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Posted on Thursday 22 November 2012 in Adventure
Many people associate India with sprawling cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, as well as iconic landmarks like Agra's Taj Mahal. In addition to its thriving urban centres and world-famous attractions, India is home to approximately half of the world's population of 3,500 tigers. These endangered cats are a magnificent sight to behold, and Australian tourists who want to see these powerful creatures in their natural habitat can take flights to India and embark on an eco-tourism excursion to one of the country's many tiger reserves.
India's tiger reserves are far more than just tourist attractions. They are an investment in the future of both the endangered cats that call the reserves home, and the fragile ecosystems of the Indian countryside. Many of these parks cover thousands of square kilometres, and feature a diverse range of terrain, from rocky mountains to expansive lakes.
These parks are home to hundreds of different species, as well as the elusive tigers. Australian tourists who want to discover a whole new world of natural beauty on an ecotourism expedition will find endless opportunities to do so in India.
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra in Central India, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is one of the most popular conservation areas on the Indian subcontinent. It is also the oldest of Maharashtra's national parks. Named for the god Tadoba, whom local villagers believe once inhabited the land, and the Andhari River that winds through the park, this expansive nature reserve is home to approximately 65 Bengal tigers.
Australian tourists visiting Tadoba Andhari can embark on thrilling jungle safaris through the park in four-wheel drive vehicles. Guided by experienced rangers, visitors can see the breathtaking tigers prowl through the undergrowth in search of prey, and enjoy the sweeping vistas of this beautiful national park. Tours last approximately six hours, meaning there is much for visitors to see on these unforgettable excursions.
Almost 60 villages surround the park, so Australian tourists are never far from unique opportunities to experience and learn more about the region's fascinating culture. While the core areas of the reserve are off-limits to protect the wildlife, much of the park is open to visitors.
Jim Corbett National Park
The oldest wildlife sanctuary in India, Jim Corbett National Park is also one of the most impressive. Covering an area of more than 1,300 square kilometres, the reserve varies widely in elevation, with the highest point at 1,040 metres above sea level. The park is also known for its dramatic scenery, as it boasts deep ravines, sweeping plains, rocky outcroppings and dense forests.
Although almost 500 species of animal live in Jim Corbett National Park, visitors will have to be patient if they hope to spot the elusive Bengal tiger. These cunning predators use the abundant camouflage in their park to their full advantage, meaning that accidental sightings of these magnificent beasts is unlikely. However, taking a tour with an experienced and knowledgeable guide is one way for Australian tourists to improve their chances of capturing these mighty creatures on camera.
The reserve also boasts some spectacular natural viewpoints, including the guesthouse at Dhikuli Village, located on the fringes of the Patli Dun Valley. Built hundreds of years ago, this charming guesthouse offers commanding views of the rolling hillsides and deep gorges of the area, making it an ideal place for adventurous Australian tourists to rest before embarking on a tour of the park.
An ecotourism expedition through India's national parks and tiger reserves is a truly unforgettable experience. With a world of wildlife just waiting to be explored, these protected sanctuaries are an ideal destination for Australian tourists.
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