The word ‘Endangered’ being associated with the Royal Bengal tiger – one of the most ferocious and majestic tiger species in the world – is truly disheartening! Found primarily in India with smaller populations in China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, this wildlife species today faces the threat of extinction owing to large-scale deforestation and poaching. However, in recent decades, several efforts have been made by governments and NGOs to protect their population, which has gone down to less than 2,500.
These magnificent creatures, weighing up to 400 to 600 pounds, have a strong sense of smell and great vision. Generally, they are spotted in mangroves, tropical and subtropical rainforests, high altitudes and grasslands. If you wish to see this species of tiger in its natural habitat, then you should make plans to visit some of the dense National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Spot the majestic Bengal Tiger in the wilderness and have an exhilarating experience.
Located in the Chitwan District in south-central Nepal, Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and granted the status of World Heritage Site in 1984. Covering an area of 932 sq km, its altitude ranges from 330 feet to 2,674 feet.
Literally translated, Chitwan means Heart of the Jungle. It was a favorite hunting ground for the royals of Nepal since the end of the 19th century. During the winter seasons, comfortable camps were set up in the area for the hunters and their entourage and hundreds of tigers, rhinos, leopards and sloth bears were hunted.
Chitwan’s forest extended beyond 2,600 sq km in the 1950s and was home to more than 800 rhinos. But the area was gradually opened for settlement and unrestrained poaching of the wildlife started. Edward Pritchard Gee surveyed the area and recommended that a protected area and wildlife sanctuary be created north and south of the Rapti River respectively.
By the end of the 1960s only 95 rhinos were left and thousands of people had settled in the area. This striking decline in the wildlife propelled the government to form the Gaida Gasti – a rhino recon patrol of 130 armed men and a network of guard posts all over the area. Following this the National Park was gazetted in 1970 with an area of 544 sq km. and enlarged to its present area in 1977.
Being a part of the central climatic zone of the Himalayas, Chitwan has a tropical monsoon climate with high humidity throughout the year.
“So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.” – Mark Twain
Often called the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in the country. Rich in history and tradition, the origins of this state can be traced to as far back as the Middle Pleistocene era, around 500,000 years ago. In addition, it has been home to two of India’s greatest dynasties – the Maurya Empire and the Gupta Empire.
Wildlife Safari is mostly a relaxed and fun activity and it can prove to be one of the best holidays you have ever had. It is not just thrilling and adventurous but also educational. To make sure that you get the best out of this experience there are a few things you should keep in mind while going on a Wildlife Safari:
This national park’s website describes Kruger as the “real Africa”. While those who are associated with Africa’s other wildlife sanctuaries might disagree, there’s no doubt that Kruger – one of eight game sanctuaries in the country – embodies perfectly the South African wildlife experience. But here, it’s more than just about the wildlife; a visit to Kruger is a visit back to a time when man first roamed the bush.
As iconic a game reserve as any in this magnificent continent, Kruger National Park is also one of Africa’s largest. With a total area of nearly two million hectares, Kruger extends 360km (224m) from north to south, while from east to west it averages a distance of 65km (40m) – at its widest, it measures 90km (56m). These facts testify to the size of the national park, but also more than hint at the variety of wildlife that one can expect to encounter here. Overall, Kruger makes for a magical and unforgettable experience.
At 147 species, Kruger has the maximum number of large animals than anywhere else on the continent. So if you’re looking to immerse yourself completely in a wildlife experience, there are few better game reserves than Kruger National Park in which to do so. There’s a mind-boggling diversity of animals (and birds) here – this place is paradise for the lover of wildlife. And the presence of knowledgeable guides will make your safari an even more memorable one. One can also spot wildlife by availing of guided walks, an altogether more exhilarating experience. (After a game drive or walking safari, treat yourself to some grilled meats at a bush braai, a barbecue that’s uniquely South African!)
Summers here are usually very hot, with temperatures touching 40C, and humid. The rainy season extends from spring to autumn (September to May), with rainfall particularly heavy during summers. The best time to visit Kruger is during the southern hemisphere winter, from late May to mid-September, when temperatures are comparably cooler (nights can be cold). During these months, there is less chance of contracting malaria – and the drier conditions lead to a decrease in green cover, which means big game can be seen near watering holes every morning and evening. For birding, however, the ideal time to be in Kruger is during the rainy season, when you’ll find masses of migratory birds making the most of the verdant surrounds.
The first National Park to be established in mainland Asia (1936), CorbettNational Park has captured the imagination of many with the diverse wildlife and the natural uniqueness of the area. It is situated in the town of Ramanagar in the Nainital district of Uttrakhand. Covering an area of 521 sq km, it offers a remarkable variety of landscapes formed by the streams, rivers and many ridges crisscrossing the terrain.
CorbettNational Park is home to a varied species of plants, birds and land animals. Among the birds Crested Serpent Eagle, Red Jungle Fowl, Blossom-headed Parakeet are commonly seen. Kalagarh dam located in the south west of the wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the best place for birding.
“Winter is coming,” is a phrase made popular by the characters of a widely popular TV series – except, in the series they say the words in fear, while we in India say them with cheer!
Winter, the time to get out and explore, to ski, sail and more!
Here is our pick of some of the most beautiful places to visit in India in the month of November – the official beginning of the winter season:
Andaman (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) – The apotheosis of beauty, the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is unlike any other place in India. This collection of 572 islands in the Bay of Bengal has so much to see and explore that any number of days you decide to spend here would seem too little.
You can choose from thrilling water-based activities like scuba diving and snorkeling, historical sites like the Cellular Jail, and also beautiful islands (Havelock, Neil, and Baratang) that boast of some of the most stunning beaches around. This cluster of islands is also home to the Onge and the Jarawa, tribes that are many centuries old but whose populations are dwindling.
For trip details click Here