Thanks to vast variation in geography and climate, India has exciting diversity in habitats and wildlife. With hundreds of National Parks, Sanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves dotted around the country, you are never very far from experiencing its wildlife.
India nearly has 350 mammals, 2100 species of birds and thousands of fish and reptiles. Of the highly endangered species, India has 55% of world’s tiger population, 50% of Asiatic Elephant, 60% of One-horned Rhino and 100% of Asiatic Lion. Unlike Africa where all major species have almost exclusive habitats, in India, they co-exist in the wildlife parks providing excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Most of wildlife parks and sanctuaries have good accommodation facilities available within their premises or nearby. Depending on the area and terrain, wildlife watching may be done on jeeps, watchtowers or even boats.
Besides the common animals such as sambar deer, wild boar, chital deer, various species of monkeys, etc, India is a great destination for a number of large mammals. Wild elephant is found in good numbers at the foothills of the Himalayas and the great forests of the Western Ghats. Rhinoceros roams free in the wilds of North-Eastern India.
India is also the last hope of tiger before it gets extinct. The big cat is found throughout India — the swamps of the Sunderbans, the foothills of the Himalayas, the Central Indian Plains or the forests of South India. For Asiatic Lion too, Gir Forest of Gujarat is the last remaining habitat. Of the other big cats, panther and leopard are commonly found in India, while the snow leopard is found only in the Higher Himalayas.
India is also very rich in bird-life; flocks of remarkable birds can be sighted in the various sanctuaries and national parks. In particular, the sighting is good during the winter months due to the presence of a large number of migratory birds.