When you think of a safari, iconic countries like Kenya and Tanzania are likely the first destinations that come to mind. But, the African continent isn’t the only place to embark on a jungle safari: Asian destinations like Ranthambore National Park in India and Chitwan National Park in Nepal are also home to a range of incredible wildlife, from tigers to elephants, one-horned rhinos and more!See all jungle trips
Jungle safari tours
Best jungle safari destinations in the world
Most travellers visit countries like South Africa and Tanzania in hopes of seeing the Big Five, but there’s only one awe-inspiring and critically endangered species that draws visitors to Uganda: the mountain gorilla. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of those surreal, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the top place to make your Ugandan jungle safari dreams come true. Roughly 400 mountain gorillas reside in this astonishingly diverse forest, but gorilla trekking permits are limited, so be sure to secure yours well in advance.
What to see: Mountain gorillas
When to go: Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a year-round activity; however, many people choose to travel during the country’s dry season, which falls between May and September and throughout January and February
Pro tip: Permits will be in high demand during the dry (and high) season, so it’s best to book your gorilla trekking permit as far in advance as possible
Visitors flock to Nepal in droves to see the sheer beauty of the Himalayas, but this mountainous country is also a fantastic destination for a jungle safari. You can choose from various wildlife-filled national parks and reserves, from Chitwan National Park to Bardia National Park and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Park. Accessible from Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park is one of the country’s premier wildlife destinations, renowned for its conservation efforts and protection of rare and endangered species such as one-horned rhinos and Bengal tigers.
What to see: Elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, crocodiles, an abundance of bird species
When to go: In destinations like Chitwan National Park, the weather is most pleasant between October and March
Pro tip: One-horned rhinos are especially active around waterholes in Chitwan National Park between October and December
A visit to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without a jungle safari in one of its world-class national parks. Yala National Park is the most-visited park in the country, and it’s also the biggest in terms of size. A number of exotic species call this park home, including spotted deer, crocodile, and one of the country’s most elusive residents: the leopard. Udawalawe National Park may be smaller, but it also has a greater density of animals, especially when it comes to Sri Lankan elephants. There are roughly 500 elephants in Udawalawe, so your chances of spotting these magnificent creatures are virtually guaranteed.
What to see: Elephants, leopards, water buffaloes, and crocodiles
When to go: You can visit Yala National Park all year round, except when the park closes in September and October. Udawalawe can be visited year-round!
Pro tip: Maximise your jungle safari in Sri Lanka by arranging a guided tour in advance
Things to consider before booking a jungle safari
When should you go on your jungle safari?
The most important factor to consider when booking a jungle safari is the time of year you plan to travel. In India, several parks — including Ranthambore National Park — close during the monsoon season (between July and September), so remember to keep this in mind when finalising your travel plans. If you choose to go on an African jungle safari you have more flexibility - although it's more comfortable to trek during dry season.
What jungle safari animals do you want to see?
Do you have your heart set on seeing tigers in the wild, or does your dream jungle safari include tracking critically endangered mountain gorillas? The wildlife you most want to see will ultimately help you decide on a destination. Check out the best tiger safaris and gorilla trekkings.
What level of activity are you looking for?
Certain jungle safaris — like gorilla trekking in Uganda, for example — can be physically challenging, requiring a moderate level of fitness, so it’s best to take this into consideration prior to booking.
What type of accommodation do you prefer?
Are you looking to stay in a luxurious lodge or at a budget-friendly campsite? A range of accommodation options are available, but they will vary depending on your destination and the tour operator you choose to book with.
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