In comparison to other tiger reserves in the country that receive more publicity, Tadoba Tiger Reserve remains somewhat off the charts for most tourists. Very popular with wildlife enthusiasts, the tiger reserve is acknowledged for frequent tiger sightings as well as its unique biodiversity. However, to have the best experience, you will need to do a fair amount of planning. Some practical tips from seasoned wildlife enthusiasts familiar with Tadoba:
Perhaps the most convenient way to get there is by rail to Chandrapur, a mere 35 km from the reserve. From the station, you can reach your accommodation by road. There are plenty of private unmetered taxis or you can make arrangements with your tour guide. Alternatively, you can arrive at Nagpur by air and then proceed to the reserve by road. The trip of 168 km will take around four hours.
The number of Tadoba National Park resorts and hotels is limited so it is a good idea to make your reservations well in advance. The options are varied; there are budget hotels as well as high-end luxury resorts with every possible convenience. Getting accommodation at the gate you desire to enter the reserve is essential as otherwise; you will end up wasting a lot of time traveling.
As with the choice of accommodation, the food that you can enjoy is also restricted depending on where you are booked at. All the hotels and resorts have their own restaurants but do not expect to go out and dine at a standalone restaurant. Remember most of the supplies arrive from Chandrapur so ask what is available from an otherwise extensive menu card you may be offered. Chandrapur is a dry zone;hence, alcohol is not available.
What will make your trip memorable is the quality of the forest guide. While it is mandatory for you to engage a guide for entering the tiger reserve, you need to make sure that he is knowledgeable. It is best to ask someone who has visited Tadoba before to recommend a guide; otherwise, you could end up wasting your time waiting to spot the elusive wildlife. There are two safaris daily, one in the morning and the other in the evening. Check for the actual times and land up well in advance so that you can enter first and get a better chance of spotting wildlife. Entry permits are required and the number of vehicles allowed at each of the gates is very limited,therefore, booking in advance is essential.
Remember, spotting wildlife can test your patience and there are no guarantees so be wary of anyone who promises you a date with a tiger. Remember there are a lot of other animals in Tadoba so tell your guide that it is not only the tigers you are after. If you take the trouble of planning well, you will not be disappointed with your Tadoba trip.
Author bio: Bill Williams is a retired forest conservator. Passionate about wildlife conservation, he writes regularly on various aspects of wildlife tourism, including Tadoba National Park resorts.