• John Nat Arifin

Photographing Tigers in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park India

Photographing Tigers in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park India

The Royal Bengal tiger is the essence of Indian wildlife and ultimate big cat that once roamed in large numbers all over Asia from the cold Siberian wilderness to the equatorial rain forest of Sumatra. There are fewer than 5000 tigers left in the wild. Some 3750 Royal Bengal tigers spread across various sanctuaries and national parks in India accounting almost for two-third of the world’s tiger population. There has been tremendous conservation effort to save the tigers in India. One of the well known places in photographing tigers in India will be in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park.

Photographing Tiger in Kanha and Bandhavgarh India

Early morning game drive in Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks are two of the most concentrated tiger populations in the world. We visited both parks in March, just at the tail-end of winter. We were rewarded not only by the exciting sighting of tigers but, the elusive leopard, the jackals, the wild dogs and a whole array of colorful display of birds in the wild.

Tiger crossing the road. In 12 seconds it disappeared into the bush again.

I had a 3 seconds eye to eye contact before it vanished.

Photographing Tigers in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park India

Tigers in the wild are magnificent creatures with taut, muscular body and fluid curves that suggest a readiness to be on the prowl, to hunt and even to kill. It is a symbol of power and beauty. If you are lucky, you may see a glimpse before it disappeared into the forest. During our visit to both Kanha and Bandhavgarh, we sighted tigers seven times in six days. Some days we saw nothing, other days we sighted tiger twice. Of course, you need the assistance of the experience guide to help you search for these elusive cats.

A good time to see tigers in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park India is from December to March. February and March being the best months. December and January will be cold. A 70-200mm  or 100-400mm tele zoom lens with stabilizer will be ideal for photographing tigers in the wild either from elephant or jeep.

Shikra (Accipiter badius)

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