5 Most Beautiful Monsoon Safari Experiences Across India

Some sanctuaries across India offer safaris through the monsoon season, albeit mostly in buffer zones
Monsoon Safari Experiences Across India
An Indian wild female Bengal tiger at Ranthambore National Park Sourabh Bharti/Shutterstock

Safaris can be a great way to connect with the wilderness. While the winter season is generally popular for safaris, the monsoon months bring a sense of magic to the wild. The forest, adorned in the glistening aftermath of rain, resonates with the melodious symphony of birds and calls of other creatures that call it home. Some sanctuaries across India offer safaris through the monsoon season, albeit mostly in buffer zones. If you are booking a safari in the rains, do remember that it's imperative to tread consciously, respecting the natural environment and the creatures that call it home.

Bandipur National Park, Karnataka

Located in the picturesque state of Karnataka, Bandipur National Park stands as a proud testament to the Indian Government's dedicated Project Tiger initiative. As one of India's leading tiger reserves within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and three other wildlife sanctuaries, Bandipur offers a captivating experience for wildlife enthusiasts. The rainy season unveils the opportunity to witness large herds of Asiatic elephants and provides regular sightings of majestic tigers, making it an unparalleled destination for nature lovers.

Duration: Two hours. Tickets: INR 200 to 300

Getting There: Bandipur National Park is situated on the highway that connects Mysore and Ooty. The best way to get there is by car. If you prefer traveling by rail, the closest station is in Mysore, which is 65 kilometers away. If you are traveling by air, the nearest airport is Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport, located approximately 204 kilometers away.

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

A wild Indian elephant  at Nagarhole National Park
A wild Indian elephant at Nagarhole National ParkAkash Routh/Shutterstock

Nestled between the Mysore plateau in Karnataka and the Nilgiri Mountains of Tamil Nadu, this expansive park covers an area of 247 square miles and provides sanctuary to Bengal tigers, Asiatic elephants, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, wild gaurs, and a diverse array of bird species. The park is renowned for its significant population of Indian elephants, Bengal tigers, and Indian bisons, and derives its name from the combination of "naga," meaning snake, and "hole," referring to streams. It stands as one of India's foremost tiger reserves.

Duration: Two hours. Tickets: INR 250 to 300.

Getting There: Nagarhole National Park is located conveniently on the highway connecting Mysore and Ooty. The best way to reach this natural treasure is by car. If you prefer to travel by rail, Mysore station is just 65 kilometres away. For air travellers, Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport is the closest at approximately 204 kilometres.

Periyar National Park, Kerala

Enhance your wildlife experience by visiting Kerala's breathtaking sanctuaries, which burst into life during the monsoon season. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady stands out as a sanctuary offering an unparalleled opportunity. It provides wildlife enthusiasts with the most exciting chance to observe a diverse range of wild species, including tigers, elephants, great Malabar hornbills, deer, gaurs, Indian wild dogs, and more.

Duration: Two hours. Tickets: INR 250 to 300.

Getting There: The closest railway station to Periyar National Park is Kottayam, 114 km away and the nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, 140 km away.

An elephant family in Periyar National Park
An elephant family in Periyar National ParkDmytro Gilitukha/Shutterstock

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa

Located in the northern part of Goa near Valpoi, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 208 square kilometres and is one of India's less well-known sanctuaries. During the monsoon months, wildlife enthusiasts can explore the sanctuary and encounter a wide variety of animals, including black panthers, tigers, sloth bears, Indian gaurs, and various bird species. In addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery of the sanctuary, visitors can participate in exciting activities like white water rafting, trekking, and rock climbing.

Duration: Two hours. Tickets: Free

Getting There: The nearest airport is at Dabolim. And the nearest mainstream railhead is at Madgaon.

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

The Sawai Madhopur district in Southeastern Rajasthan is home to the Ranthambore National Park, known for its Bengal tigers. In addition to tigers, the park is also home to hyenas, nilgais, langurs, and Indian leopards. Ranthambore is also home to a variety of birds, reptiles, and trees. The park gets its name from the Ranthambore fortress that lies within its boundaries. During the monsoon season (July, August, and September), zones 1 to 5 of the park are closed to tourists, but tourism activities continue in zones 6 to 10.

Duration: Three hours. Tickets: INR 1,250

Getting There: Located 145 km from Jaipur (the closest airport), Ranthambore National Park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district in south-eastern Rajasthan. Sawai Madhopur has its own railway station.

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