INDIA TIGER SAFARIS 2020

The Tigers of Ranthambhore: An Indian Photo Tour - 2020

British wildlife photographer, Chris Rodgers has been working internationally for more than 30 years. His previous photographic work includes commissions for Boots (the multinational pharmaceutical giant), American Express and English Premiership Rugby Union amongst others. Starting off as a wedding and social event photographer, he has experience in many different types of photographic work. After first visiting India in 1993, Chris has mainly specialised in photographing wildlife, particularly the wild tigers of Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan.

Chris Rodgers is conducting regular photographic tiger safaris in India, working in conjunction with expert local naturalists, drivers and specialists in tiger behavior. By working with locals, support is being given to local communities, enabling them to benefit directly from the tours. When the local communities are benefiting directly from the tigers in the park, they are less likely to turn to activities that could put the tigers in more danger.

There is no doubt that the tiger is one of the most beautiful animals on the planet and unfortunately, one of the most endangered. Seeing a wild tiger in its natural habitat is a breathtaking experience and one that only a few of us will get to experience. Tigers are now only found in a small number of countries around the world and getting to see one without professional guidance is not an easy task. Whilst tigers can be found in countries like Thailand, the local habitat and behavior of the tigers makes them almost impossible to see and most photographs you see of wild tigers in Thailand are taken with remote cameras.

Ranthambhore National Park in India is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to photograph the Bengal Tiger, a truly majestic animal. There are many lakes, streams and small water holes located all around the park, which provide the park’s abundant wildlife the perfect relief during the extremely hot summer. There are over 300 species of birds, both resident and migratory, over 40 species of mammals and over 35 species of reptiles. Besides tigers, the other wild cats found in Ranthambhore are Leopards, Caracals, Jungle Cats, and Rusty Spotted Cats; you will also get to see Samba Deer, Spotted Deer (Chital), Blue Bull (Nilgai), Indian Gazelle and Wild Boar. Other large mammals that can be spotted in Ranthambhore are the Sloth Bear, Indian Fox, Jackal, Mongoose and Striped Hyena. Whilst we will be concentrating on trying to photograph wild tigers on these safaris, you will also get a chance to see and photograph the other wildlife and the beautiful scenery that Ranthambhore has to offer.

These tiger safaris in India are specifically tailored to photographers, but wildlife enthusiasts without cameras are just as welcome to come along. Many tours are offered in various parts of India, but they usually cater to general tourists and don't offer good opportunities for wildlife photographers or serious enthusiasts. With help from our amazing naturalist and his tracking skills, you will have the very best opportunity of going home with some amazing photographs and special memories.

Our tour starts in the city of Delhi, where you will be met by our Indian host and taken for lunch before departing by train to Sawai Madhopur and on to your hotel on the edge of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. On arrival, you can either chill out in your room or sit by the pool with a cold beer and discuss the coming week with Chris and our local naturalist.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive from New Delhi, get settled in your room and then meet for dinner (a wide range of Indian, Asian and Western food is available) and a drink, meet out host and then get ready for our first tiger safari, first thing the next morning.

Days 2 to 7

You will spend these days amongst the amazing wildlife and stunning scenery of Ranthambhore National Park. Tigers, of course, are the main attraction, but this doesn’t mean we won’t stop to photograph the other wildlife that is found in the park. Along with our expert guide, I will go out of my way to maximise your chances of seeing some amazing wildlife. Being in the park in the morning and the late afternoon/evening will give us some excellent opportunities to experience wildlife in excellent light.

You will be woken at 05.00am with a cup of coffee or tea before meeting in the lobby, where we will wait to be collected by our private jeep. After a short drive we will arrive at the national park. Driving along the along the narrow track from the main entrance conjures up images of the opening scenes of Jurassic Park; you cannot fail to be impressed by the surroundings. Early mornings offer the best chances of spotting leopards. I have spotted quite a few leopards on the road up to the entrance of the park so it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled. We will stay in the park until around 9:45 am and then head back to the hotel to grab a shower and have breakfast.

After breakfast you are free to lounge by the pool, visit the local town (which is within walking distance and offers great opportunities for street photography), or relax in your room until we are picked up for the evening safari at around 2:15pm.

