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Tiger Safari: The Complete Guide

wild tiger
By Tanmay Haldar - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49800835

There was a time when you could see wild Tigers all over Asia, but now they are driven back into only 13 countries, with some projects in places like Africa to re-introduce them to the wild. The tiger remains the largest living cat in the world and is simply magnificent to observe.

Zoo tiger
Zoo tiger enjoying some water. Image via Alexander Leisser, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Points on Tiger Safari

Close up. Image via Depositphotos

  • There are 13 countries in the world where you can see wild tigers
  • These places are India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Russia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia
  • India is the most famous spot to see tigers, with over 70% of the population and an 80% probability of seeing them
  • Surprisingly, you can also see wild tigers in Africa (through the Tiger Canyon Project)

Our journey doesn’t start with safaris but with understanding the species— tiger habitats, behavior, and the delicate balance sustaining them. We’ll highlight global conservation efforts, battling poaching and illegal trade threatening these striped marvels. We’ll also explore the rarely understood realm of tiger-human encounters, discussing precautions while traversing their wild terrains.

Join us as we delve into tiger conservation, exploring global initiatives and the incredible experiences awaiting those encountering these jungle monarchs in their element.

Jump to any section or read the full article about Tiger Safaris worldwide.

Best Places to See Tigers

tiger population world map
Illustration of the Tiger Population. Credit: AATG

Do you want to find the best places to see tigers in the wild? Look at what we collected in the Tiger Safari or Tour guide.

We looked at the best places for tiger safari or global tours. You can see tigers in the wild in 13 different countries, but these 5 offer the highest sighting probability.

Country Best Time to Visit Sighting Probability Est. Population (2018)
IndiaApril and May80%2603 –
3346
Nepallate September and late May60%163 –
253
BangladeshApril and May50%440
RussiaNovember – February20%562 
IndonesiaMay to September40%441 –
678

#1 Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Tiger in Kanha National Park on a Safari
By Davidvraju – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55303049

India is home to seventy percent of the world’s tiger population, with the Bengal tiger population at 2226 during the last census in 2014. The state of Madhya Pradesh is India’s Tiger State; it is located a few hours south of Deli. 

India offers one of the best Tiger spotting opportunities in the world, with over 50 Tier resorts called the “Tiger State.” 

YouTube video

Best remote to see tigers in India, Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Animals around the globe

Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh is one of India’s most famous national parks due to its size. However, because of this size, one tries hard to get the tigers hoped for by every traveler also to face. 
Unless one has nothing against the extremely questionable tiger show, where tigers are driven out of the undergrowth with the help of elephants, hordes of Indian families wait noisily with the car until the elephant is ready to carry the customers up to the tiger. 

Apart from the waiting times, which can amount to up to 2 hours, this arrangement is for those really interested rather a farce animal protection can not function so! However the park is worthwhile also independently of its tigers. One should let oneself in simply on the species-rich fauna. A tiger sighting is not everything!

How to get there: Kanha National Park is situated in the southeastern foothills of the Satpura Mountains, almost 165 km southeast of Jabalpur.

You might also like to read about Lion Walking Tours.

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#2 Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park
Tiger in bandhavgarh national park. Image via Fitindia, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bandhavgarh National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India. It covers an area of about 480 square kilometers and is located about 300 km south of Khajuraho in the Vindhya Mountains.  The park is considered one of the most reliable places to observe wild tigers.

The hilly landscape is dominated by a plateau on which once stood the fort of the Maharajas. Nearby are grasslands rich in game, originating from swamps once created to protect the fort. Some of these swamps still exist. Salt forests dominate the rest. 

The best-known animal species in the park is the Bengal tiger, of which almost 50 animals lived in the park in 1997. The big cats are not shy and can be observed particularly well here.

A white tiger was caught in this area in 1957, whose offspring can be seen in zoos and circuses worldwide. Other predator species in the area include leopard, striped hyena, sloth bear, wild dog, reed cat, golden jackal, spotted musang, and Indian mongoose.

To make a difference today, raise awareness for these beautiful animals and join a Tiger Safari or Tour.

How to get there: Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours drive from Khabarovsk, in the Southeastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. 

