Corbett jungle safari

Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, Jim Corbett National Park is one of India's oldest and most prestigious National Parks. It was one of the first national parks to come under the Project Tiger initiative and is now part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger Reserve. The park got its name from Jim Corbett, the famous naturalist and photographer in 1957.

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, this park stretches over 520 square kilometres consisting of uneven hills, grasslands, shallow marshes, riparian belts and a large lake.

The park attracts a large number of tourists and wildlife enthusiasts, all flocking to get a glimpse of the striped beast. The park shelters a number of endangered tiger species, a variety of other wild animals, a rich birdlife and a wealthy spread of flora. This makes the national park perfect for safaris. Corbett jungle safari offers excellent sightseeing of nature and wildlife. 

Corbett Jungle Safari 

Jim Corbett National Park offers thrilling nature watches and wildlife viewing within the jungles of its buffer zones. Safaris are done in an open four-wheeler Jeep, a large open-roof canter and on elephant back. While on your safari, you might even be lucky to catch sight of the Royal Bengal tigers.

Corbett Jungle Safari: Jeep Safari

Jeep safaris are the most popular amongst all other safari options. Jeeps are smaller and more compact than canters, hence allowing you to go deeper into the wilderness and explore the corners of the jungles where you could spot a lurking tiger. Being an open vehicle, jeep safaris promises an enthralling sightseeing tour around the park. Jeep Safari can be done in tourism zones like Bijrani, Jhirna, Durgadevi, Dhela and Sitabani.

Corbett Jungle Safari: Canter Safari

Canter Safari is an exciting way to explore the deep wilderness and explore zones that are abundantly inhabited by wildlife. It is also the safest way to enjoy wildlife safari. It is only operated by Corbett forest officials, twice in a day and the canter seats about 16-18 people, making it perfect for a group trip. 

Corbett Jungle Safari: Elephant Safari

Elephant safari is one of the most sought after Corbett safari bookings. Imagine sitting on the back of a giant mammal and riding on it through dense jungles and having close encounters with other animals. This is what elephants safari offers and it doubles the fun and excitement of a jungle safari. It also enables you to visit those areas of the park that are inaccessible to jeeps and canters. These safaris are led by trained and expert mahouts; hence, it is completely safe.

Buffer zones in Corbett National Park

The park has five buffer zones, each home to varied species of flora and fauna, and tourists can come to enjoy nature and observe the wildlife in their habitats. The five tourist zones are Bijrani, Jhirna, Durgadevi, Dhikala and Sitabani. The forest department has also opened a new sixth tourism zone named Dhela.

Bijrani Zone

Bijrani zone is the perfect zone for nature and wildlife lovers. It has open grasslands and you'll be able to spot elephants, tigers, deers, chital deers, monkeys and a plethora of birds. The entry gate of the zone is the Amdanda Gate and is located only 1km from the Ramnagar city.

Jhirna Zone 

Jhirna zone is abundant with natural beauty. It is also the zone where you're most likely to encounter bears. The Jhirna Gate is the entry point to this zone and it is located about 16 km from Ramnagar city.

Durga Devi Zone 

Durga Devi Zone is a sanctuary for a significant number of bird species. It is truly a paradise for bird watchers. Durga Devi Gate is the entry point and it is located about 36 km from Ramnagar city.

Dhikala Zone 

Dhikala Zone is the largest of all the buffer zones in Corbett. It gets the most visitors and it is known for presenting the best sight of exotic wildlife species. Dhangadi Gate is the entry point and it is located about 18 km from Ramnagar city. 

Sitabani Zone 

Sitabani Zone does not come under the Corbett Tiger Reserve area. It is characterised by exceptional scenic beauty and serene ambience and hence allures a significant number of tourists. 

Dhela Zone 

Dhela Zone was included within the tiger reserve zone in 2014, so it is a relatively new tourism zone. A large number of tourists are attracted to this zone due to its opulence of flora and fauna. It is located around 13km from Ramnagar city.

What you’ll see

The Jim Corbett National Park shelters an abundance of wildlife species and on your Corbett jungle safari, you’ll spot animals like Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, deer, chital, endemic crocodiles, reptiles like cobras and rare species like otters. The avifauna of the park is also spectacular. You'll find a large number of grey-headed eagles, black-chinned yuhina, maroon oriole, white-crested laughingthrush, vultures and doves, among others.

Where to stay

There is a great deal of accommodation available in and around Jim Corbett National Park. You can relax with your family and friends in the serenity of nature. These include luxury hotels furnished with high-end equipment and resorts to forest lodges, budget guest houses, cottages and camps.