The afternoon/evening safari allows us to see the park in different light and to follow up on any sightings we made in the morning. It is amazing how different the park looks with the sun setting over Ranthambhore Fort. The evening safaris finish at around 06.00pm and then we head off back to the hotel. After freshening up, we will meet for our evening meal, where you will be able to enjoy excellent Indian and Asian food (vegetarians are well catered for) in the relaxed grounds of the hotel. The hotel also has an open-air bar in the garden serving a wide range of alcoholic and soft drinks.

Day 8

After breakfast we will say goodbye to Ranthambhore and take the train back to Delhi and onto the airport for your flight home.

The tiger population in the park has increased in recent years due to the amazing efforts of park rangers and tiger conservation programs. With the population of tigers in Ranthambhore now growing to 67, the Tiger Safaris run by Chris Rodgers in 2020 promise to have some of the best sightings ever.

Recommended Equipment

You will need to provide your own photographic equipment; lenses ranging from a wide-angle, right up to a 500mm would be perfect for serious photographers, but you could manage with a 300mm and a converter. A good tip is to have one camera with a wide-angle lens (a high-end compact camera will do) and another camera with your bigger lens. A monopod can be useful, and a beanbag for supporting your camera is a must. (I can provide you with details of where to purchase a beanbag if you don’t already have one). Protecting your camera equipment from dust is very important; zip-lock plastic bags are good and elasticated, clear shower caps are excellent for covering the camera body, I always take along a soft cloth or towel to drape over the camera and lens when not in use. I have had people join my safaris purely to witness a tiger in its natural habitat so don’t feel like you won’t be welcome if you are not a photographer. Going home with the memories is more than enough for many people.

 

Additional Information

The climate in Rajasthan is hot and dry in March and April, very similar to Thailand’s temperature but less humid, so you will find it most comfortable to wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing. A hat is very useful (especially to those of us who are follicly challenged) as is a high-factor sun cream. Although we won’t encounter many mosquitoes during the safaris, a mosquito repellent could come in useful for the evenings. I will provide you with further information regarding local customs and what to expect from India before departure.

Having a reasonable level of fitness is ideal. You will not need to do any walking during your safari as we will be picked up from the hotel and dropped off in a private jeep. The only walking involved will be if you decide to visit the local town or Ranthambhore Fort.

 

Some vaccinations are recommended or required for India, so consult your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date information.

Citizens from most countries will also require a visa to enter India. I will send you further information on this after booking.


 

Cost

The cost of your amazing 8-day tiger safari photo tour to Ranthambhore, India, will be $3450 per person. Please contact info@tigersafaris.co.uk for bookings and further information.

Cost Includes: accommodation, morning coffee/tea, breakfast, lunch, evening meal, 2 x bottles of mineral water per day, all transport to and from Delhi airport, 4 x morning safaris, 4 x afternoon/evening safaris, and 2 x half-day safaris in a private Jeep accompanied by a qualified naturalist/guide and driver, air-conditioned en-suite rooms.

Please Note: This itinerary is provisional and could change depending on local conditions or unforeseen circumstances and costs that sometimes increase year to year. We will however do our best to keep this itinerary as it is

Cost Excludes: International flights to Delhi, travel visa, alcohol/soft drinks, additional mineral water, sundry items and tips, extra excursions, visits to the Ranthambhore Fort for example, items of personal expenditure, any additional accommodation in Delhi if required at the beginning and end of your trip.

A non-refundable deposit of 1,000 USD per person is required upon booking with the remainder to be paid 90 days before departure.

In order to cover yourself for any unfortunate change of personal circumstance or an unforeseen medical condition we strongly suggest that you take out sufficient travel insurance to cover this possibility.

These photo tours are for 3 people maximum per week - 3 people per private jeep.  However, if you need a larger group then a maximum of 7 people spread over two jeeps is possible.

Please click here to email me with your preferred dates and number of places required or if you need any further information.

The dates for 2020 are as follows:

Week 1: March 18th - March 25th

Week 2: March 27th - April 3rd

 

© 2019 by Chris Rodgers