Ranthambore, Jaipur or Rural India


Nov 7th, 2017, 10:35 AM
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Ranthambore, Jaipur or Rural India

I posted earlier about my one month trip to India. I also posted an itinerary so won't repeat it hear. I will just say I plan to visit Delhi (fly in and out of), Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Varanasi

Question. I want to drop one thing from my list. I am debating dropping 2 days and 4 safaris in Ranthambore or Jaipur. Ranthambore because tiger safaris are not guaranteed and don't want to feel like a waste of money if I go and don't see a tiger.

My understanding is that American safari is more teeming with life than Ranthambore.

Another alternative is skip Ranthambore and one city and spend a few days getting into rural India. Not sure if the southern village tour out of Jodhpur would suffice.

Just curious, What in your opinion would be the best approach?
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Nov 7th, 2017, 10:37 AM
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African safari. Not American.
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Nov 7th, 2017, 03:07 PM
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We loved our time in Ranthambore. Went on one safari and saw two tigers. One was quite large and very close to our jeep - we watched as it wandered over from the other side of a lake and then made itself comfortable under the shade of a tree less than 20 feet from our jeep.

There is also an amazing fort just at the entrance to the park - you can climb the ancient steps up to the top - through passageways with plenty of wildlife - we threaded our way through crowds of monkeys. There are two temples at the top - and when we were there a year and a half ago, we did not see any western tourists, but only Indian people there. And lots and lots of monkeys ...

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Nov 7th, 2017, 07:33 PM
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We spent two days and 4 tours in Ranthambore and saw no tigers. The rest of the park was okay, and I loved the place we were staying (Sher Bagh) but was still disappointed with the wildlife!
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Nov 10th, 2017, 04:49 AM
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I would say drop Ranthambore. We travelled a long way to get there and saw no tigers, just a few elands and birds. Were surprised to find there are only two tigers in that part of the park anyway. Staff told us you would need to go on four safaris to be assured of a tiger sighting.
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Dec 6th, 2017, 07:19 PM
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Tigers are extremely elusive and no one can guarantee a sighting. They may be hiding in ten tall grass called Moonjh right next to you and you can’t see them.
Having said that Ranthambhore is a gorgeous forest but if you have a short trip I would say avoid.

Try Jaipur. Plenty of forts and palaces, culture, shopping. If you had time I would recommend Udaipur. Both a jaipur and Udaipur will have a rural village setting right next door.

Jaipur is also excellent for block printed fabrics and if you are visit8ng you must try out Suvasa or Anokhi.
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Jan 21st, 2018, 09:28 PM
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Ranthambhore will afford a welcome break from all the Forts & Palaces you will see on your India Trip. There are several factors, nonetheless, that may determine whether it should be included to your tour or not. The chief being what time of the year you plan to be there. If it is the severest part of winters i.e, late December to mid-January, you can skip it, for the conditions inside are somewhat non-conducive to viewing a sensitive animal like a Tiger, which you seem to be most interested in and why not, for it is one animal no matter how many times you have seen it, will evoke immense excitement when seen from close quarters! During this time hordes of local tourists arrive and the disturbed conditions will send the tiger miles away from such disturbances.
Imo, therefore either it is late October & November which is also a mating season for the big cats or a period after the cold weather, February on wards, which is good time. Also unlike elsewhere, in north India the best time of the day to visit is the afternoon, when the tigers are on the prowl hunting. In the mornings the sun / heat bothers them and they hurry to take shelter in a clump of trees & bushes away from the jungle fire tracks. The only chance a sportsman will get to catch a glimpse is if he is going to drink water, which is a rather rare occurrence, when the sun is up. No forester can guarantee sighting of tigers unless they are equipped with immense resources like trekkers / modern electronic surveillance. At around sunset most herbivores leave the fastnesses of the Tree jungle and emerge on the open glades to feed and to avoid attacks from the carnivore. The tigers follow the animals for food and may be seen lurking in bushes around these glades & open areas.
To add to your experience, you must definitely add a rural destination, if time allows. Rajasthan has a great variety of accommodations and some of these located in the rural hinterland, very interesting and colourful. The experiences are 'natural' as against some touristy or 'contrived'. A couple of days at such destinations will broaden your appreciation of the country!
Happy travels!
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Jan 31st, 2018, 08:19 PM
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I think it depends on when you're going and whether it's a good season for cat viewing. We went in April when it was very hot and had lots of great sighting but I can see that the park would be disappointing if you didn't see tiger. We were similarly disappointed by not seeing leopard when we went to Yala in Sri Lanka.

I guess it all depends on your tolerance for disappointment and/or how much you want to see tigers. As some one who has been on several African and Indian safaris I agree they're quite different and while I've very much enjoyed game viewing in India generally speaking it hasn't afforded the same wealth of viewing we've see in Africa. Having said that I'm not a great fan of Jaipur, it's the most touristy part of Rajasthan and I'd far rather see a tiger in Ranthambore, and travel down through Bundi to Chittorgarh and then Udaipur than go to Jaipur but others would disagree. I couldn't agree more with Mr Singh's excellent advise to visit a smaller more off the beaten path destination in Rajasthan.

Hope this helps

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