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“Saw Machali so had to be good”

Ranthambore National Park
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Private Wildlife Safari Tour in Ranthambore from Jaipur
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Mansarovar Dam Half-Day Excursion from Sawai Madhopur
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Owner description: This wildlife sanctuary is famous for its population of tigers, a 1000-year-old fort and a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Saw Machali so had to be good”
Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

Morning drive in a Canter in zone 1 was very average. No Tiger and not much else to see since a small zone without much water.
Afternoon drive was a different story. Zone 4 is big, with lots of water and seeing a Tiger made it great. Allegedly it was Machali, made famous by the BBC documentaries. And there was plenty of other wildlife too. The standards plus mongoose and crocodile and plenty of birds.
We wanted to take a jeep safari, but we're glad we ended up on a canter.

Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wild life enthusiast - avoid like the plague!”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

I was travelling around india and this was the third national park I visited. The management of this park is dismal. This was the first time that I have ever felt totally "ripped off" and this was despite having a great encouter with a tiger. I have visited close to 20 national parks across 7 countries and never felt like this before.

The park is devided in to 9 zones. The only zones worthwhile visiting are 2-5 (I suspect zone 1 may also be ok). Although it is possible to see tiger in any of the zones, just as one is likely to see one cross the main road! I believe zones 7-9 are really still under "development" i.e. getting rid of the villages and setting up water-holes to attract animals.

I had booked 4 safaris and paid a fair amount for an exclusive Gypsy as I am a keen wild life photographer.

I was allocated zone 6 for the first safari. Most of this zone is hard rocks until you arrive at the river. However this is the very end of the zone and you are lucky to see some deer around that area. It was the shortest safari I've ever done and we had a rest break of 15 minutes on a safari that was not even 2 hours.

After that experience I thought things could only get better. But no, I was assigned zone 8 for the second safari. This one was a even shorter zone and one spent most of the time driving through village avoiding goats, sheep and buffalo. I paid INR 400/- extra for taking in a video but didn't need to take a camera or video cam out of the bag - we saw absolutely nothing!

After those two experiences I advised my travel agent that unless I was assigned zones 2- 5. I wasn't going to waste my time, even though I forfeited my money. I was obviously assigned one of the horror zones again, as they didn't turn up to pick me up at the usual time in the morning. However around 7:00pm they sent a vehicle to pick me up and I was put on another jeep with another guest (forget the exclusive safari!) and sent to zone 2 - they had obviously managed to negotiate something due to a cancellation. Zone 2 is a beautiful jungle and is worth the travel - we did have a great tiger encounter too.

On the fourth safari, we were once again assigned zone 6. So, we decided not to waste our time. Instead we toured the fort - which was quite interesting.

My tips -

1. If you are a wild life enthusiast, avoid this park unless you are a celebrity, politician or know how to handle the corrupt buracracy. Otherwise invest your money in going to less commercial parks such as Bandhavgarh. If you are not and simply want to squeeze in a "jungle" experience with some chance of spotting a tiger, during your golden triangle tour - then go for it.

2. Spend as little as possible and get on a canter. It appears that the canters get the premium zones. Which is probably fair, since they carry more passengers. So your best chance to see a tiger is on a canter. However, it would be nice if that is well communicated. Exclusive Gypsies - give it a miss.

Unlike in some of the other parks where there are clearly better zones, the prices are identicle for all zones. There is so much demand for this park that the management do not need to be customer oriented (the other parks I visited were a lot more customer focussed). Most of their clientele would not know the difference anyway as they are tourists squeezing in a jungle safari.

This is one of the smallest parks with the largest number of zones. I was not surprised to read some of the other reviews about the drivers having a nap mid safari - they just have no where to go. In Kanha, the morning safari is almost 5 hours, and there is plenty of places to go.

I pity the poor guides who keep trying to convince you that there are animals in the other zones. They are customer facing, the buracrats are not.

So, my advice to wild life enthusiast is to avoid this park, like the plague! A great asset, poorly managed.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank CockeyedObserver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Brunswick, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good park with bad conditions”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We went to Zone 1 and were told of 60% chance to spot the tiger. We were really lucky that a tiger named Sultan came very close (5mts) to our canter. That was the most thrilling experience. Other than that we didn't spot anything else. The roads are really really bad and we were in the back seats of the our 20 seater vehicle. We booked online in much advance but the Gypsy (personal Jeep) were sold out. I felt there is a cartel running this safari and if you can pay more than you might be able to get a Gypsy. When we spotted the tiger the Gypsy driver could really drive close to the tiger and come back. It was scary but very thrilling. Try to book in a good hotel which can arrange the safari otherwise you would have to go to the forest office to get the allotment of your canter and make the payment.

Visited December 2012
3 Thank Ranjan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Been here 4-5 times and would love to come back again and again ... your feel so relaxed once u enter this place , no traffic , no honking of horns , no pollution ... PEACE is the Feel i can say ..

Visited January 2013
Thank kunal M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good Park but not maintained well and poor services....”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

As I said earlier in my review of Tiger Safari Resort, I visited this place with my team on weekend to enjoy as team was desperate of outing.

When we were planning we thought that we'll be able to make safari booking as how my people will visit this place but I was unknown with the truth. I entered Ranthambore National Park and found multiple websites with this name and all posses like RNP. For booking I found that they are asking to call them or book/query online. I tried and found a expensive amount there.

While trying all this I luckily entered Ranthambore Govt website and found a totally different webiste of RNP and other national parks maintained by Rajasthan Govt. the officical website if " www.rajasthanwildlife.in/ ". When I moved there for online booking of Gypsy found only 2 seats available there, where as other sites were offering plenty of seats.

So, I contacted those website and found the hand in gloves of the RNP officials with touts. These touts purchase the whole block and sell these double or triple the basic price depends on customer. I complained this to the Rajasthan Tourism and Forest Dept but no action as they too are involved in this. According to them these seats were sold from their website and told me about few stringent rules regarding your IDs.

But when I booked 9 seats with an agency, no such ID has been asked and all rules were flouted as we booked if from booker also we were allowed to carry chips and cold drink in RNP where as it is banned to carry such items.

The seat which is available for Rs 550, has been sold at Rs 1200 - 1500 in case of Indian citizen and 2500 - 3500 in case of a foreign traveller.

When I entered this park, I was surprised to see a scramble building at the entry with broken windows/gates and every where iron grils were fitted.

Gypsys which are running there too not of such a very good quality also no safety measures there for tourists. Good these are open but some rods/grills should be there for the safety of passenger/touts from any mis-happening.

We all were lucky and viewed the big cat (Tiger), as we 9 person were been adjusted in three Gypsys. in ration 6:2:1

Guidance -

Be careful and ask only for RNP main zones only, as these touts says they will arrange and book in other zones i.e. 6 to 8, whose booking are easily available on RNP official website. The main fight is only for the main zones, so 1st try to grab it from RNP official website, if not than ask your booker to arrange only for main zones as you are paying a higher amount for this.

Visited March 2012
2 Thank rajakst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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