Within one of the greatest human densities on our planet lie sanctuaries for wildlife where the relics of Gondwanaland endure. Although separated by the Middle East, the Red and Arabian Seas, and the Indian Ocean, there remains an incredible parallel between the wildlife of the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. Rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, lion, leopard, antelope, and wild pig—while evolutionarily distinct—call both regions home. It is indisputable that Africa remains the world’s great wildlife haven in sheer volume however few realize that India boasts three of the four panthera species of cat, two bear, three wild ox, eight deer species, 1,225 species of birds, and is considered to be the birthplace of the wolf.
- An interest in a diversity of species, especially birds helps to appreciate this unique wildlife experience. The parks are isolated islands of wilderness surrounded by civilization and so the mammal species cannot be found in such abundance as in Africa. This makes it all the more important to accompany a guide who can interpret and find the wildlife.
- The parks are closed on Wednesday afternoons. While many people plan to be traveling this day so as not to miss out on any park activities, it’s also a great time to visit a local village, go for a hike, or visit a tea plantation.
- Tiger permits are broken into zones in each park. While some zones are sold as premier locations, it is impossible to predict the movements of the wildlife months in advance. Make sure you plan well in advance and request a variety of zones so you are not in one area—or even on one road the entire time.
- Quality varies drastically from camp to camp and day to day. Select camps that can offer good quality naturalist guides to join you on every game drive. The drivers and park guides are on a constant rotation through the union and quality is more difficult to predict, so having a good naturalist guide with you is very important.