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The Traveller's Magazine
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We don’t really mean a hunt, more like one with your camera. Animal conservationists are happy this week as India’s supreme court has officially banned tourism in tiger reserves in aims to protect the endangered wild cats. 

Not such good news however if you were planning to see some tigers while on holidays in India. The Indian Supreme Court has announced that stiff penalties will be paid by Indian states if they fail to enforce so-called “buffer zones” around tiger habitats in reserve forests. India is home to more than half of the world’s population of tigers even though there are currently only 1,700 tigers left in India (that’s an estimated total of 3,200 tigers left in the world). Most of these are living in protects wildlife reserves.

The ban will no doubt upset some traveller’s plans to India who have signed up for wildlife watching tours in parks that guarantee tiger sightings and also for those who have booked rooms in hotels that are located right inside the parks as these hotels and resorts will have to move elsewhere according to the new laws.

Still want to see some tigers?

Best places in the world to see tigers

Bhutan – Many wild tigers are still living in the Himalayan regions of Bhutan thanks to their habitats not being lost to deforestation or logging.

China – While China is home to the famous Siberian tiger, it is very rare to see one in the wild. The best place to see tigers in China is Harbin’s Siberian Tiger Park although it has received quite mixed reviews for their treatment of animals.

Russia – There are around 350 “Amur” tigers left in Russia’s far east, in Primorye. Spotting these is obviously difficult but there are tours set up for tiger sightings as well as leopard sightings.

Indonesia – Sumatran tigers are the smallest breed of tigers with only 400 left in the world. These tigers are protected in 21 wildlife reserve parks.

If catching a tiger with your lens is really on your travel bucket list, consider joining a tour with an agency that is committed to the conversation of the animals and respecting their habitat. But by far the safest way to see a tiger is at the zoo! Check out It’s all happening at the zoo for our recommendations on the best zoos to visit around the world.

Have you seen a tiger in real life before? How do you feel about tiger tourism, does it help protect the animals or does it exploit them?

Imgs: wwarby / Flickr cc.

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2 responses to “On a tiger hunt? India is no longer an option

  1. Its not longer an option in India. I think it makes sense this way. Tiger population is decreasing at an alarming rate and in order to do something, this step has been take.

    1. Hi Shalu!
      You’re so right, it is really necessary if it means saving another species from disappearing. Just checked out your blog, it’s really cool! I would love to visit India one day.

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