Now you can see tigers at Ranthambhore all year round
I never expected to see two magnificent tigers while on tiger safari at Ranthambhore during the month of September. But that is exactly what I just experienced 2 months ago, when I travelled to Rajasthan in search of tigers and leopards.
How did this happen and what has changed at Ranthambhore to increase your chances of seeing tigers at any time of the year?
So regular visitors to India on a tiger safari will know that most of the parks have a zone system and in Ranthambhore historically it has always been the main 1-5 zones which have produced the regular tiger sightings and zones 6-10 were regarded as 'joy rides'. In fact, because at Wildlife Trails we always like to provide greater variety to our clients, we would take some of them to Zones 9&10 for a nice champagne sundowner. We might have seen the odd Bluebull or Chinkara antelope, but we never dreamed of seeing tigers there. The important fact here is that Zones 1-5 are closed from July 1st to September 30th and therefore most safari goers would never consider visiting the park during the monsoon period, as they would feel there is no chance of seeing tigers.
Through a combination of the park management employing local villagers to act as guides and the park showing a greater interest in these degraded ‘buffer areas’ we have seen an increase in deer and antelope numbers and the return of tigers. In fact, every one of the 10 zones in Ranthambhore now has breeding tigers within them and the tiger population in Ranthambhore has reached the astonishing figure of 60. Of course that must be close to the maximum carrying capacity for the whole park. So let’s get working on the next big degraded forest area which ‘could’ support tigers in the future – the much maligned but strategically important Kali Devi sanctuary.