Before I address the question on “when and how to book a Tiger Safari in India, it is crucial to know the reason behind this question. Tiger is among the most photographed animal on the earth. There isn’t another animal with such an intense charisma that attracts people.
Affection for Tigers has grown much faster than what the national parks could handle in India. While the overall tourism in India has increased by about 5%, Tiger tourism has witnessed an increase of about 12-15% constantly over the years. The top reason behind these numbers is the growing love of Indians towards their wildlife. With 137 crores Indians, the number of Tiger lovers is not small by any margin. Let us not ignore the nature and wildlife lovers from around the world also reaching India to see the Tigers. Our apex court realized this and placed in some strict regulations in 2012 to guide Tiger tourism
Holding capacity of the national parks was calculated eventually. Wherever the number of vehicles visiting the park were found to be high, they were curtailed. Many parks lost approximately 50% of the vehicles. Currently, tourism takes place in only about 20% area of the national parks. Remaining 80% of the park is completely inviolate for any human activity.
Increase in Tiger population also results in an increase in Tiger tourism.
It was in 2006 when Sariska National Park was announced to be bereft of Tigers. In 2008, the same thing happened with Panna National park. This attracted a lot of attention towards the Tigers. The Government acted quickly. Some major steps were taken to rehabilitate Tigers in these 2 national parks. With increased attention and conservation steps, Tigers once again roared in these 2 national parks. People rushed back to the national parks after hearing this news.
Moreover, India is the only Tiger country where the possibilities of sighting Tigers is certain. The increased awareness of the Tiger numbers over the last 6-7 years have also increased the Tiger tourism. Now the question when and how to book a Tiger Safari in India becomes very relevant.
When and how to book a Tiger Safari in India
One must book a Tiger Safari in India at-least 5-6 months well before the safari date. Why so much before? Simple, because lot lots of parks allow the safari permits to be booked online 120 days prior to the safari date. And with limited safari permits, they get booked very quickly. If the safari has to be booked 120 days before you should ensure your holiday even before. Hence I said 5-6 months. By now you should have given all your identification details and down payments to your tour operator if you want to see a Tiger in the wild. Some parks also allow booking 90 days before as well.
Importance of the right Tour Operator for safari booking
Booking so much in advance will also give your Tour Operator sufficient time to plan your safaris in the right zones. It is also essential for your tour operator to know the tiger sighting history in those zones. Therefore, book with someone who is updated with sighting activities in the national parks.
If you want value for money then it is worth finding out a safari operator to whom you are entrusting your money, time and efforts. He must know which Tiger parks yield best results in which months. It is a reality that none can promise Tiger sightings, but the experience of a tour operator can give you the best possible chances of sighting Tigers.