Why Ranthambore for Tiger Safari?
First of all, Ranthambore has direct connectivity to Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi through railways. It is the easiest wildlife destination to visit as compared to any other national park in India. It has plenty of accommodation options to compare and tourist infrastructure is really well. It is one of the best places for tiger spotting and one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Northern India. You will also witness some of the stunning jungle landscapes and spot other fauna species like leopards, bears, wild boars, and others.
Booking a Safari Tour
If you are on a limited budget and trying to do tiger safari yourself, you can stay in Sawai Madhopur, which is well connected to Jodhpur, Jaipur and Mumbai thanks to the central railway. But you should plan in advance if you are getting here in peak season. Book safari tickets several weeks before the actual date of departure because many people do advance booking in peak season. It has a limited number of safari vehicles.
Here’s how you can book a safari –
Safari Booking Centre
It is basically the cheapest way to book safari but very stressful. First of all, you should book a hotel in a city centre to get there easily because its opening hours are quite irregular. Otherwise, you will have to hop on a rickshaw to get there. You will find a lot of touts and people out there annoying tourists selling out their own tours.
You just have to ignore others and stay firm until you get your chance to fill a booking form and submit the same to the counter. There are several counters to book right there and one counter for online bookings where people can collect tickets. Each counter has numbers representing their respective zones. So, decide your zone first and stick to it and mention the type of vehicle you want on the form before standing in a queue.
Of course, you can save a lot by not paying extra fees to the brokers while booking. But you might end up paying extra for seats which are left empty, in case they are unable to fill the vehicle.
Tour Agencies and Hotels
It is actually a very convenient option, though not cheapest. It is still worth paying a little bit extra to avoid the stress. You may email a few tour agencies beforehand, get the quote and negotiate as much as possible to get the best value for your bucks. Be careful when it comes to mentioning your zone.
Book Ranthambore Safari Online
You can even book your safari online and collect the tickets from the safari booking centre if you are clear about where you want to go. You can check out the official website of the Forest Department of Rajasthan to book your safari online.
What to Book - Gypsy or Canter?
- Jeep has the capacity of carrying only 6 guests as a small vehicle. So, it is a lot more comfortable to see the wildlife.
- The height of seats is also lower, making it a better vehicle to canter for capturing wildlife at a better angle.
- Jeeps can easily maneuver while traveling in a canter.
- Jeep also makes less noise and doesn’t interrupt wildlife.
- Canter is ideal if you have more than 6 people in a group. You can travel together in one canter which is even better than getting another jeep.
- Sometimes, there is an advantage of height of a canter when it comes to spot tigers. You can see deeply into the bush by standing inside the canter.
All in all, tigers or any other animal has nothing to do with jeeps or canters when it comes to show up. If any wildlife is in the vicinity and chooses to come out, you can spot them whether on a canter or a jeep. It is always up to your luck and experience of guides and drivers.
Both types of vehicles follow almost the same routes and chances of tiger spotting are almost similar. You can avail canter if a jeep is not available at the moment. If you want to avail jeep safari and you are serious to the wildlife, you should book in advance.
Best Zone to Choose
There are ten zones in Ranthambore National Park. Some safari zones are really good in Ranthambore, such as zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. These safari zones have had more tiger sightings than any other zones over the past several years. But it doesn’t mean you can see tigers only in these zones. Almost every zone has a tiger territory. But some zones are also known for their natural beauty and lakes. Some of the common examples are zones 3 and 4. Other zones have water bodies where you can spot wildlife. Zone 3 has three lakes, including Rajbagh Lake, Padam Lake, and Malik Lake. It goes without saying that it is most attractive to the tigers. This zone has beautiful sceneries thanks to Ranthambore Fort.
There are some terms and conditions for Ranthambore Safari. Limited number of safari vehicles is allowed inside the park in a shift. Every zone allows only 4 jeeps and 4 canters. Because of hilly track and steep climb, canters cannot enter zones 7,8 and 10. You can choose the safari zone within 90 days before the date of your visit.
What to Expect?
Well, tiger sighting depends upon the season you are choosing and one of the above options you are choosing. All in all, one thing is sure that you will have a completely different experience, whether you manage to spot tigers or not. For instance, you may come across other wildlife attractions like sambal, antelope, spotted deer, tropical birds, mongoose, peacocks, monkeys, hares, turtles, and even sloth bears, along with the tigers. In addition, Ranthambore’s diverse landscape is an added bonus. You will see the plains spread over acres of landscapes along with stunning jungle scenery and towering mountains made of sandstone. You will find a great deal of diversity in wildlife and landscapes in Ranthambore.