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#3 Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India

Satpura Tiger Reserve tiger
By Siddharth Biniwale – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49814820

Saptura Tiger Reserve is a wonderful place in Madhya Pradesh. However, it is doubtful to see Tiger because there are only 50 tigers in the 1200 sq km National Park. 

Even though the chances of tiger sightings in Satpura Tiger Reserve are not the highest, the park offers walking safaris, a unique way to experience wildlife

This is a different kind of tiger sanctuary with many differences in altitude and gorgeous greenery, reminiscent of Robert Frost’s beautiful forests. There is a lot of wildlife here. It is undoubtedly an underestimated but wonderful place worth visiting. The drive to the place itself through the mountains is amazingly scenic.

How to get there: The Satpura Tiger Reserve, also known as Satpura National Park, is located in the Indian district of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. 

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#4 Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

Tigress_at_Ranthambhore_National_Park
By Tanishq Jain 662 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49354027

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is one of 53 tiger reserves in India. The reserve includes Ranthambhore National Park, Kaila Devi Game Reserve, and other small units. In total, it covers an area of 1335 km².

The area is known for its Bengal tigers, which are not very shy and can be easily observed even during the day. Furthermore, it is one of the most western occurrences of the striped big cat at.

Those who want to see a tiger in Ranthambhore with some certainty should have at least 2 days. Nevertheless, some luck belongs to it to get one of the striped big cats to face. It is an enormously exciting experience!

YouTube video
Tiger safari- tiger chase/ attack jeep in india’s Ranthambore national park , Source: YouTube, Uploaded:JB513

A great variety of animals live in the park. However, the park is famous for its Bengal tigers. These animals have shed much of their shyness. Thus, the chances are more than good to experience a wild tiger. These animals often appear here, even during the day, and do not hide behind bushes or in the forest. It can be well possible that suddenly a tiger runs over the way. Of course, they still have respect, this must also be. 

How to get there: The nearest major cities are Kota, 110 kilometers southwest, and Jaipur, 180 kilometers northwest. The park is located between the Banas and Chambal rivers.

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#5 Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand, India

Tiger resting
Tiger resting during the day. Image via Chrumps, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Corbett National Park is in the Indian state of Uttarakhand at the foot of the Himalayas. It is named after the British hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett, who was instrumental in establishing the first national park in India near Nainital in 1936. Interesting for Tiger Safari or Tour.

It was initially called Hailey National Park, but in 1957, it was renamed Corbett National Park after it was temporarily called Ramganga National Park in 1952. Corbett National Park covers almost 521 square kilometers. Together with the adjacent Sonanadi Conservation Area, it forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve, established in 1973 as part of Project Tiger.

The largest river in the park is the Ramganga, which flows into a large lake at the western border of the reserve. Broad valleys and hills characterize the landscape. A chain of hills runs east-west in the middle of the area. 

The main form of vegetation is the saline forests; at higher altitudes, there are also some pine stands. In the lowlands, there are riverine forests, whose stands are interrupted by grasslands called “chaurs” by the locals. It is only open from November to June.

How to get there: Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours drive from Khabarovsk, in the Southeastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. 

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#6 Sundarbans-Nationalpark and Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India

Tiger in Western Bengal
Tiger in Western Bengal. Image by Mathias Appel, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

West Bengal is home to one of the world’s largest tiger populations, with over 350 tigers in a 140,000-hectare mangrove forest close to the Bangladesh border. It is a world heritage site, and visitors can take boat safaris. A very famous place for Tiger Safari or Tours.

The Sundarbans are the most extensive mangrove forests in the world and the only ones where Bengal tigers live at the same time, they have been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 1987. 

The name comes from Bengali and means “beautiful forest”. The Sundarbans cover an area of 10,000 square kilometers in the delta of the largest rivers in South Asia, the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. The Indian state of West Bengal shares the mangrove area with Bangladesh.

Among the mammals, the Bengal Tiger is also the absolute highlight in Sundarbans National Park. At present, there are estimated between 350 and 400 wild Bengal Tigers in the Sundarbans. This is the largest remaining tiger population worldwide!

