India Tiger Quest: Strength, Cunning & Majesty
Let your passion for tigers bring you to Rajasthan where you'll come face to face with these regal cats during the most optimal conditions for finding them.
India: Drink It In
This is the most tiger-intensive itinerary! If you want to maximize your odds of spotting and photographing Bengal tigers, this compact adventure is for you. Ranthambore National Park in southeast Rajasthan is India’s premier tiger safari destination. This trip is strategically timed for early summer, when visitors are fewer and tigers less elusive. It’s warmer, yes. But that means tigers must head out of the dry underbrush to quench their thirst—and that is when we go in search of them, with plenty of time for unhurried photos. Ranthambore is home to more than its famous tigers, too: it’s a veritable Jungle Book of creatures, with chances to spy sloth bear, caracal, jackal, striped hyena, desert fox, mongoose and more.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- -Visit Ranthambore National Park at the optimal time for tiger sightings, as warmer weather draws tigers into the open in search of water.
-Travel with premier guides who are tiger experts, conservationists and photography pros—superb interpreters of this wildlife-rich ecosystem.
-This operator partners with the World Wildlife Fund. Tiger safaris have increased tiger numbers and conservation in the region.
Trip Sustainability Awards
Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.
On the East African Energy Renewal Board
Runs local educational facilities for children.
Day 1: New Delhi, India
Arrive in New Delhi and transfer to the Taj Mahal Hotel. One of the most distinguished addresses in the city, this landmark luxury hotel provides a comfortable respite after your travels. The evening is at leisure with dinner on your own—try one of the hotel's many fine restaurants, or inquire with the concierge for nearby suggestions.
Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel
Taj Mahal Hotel: A distinguished address in India's capital, this 5-star hotel is a New Delhi landmark, with elegant interiors and finely appointed rooms reflecting traditional Mughal heritage in art, antiques and ambience.
Day 2: Discovering Old Delhi
India’s thriving capital offers a captivating introduction to the country and its cultures, in vivid counterpoint to the wild places that lie ahead. There are two distinct sections of the city, ancient Old Delhi, and New Delhi, founded in 1911 by the British at the height of their empire.
A half-day tour, timed to avoid the heat of midday, explores centuries of Old Delhi's complex, multi-layered history. A rickshaw ride provides a fitting overview, while a guided walk through the narrow lanes and bustling Chandni Chowk Market reveals architectural treasures like Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque and the magnum opus of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Completed in 1656 by more than 5,000 laborers, the grand edifice features alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble, with a vast inner courtyard that can hold 25,000 people.
We also visit Bangla Sahib, one of the country's most revered Sikh temples. The complex is associated with Guru Har Krishan and includes the main temple, a school, a sacred water tank and a large community kitchen that generously prepares over 10,000 free meals each day, known as langar, all cooked by volunteers using donated ingredients from Sikh farmers. This evening we join our Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner and orientation to all the adventures that await.
Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel
Day 3: Jaipur / Ranthambore National Park
Transfer to the Delhi airport this morning for our short flight to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s fabled "Pink City" of sandstone. From Jaipur, we travel by road to Ranthambore National Park and our luxurious 5-star tented accommodations inspired by the opulent caravans of India's royal families of old. We spend the next four nights surrounded by tranquil gardens, forest and grasslands that are the domain of the Bengal tiger, staying in utmost comfort with excellent proximity to the park.
Once the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today Ranthambore National Park is one of India's top conservation success stories. With tiger numbers steadily on the rise, it offers India’s best opportunity to observe and photograph them in the wild, especially at this dry time of year when vegetation is sparse and tigers more readily visible. The park sits between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, a broad swath of jungle scrub bordered by steep, rocky ridges and highland plateaus dotted with lakes. More than 300 different plant species grow here, though the environs are largely dry deciduous forest—and that means it's easier to spot tigers and other wildlife, in contrast to places where the understory is more lush.
This afternoon, we make our first foray into the park. Covering 150 square miles, Ranthambore is one of India’s largest nature reserves, and certainly among its most famous, given its reputation for excellent tiger viewing prospects. While tigers are always elusive, the odds of seeing them are high in Ranthambore, especially at the time of year we visit.
Accommodation: Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort
Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort: The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort offers 5-star tented accommodations inspired by the opulent caravans of India's royal families. Located just outside Ranthambore National Park, one of India’s largest and most renowned nature reserves, the hotel provides a luxurious retreat in a tranquil setting of manicured gardens surrounded by forest and grasslands that are the domain of the Bengal tiger. After a day in the jungle, relax and refresh in an atmosphere that evokes a bygone era, complete with butler service to your room.
Days 4–6: On Safari in Ranthambore
Our daily safari drives take place early in the morning and late afternoon, when temperatures are relatively cooler, wildlife is more active and light conditions are better for photography. We head out in 4x4 vehicles before sunrise each morning, eager for the day's discoveries. In contrast to an African safari where wildlife is often on display before us, India's animals take more effort to find. Tigers typically take shelter under the cover of trees and bushes, hiding from their prey and seeking relief from the heat. Because their stripes provide excellent camouflage, we have to work hard to locate them. But our Expedition Leaders are seasoned pros, and we follow their lead, listening for sounds and watching for signs that may reveal a tiger's location: rustling grass, deer racing away from its presence, birds circling overhead.
While tigers are our main focus, other wildlife is also plentiful in the park. Sightings may include spotted deer, nilgai, jackal, jungle cat, sloth bear, sambar, chinkara gazelle, wild boar, langur monkeys and rhesus macaques. Ranthambore is also home to a notable leopard population, although they tend to stay in higher, more inaccessible areas and are not frequently visible. Birds flourish here, too, with more than 300 species in the reserve. Keep an eye out for crested serpent eagles, paradise flycatchers, painted storks, peacocks and many more.
In the middle of the day, return to the comfort of our lodge to relax or cool off in the swimming pool, or visit the Ranthambore School of Art and Dhonk, a local handicraft training institute.
Accommodation: Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort
Day 7: Sawai Madhopur / Delhi / Depart
Our tiger safari comes to a close today as we transfer to the railway station at Sawai Madhopur for our return journey to Delhi by train. Day rooms in Delhi are provided before transferring to the airport later today for homeward flights.
Limited to 6 Travelers: A very important feature of our India wildlife safari is the limited group size of just six travelers, with only two per vehicles on wildlife drives—nature encounters are enhanced by being away from crowds, within the intimate setting of a small, low-impact group.
This wildlife-passionate operator is the right choice for checking off "See tigers in the wild" from your bucket list.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: