27th July, 2017
Post an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to South Africa, my husband and I fell in love with the “Whole Safari Experience” we were fascinated by the idea of just being away from the normal world for a while and spending entire days in the jungle amidst the animals and the birds, just watching them roam freely in their natural habitat.
India is rich in wildlife reserves and we have yet to see a lot of it.
We made a bucket list of all the forests we wanted to explore and first in our list was Ranthambore National Park (now known as Ranthambore Tiger Reserve).
The reason we chose to start our Indian Wildlife exploration with Ranthambore was because of my parents. They have been going regularly to Ranthambore over the last 30 years and are completely accustomed with the jungle, its behavior and have great safari knowledge.
Listening to their exciting stories over the years, has made me more and more curious to experiencing it personally. So we thought what could be a better way than making this a MIRINDA + Family trip.
Ranthambore National Park (Ranthambore Tiger Reserve) is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering entire area of 392 km². It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambore National Park are in November and May.
There are multiple options as per the city you are from to visit Ranthambore. But the best way from any major city of India is to take a flight to Jaipur and then take a taxi straight to Ranthambore National Park. Given its strong cultural heritage, Jaipur is home to many international tourists every year. Hence the Jaipur Airport is quite a busy one. From the Jaipur Airport, Ranthambore National Park (Sawai Madhopur) is located at a distance of 170 kms and it takes about 3.5 hours by road. There are daily trains from Delhi as well which reach Ranthambore (Sawai Madhopur) in about 4 hours.
MIRINDA Suggests- The taxi (Innova car) will cost you approx. Rs. 4000/- one way. But please note that major portion of the Jaipur – Ranthambore road is undergoing re-building and hence the ride is quite bumpy. We recommend hiring an SUV to ensure a comfortable ride. You can either ask your hotel to arrange your transport or you can also contact any local taxi services to arrange the same.
We landed at Jaipur Airport at around 6 pm on 21st June 2017. We had pre-booked our “Toyota Innova” through one of the local taxi services, which was waiting for us at the airport. We picked up some beers from a local wine shop just outside the airport and were en-route Ranthambore.
MIRINDA Suggests – Hotel bars at Ranthambore (Sawai Madhopur) can be quite expensive and the local wine shops in Ranthambore are small and have limited brands. We recommend you stashing up some good liquor from Jaipur.
Post a bumpy 3.5 hours, we finally arrived at Sawai Madhopur at around 9:30 pm. We grabbed a small snack on the way to eat and checked into our hotel “Dev Villas”, a boutique luxury property located right in the heart of Sawai Madhopur. Following our amazing experience in South Africa, we continue to explore boutique luxury properties. We love the sense of personalization they bring to the whole trip.
Booking Safari Rides in Ranthambore
One can get lost while booking a safari ride in Ranthambore if one is not aware of the correct means. The government has its own website (http://fmdss.forest.rajasthan.gov.in/) which allows online booking of the safari in advance. However, the rush in Ranthambore park is so high that these slots are filled months before the date of travel. Further, you have to be very specific with the type of vehicle, the zone, the time etc. The better option is the introduction of the “Tatkal” (last moment) safaris by the government. There are lot of local agents and hotels in Ranthambore who organize Tatkal Safaris by charging a small commission fee. One can also book it directly, but the chaotic procedure at the booking office is too much to handle for any tourist.
MIRINDA Suggests: We recommend you plan your travel in such a way that you at least get to do five safaris in Ranthambore National Park. These will give you a good chance to spot the Tigers and other animals. Plus, a three-day stay gives you ample time to relax and enjoy the property, given the hectic safari schedule.
We were quite tired after a long drive and had to wake up early the next morning for our safari – so we called it a day.
Coming up next….. Day 01 at the Land of Tigers – Ranthambore National Park
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