Also, look at our India Big 5 Article to explore Indian Wildlife.

How to get there: The park is located in the Sundarbans in the Ganges Delta and borders the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh.

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#7 Chitwan National Park, Chitwan, Nepal

Panthera tigiris
Panthera tigris. Image via Anil Öztas, FALCC-BY-NC-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Due to increased conservation efforts, Nepal’s Bengal Tiger population doubled in the last decade, with more than 235 individuals in the five national parks. 

The Chitwan National Park is the best known in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first national park in Nepal. Dusk jeep safari is very popular, mainly in the morning and evening. The more relaxed parts of the day offer the best chance to see a Tiger. 

How to get there: The Chitwan National Park is located southwest of Kathmandu in the Terai. 

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#8 Bardia National Park, Nepal

YouTube video

Bardia national park, nepal , Source : YouTube, Uploaded: Sagar giri

Next to the Chitwan National Park, which is closer to Kathmandu, the Bardia National Park is located in western Nepal. 

The Bardia National Park can be explored on an elephant riding, hiking or jeep safari. Travellers should not be without a local safari guide. A guided tour usually includes the entrance fee for the national park.
There are around 80 Tigers in the park. Bardia safari lodges offer walking and 4WD safaris. The walking safari for one day is more adventures. 

How to get there: Located in the south west of Nepal, with an area of 968 km2 it is the largest wilderness area in Nepal’s Terai and borders on the eastern bank of the Karnali River in Bardiya district.

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#9 The Sundarbans, Bangladesh

Tiger cub fighting
Tiger cub playing with her mommy. Image via Softeis, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the world’s largest mangrove forest, starting in India and going through Bangladesh. 

It’s the home of more than 1120 Bengal tigers. 

However, Tiger sightings in Bangladesh are rare, compared to other countries.  Another interesting place for Tiger Safaris or Tiger Tours. Operators offer Boat tours from the city of Khulna in the southwest. Bed and Breakfast on the leading boat, track tigers on smaller boats or en foot (with armed security personal)

You can also see saltwater crocodiles, wild boar, languages and many birds.

How to get there: The sundarbans national park is located in the south west of bangladesh, around 6 hours drive from Dhaka. 

Tiger Safari Operators:

#10 Durminskoye Reserve, Chabarowsk Region Russia

Tiger running
Tiger enjoying the snow. Image via Davepape, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The majestic Siberian Tiger, mainly found in eastern Russia or northern China, is our planet’s largest tiger species and cat. It is sadly also the most endangered.  

In the 1940s, they were hunted to the brink of extinction and only saved due to the new protection grant of tigers in Russia in 1965. 

However, with only around 540 individuals left in the wild, the chance to see one is slight. Most of the Tiger Safari tours are based in Durminskoye Reserve, it is a 50.000-acre wildlife sanctuary a three hours drive from Khabarovsk in southeast Russia. It is the last prime habitat for Siberian tigers.

Tourist tiger safaris are organized like science tours, tracking pug marks on snowmobiles and on food, setting camera traps reviewing footage. What else is there? You can see wolves, lynxes, badgers, foxes, and raptors. In the summer even Asian black bears

How to get there: Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours’ drive from Khabarovsk, in the South-Eastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. 

Tiger Safari Operators: 

#11 Zov Tigra National Park, Primorsky Krai, Russia

YouTube video
Siberian tiger kill | operation snow tiger, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: BBC earth

Another sport for Tiger Safaris in Russia is the Zov Tigra National Park, in the far east part of Russia. It was the first National Park created for Tigers in Russia. Current numbers indicate that around ten tigers reside in the protected area of around 200 hectares. 

Conservation Tiger tours allow visitors and tourists to follow anti-tiger-poaching patrols through the mountains and forests, monitoring tiger behavior and tracking Tigers in the wild. 

How to get there: The park is about 100 km northeast of Vladivostok. Most tour operators offer accommodation in Vladivostok and transport to the park. 

Tiger Safari Operators:

#12 Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

The Kerinci Seblat National Park is twice the size of the famous Bali Island, which is well known for its tourists. 

