Due to increased protection of wildlife reserves and the tireless work of conservation projects, tiger numbers are growing for the first time in a century. The WWF estimates there are now around 3,890 in the wild, up from 3,300 in 2010.
This growth in the population hasn’t made spotting them any easier. Clever and solitary by nature, these beautiful creatures are incredibly hard to spot. This just makes seeing one in the wild all the more satisfying.
So where do you go to see tigers in the wild. Here are 6 of the best spots around the world, most of which are in the Indian subcontinent.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Due to its high density, Bandhavgarh National Park offers the highest chance of seeing tigers in the wild. This means you certainly won’t be the only tourists looking for tigers in the park, but it’s likely you’ll see at least one during your time there.
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Kanha National Park, India
Kanha National Park was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and has a significant population of royal Bengal tigers. Depending on when you go, sightings can be rare, but this just makes it more rewarding when you do spot them. If you don’t, there is plenty of other wildlife including hyenas, deer, wild boards, monkeys, sloth bears and many other species.
Ranthambore National Park, India
Most of the wild population of tigers in the world inhabit India and the Ranthembore National Park in the north of the country is one of the best spots to see them. The protected forests, hills and Mughal temples ruins in the park make for the perfect tiger environment. Head out in jeeps to spot some of the 40 in the park. The park is also home to other wildlife including macaques, bears, leopards, sambar and wild boars.
Nepal claims to have over 200 royal Bengal tigers living in the wild and one of the best places to spot them is the Chitwan National Park. It’s easily accessible from the capital Kathmandu, and was recently accredited with Conservation Assured Tiger Standards for its continued conservation of these big cats. The country’s efforts to reduce poaching has paid off. The park is also home to the world’s second largest number of single-horned rhinos.
Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Bhutan
Bhutan tiger safaris are still in their infancy with just a handful of tour operators offing the experience. The park, formerly known as the Black Mountains National Park, covers 1,730 sq kms in the central region of Bhutan. The diverse ecosystems pine, fir and sub-tropical forests of the park supports around 20% of the country’s tiger population as well as over 391 bird species.
Without a doubt, the hardest tigers to spot are Siberian tigers. The chances of seeing a Siberian tiger is extremely slim. However, it can still be a rewarding experience to spend time in their environment. Tours can be taken to the region to look for the signs of them and set up camera traps to catch photos of these endangered predators.
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