Recommendation: Book the 3.5-hour safaris instead of the full-day/half-day safaris to have a better chance at tiger sightingOur Safari Experience at RanthamboreThere are 10 zones allotted for safaris in the national park. Zones 1 to 5 are considered the best for tiger sighting as they are in the core zone. Zones 6-10 are in the buffer zone. However, sighting depends on our luck and the tiger's mood on that day and at that time, so no zones are good or bad. 🙂 Also, safari zones are randomly alloted to tourists via the automated computerized booking system during the booking process ( I love this equity!).We had booked three private gypsy safaris at Ranthambore with quite some expectations as its reputation for tiger sighting is quite good. Our luck had not been great so far with tigers as I mentioned in my previous blog on Pench Tiger Sighting and so our feelings were mixed. Our safari was scheduled at 2 pm on the day of our arrival and our gypsy was supposed to pick us up right from our hotel doorstep.Safari 1 (Core Zone 3)
2pm - 5:30pm
Our guide and gypsy driver arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled time and waited for us. After a hurried lunch, we set off towards our gypsy armed with jackets, scarves and caps. The gatekeeper handed us some water bottles as our gypsy sped out of the gate towards the national park.It was a short 10-minute drive from our hotel to the national park where they check your IDs and allow you in. So do not forget to get your IDs!
It was again 4:00 a.m. in the morning. I woke up and got ready for my Safari which was scheduled in Zone 2. Our Canter arrived and I boarded it and again I got front seat besides the driver. We started moving towards Zone 2 and after moving some kms inside the Zone 2 we found the fully grown adult male tiger that was T 101 Badal. We followed him for about 10 mins in the jungle and after that he went inside the jungle. As soon as the tiger went inside the jungle we took a detour and started searching for another tiger. For your information, Zone 2 has maximum number of tigers in Ranthambore. As we were searching for another tigers we found one sloth bear with her tiny cub. Our Naturalist told me that this is very rare sighting in Ranthambore and you are lucky enough that you spotted one. After watching bear for 10 mins we went inside the jungle and we spotted tigress T 63 Chandra. She was sleeping just 3-4 ft away from our canter. After that our safari time was over and this was my last safari in Ranthambore. I returned back to the hotel, had delicious breakfast and again went to the Ranthambore Fort. I explored the fort went to Trinetra Ganesh Temple which is located inside the fort and returned back to the hotel. After sometime I went back to the railway station, boarded my train and returned back. This trip is going to be a memorable trip in my life. Now let's talk about how to reach RanthamboreBy Road :- Ranthambore National Park is well connected by road from New Delhi, Jaipur, Kota, Mumbai and all the major cities of India. By Train :- Nearest Railway Station is Sawai Madhopur which is 5km away. By Flight :- Nearest Airport is at Jaipur which is 2-3 hrs away.
It was 4:00 a.m. in the morning. I wake up did the early morning routine and got ready for the safari. Our Canter arrived at the hotel around 5:00 a.m. and I boarded the canter. Luckily I got the front seat besides the driver. Today was going to be my lucky day. We were only 6 people in the canter who has capacity of 20 people. After that we started our safari to Zone 3 which is 'the zone' or 'the VIP zone' of Ranthabore National Park. This zone consists of 3 lakes i.e. Padam Lake, Rajbagh Lake, Malik Lake and has historical monuments which are now home to the tigers. Currently Zone 3 is dominated by 2 tigers i.e. T 120 Ganesh and T 124 Riddhi ( which was spotted in our Zone 4 safari).After doing entry inside the Zone 3 through Jogi Mahal gate we found out one huge banyan tree which is the world's 2nd oldest banyan tree. After that we went near to the Padam Lake and one of the Forest Ranger told our guide that the tiger is moving and coming towards Rajbagh Lake. Our driver immediately rushed towards that point. We spotted the tiger at the distance. He was T 120 Ganesh. He is a fully grown adult tiger. There was a group of spotted deer nearby. The tiger took the position. Our Naturalist told me "Ye hunt karega". And guess what! He hunted one deer in front of us! At that moment of time we all were frightened. After the deer was killed the tiger roared. The tiger took his kill inside the dense grass and while going to the dense grass to have his kill he went in front of our canter. We waited for sometime, our Naturalist started explaining us about the jungle. The safari time was over and we came back to the hotel. In the hotel the staff had prepared delicious breakfast. I had it. After that I went to Dasktar Handicraft School which is run by a private NGO. If you want to buy soveigners you must visit this. After returning from NGO I had lunch and was ready for my 2nd safari of the day. Our canter arrived at the hotel around 2:00 p.m. and then one funny incident happened! My safari was booked in Zone 5 but due to only 1 booking in Zone 5, they shifted me to the Zone 3.  But again I was lucky because I told Naturalist and driver that T 120 made kill in front of us and he went inside the Rajbagh Lake so we went there and discovered that T 120 was swimming in the water. We stayed there for nearly 2 hours and observed the tiger and we also spotted some sambhar deer, spotted deer, migratory birds, crocodiles, mongoose and Indian Rock Python. After that our safari time was over I returned back to the hotel had dinner and slept.
