Ranthambore National Park (Hindi: रणथंभौर राष्ट्रीय उद्यान) or Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering entire area of 392 km². It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 110 km northeast of Kota and 140 km southeast of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away. The park is also close to the Kota railway station. RIDCOR operates a mega-highway between Kota and Ranthambhore. Ranthambore National Park lies at the edge of a plateau and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the park.
Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include the Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries (...Wiki...).
I heard about this Park from my friend Mario Nonaka. He went there twise and was very happy with his service provider, so I decided to take the same company. I did all my arrangiments in late December 2016 via e-amail and paid him via bank transfer.
April is already very hot in India but for Tigers this is the perfect time as they have to go more often to drink and very view water holes are left, so this is your chance to see them there.General:
I booked my flights with Lufthansa from Munich MUC to New Delhi DEL. If you book well in advance you can book the flight for 600 EUR and pay additional 150 EUR for Emergency exit seats.
In the package from http://www.ranthambhore.com RANTHAMBHORE BAGH all accomodations and all meals were incouded. As my flight arrived in the night I spent one night next to the international airport in Delhi, which was in my all inclusive package.
You don't need to rent a car, as RANTHAMBHORE BAGH will take care for your transportation from the airport to the hotel in Delhi and from there to the trainstation to Madhapur. They will pay all train tickets in air-conditioned compartments and organise also a picking up from the Madhapur-train-station. You have the chance to travel also by car from Delhi to Madhapur, but in this case you'll miss the evening game for tiger and loose the day. Now we come to the most importand part the tiger-games. Don't go with a bus!!! You will loose time and money. The best thing is to share a Gipsy-jeep with 2 to 3 people. Actually you need 3 hours game-drive in the morning and 3 hour game-drive in the evening. The problem is that the park will asighn you to a specific zone where to go in this case. There are 10 different zones in Ranthambore NP and they all are very different. If you pay for a half-day-game-drive or for a full-day-game-drive, you are free to go where ever you like to go. This is expensive, but the best way to see tigers.
I took three bodies NIKON D4S NIKON D3S and NIKON 500 and my lenses Nikon 200-500mm f5,6 (birds and wildlife) and NIKON 24-70mm f2,8 + NIKON 70-200mm f2,8 (for wildlife embeded in the landscape). Sombady asked my what about using 600mm f4??? Well next time I'll try maybe this one as well...My iPhone was my best camera for movies... It is dusty!!! very dusty!!! so changing lenses is bad idea!!!.
Bring long armed shirts as in the morning is cold and they will protect you better from moscitos. You need dust-mask! ..
On the very first day in the very last minutes of the game-drive we were lucky to see the tigress Noor with a kill. This tigress has got 3 cubs, I manged to see only one of them... the two other guys were lazy and didn't show up this day...For this situation I needed my 600mm + extender on my D500 body.
drinking water in a water hole.
Now the NP is paradise for wildlife. The next pictures are just like a small overview.
Now because I did a big mistake and did not book half- or full-day-game-drives, I was not able to see the dominat male-tiger , who is more likely in zone 1. This is one of the reasons to go back one day... The second reason is to see small cubs... Following some tiger-photos from this trip.