Transport in Ranthambore
There are two safaris a day, one starting in the morning and the other late in the afternoon. The timings change slightly every 2 months or so depending upon the light conditions in Ranthambore National Park.
There are presently three modes of transport for safaris in Ranthambore - the 4 wheel drive jeeps called " Gypsys " (which seat up to 5 visitors), 12 seater safari buses known as "Mini- canters" and 20 seater safari buses called "Canters". Gypsies can be booked up to 60 days in advance and since the demand for them is very high, it is recommended to do so. Canters are booked a few hours before the trip starts and it is not much of a problem to book them. All these vehicles are attached to the Forest department and owned and run by local people. Vehicles that are not attached to the forest department are not permitted into the park.
300 kms of jeepable, fair-weather roads provide excellent access to different parts of the Park. Certain areas of the Park have been left untouched and isolated so that animals can procreate and rear their young without being disturbed by constant human intrusion.
There are 7 different elliptical routes for tourists inside the park and each one is numbered from 1 to 7. On each route one can go clockwise or anti-clockwise, which the forest department call reverse (R) or forward (F). This system of forward and reverse makes a total of 14 routes, such as F 7, R 6, F 2 etc. At the time of booking a vehicle, each vehicle is allotted a route and not only are they not allowed to stray from their allotted route but they also have to complete the route.
Since there is a very long queue at the booking counter, most visitors get their safaris booked through an agent.
Only 12 jeeps are permitted to go inside the park at any one time. As a result, there is a huge demand for such vehicles and it is not easy at all to book them. They can be booked up to 60 days in advance and visitors are strongly advised to send their bookings for jeeps at least 65 days in advance. Even then, there are no guarantees that they would be confirmed.
At the time of booking of jeeps, the entire entry fees have to be paid to the forest department (a Government body). In case of cancellations, the forest department does not offer any refund.
Seats on the Safari bus (Canter) are not booked in advance and visitors can request for these on arrival at Ranthambore.
There is no fee for still cameras. For video cameras, one has to pay an entry fee of Rs. 200 for every visit.