It was 12:00 a.m. on 28th April 2022. Suddenly at Vadodara Junction I heard the honk of my train. I was overjoyed and excited because this was my first solo trip. I sat on my seat. After 10 mins the train started moving. I slept after the TTE checked my ticket. It was 6:30 in the morning. I woke up hearing the sound of the vendors selling tea inside the train. After waking up immediately I discovered that our train is passing through the Darra Ghats in Kota also known as Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve. At 8:00 a.m. our train reached Kota Junction and I bought some Kachoris from the station. At around 9:30 a.m. our train reached Sawai Madhopur where I de-boarded the train. After I de-boarded the train the gypsy of the hotel was waiting for me at the parking area of the railway station. I boarded it and the driver of the gypsy asked me "sahab chale?" I told him yes and he started driving roughly. At that time I was afraid and told him "Bhaiya thoda dekh ke chalao; kahi aap kisiko thok na do! " But he did not listen. After 10 mins we were near the Tiger Reserve and we spotted a Sambhar Deer which was crossing the road. We reached the hotel in few minutes. The hotel was of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. The name of the hotel was RTDC Vinayak. At the reception  I was welcomed and allotted a room. Then I discovered that I was the only one in the hotel. The Chef of the hotel approached me and asked me "Sahab khane mein kya loge? " I asked him "Khane mein hai kya? " He told me "Dekho! Bhindi ho jaegi, dal ho jaegi aur starter mein chilli paneer ho jaega. " I immediately told him yes. After getting fresh I had my lunch and slept for a while.At around 2:30 p.m. the canter came to the hotel and after boarding the canter we reached 'Singhdwar' which is entry point for Zone 1 to 5. My safari was scheduled in Zone 4. After travelling 3 kms into the jungle we took diversion towards Zone 4. ( Zone 4 is the longest safari route in Ranthambore). After entering the Zone 4 our Naturalist started explaining us about the jungle and the animals. We reached near the Malik Lake which is on the border of Zone 3 and 4 but other than Tiger we found out different animals like wild boar, sambhar deer, cheetal, crocodile, tortoise and some migratory as well as domestic birds. We were constantly searching a tiger and for that we climbed a hill and then we observed some tiger movement down the hill. Our canter driver quickly took the move and we rushed down the hill and guess what! It was T-111 Shakti with her 2 cubs. The cubs were just 10-12 ft away from us but after 2 mins the cubs and the tigress went inside the jungle. The safari time was getting over so our driver started driving towards the main gate of the national park. As soon as we reached near the entry gate of Zone 4 we spotted that T 124 that is Tigress Riddhi was sitting inside a waterhole. This sighting was a great surprise for us because there were no signs that the tiger is here. The tigress was sitting just 5 ft away from me. As we were at the entry gate we spotted it for around 15 mins. After that the tigress started her movement towards Zone 3.At last my first safari was over. The canter dropped me back at the hotel. After reaching the hotel I had dinner and slept.
Our day started by taking a morning bath in the swimming pool.After that we sat in Canter and went to the National Park.First we saw a deer in park.We are very lucky that we saw tiger in my first ride in national park.Its amazing to see a tiger in jungle.In my childhood I saw so many animals in zoo but the fun of seeing in the forest is different.Our canter driver is very helpful he give us all information about national park.my first experience is good i want to visit here again .. specially in winter.. winter is good time to visit ranthambore