India has always been a hugely popular tourist destination. Whilst the keener wildlifers and safari-goers among us will always associate India with tigers and other wildlife, the reality is that for most visitors, thoughts and days go to the abundance of cultural landmarks and experiences that the country has to offer, such as Golden Triangle tours, visits to Mumbai and other cities and of course some time on Goa’s beaches.

However even if you’re visiting India for more of a cultural trip, I think a quick wildlife safari is a must for the following reasons:

1. You’re already there!

Over the years I’ve met many people who have visited India in the past and simply didn’t realise that the option of a safari was available. When I explain that some visit India solely for the safari experience, they feel like they missed an opportunity and they’re probably right!

Given the relatively high price and carbon cost of international flights to India it makes sense to take advantage of the fact that you’re already going to be in-country and therefore the ‘getting there’ cost of your trip is already sunk. A lot of people like to do something environmentally positive when they travel and this is a good way of doing something that can count towards preserving a natural habitat and carbon sink.

2. It’s a nice contrast

India has one of the largest populations in the world, with over a hundred languages spoken and all sorts of amazing people and places. For some, the sights, smells and tastes can become a bit exhausting (in the best way possible) and a few days spent in the jungle can be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of India’s big cities and tourist attractions.

3. It’s a unique and amazing experience

Finally, the most important reason. A safari in India is quite an amazing experience. As I explain elsewhere it’s different to an African safari and a unique thrill. A friend of mine from South Africa recently visited India for the first time. Although he’s spent much of his life growing up around the bush, he told me his first time seeing a tiger was a heart-stopping experience that will stay with him for a lifetime. For those who are not wildlife junkies, it’s a good chance to tick off what is a bucket-list item for many and have a shorter safari of just a few days, which could well become the first of many.