The Best Wildlife Reserves For Outdoorsy Honeymooners

India boasts world-class wildlife preserves so it would be a shame not to take advantage of their rich landscapes and biodiversity during your honeymoon
Couples who love the natural world and getting outdoors should consider planning their honeymoon in wildlife reserves
Couples who love the natural world and getting outdoors should consider planning their honeymoon in wildlife reservesSotnikov Misha/

Solemnising a romantic union is an affirming experience for most couples. It’s no surprise then that after the rigours and stresses of planning a wedding, even a low-key one, newlyweds want to spend their post-wedding glow in a relaxed and cosy environment. Couples who love the natural world and getting outdoors should consider spending this precious time in wildlife reserves, which India has plenty of.

The months from September to May are an ideal time to go on a safari honeymoon in the country. This is because during the monsoon season animals hide in order to protect themselves from the rain.

Here are some of the best national parks you should consider for your honeymoon travel plans.

Kaziranga National Park

River turtles basking in the sun at Kaziranga National Park
River turtles basking in the sun at Kaziranga National ParkNityanand Nawalkar/

One of India’s best and most beloved wildlife reserves, Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is famous for the greater one-horned rhinoceros. The landscape of Kaziranga consists of forests, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, marshes and shallow pools. It is one of the few patches in eastern India which has been minimally impacted by human habitation. Visitors here can see tigers, elephants, panthers, bears and thousands of birds.

Couples can partake in guided tours and hike on permitted trails and paths. The park closes from May to October due to the monsoonal rains so it’s best to contact the park authorities before making plans. There are plenty of comfortable tourist lodges and private resorts available in and around Kaziranga National Park for honeymooners to avail of.

Getting There

Fly or take a train to Guwahati in Assam and proceed onwards to Kaziranga National Park, 185km away. The distance from Jorhat Airport to Kaziranga National Park is around 140km. Travellers can drive to the park from Golaghat, Silchar and Guwahati, too.

Jim Corbett National Park

The Infinity Resort at Jim Corbett National Park
The Infinity Resort at Jim Corbett National

The heart of Project Tiger is undoubtedly Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. Located at the Himalayan foothills, the park is spread over 1,318 sq km among the picturesque landscapes of Pauri Garhwal, Nainital and Almora. The park’s jeep safari into dense forest to see wild animals is a must-have experience. While on the jeep safari, enjoy the views of the lush green forest interspersed with streams, rivers and a few waterfalls.

The park is open from mid-November to mid-June. However, the Jhirna zone remains open all year long. There are a range of accommodation options here from luxury resorts and forest lodges to budget-friendly guesthouses. The Dhikala Forest Lodge is located within the park's core area and offers an immersive wilderness experience. Other popular accommodations include The Riverview Retreat, the Namah Resort and The Golden Tusk.

Getting There

Take a train or drive approximately 250km to Ramnagar in Uttarakhand.

Pench National Park

View from the Pench Tree Lodge
View from the Pench Tree

In the southern part of Madhya Pradesh lies Pench National Park. Spilling over into neighbouring Maharashtra, this park is a treasure trove of rich flora and fauna and is segregated into two divisions: the first is Priyadarshini National Park and the second is Mowgli Pench Sanctuary. The park is named after the river Pench which flows from north to south and cleanly divides the reserve in almost equal halves. It was established as a tiger reserve in 1992 but also has an abundance of chital, jungle cat, Indian wolf, Indian leopard, gaur, four-horned antelope, sloth bear, crow pheasant, peafowl, pintail, lesser whistling teal, Indian roller, wagtail and blue kingfisher, to name a few animal species.

The park is open from November to June. Honeymooners can avail of several wildlife tour packages on the park’s website and stay at some splendid resorts and lodges. Watch the sunset from under a banyan tree or dine and sleep on an open rooftop “machaan” during your trip.

Getting There

Nagpur (177km) and Jabalpur (229km) have the closest airports to Pench National Park. Seoni Railway Station is 85km away. You can hire a bus from Seoni or drive via the Nagpur-Jabalpur Highway to the park.

Satpura Tiger Reserve

The dhole, also known as wild dog, in Satpura Tiger Reserve
The dhole, also known as wild dog, in Satpura Tiger ReserveRevati and Charles Victor/

Madhya Pradesh is also home to another wildlife refuge where honeymooners can enjoy awe-inspiring landscapes. The Satpura Tiger Reserve has a rugged terrain and consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines and dense forests. It is rich in biodiversity with sightings of leopard, sambar, chital, Indian muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, black buck, fox, porcupine, flying squirrel, mouse deer, hornbills and peafowl. It epitomises the central Indian highlands ecosystem and is a major geographical plateau in the country. The Bori Wildlife Sanctuary is also found here. Furthermore, 50 rock shelters with paintings that are 1,500 to 10,000 years old can be viewed within the reserve's boundaries.

The reserve is officially open for tourists from October 15 to June 30. Honeymooners can opt for an ecotourism experience at the park which minimises their environmental impact, funds ecological conservation, and directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities.

Getting There

Satpura Tiger Reserve can be reached via road from Bhopal (116km) and Jabalpur (172km), which are also home to the nearest airports. The closest railway stations are Itarsi (14.5km) and Sohagpur (35km).

Ranthambore National Park

A tiger cub at Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan
A tiger cub at Ranthambore National Park in RajasthanSourabh Bharti/

Ranthambore National Park is situated at the junction of some of the oldest geological mountain ranges, the Aravallis and Vindhyas. It's mix of rolling hills, crags, meadows, lakes and rivulets make this dry-deciduous forest system home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Apart from its famous tigers, you can also spot sloth bears, leopards, caracals, jackals, foxes, hyenas and mongooses. The elusive Indian wolf has also been spotted here occasionally. The landscape is dominated by the 10th century fortress of Ranthambore, while the valleys have numerous cenotaphs, ruins and abandoned settlements which have been overrun by the living landscape.

The park is open from October to June. There are plenty of ecolodges, boutique, budget-friendly and luxe stays at Ranthambore National Park for honeymooners to consider.

Getting There

Jaipur International Airport is 145km from Ranthambore National Park. The Sawai Madhopur Junction is the closest train station (11km). The park is well-connected via roads to Jaipur, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Ajmer and Jodhpur.

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