Into the Jungle: 8 Indian Wildlife Reserves you can’t miss

Let’s face it; you came here expecting to embrace the wild. Enormous, calculating tigers stalking through the tall dry grass, peacocks unfurling their tails in the monsoon breeze, hordes of elephants storming through heavily damp rainforests. And it’s true, we have it all in many of our Indian wildlife reserves. Here’s where you can go to crawl into the heart of the jungle and the national parks of India and hear the call of the wild whispering right into your bedroom window, whether your bedroom’s a luxury tent or a treehouse.

If you are specifically visiting South India then we would recommend these Indian wildlife reserves to check out.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves Discover wildlife through the National parks of India (Photo credits to: Nikita Oscolcov, Flickr)

Gir National Park

The last remaining natural habitat of the Asiatic Lions now has 523 of big cats lounging about its grounds. This is a mind-blowing increase from the 20 that survived the widespread hunting of the 19th Century thanks to conservation measures taken in the Indian wildlife reserves. Apart from these star attractions, there are also Leopards, critically endangered Long-billed Vultures and Marsh Crocodiles. The park organizes a Safari Tour that’ll take you through the core area of the jungle and right up close to the wildlife.

Where to stay: The Fern

When visiting the National Parks of India, where you stay can complete your trip. The Fern has uncompromising luxury for the ecologically sensitive within the Indian wildlife reserves. The Fern hits all the big names from Sewage treatment to Eco-friendly toiletries and doesn’t miss the little details, taking care to decorate their sprawling property only in potted plants and non cut flowers.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves Asiatic lion spotted at Gir, in the National parks of India (Photo credits to: Tarak Shah, Flickr)

Kanha Tiger Reserve

Deep lush valleys, heavy green boughs overhead and soft grass underfoot–this is the forest that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. The safaris are intensive and take you right into the heart of the jungle, although they’re a hassle to book, but you can leave that to us! Opt for a safari later in the day and you can catch the Sambhars and Gaurs grazing at Bamni Dadar in the glow of the setting sun.

Where to stay: Chitvan Jungle Lodge

A gorgeous property that promotes absolute self-sustainability in the beautiful surroundings of Kanha. Vegetables come fresh from the in-house farm and all electricity is converted from solar energy. You can even bring your pets along!

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves Kanha Tiger Reserves gives you the opportunity to see the regal Bengali Tiger on your safari (Photo credits to: Thomas Retterath, Flickr)

Sunderbans National Park

A unique ecosystem formed by the deltas of the Ganga and Bramhaputra rivers thereby creating the largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world, the Sunderbans are home to the famous Royal Bengal Tigers. If you visit in the winter you’ll see not only the Tigers but Macaques, Indian Grey Mongoose, Leopard Cats, Ridley Sea Turtle, Wild Boar, Jungle Cat, Fox, Flying Fox, Fishing Cats, Chital, and Pangolin. All driven to the riverbanks in search of some sun as you drift down the river by boat.

Where to stay: Solitary Nook Resort

A cozy little outpost that’s perfect for honeymooning couples. Rent out bicycles during the day to tour the forest and then simmer down in front of a roaring bonfire, with a pile of delicious sea-food on your plate.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves Take a boat ride down this Indian wildlife reserve and see a large array of wild animals (Photo credits to: Rob, Flickr)

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Made up of 15 islands in the Andaman and Nicobar group stands an Indian wildlife reserve among paradise. This is a chance to see coral reefs first hand, either through glass bottomed boats or more closely by snorkeling or scuba diving directly into them. A veritable paradise of sandy beaches and swaying palms, you may mistake the islands for being all fun and games, but the reefs help you to understand the beauty we are constantly destroying and must learn to protect and nurture.

Where to stay: Sea Princess

Serene and tropical, nothing can touch you here but the sounds of the wind and the sea. Located on the beach itself, try to remember that insects and mosquitoes are simply part of the daily routine here. Try and opt for eating out a few times for the sake of variety and your wallet.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves Snorkel or take a glass bottomed boat at the marine national park (Photo credits to: Prasad Chandrashekar, Flickr)

Balpakram National Park

Balpakhram–the land of the perpetual winds. Tucked into a deep gorge in the South Garo Hills this is one of the wild national parks of India, teeming with life and shrouded in folklore. It is said to be the final resting place of souls before they depart for the next world, a story that seems to ring true in the whispers of the trees. Between these rich fronds frolic the rare Lesser Panda, the Indian Bison and the Serow. Medicinal herbs and endangered flora flourish 3000 ft above sea level and great Hornbills and Orioles cry out.

Where to stay: Tura Guest House

There are no rest houses within the park so visitors must stop at the Tura rest house run by the Meghalaya Tourism Department.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves The South Garo Hills – National parks of India (Photo Credits to: Seino, Flickr)

Kaziranga National Park

A whopping two-thirds of the world population of the Great One-horned Rhinoceros resides in this leafy haven. Since 1904 there has been a boost of 1600 animals from the parks original 200. Ride in on an elephant safari and find that the animals are unperturbed by the gentle giants, allowing you to get well within photographing distance. While you may not spot a tiger, you’ll see their presence all around in pugmarks, kills and territorial markings. Apart from these big beasts, there are also swift swamp deer and partridge to be spotted and the Reticulated and Rock Pythons to watch out for!

Where to stay: Infinity Resort

Stilted cottages of cane and bamboo with thatched roofs echo the local architecture. A natural pool and verdant fruit trees mean a lively bird population you can watch out on your verandah each morning before your safari.

National parks of India, Indian wildlife reserves The Great One-Horned Rhino (Photo credits to: Scott Anderson, Flickr)

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