India’s human population today is well in excess of 1 billion people, and they’re ever encroaching on the country’s wild places. Despite that, the animals and birds still absolutely thrive, especially in India’s increasingly well protected national parks and other wildlife reserves. In particular, tiger populations are on the rise across the country, with numbers nearing 3,000 in the 2018 census.
The species you can expect to see depend very much on where you are. India is a vast country with strikingly different ecosystems, all of which are suited to very specific ranges of animals. The usual exception to this is monkey, which seem to be everywhere and leopard can be found throughout the country, though we suggest staying at Sujan Jawai, which has one of the densest populations.
To see the one horned rhino, you need to go to the UNESCO-listed Kaziranga National Park. Two thirds of the entire surviving one horned rhino live here, and their habitat is also rich in breeding herds of elephant, buffalo, and swamp deer, as well as the occasional tiger.
Travelling in Central India will increase your chances of a tiger sighting, however. The Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve have the most substantial populations, and also India’s best wildlife guides.
Heading north towards the Himalayas, adventure seekers might choose to spend time searching for the even more elusive snow leopard. Known as the ghost of the mountains, these felines have adapted perfectly to the high altitudes and snowy conditions with their thick, white fur. Journeysmiths knows the best guides, who will take you trekking at exactly the right time and place to spot them.