No Indian nature reserve can guarantee a tiger sighting, but at Ranthambore National Park the odds are probably better than anywhere else: the park is relatively small and the resident tigers are famously unperturbed by humans, hunting in broad daylight and rarely shying away from cameras or jeep-loads of tourists. Combine the big cats’ bravado with the park’s proximity to the Delhi–Agra–Jaipur “Golden Triangle”, and you’ll understand why Ranthambore attracts the number of visitors it does.
With more than ninety thousand visitors a year, Ranthambore is one of India’s most popular national parks and can get ridiculously busy throughout the cool winter months, especially around Diwali and New Year. The summer months from April to June are a lot quieter, but obviously very hot. There are currently around forty adult tigers in the park, plus healthy populations of chital, nilgai, jackals, leopards, jungle cats and a wide array of birds. The original core section of the national park is flanked by three buffer zones, designed to provide space for the park’s ever-expanding number of young territory-seeking tigers.