bengal Florican.

Chilka Lake bird sanctuary (exploratory destination)

Located along the eastern coast of India in the coastal state of Orissa, Chilka Lake is the biggest refuge for waterbirds in the southern Asia, with thousands upon thousands of egrets, herons, cranes, storks and other waders making it home. We've only started exploring this area in detail, but have been very impressed by what we've found, so much so that we've decided to run exploratory trips to this region.

Some of our more popular itineraries include:

Note on wildlife photography trips

Do note that our wildlife trips offer just that: wild subjects. Given the thicker vegetation and bush of Indian forests, this makes wildlife viewing a little harder. While we take every measure possible to ensure tiger sightings, we also try to find the right balance between trying to get shots of tigers and spending quality time viewing the myriad other wildlife subjects out there. If you have any particular preferences, please let us know.

 

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