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India tiger safari, Kaziranga - Wild elephants, rhino and tigers!

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India tiger safari to Kaziranga national park

We first visited Kaziranga in 2002 and were amazed at the magical early morning elephant safaris; taking us within touching distance of prehistoric Indian One-Horned Rhinos, as well as shy barking deer, beautiful herds of wild elephants and some of the best raptor viewing in India. Since then we have organised many India wildlife tours to this jewel of a tiger sanctuary located in the north east state of Assam and combined it with other national parks such as Nameri and Manas.

India tiger safari to Kaziranga: What unique wildife you will see here and can you see tigers?

Kaziranga national park is one of the huge success stories of Indian conservation efforts in recent years. The population of Indian one-horned rhinos dropped to an all time low of 12 individuals in the early 1900's and if it had not been for the intervention of Lady Curzonm in 1905 - who as advised by a local natuarlist and mahout called Nigona shikari that there were still some rhino in the park to actually save - who called on her husband the Viceroy of India to ban the hunting of rhino and to create a protected forest reserve.

Can you see tigers in Kaziranga national park?

The simple answer to this question is YES; but not easily compared to parks like Ranthambhore or Bandhavgarh. The habitat at Kaziranga is not that condusive to spotting tigers, due to the dense long elephant grass, where they can easily hide unnoticed as they wait for a careless spotted deer or sambar to come too close. It is known locally that out of the three zones in Kaziranga national park, which consist of the western, eastern and central zones; the latter offers the best chance of a tiger encounter. So if on an India tiger safari in Kaziranga with a focus on photographing tigers, make sure to book well in advance and schedule a good number of drives in the central zone.

The other reason why Kaziranga is not known as a park to see tigers is because it shuts so early each year due to the arrival of monsoonal rains. Little bit surprised by this reason to be honest, as I am pretty sure that most years the heavy rains in the north east of India do not arrive until June. It is a known fact amongst wildlife photographers, that tiger encounters increase dramatically from April to June, during the 'drying out' period, when only a few water holes remain and both tigers and their prey congregate around them leading to some stunning photographic opportunities. So when planning your India wildlife tour give considerbale thought to the arrival time into Kaziranga.

Wildlife in Kaziranga national park?

As a world heritage site and internationally known for being home to 80% of the worlds population of One-Horned Rhinos, it is not surprising to find this sanctuary so closely associated with this remarkable animal; however there is much more in Kaziranga to discover. There is a very healthy population of wild elephants and these can be found all through the parks; often in 'tight' family groups, enjoying the plentiful small lakes that dot the terai landscape. Indian Buffalo are plentiful - some tigers specialise in hunting them - and some of the rarer deer species such as Hog and Muntjac can be seen here. The diversity of avian life is superb, including several hornbill species, and some of the raptor viewing can be stunning, including Pallas' fish eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle and Lesser Kestrels.

Best wildlife lodges at Kaziranga national park

Back in 2002 when we first visited Kaziranga the only place wildlife enthusiasts would consider was Wild Grass Resort. A strangely shaped colonial building, set in beautiful grounds. It was known as a place with 'slow service' with a smile and excellent contacts for good birding guides. More options have become available in recent years and we now also promote Diphlu River Lodge for those clients looking for a little more luxury. Although some companies promote the boat cruises on the Brahmaputra, you will see a fraction of the overall wildlife possible from a 4/5 night lodge stay, with regular elephant and jeep safaris, as well as some fantastic short extensions to locations such as the Gibbon sanctuary.

So why not check out our India tiger safari to Kaziranga national park and enjoy and India wildlife tour off the beaten track in north east India.

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