Located in the southeastern corner of Rajasthan, the 392km2 (151 square miles) Ranthambore National Park is perhaps the most famous place to spot wild tigers in India – and for good reason.
With its population brought back from the brink late last century to over 50 by 2015, Ranthambore’s tiger density is such that individuals have been relocated to add diversity to neighbouring national parks.
But it is not just the number of tigers here that make it such an incredible place to view them, it is also the utterly magical atmosphere felt within its boundaries. Towering over the surrounding plain, the 10th-century Ranthambore Fort sits at the park’s heart, its crenellations now sun loungers for Hanuman langurs looking down onto the lakes below. The rest of the park’s jungle is littered with ancient temple ruins, often a favoured rest stop for wandering tigers. Bathed in India’s golden late afternoon light, there are few sights more marvellous in the natural world.
Of course there’s much more to see than this most iconic of cats. Ranthambore’s forest is alive with the alarm calls of chital and sambar deer, galloping nilgai, leopard, striped hyena, loping sloth bears and wild boar. The lakes are also brimming with crocodile and a huge draw for some 272 species of bird.
When to go
The best time to visit Ranthambore is from November to April. The park is closed to visitors during the monsoon season between July and September.
What to do
- Morning and evening game drives
- Relax at your luxury safari lodge