Spotting that well-known flash of orange amongst the green and brown foliage from your game tour vehicle is an experience unlike any other. The sheer size of an adult can be quite surprising – a male typically weighs more than 500lbs and has teeth up to 10cm long – just two of the many reasons why you wouldn’t want to be up against one in a fight. While their powerful strength ensures that their only predator is man, they still move with the characteristic gracefulness of a domestic cat.
Each adult male requires at least 19km square of their own territory, so even though poaching and hunting has long been illegal and heavily punished, the encroachment of human cultivation on their habitat still poses a great threat to their survival. It’s not all bad news though: census numbers recorded in 2015 suggest a growth of over a third in Indian tiger populations from 2008.
To maximise the possibility of seeing a tiger in the wild, we recommend booking onto multiple game tours when you visit a reserve. You can visit Nagarhole National Park on our Wonders of Karnataka Tour or explore the National Parks of North India which offer the highest density of tigers on the North India Wilderness Tour. A local wildlife expert will make sure that you have the best chances of seeing these beautiful creatures, while keeping you safe.
...That each tiger has his or her own individual stripe patterns and markings that distinguish them just like a human’s fingerprint? For researchers and conservationists out in the field, however, it is more practical to take plaster casts of their pugmarks, which are different enough to individuate local tigers from each other.
Which animals are you most excited to see on your visit? Maybe you’ve been to South Asia before and have some favourite creatures you’d like to spot again? Let us know!