When to go

The best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park is during the summer season (within the months of March and June) and the winter season (within the months of October and February)

During the winter season, the whole region has a feeling of freshness and coolness left behind by the monsoon showers. The weather is a delight, with day temperatures ranging from 10-degrees Celsius to 20-degrees Celsius and dropping as low as 5-degrees Celsius during the night.

The park is beautiful and captivating, and you'll spot an array of unseen animals and birds. This is also the season to spot the maximum number of Royal Bengal tigers, as they roam around the park and bask in the sun. All zones of the park are open during this season and you can enjoy safari rides and activities like rafting, guided treks and nature walks.

During the summer season, the temperature can rise up to 40-degrees Celsius, but the lush vegetation in the park ensures a pleasant and fresh atmosphere. All zones are also open during this season, but it's the perfect season to go visit the mammals near water bodies and watch how they cool themselves off. You can go for jeep safaris through the jungles to see all the other animals and enjoy activities like river rafting or guided nature walks.

During the monsoon season, the rainfall is heavy, the temperature drops and fluctuates between 25 - 35-degrees Celsius and humidity increases. The atmosphere of the park; however, is magical. The jungles are lush and painted in every hue of green with climbers and creepers snaking the forest floor. The monsoon is the mating season for most birds and mammals so you'll be sure to hear the cacophony of mating calls of exotic birds and animals.

It's the perfect visiting time for adventure enthusiast who likes to travel during the offseason. when the tourist count is low. Only the Jhirna and Sitabani Zones in the park are open during the monsoon. Monsoon also sees a risk of landslides and soil erosion, and a large number of insects. 

How to get there

Jim Corbett is one of the most prestigious national parks of India. Being a popular tourist destination, it gets a large influx of people every year. The Government has thus ensured that the area is well connected by means of most transportation. Airways, roadways and railways are all favoured options by tourists when visiting the Jim Corbett National Park.

By air: Corbett National Park does not have an airport of its own. The closest airport is at Pantnagar, about 80 km away and it is a domestic airport. The closest international airport is at Delhi, about 280 km away from Jim Corbett National Park. If you're travelling from the northern parts of India, you can alternatively also land at Dehradun Airport, which is around 165 km away. Once at the airport, you can easily avail taxis or hire a car to reach Corbett National Park.

By train: The city of Ramnagar is the closest to Corbett National Park. It is well-connected by a strong network of roads and rails with major cities within India like Delhi, Lucknow, Nainital, Moradabad, Bareilly and Dehradun. There are regular trains from these cities to Ramnagar. The park is located about 15 km away from Ramnagar railway station and will only take you around half an hour to get there.

By road: There are regular bus and taxi services that connect major Indian cities to Corbett National Park. The approximate distance between India's capital, Dehli and the park is about 295 km and will take about six hours to cover.

Best time to go/Weather

The winter season (October to February) and the summer season (March to June) are the best months to visit Jim Corbett National Park. 

The atmosphere of the park is cool and refreshing during the winters, with the temperature ranging from 10-degrees Celsius to 20-degrees Celsius in the day and falling to 5-degrees Celsius at night. This is the season to spot the maximum number of animals and birds as they all venture out into the open to laze under the winter sun. You'll also spot many Royal Bengal tigers prowl around the park. All the park zones are open during this season and you can enjoy safari rides and activities like rafting, guided treks and nature walks.

During the summer season, despite the temperature reaching up to 40-degrees Celsius, the atmosphere of the park is balmy and fresh due to the thick jungles. All the zones in the park are open during this season and you can go for jeep safaris and watch how the animals cool themselves off near water bodies. 

The monsoon season sees heavy rainfall and day temperatures between 25 - 35-degrees Celsius. The park is lush with vegetation and the forests are filled with the exotic mating calls of varied birds and animals, as monsoon months are the mating season for most. This season; however, is not the best for a family visit. Only the Jhirna and Sitabani Zones in the park are open and there is a great risk of landslides. During the monsoon, you'll also find the maximum number of insects.

The Jim Corbett Tiger reserve is well connected to most major Indian cities by means of airways, roadways and railways. It is an important national park in India and every year, hundreds of tourists flock to enjoy the nature and wildlife. Hence, the government has made sure that the area has good connectivity. 

By air: The closest domestic airport is at Pantnagar, approximately 80 km away and the closest international airport is at Delhi, the Indira Gandhi International Airport. It is located about 280 km away from the park. You can also opt to land at Dehradun Airport, which is approximately 165 km away from Corbett Tiger Reserve. From the airport, you can easily hire taxis or cars and travel to Corbett National Park. 

