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Wildlife of Ranthambore National Park

As one of India's iconic animal reserves, it's no surprise that Ranthambore National Park is teeming with wildlife. From tigers prowling through the jungle and monkeys playfully hanging from trees to crocodile-filled lakes and valleys where sloth bears pick at honeycomb, discover the creatures of this revered sanctuary.

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Wildlife of Ranthambore National Park

  • Royal Bengal tigers

    Ranthambore's fiercest predator is also one of the national park's most majestic beasts. The Bengal tiger is considered to be among the biggest wild cats alive today, but sadly this beautiful animal is threatened by poaching and has been listed as endangered since 2008. The jungle terrain of Ranthambore in northern India is a great opportunity to see this endangered species in their natural habitat. 

    Best time to spot: April to May (It's hot but the chances of seeing tigers increase in the summer) 
  • Sloth bears

    This animal loves to inhabit areas with forest cover and low hills. Due to habitat destruction, sloth bears are a vulnerable species. The sloth bear's distinguishing features are its long shaggy coat and mane around the face and long-clawed paws. They breed during spring and early summer and give birth around the beginning of winter, so if you time your safari during the colder months, you maybe get to see sloth bears with their little ones.

    Best time to spot: During an evening safari 
  • Leopards

    Ranthambore may be famous for tiger population, but growling leopards are also a rare feature amid the unruly shrub. Like other creatures found in the reserve and because of threats to their habitat, leopards are also listed as a vulnerable species. They inhabit forested areas that are tropical or dry, and Ranthambore offers plenty of spaces that appeal to this wild cat.

    Best time to spot: Leopard sightings are rare but occur throughout the year 
  • Snub-nosed marsh crocodiles

    One of the highlights of Ranthambore National Park is the crocodile-filled lakes. These snub-nosed crocodiles occupy the marshes and water bodies located in this vast wildlife reserve. While spotting crocodiles may seem like an unusual thing to do, how often do you get to encounter this animal in person? Ranthambore is a great place to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Best time to spot: You're more likely to see crocodiles along the Chambal River 
  • Striped hyenas

    Striped hyenas are native to the Indian subcontinent and tend to live alone or in pairs. As nocturnal creatures, they can be hard to spot, but among the animals that occupy Ranthambore National Park, hyenas are a highlight for visitors coming to experience a safari in the region. Sadly, as a near-threatened species, their population is in decline.

    Best time to spot: Hyenas come out when it is dark and return to their homes before sunrise 
  • Indian wild boar

    A subspecies of wild boar native to India, Nepal, Burma, western Thailand and Sri Lanka, the Indian wild boar is also known as the Andamanese pig or Maupin pig. These impressive creatures are hunted by many of the predators found in the region and offer sustenance to the tigers and leopards known to inhabit the area.

    Best time to spot: They can be found in open spaces and wild riverine areas 
  • Gray langur

    These adorable (looking) monkeys are one of the most widespread species of langurs throughout the Indian subcontinent. They are Old World monkeys initially thought to be one species, and they have since been divided into seven different species. These furry creatures have a sacred place in Hinduism and are sometimes referred to as the Hanuman Langur, after the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman. They spend half their time on the ground and the rest of the time, hanging from trees.

    Best time to spot: During the day 
  • Sambar deer

    The pastures and plains of Ranthambore National Park are also home to sambar, a large deer native to the Indian subcontinent. Human hunting of sambar has led to them becoming a vulnerable species. They can be seen roaming around the dense forests of the reserve close to water and are a food source for leopards and tigers which makes sambar an essential part of the local ecosystem.

    Best time to spot: Most active at dusk and night 
  • Indian peafowl

    In a national park that was once the hunting ground of royalty, it only makes sense that the Indian peafowl is among the creatures from the animal kingdom found here. The brightly coloured peafowl (or peacock) is the national bird of India. During the day peafowls like to avoid the heat and seek cover, but they enjoy wandering at dusk towards water, as a group or in single file. At night they can be found roosting on tall trees.

    Best time to spot: Early morning in open areas 

Tigers of Ranthambore

Ranthambore is renowned for a large number of Bengal tigers that dwell within the national park. It is one of the few places on earth where it's possible to go on a safari to see tigers in the wild. The diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna are a big draw for visitors, but the promise of witnessing a tiger in its natural habitat is the main allure of this vast sanctuary. Many of the beloved tigers found in the park have been given a name and are associated with their own unique story, some of them more famous than others.

Machli, tigress queen of Ranthambore

At one time Machli, also known as the Lady of the Lake was famous for her comfort level around human beings and for being beautiful and fiercely territorial. Machli, the pride of Ranthambore, passed away in 2016, but the most photographed tigress in the world left behind a legacy through her children. In the early 2000s, Machli played a pivotal role in regenerating the tiger population of Ranthambore. She was celebrated with royal accolades like the Queen Mother of Tigers, Tigress Queen of Ranthambore, and Crocodile Killer.

Sundari

Sundari is Machli's daughter, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As fierce as her mother, she loved exploring the surrounding areas, often going off on her own to find territory. She even had a turf war with her mother, eventually fighting Machli to establish her ground and winning, forcing her mother to leave and seek territory elsewhere. Like Machli, Sundari doesn't shy away from humans and is happy to roam around vehicles while tourists look on. After much effort, Sundari bore three cubs of her own, and it's assumed that Dollar is the father.

Dollar

Dollar gets his moniker from the dollar shaped sign that occurs on the right-hand side of this face. He's not the biggest fan of humans and has been known to chase vehicles off when he's not in the mood to socialise. While Dollar has an aggressive and territorial side to him, he is also an incredibly caring tiger towards those in need. A few years ago he was discovered with two orphan female cubs, and along with protecting them, Dollar became a substitute mother to the young cubs. When visitors do get a chance to see them interacting together as a family, it's quite the sight.

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FAQ

  • Are there any vaccinations required for India?

    Yes, most travellers need vaccinations before entering India. The most common vaccinations are Hepatitis A and Typhoid, however, the whole list is long and varies based on the traveller's country of origin. Make sure you visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
  • How big is Ranthambore National Park?

    The two sanctuaries that make up Ranthambore National Park, Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary, cover an area of 392 square kilometres (151 square miles). The park consists of ten zones and a buffer area. Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest national parks in northern India, and also one of the most popular.
  • What are the opening hours of Ranthambore?

    Opening hours of Ranthambore National Park vary based on a season. In February, March & October morning trips start at 6.30 am till 10.00 am, afternoon trips take place between  2.30 pm until 6.00 pm. Between April and June morning trips start at 6.00 am till 9.30 am, afternoon trips are from 3.00 pm to 6.30 pm. From November until the end of January the park is open from 7.00 am to 10.30 am and 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm.
  • How much does a Ranthambore safari cost?

    Price for entering Ranthambore National Park is different for foreigners and local, who enjoy lower rates. Prices change based on the chosen vehicle, for example, an open-topped jeep for six is more expensive. For a relaxing and hassle-free experience book a safari tour organised by an operator. Tours usually include pickups, safari excursions and accommodation. Price will change based on the duration of your stay, choice accommodation and preferred amenities.

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