Ranthambhore in northern India is one of the largest national parks in the country and it is one of the only places to see the Bengal tiger. Here in its natural jungle habitat, the 200kg big cat prowls the forest floor among thriving birdlife, sloth bears, leopards, striped hyenas, chital deer, langur monkeys, peacocks, and crocodiles. Between bone-dry winters and lush, jewel-like summers, Ranthambhore is heaven for wildlife photographers.
The leading reason to visit Ranthambhore is to see and photograph the Bengal tiger, but it’s always healthy to remember that all safari sightings are unpredictable and while there is a high chance of seeing tigers in the jungle, there is so much more to appreciate in the forest.
This national park has a landscape characterised by sprawling lakes, rivers, rocky plateaus, deciduous forests, and even old ruins that have been claimed by nature and the wildlife of the park. Most iconic is the image of a majestic tiger reclining on the old stone fort, framed by the arches and ancient brickwork, surveying the forest kingdom.
The birdlife in Ranthambhore is bountiful and bright. Picture peacocks with their train of jewel-like tail feathers displaying beneath towering trees, or striking, green parakeets emerging from their nesting holes in the trunks of trees. There are 300 resident and migratory bird species in the park – a strong appeal to birdwatchers from around the world.
It’s important to plan your trip to avoid the monsoon season when Ranthambhore National Park closes its gates. The immense rainy season between July and September is a non-tourist season, but the arrival of the rains transforms the park dramatically.
Before the rains, the temperatures soar into the 40s (Celsius) and the forest is parched. The colour scheme is all shades of brown and beige, and the openness makes the spotting of wildlife easy. There’s a certain beauty about photographing a tiger in this environment, if you can tolerate the heat.
After the rains in October, Ranthambhore looks like a different place entirely. It awash with emerald trees and tangled greenery and it is abundant with life, although they are not as easily seen through the dense vegetation.
February, March and April are deemed peak season for tiger safaris in Ranthambhore as things start to dry out, but don’t miss the opportunity to see the forest during its green season.
Passport validity: 6 months beyond date of visa application. Two blank pages required.
Tourist visa: Yes. Valid for 6 months.
Vaccinations: Yes, yellow fever vaccination required only if entering from yellow fever endemic countries.
Medical care: India has advanced medical facilities and highly skilled doctors and medical treatment is relatively low cost, and services to patients are efficient. We recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance to include emergency evacuation to hospital in India.
Our top tip: Include a trip to the Taj Mahal to marvel at this ancient icon of romance and dedication. This ornate, palatial piece of architecture elicits emotion and stands as a testament to craftsmanship and eternal love. Photographers will discover a number of different ways to capture the light, the symmetry, the arches and the detail – a token of India to accompany your wildlife photography album!
Ranthambhore National Park is vast and it is divided into different zones, and the tourist activities in each zone are monitored carefully to manage the throngs of visitors. Different areas boast unique natural characteristics – some are best for tiger viewing, while others might be better for birding, or historical ruins. This is a variety of activities on offer in Ranthambhore:
- Game drives/jeep safaris
- Hike up the Ranthambhore Fort and visit Trinetra Ganesha Temple
- Visit Lakarda and Anantpura for sloth bears, porcupine rare Indian striped hyena.
- Birdwatching at Malik Lake
- Look for leopards at Kachida Valley
- Photograph tigers at Akaula Region
- Visit Padam Talab lake and Jogi Mahal
- Buy traditional arts and crafts
Ranthambhore is an incredibly popular photography destination and there is a variety of shots, scenarios, and sightings that visiting photographers hope to capture during their stay, but without a dedicated photographic schedule and private guide, getting everything you want out of this experience becomes a challenge.
This is why we designed our Ranthambhore photography workshop – to prioritise our photography guests’ needs and prepare them for the magnificent sightings and encounters with tigers in the jungle, black-faced monkeys in the forest temples, peacocks in full display, and leopards slinking through the trees. With Lance as your private guide, his experience photographing in Ranthambhore will be at your disposal throughout your trip.
R55,000 / per person sharing
Seven unforgettable game drives in search on India’s most famous big cats in Ranthambhore National Park. Seven game drives + one morning session inside a temple photographing black faced monkeys.
Lance is a private safari guide and multi-award winning photographer whose knowledge and experience spans some of Africa’s most iconic destinations and beyond. He can accompany you on your tailor-made journey to provide uninterrupted guidance and expert advice.