Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you surely cannot miss out on planning a visit to wildlife sanctuaries in India in winters. This is time when wildlife safari offers the best of experiences. As the temperatures dip, the exotic wildlife comes out of its secret hiding places. In fact, the season also welcomes migratory bird from far- away places. In a nutshell, winters offer a wild visual treat to its visitors, from October till March.

Here is a list of Top Wildlife Sanctuaries to Visit in India in Winter

Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Reckoned as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India, the Jim Corbett National Park is famed for Bengal tigers. 300 wild elephants and 200 tigers can be seen here together with the other animals. Various species of deer, otters, langurs, sloth bear, rhesus macaques, peacocks, sambar and gharials reside here in their natural habitat.

Jim Corbett is the oldest national park of India. Bird watching is one of the best things to do here as the park receives as many as 586 species of migratory birds. The National Park is rich in its leafy treasures that too with around 488 species of plants.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari and Canter Safari
  • Safari timings: 

For Jeep Safari

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

For Canter Safari

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 11:50 am
  • Afternoon: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit: Mid-November and Mid-June
  • Places to Stay: Claridges Corbett Hideaway, Vanghat River Lodge, Solluna Resort in Corbett, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Hire a trained professional
  • Adhere to your guide’s instruction
  • Don’t provoke the animals.

Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

A haven for wildlife lovers,

Ranthambore National Park showcases a rare combination of nature, wildlife and history. Counted as one of the largest national parks in India, the wildlife tourist spot is famed for a decent tiger population. Also, the park is home to leopard, sloth bear, gray langur, spotted deer, nilgai, rhesus macaque, chital, and so on.

Ranthambore is quite popular amid wildlife photographers. Once a hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the park is now a famous heritage site. Do not miss out on visiting 10th -century Ranthambore Fort, and ruins of chhatris (cenotaphs) and old temple. Additionally, there are 539 species of plants which are also a major highlight in the park.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari and Canter Safari
  • Safari timings: 

For October

  • Morning: 7:00 am – 10:30 am
  • Afternoon: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm

From November – January

  • Morning: 7:00 am – 10:30 am
  • Afternoon: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

From February – March

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Afternoon: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm

From April – mid-May

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm

From mid-May to June

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:October to June
  • Places to Stay: Tiger Den Resort, Aman-I-Khas Resort, Sher Camp Ranthambore, Jhoomar Baori Castle, Oberoi Vanyavilas, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Wear khaki or olive green colored clothes
  • Carefully select your safari company
  • Carry a sunscreen with you
  • Don’t forget your camera and binoculars

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Known for its high density of Bengal tigers, Bandhavgarh National Park also features a rich biodiversity. The popular wildlife sanctuary in India is home to as many as 40 species of mammals and over 250 species of birds. Furthermore, the park preserves numerous reptile species.

Langur, deer, barking deer, wild boar, Indian bison and sambar are a part of the wildlife of this national park. Bandhavgarh National Park was the former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Rewa. While Bandhavgarh is also known to have a connection with the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, the Tigers are the main lure. Also, the Bandhavgarh fort is a famous attraction here.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari, Canter Safari and Elephant Safari
  • Safari timings: 

For mid-October to mid-February

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 11:00 am
  • Afternoon: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

From mid-February to March

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

From April – June

  • Morning: 5:30 am – 10:00 am
  • Afternoon: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:October to April
  • Places to Stay: Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge, Churhat Kothi, Nature Heritage Resort, Tree House Hideaway, etc.
  • Useful Tips: Respect the flora and fauna in the park, drive slowly, don’t drive off track, keep the park pollution free, don’t light campfires and don’t smoke.

Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Keoladeo National Park was formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The park is called home by more than 364 species of birds. Due to this, the bird sanctuary is also quite popular amid ornithologists as well as photographers. Migratory birds, including the rare Siberian Crane, flock here during cool months and thus winter is an ideal time to visit the park.

The highlights of the Keoladeo National Park are 50 fish species, 379 species of flowers, 5 types of lizards, etc. 7 species of turtles, 13 species of snakes, and 7 amphibian species also adds to list of wildlife in the park. The fauna and avifauna in Keoladeo include vultures, robins, kingfishers, mynas, wagtails, chital, mongoose, porcupines, jackal, sambar etc.