By Rail: Ramnagar is the closest city to the Corbett Tiger Reserve, approximately 15 km away. The city has a strong railway network connectivity with major Indian cities like Delhi, Dehradun, Lucknow, Nainital, Moradabad and Bareilly. Once at the station, it will only take you around a half hour to reach the park.

By road: You'll find several scheduled buses and taxis heading for Jim Corbett National Park from major cities in India regularly. The capital city, Delhi is located approximately 295 km away from the park and will take about six hours to cover.

When dressing for a safari, comfort is the major rule. Cotton or linen outfits are always considered good for wildlife safaris. Wear clothes that fully cover your arms and legs, as the direct heat from the sun on uncovered skin might be harmful. It also serves to protect you from insect bites. 

With regards to outfit colour, wear clothes that are in neutral earth-tones. Flashy and bright coloured clothes are a big no-no, as it might attract the attention of wild animals and birds. Prefer to wear shoes or sneakers but if you cannot arrange for one, sandals will also work.

During the winter, wear woollen clothes or carry a jacket to cope with the chilly breeze. Remember to apply sunscreen and insect repellent and put on a pair of sunglasses, regardless of the weather. 

Important things to carry when going for a jungle safari are sunglasses, sunscreen and sun cap to keep the sun off you, a refillable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated, an insect repellant to protect yourself from insect bites, a jacket for when the weather turns chilly and a camera with plenty of memory space and battery charge.

While on the Corbett jungle safari, you’ll be seated in the jeep for most of the day with only a little walking around. Hence, no sort of preparation is needed before Corbett safari booking. Anyone and everyone can come to enjoy the magic of Jim Corbett National Park.

Corbett jungle safari - Frequently Asked Questions

The nearest airport to Corbett National Park is located in Pantnagar, about 80 km away. It is a domestic airport. There are daily flights available to Pantnagar from Delhi. You can easily avail taxis from Pantnagar Airport to Jim Corbett National Park.

Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi is the international airport closest to Corbett National Park, located approximately 260 km away. The roadway is the best option to travel from Delhi to Corbett as the road trip has its own charm with spectacular views and pleasant weather. You can either commute in your private vehicle, hire a taxi or catch a private/state-run bus which is easily available from Delhi. The drive from Delhi to Corbett will take around six hours.

You can also travel by train. Ramnagar is the nearest railway station from Corbett, which is around 15 km. The station is directly connected to the railway stations in Delhi and there are trains operating on a daily basis.

In order to promote tourism, the park has five zones marked as buffer areas. They are Bijrani, Jhirna, Durgadevi, Dhikala and Sitabani. There is also a newly-opened sixth zone called Dhela. 

The best time to go on a Corbett jungle safari is during the winter season when you'll be able to spot the most number of tigers. During the winter, the atmosphere is cool and the animals all venture out to lounge under the winter sun. 

The sun is high and bright during the summer season, but the atmosphere is pleasant owing to the thick vegetation of the jungles. During your jungle safari, you'll spot many animals gathered around water bodies trying to cool themselves off. 

The monsoon season is an off-season for tourists due to the heavy rainfall and there is also a great risk of landslide and soil erosion. For the adventurous and those who like to explore with fewer people around, only 2 of the many park zones are open. You can enjoy the lush environment and listen to the incessant mating calls of many songbirds and mammals. 

Cell phones and mobile phones are permitted on a safari ride; however, visitors are requested to not play loud music and they must ensure that their devices are on silent mode throughout.

One jeep can accommodate a maximum of six adults, excluding the registered jeep driver and an assigned naturalist. Two children (5-12 years) are also allowed to ride in the jeep.

You can find a number of accommodation options in and around Corbett National Park from hotels furnished with luxurious amenities and resorts to forest lodges, budget guest houses, cottages and camps.

During the winter, the temperature during the day stays between 10-20 degrees Celsius and drops down to 5 degrees Celsius at night. It is important to arm yourself with jackets to ward off the cold. Opt to wear woollen outfits. Your clothes should be in neutral colours and remember to put on sunscreen and insect repellant before your set off on your safari.

During the summer, the temperature shoots up to almost 40 degrees Celsius. Wear clothes that are comfortable, preferably made of cotton or linen and in earthy hues. Wear a long-sleeved shirt/t-shirt and a full-length pant as direct sunlight on naked skin can make you really itchy. Slathering on sunscreen and wearing a sun cap and sunglasses is very important.

If you’re a wildlife buff, you’ll be in for a treat. The park houses a large number of animals and birds and you’ll get to see elephants, deer, chital, crocodiles, and even a tiger if you’re lucky. The bird species that live in the park range from eagles, vultures, doves to black-chinned yuhina, white-crested laughingthrush, maroon oriole and more.