Wild things: find the best wildlife holidays in India for your kids

Last updated 23rd March 2024

One of the first things our kids learn are the names of animals, so wildlife holidays couldn’t be a better fit for families. Thanks to its staggering biodiversity, India is the perfect place for those. Especially as it’s also home to some of the most unique and endangered creatures on earth.  Here’s where we think you should start.


Leopard in the wild, Jim Corbett National Park

Luxury wildlife holidays at Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

This is a wildlife sanctuary in the northern state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. Wildly popular, it draws nature lovers of all ages from all over India and the rest of the world to journey through the lush forests in an exciting elephant safari, a jeep or canter safari.

The most famous residents of the park are undoubtedly the Bengal tigers. Watch the faces of your kids light up in awe as they encounter these giant cats moving robustly in their natural habitat. The park is not just about tigers, however: it’s home to a diverse range of mammals such as serow, goral, deer, fishing cats and lots more. Marvel at the sight of over 650 migratory birds — a treat for bird watchers and photography lovers.

Plan your visit between June end and mid-November for the best experience: with March to May being the ideal time for tiger sightings. Unlike other sanctuaries, Jim Corbett allows visitors to stay overnight and the luxurious resorts within the park ensure a truly unforgettable experience deep in the forest.

See our recommended family hotel in Jim Corbett National Park


Young male tiger, Ranthambore National Park, India

Try a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

A  stunning 1,344 sq. km wildlife refuge, Ranthambore National Park is located in the north-western state of Rajasthan. Open from October to June, you’ll likely spot the elusive Bengal tiger prowling through tall grasses. Words can’t describe the tingle that runs down your spine as you witness these magnificent beasts up close and personal! The best time to visit the park is between March and May, when the chances of spotting them are highest.

There are many ways to make the most of your trip: from exhilarating jeep safaris, tiger and leopard safaris, to bird gazing and wildlife photography. The little ones shouldn’t miss these educational tours which provide fascinating insights into the park’s rich ecosystem. Keep your eyes peeled for diverse fauna, including tigers, sloth bears, leopards, caracals, jackals, foxes, hyenas and mongooses.

Inside the park, you’ll discover the breathtaking Padam Talao Lake adorned with vibrant water lilies, alongside the awe-inspiring 10th-century Ranthambore Fort majestically situated on a hill. The serene Ganesh Mandir temple adds a touch of spirituality to the surroundings.

See our recommended family hotel near Ranthambore


Gir National Park, Gujarat, India

Meet Asiatic Lions in the wild at Gir National Park, Gujarat

Gir National Park in the western state of Gujarat is home to 411 Asiatic lions and not only the only place in India, but the only place on earth, where you can find them in their natural environment. No wonder wildlife holidays in the park attract more than 65,000 visitors every year.

Watch prides of lions gracefully prowling and hunting in the wilderness as you’re escorted by your skilled local guide.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Spanning across a vast 1,400 sq. km, Gir is a vibrant example of India’s biodiversity. Other species include Indian leopards, cobras, jungle cats, striped hyenas, golden jackals, four-horned antelope, chinkara and wild boar.

Visit during the rainy season to witness the park in all its lush green glory. The time between May end and October is considered the best. The nearest airport is Keshod, making it easily accessible for travellers. It’s fascinating to note that Gir was transformed into a wildlife sanctuary only in 1990 and previously served as a hunting ground for the Nawabs of Junagadh.

See our recommended family hotel near Gir National Park


Periyar National Park, Kerala, India

Add bamboo rafting in Kerala to your wildlife holidays

The southernmost tip of India is home to Periyar National Park. Cradled by the picturesque Western Ghat hills, it spans across 925 sq km with an artificial 100-year-old lake at its heart. It’s best known for wild Indian elephants. Watching these intelligent giants in action, you’ll be delighted by their playful calves and tight-knit families. Periyar is also a great place to spot Bengal tigers, Nilgiri langurs, wild pigs and Nilgiri Tahrs.

Go on the Clouds Walk: a guided 3 to 4-hour walk that takes you to the park’s vantage points. From these points, you can enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view of the sweeping grasslands. An activity not to miss on these wildlife holidays is the Bamboo Rafting tour. Accompanied by an armed guide and refreshments, savour the cool breeze rippling through your clothes as you glide along the lake gazing at fascinating wildlife. There is also the Periyar Tiger Trail, which offers a trekking and camping program spanning 2 to 3 nights, covering a vast area of 20 to 35 km.

See our recommended family hotel near Periyar National Park


Wildlife holidays, Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India

Come rhino-watching in Kaziranga National Park, Assam

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park spans the picturesque Brahmaputra River in the north-eastern state of Assam. This wildlife paradise is most known for its rare one-horned rhinoceros, boasting the world’s largest population of 2,401, as per the March 2015 census. These prehistoric-looking creatures will almost make your kids feel like they’re watching Jurassic Park!

The mesmerising landscape also boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas worldwide. Other prized sightings include elephants, wild water buffaloes and swamp deer. The best way to cover the park’s 4 zones is by an early morning elephant safari or on a jeep. Incredibly, you even have a chance to feed the animals and get a beautiful aerial perspective of the entire park by climbing the watchtower.

The best time for these wildlife holidays is from April end to November. Don’t miss the Kaziranga National Orchid Park, a 5.95-acre landscape showcasing 500 orchid species. Just 14 km from Kaziranga is the Kakochang Waterfall. Astonishingly beautiful, you’ll love having a family picnic here.

See our recommended family hotel near Kaziranga

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn commission when you click on them. This does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend products and services we believe will enhance your family travel experience.