However, the National Park offers another Sighting, the Sumatran Tiger. Around 200 Tigers roam in the wild, using Tourists as one factor to save their habitat and survival. 

Various species accordingly characterize the fauna and flora of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. 

Numerous rare or even endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger, the clouded leopard, the tree leopard, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Malay bear, and the Malayan tapir, is at home in Kerinci Seblat National Park. 

There are also about 200 bird species. Among the more than 4000 plant species that grow in Kerinci Seblat National Park are the giant reflower, the titan’s root, various orchids and the edelweiss.

How to get there: The main entrance and the national park office are in Sungai Penuh. There you can get a visit permit and find hiking guides. Alternatively, accommodations in the Kerinci Seblat National Park’s surroundings often help their guests get a visit permit and reliable hiking guides. Look for a Tiger Safari or Tour.

Tiger Safari Operators:

Get to know Tigers

tiger stalking
Tiger stalking his prey. Image via Hollingsworth, John and Karen., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tiger habitats are pretty diverse and can be found in more places than you’d think! They live in Siberia’s dense forests and roam Malaysia’s jungles. But things are not going well for these elegant cats of prey. Although the tiger has no natural enemies, it is threatened with extinction. 

Because humans hunt it and destroy its habitat, which once stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean.

Do you like Big Cats? Have a look at the best places to see Lynx.

Tired tiger cub
Image of a tired tiger cub. Image via Mathias Appel, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are six subspecies of tigers. Read about it at this Tiger Safari or Tour guide.

Species Distribution Population in the Wild
Bengal TigerIndia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan3000 – 4000
Siberian tiger/ Amur TigerRussia, China600
Sumatran TigerIndonesia440 – 679 
Malayan TigerMalaysia250 – 340
Indochinese tigerCambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam314 – 357
South China TigerChina0

Fierce Hunters

YouTube video
Tigers 101 , Source: YouTube , Uploaded: national geographic

All tigers need to survive are forests, water, and enough booty animals. The cats of prey are adaptable and can easily cope with significant temperature differences.

Although they are generally heavier than lions, they move more smoothly and agile. Tigers also feel comfortable in the water and are excellent swimmers. Tigers are solitary animals that roam the forests at night in search of prey. Then they hunt – depending on their habitat – moose, wild boar, tapirs, monkeys, or fish.
The prey is killed with a targeted bite in the neck or throat. A full-grown animal, which rarely lives to be over 25 years old in the wild, needs up to nine kilos of food daily.

The most giant cat on this planet

Tiger hunting. Image via Depositphotos

Five tiger species are still in the wild today from the formerly nine subspecies. The largest of them is the Amur tiger. Adult males can weigh up to 300 kilograms and reach a height of three meters

It takes its name from the Russian river Amur, which flows through the Transbaikalia region of Siberia. The habitat of the Siberian tiger, as it is also called, originally stretched from Lake Baikal to the Sea of Japan.

Thousands were still hunting in the dense forests a hundred years ago. In the 1940s, there were only about 40 Amur tigers left. Today the population has recovered somewhat. Animal welfare activists estimate about 500 Amur tigers in the Russian East and on the border with China. Today they moved on to an area about half as big as Germany.

Tiger Endangerment

Tigers eye
Amur_Tiger_Panthera_tigris_altaica_Eye. Image via Photo (c)2007 Derek and Julie Ramsey (Ram-Man), GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html, via Wikimedia Commons

A little more than a hundred years ago, there were still about 100,000 tigers living in large parts of Asia. There are still about 3900 animals; the Bali, Caspian, and Java tigers are extinct. Amazing animals for a Tiger Safari or Tour.

The South Chinese tiger is considered extinct in the accessible wilderness. According to the WWF species lexicon, experts assume that there are only a few isolated individuals, if at all. Therefore, the last hope of preserving the species lies in the few animals in Chinese zoos. The remaining five species now live in only 13 countries in Asia. Most of them are native to India, where it is estimated that there are about 1700 tigers.

The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) assumes that less than ten percent of the original habitat is left. The reasons are manifold. For example, mineral resources such as coal or oil are extracted in some regions. Deforestation of the rainforest is also a significant problem, as is the development of inaccessible areas by roads.

