Best wildlife tour guides in India

We pride ourselves on working with some of India's best wildlife tour guides who have a breadth of knowledge on India's wildlife parks and tiger reserves. 

Travel with the best wildlife guides in India

It's true to say that an excellent escorted guide can make a break or a trip, and this is all the more true with wildlife tours in India. We work with some of India's leading wildlife guides, who have spent years in the field tracking some of India's rarest and endangered animals, and they have in-depth knowledge of India's diverse wildlife parks and its inhabitants. We strongly recommend travelling on an escorted India wildlife tour as our wildlife guides will enhance your whole India wildlife experience. Many of them are excellent wildlife photographers too and can provide guidance and tips to get the best wildlife photos on your India wildlife tour. From recognising jungle calls and bird song, to talking about conservation efforts and responsible wildlife tourism in India, you will come away with a greater appreciation of India's incredible wildlife, as well as a more detailed understanding of India's wildlife and the challenges facing one of the most diverse wildlife countries on earth. 

Below are some of the excellent wildlife guides we work with in India and they have shared their experiences and suggestions for getting the most out of your India wildlife holiday.

Surya

What is your most memorable India wildlife experience? 
There have been plenty over the years. The snow leopard that decided to stay in a ruined monastery for 4 days, waiting motionless under a tree for the stunning male Western Tragopan to walk out in Great Himalayan National Park  and seeing a red panda with the backdrop of Mt.kanchendzonga have to top the list in recent years. 

What makes wildlife in India so special?
Wildlife is special everywhere. India is unique for it's wilderness and it's species so people who want to see these specifics have to come to India. And the variety speaks for itself from snow peaks to beaches and mangroves to deserts , rainforests and scrub n dry deciduous jungles. It is truly a subcontinent. 

Which is your favourite national park or tiger reserve in India?
I love Satpura and Kanha as central Indian parks. But any place that allows wilderness experiences by walking would top my list. 

What is your top tip to get the most out of a wildlife tour in India?
Pay top dollar for a good guide and leave the rest to her or him. And give time... a rushed trip is never justified.

Faiza

What is your most memorable India wildlife experience?
There are so many, it's quite hard to single out one. Seeing a pack of 25 wild dogs on foot that killed 2 sambar deer in a lake by drowning them. The sub-adults watched from the banks with uncontainable excitement. It's always amazing to watch their group dynamics. Watching a congregation of almost 100 Asian elephants during musth overlooking the stunning Himalayan foothills. My one and only pangolin sighting will always be a special one. 

What makes wildlife in India so special?
This applies to almost everything in India, but the sheer variety of wildlife experiences one can have in our country is mind-blowing. There are so many different habitats that have their own unique wildlife. From tigers and sloth bears in central India to one-horned rhinos and elephants in the east to snow leopards and brown bears in the cold dry desert of the Trans-Himalaya. 

Which is your favourite national park or tiger reserve in India?
Satpura National Park. A rich Central Indian forest that offers fantastic wildlife and landscapes. It's a park that truly makes you appreciate the jungle as a whole.

What is your top tip to get the most out of a wildlife tour in India?
Go with the right people. It's extremely important to choose an operator and guide who have the experience and carry out their operations ethically.

Avijit

What is your most memorable Indian wildlife experience?
There are so many, but one which stands out was when I was guiding an elderly English couple - the husband was a stroke patient and his wife had brought him on the holiday as she wanted to fulfil his lifetime dream of sighting a tiger in the wild. They had spent almost a week without seeing a tiger. Finally on their penultimate day of the trip I managed to zero in on a mother tigress with two cubs inside a patch of jungle. We knew they were there but they were not visible and we could only wait. I literally prayed to God and after a few seconds the family of tigers came out of hiding and walked towards us! It was almost a 10 minute sighting and the sheer pleasure on the faces of my guests could simply not be matched.

What makes wildlife in India so special?
I think when you talk wildlife, people generally think of Africa. And if ever you talk of Indian wildlife, people think of tigers. But what makes Indian wildlife so special is firstly the huge amount of biodiversity that travellers around the world are still unaware of, and second the Indian jungle is captivating and at the same time full of suspense. You could go for some days without a major sighting and then just round the corner you come across something special when it was completely unexpected. 

Which is your favourite national park or tiger reserve?
Again it is difficult and probably unfair to compare since parks as they are each unique. But if I still have to choose a personal favourite, then it would have to be Manas National Park in Assam in North East India. The park is raw and wild, untouched, its biodiversity is immense. It's right at the top for me personally in terms of a wildlife experience in India.

What is your top tip to get the most out of a wildlife tour in India?
Well, I have not one but a few tips to get the best out of a wildlife tour in India. 
  1. Prioritise what you want to see in terms of wildlife in India and let your tour operator help you out with this. 
  2. Have a really good guide travelling with you on the wildlife trip.
  3. Cover at least 2 national parks on your trip. It is difficult to get an Indian wildlife experience from just visiting one park. 
  4. Spend at least 3 nights in each major national park if not more.
  5. If you want to see something totally off-the-beaten-track like red pandas, endemic species of hornbills, or Himalayan wildlife like snow leopards and clouded leopards in the northeastern rainforests, then be prepared to stay in simple accommodation like homestays, community-run guest houses, forest bungalows or 2 star hotels. Not all wildlife destinations will have luxury accommodation options as in Central India or Africa.

Vedant

What is your most memorable Indian wildlife experience?
Early in 2010, two dominant tigers decided to take each other on, to capture prime territory. As we entered the park that morning it was eerily silent. Moments later the roars started, and two males were moving from different parts of the forest towards each other and roaring aloud. As we sat in the jeep we first spotted the young challenger and then the dominant male also stepping out into the clearing. They growled and hissed, walked in circles and sized each other up. The tension in the air was palpable. Claws and fangs bared, they went at it, swiping, drawing blood from each other; until the challenger was thrown on his back. The fight continued for hours only to be moved away into the thicket of lantana bushes. Finally I spotted the challenger limping away and he finally settled down in a cave to rest and lick his wounds.

What makes wildlife in India so special?
Being an inhabitant of a buffer zone village of a tiger reserve in India I have seen tigers in my backyard. However, over the past few years I have explored various other habitats and species with my clients, such as the red panda in the Himalayan foothills; one-horned rhinos by the Brahmaputra and the gharial in Chambal to name a few. Animals are also intertwined with Hindu culture. Our traditional beliefs ingrain tigers, owls, peacocks and more into our religious texts and thus we have always grown up with a keen sense of India's special wildlife.

Which is your favourite national park or tiger reserve?
Having grown up in the shadow of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, it would be my favourite. In a bid to give back, I spearhead the local initiatives as the Convenor of the Tiger Conservation Cell. Along with another family we fund and are actively involved in providing primary education to the local and tribal children. I encourage village walks in an attempt to allow my guests an authentic glimpse of co-adaptation between tigers and humans.

A close second is Corbett Tiger Reserve - every time I visit I am amazed by the diversity of terrains and habitats. It's my go-to place for birding & wild elephants!

What is your top tip to get the most out of a wildlife tour in India?
I believe India has incredible opportunities for spotting and photographing a multitude of species. It may be the concentration required to hear alarm calls or the eager scanning of the foliage to spot the striped beast; but one tends to be completely in the moment. So my top tip to anyone on a wildlife trip in India would be to allow yourself to be completely in the present.

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