It was my back to back 3rd trip to national parks (Kaziranga – Pench – Ranthambore) in this year and two consecutive weekend trip in a month from extreme hot climate to cold one (Safari to Mountains and Hills). And all my safari’s were extremely successful with amazing sightings of the animals in their natural habitat. Watching nature itself is so fulfilling. Yes you can call me a travel freak.

Dry Season – Best time to spot wildlife

It had been couple of months that I didn’t go anywhere (not even to the local market). The routine life and extreme heat waves in the city added to the feeling of something missing. And then we decided to go on a break for couple of days. Though the destination which we shortlisted was even hotter but it was the best season to enjoy wildlife.

This was the first time that we planned the entire trip in just a week (from searching a place to go, train reservations, booking hotels and safaris). But due to off seasons for casual tourists and peak season for serious wildlife lovers, we got a good deal with hotels and safaris.

Here goes details of my Ranthambore diaries-

Day 1 – Post lunch we went to New Delhi Railway station to catch our train. We reached Sawai Madhopur station by evening where, our cab driver was waiting to pick us up. The cab charges vary from Rs 600-Rs 1000 even for a short distance, so it totally depends upon your negotiation skills. Rest of the evening was spent relaxing in the hotel.

Enjoying the train ride
Our Hotel Room

Day 2 – Early morning at around 6.00 AM, we went to see Ranthambore Fort. It gets extremely hot after 8 AM in peak summers. There is not much to see in the fort as you actually do not go inside the Fort. You are only allowed to see that from outside/boundary wall of the Fort. But you can go up, to a temple situated at the top. Their you get a good view. We were back by 9 AM to our hotel and after a lavish and amazing breakfast, we enjoyed at the kids arena and game zone.

In the second half, we went for our much awaited Safari from Zone 4. It was extremely hot, the jungle was all dried up. The wildlife lovers carrying huge size cameras with super powerful lenses were all ready to capture the big cat. First we saw a tigress, sleeping near the water. Though she was clearly visible but was too far. So, I wasn’t that happy with the sighting. After waiting for almost 30 minutes, finally the tigresses got up and started walking and then we started following her. Then we saw her along withe one of her cub crossing from a distance, the sighting was much better but still not completely satisfied. And then the rare opportunity came my way. We saw the tigress with her 3 cubs (grown up) walking and crossing our path. It was so delightful to watch the tigers walking.

Walk with the tigers

Day 3 – Our day started with another round of Safari. This time we went to Zone 6. Though we spotted tiger here as well eating its kill but was hardly visible. So spotting the tiger was as good as not seen. I had heard from one of the hotel guest about bear spotting for good 10-15 minutes, so i was more keen to see bear than tiger. And my wish came true. We had an amazing bear sighting. In the beginning there were many jeeps and cantors, but later on when the bear went inside the jungle, it was only our Jeep which followed his track. And then we made the bear follow us for good 20-25 mins. Bear’s long claws were so scary and his presence was an amazing experience. We also spotted Nilgai (Blue Bull), all types of Deer’s including Chital, Chinkara, Chousingha, Barasingha and many exotic birds. The second half of the day we spent relaxing in the resort.

Bear following us
Nilgai posing

Day 4 – We had an early morning train, so our resort packed us an amazing breakfast. We were so impressed by their gesture.

I was so overwhelmed with both our safari sighting. The forest itself is very beautiful.

It was an fantastic break and one of the captivating experience.

Tips and Suggestions-

  • Zone 6 is good for rare sighting of Bear. While, Zone 4 is good for tiger sighting as their are 3 cubs, so the chances for sighting increases (though zone 1-5 are considered as good safari option).
  • Late May to early June is the best time to visit national parks. The spotting of big cats and other animals is very high. The forest is exceedingly dry and the weather is extremely hot during this time of the year.
  • Take a good camera with you (not the phone ones’) to capture wild life.
  • Only serious wildlife lovers would enjoy here, as there is nothing else to do. No other sightseeing options available nearby.
  • Train is a very good option if you travel Ex-Delhi. The train timings are good and it only takes 5 hours to reach Sawai Madhopur (nearest railway station). From there it takes 30 min – 40 min to reach your hotel.

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