As with the camel safaris, exploring India's many wildlife parks and sanctuaries on elephant back is a unique experience. Most tiger and rhino sanctuaries offer this option and it's a better way of viewing wildlife than using a noisy jeep safari.
A camel safariis indeed a unique experience but riding a camel is something you will take a bit of time getting used to. If you're doing it the first time, try a one day safari only. It was the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), in Jaisalmer who first came up with the camel safari idea and it soon caught on in other areas like Pushkar, Bikaner and Shekhawati.
Elephant safarisare popular in Kerala and some other sanctuaries in the country. An elephant may be a huge beast but it is, in reality, a gentle creature that moves silently through forests. It is true that the rider sits rather high from the ground and those suffering from vertigo may feel a little uncomfortable at first. But you will soon get used to the rhythmic walk of the animal and enjoy your safari. This is truly the best way to view wildlife at pretty close quarters.
RAJAJI & CORBETT NATIONAL PARKS :Best time to visit - September to May. These are situated in the Himalayan 'Shivalik' foothills of Garhwal & Kumaon. Here you can have a close look at a Tiger, wild Tusker or the Himalayan deer.
ASSAN BIRD SANCTUARY :Best time to visit - November to February. Located in the Doon valley of the 'Shivalik' Range in Garhwal, the surrounding temperate forests of the Rajaji National Park house many rare species of birds.
BHARATPUR BIRD SANCTUARY :Best time to visit - November to February. Bird watchers can see many migratory birds besides the usual. In fact, there are over 300 species here.
RANTHAMBORE & SARISKA TIGER RESERVES :Best time to visit - October to April. Take a safari through 2 of the best tiger reserves in the country.
GIR FOREST: Best time to visit - October to April. 1400 sq kms of the Sasangir Forest houses the Asiatic lion, a rare species.
BANDHAVGARH & KANHA NATIONAL PARKS :Best time to visit - November to June. These famous parks of Madhya Pradesh have done a good job of preserving wildlife. There has been a significant rise in the population of many of the endangered species, including the Tigers. A well developed infrastructure, dense forests, and an abundance of wildlife make for an unforgettable safari. Best season to visit is November till June.