  • Types of Safari: Horse Cart, Cycle rickshaw, Bicycle, Walking and Boat
  • Park timings: 

For summer

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

From mid-February to March

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:All through the year
  • Places to Stay: The Park, Park Regency, Hotel Udai Vilas, Bharatpur Forest Lodge, Shanti Kutir, Hotel Saras, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Personal vehicles are allowed but only up to a point
  • Don’t forget to carry binoculars
  • Avoid littering in the park
  • Follow instructions carefully

Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Home to 2/3rd of world’s population of the great one-horned Rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. Other important faunal species in the include elephants, leopards, water buffaloes, swamp deer and tigers. The park is counted as one of the 10 wildlife sanctuaries to visit in India in winter due to its natural scenery. The Sanctuary was founded way back in the year 1905 and became a part of Tiger Reserve in the year 2006. If you are planning a trip to north east India, don’t forget to add this park to your itinerary.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari
  • Safari timings:  

For Jeep Safari

  • Morning: 7:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

For Elephant Safari

  • Morning: 5:30 am – 7:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:November to April
  • Places to Stay: IORA – The Retreat, Bon Habi Jungle Resort, Borgos Resort, Wild Grass Lodge, Landmark Woods Kaziranga, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Reach the park well before the safari time
  • Follow all the instructions
  • Don’t tease the animal
  • Consult forest authorities before moving in the remote areas.

Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sundarbans National Park is a swamp forest with various water-bodies. The park is famous for being home to a huge number of Royal Bengal tigers and spotted deer. The tigers here are known to be man-eating tigers but their allure pulls animal lovers from far- off lands.

The national park is also rich in its flora, avifaunal, reptiles and marine life treasures. Temperature soars up in summer and thus October to December is the best visit this Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal. The Sundarbans also boasts of being the world’s largest delta with mangrove forest, spreading in India and Bangladesh.

  • Types of Safari: Cruise and Boat Safaris
  • Safari timings:  

For Boat Safari

  • Morning: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

For Cruise

  • The Cruise to Sunderbans starts from Kolkata at 8:00 am on the first day and ends at 5:30 pm on the third day, again in Kolkata.
  • Best Time to Visit:Late September till March
  • Places to Stay: Vivada Cruises, United 21 Resort

Useful Tips:

  • Keep your cameras ready every time
  • Don’t get down in the water
  • Beware to not hurt the animals
  • Likewise beware to not destroy the plantations.

Gir National Park, Gujarat

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Gir National Park is the only place where the endangered Asiatic lions and Ass are spotted. Close to popular destinations like Somnath and Junagadh, the park was the former hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagadh. Counted as one of the top wildlife destinations to visit in India in winter, the park owns a rich animal treasure. 300 avifauna species, 38 species of mammals, 37 kinds of reptiles, and more than 2000 insect species dwell here.

Gir is also the proud owner of the largest population of leopard. Other animals that can be spotted are striped hyenas, sloth bear, four-horned antelope, cobras, desert cats, and golden jackals.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari
  • Safari timings:  

For Jeep Safari

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Morning: 8:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:December to March
  • Places to Stay: Hotel Gir Lodge, Asiatic Lion Lodge Sasangir, The Fern Gir Forest Resort, Lords Resorts Sasangir, Saavaj Resort Sasangir etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Carry your ID proof to be shown at the time of safari
  • Listen carefully the instructions provided by your guide
  • Keep your cameras ready
  • Arrive half an hour before your scheduled safari timings.

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Ideal for spotting the Royal Bengal Tigers, Kanha National Park is the state’s largest national park and also the best administered one in Asia. Due to housing a vast population of the ‘Big Cats’, the park is a part of Project Tiger. The park has more than 1000 kinds of flowering plants. Thus, it one of the best places to visit in India for nature lovers.