Poachers are also a great danger. They hunt the tigers because they can sell the big cats’ body parts well. Because claws, teeth, brain, and other parts are processed into medicine in traditional Chinese medicine and are in great demand. Hunting tigers as trophies have cost many animals their lives, especially in the last century.

The IUCN red list puts the Tiger status to endangered

tiger Endangered

All major conservation organizations have established tiger conservation programs. Even the states where tigers live have declared themselves willing to do something against the extinction of the giant cat of prey on the earth. Read more about it in this article, Tiger Safari or Tour.

For example, protection zones are being set up, and rangers are being deployed to stop poachers, among other things.

Patches made of tiger bones also patches made of tiger bones are sought-after medicines.

But the environmental organizations are also trying to make a political difference. For example, they are working to ensure that mineral resources are extracted more sustainably. Tourists can also do something for species protection by not buying souvenirs or medicine from tigers.

The measures of the significant nature conservation organizations show at least small successes. The population is stable with the Amur tiger, and the Indochinese tiger can survive. But the danger that the most prominent big cat of the world dies out is still not banished by far.

How Dangerous are Tigers?

Panthera tigris
Panthera tigris. Image via Stephenekka, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Approximately 100 people die every year due to attacks by tigers. Probably, humans are often to blame for this themselves because they provoke the animals.

For Tiger, a human being is a big animal. And when an animal is in its enclosure, the tiger wants to hunt it because he has an innate hunting instinct. 

Nevertheless, some people can go into a tiger or lion cage without being attacked, for example, tamers in the circus. They know their animals well and are something like the leader. 

That is why wild animals respect them. But if a trainer, for example, stumbles and loses his position of power, it can become dangerous even for him. Also, to strange tigers, he would not dare to enter the cage. By the way, in the wilderness, animals only rarely attack humans. If, for example, a shark hurts a surfer, it is only because he mistakes him for a seal. You can see this because, unlike its usual prey, it does not eat it. 

Tigers in Zoos and National Parks

Tiger having fun on the grass
Tiger panthera laying in grass. Image via Maksym Kozlenko, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wild animals make exceptionally high demands on their keeping and accommodation. In a circus enterprise, responsible keeping wild animals is generally impossible.

Nevertheless, animals of wild species can still be seen in many circus operations that travel around the world: Tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, sea lions or monkeys – the range of animal species carried along is extensive. Wild animals suffer in the circus.
They suffer massively, because:

  • Perform feats for which they are often trained by force,
  • Have to change venues 50 times a year on average,
  • Spend most of their time in small cages, inadequate enclosures, or in the transport wagon,
  • That essential species-specific behavior such as social contacts or movement are considerably restricted or made completely impossible,
  • that they have little variety or occupation,
  • that they are often not fed and cared for appropriately,
  • That veterinary control or care is often inadequate because there are only a few specialized veterinarians for wild animals nationwide or the circus cannot or will not afford the treatment financially,
  • that in many cases the circus operators lack the necessary expertise,
  • that there is no fixed winter quarters during the play-free period. Only about every tenth company can call a winter accommodation its own.

The consequences for the animals are fatal: Massive damage to their health, severe behavioral disorders, and increased mortality.  This Tiger Safari or Tour guide should highlight only sustainable places to go.

Summary of Tiger Safari

Gelendzhik safari park. Image via Alexxx1979, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The tiger is the largest and, at the same time, heaviest species from the cat family. Of nine known subspecies, only six live with the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malaysian tiger, the Siberian tiger, the South Chinese tiger, and the Sumatran tiger.

The main reason for the substantial decline of the tiger population is and remains the hunting by humans. The organs of the tiger are considered remedies in Chinese medicine. On the illegal black market, products made of tiger powder achieve prices of many thousands of Euros.

Are you a fan of the African Continent? Have a look at one of our blogs regarding Encountering Cheetahs in the wild may interest you as well! also, have a look at the Big five of India as well as our Big Cats around the world blog

If you want to make a difference today, raise awareness for these beautiful animals and join a ecological Tiger Safari or Tour.

Thanks for reading the Tiger Safari or Tour Guide.

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