During the safari, one can spot several colorful migratory birds, jackal, sloth bear, hyena, swamp deer (Jewel of Kanha), hyena, black buck and leopard. If you plan a wildlife tour in India, head towards the Kanha National Park.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari
  • Safari timings:  
  • Morning: 6:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:mid-October – June
  • Places to Stay: Shergarh Tented Camp, Tuli Tiger Resort, Kanha Jungle Lodge, Celebration Van Vilas, Kipling Camp etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Put your litter in the bag provided
  • Keep the park pollution free
  • Drive slowly
  • Don’t get down anywhere in the park
  • Maintain a safe distance from animals

Bandipur National Park, Karnataka

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Once the private hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur National Park becomes all the more mesmerizing during the winter months. Plan a trip to this winter holiday destination in India and spot Sambar, langur, sloth bear, spotted deer, gaur, leopard, elephants, wild dogs, Malabar squirrel, etc. Black-naped hare, jackal and tigers are some of the animals out of 100 animal species that can be seen here. The park boasts of being home to an impressive 350 avifauna species. Bounded by the lofty Western Ghats, it is known to be one of the most beautiful national parks in India.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari, Bus Safari and Elephant Safari
  • Safari timings:

For Jeep Safari

  • Morning: 6:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Afternoon: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

For Bus Safari

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 9:00 am
  • Afternoon: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

For Elephant Safari

  • Morning: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Best Time to Visit:October – May
  • Places to Stay: Bandipur Safari Lodge, Bush Betta Bandipur, Trinity Isle, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Do not feed animals
  • Private vehicles are not allowed within the park
  • Keep windows closed to keep monkeys at bay
  • Dispose of your waste properly

Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Home to the elusive leopards in good numbers, Pench National Park also houses more than 285 resident and migratory birds. The avifauna species in the park also includes 4 endangered species of vultures. The national park is so fascinating that it has served as an inspiration behind the famous Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

Named after River Pench, which divides the park into two, the tiger reserve lures scores of tourists. Bengal tigers are considered an important part of Pench, along with other 37 mammal species including Indian bison and jungle cat.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari
  • Safari timings:

For winter

  • Morning: 7:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Afternoon: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

For summer

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Best Time to Visit:October – April
  • Places to Stay: Banjaar Tola and Hotel Rishi Regency

Useful Tips:

  • Avoid visiting the park during monsoon
  • Try going on Safari in mornings
  • Avoid applying strong perfumes
  • Dress suitably during summer
  • Don’t carry inflammable objects

Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Top 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries to visit in India in Winter

Panna National Park is regarded as one of the most prestigious wildlife sanctuaries in India. In 2007, the park won the Award of Excellence as the best maintained national park of India by the Tourism Ministry of India. Panna National Park is home to more than 1200 species of plants. Blossom-headed parakeet, honey buzzard, king vulture and bar-headed goose are a part of over 200 species of birds, which are spotted here.

Although the population of tigers here is not very high but the chances of spotting them are quite high. Some of the most common animals are sambar, wolf, spotted deer, chinkara, chital and sloth bear.

  • Types of Safari: Jeep Safari, Night Safari (at a few restricted areas) and Elephant Safari
  • Safari timings:

For summer

  • Morning: 5:30 am – 9:00 am
  • Afternoon: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

For winter

  • Morning: 6:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Afternoon: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Best Time to Visit: October – April, while April is the best time for wildlife photography.
  • Places to Stay: Hotel Clarks, Ramada Hotel, Hotel Radisson Jass, etc.

Useful Tips:

  • Don’t disturb animals
  • Act according to the instructions
  • Don’t harm animals
  • Take care of the natural surroundings
  • Dress accordingly

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Related Posts:

Wildlife Safari at Desert National Park – Jaisalmer
Top Wildlife Sanctuaries in North East India
Wildlife Tour India – Tour the territory of wild animals
Top 10 wildlife resorts near Bandhavgarh National Park
Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Karnataka

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Geetika Handa

is a travel writerwho has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.

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2 Responses

  1. meenal deshpande says:

    Thanks for doing so much research and providing this information with us. Good write up.. keep sharing.

  2. Ajay Bhatnagar says:

    This is an informative blog on wildlife sanctuaries. Thanks for sharing.

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