This is an informative blog to plan a trip to Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve. There are multiple websites listed on name of Jim Corbett and information available on web. All you have to know about their official website and how they organize Forest safaris.
Website: First thing to note is the Jim Corbett official website (https://www.corbettonline.uk.gov.in/). With jim corbett name, one can find many other websites for safari booking and information, but rely on the one I have cited above which is the only official website. Safari and Stay to be pre-booked here and its always good to make a booking 30-45 days before commencement of your trip. Here are the details:
What comes with booking: If you book a safari, permit comes with it and costs approximately 1100 INR. Once you reach Jim Corbett, show the physical copy of permit and pay for Jeep and Guide. Jeep comes for 2000 INR and it can accommodate maximum of 6 people (who are part of permit) – No sharing of vehicle is allowed. Guide comes for around 700 INR and it is mandatory. If you book a stay in Jim Corbett guest houses, permit is included and the vehicle and guide costs to be sorted at the time of safari. More about cottages (https://www.corbettonline.uk.gov.in/crbt_overnightsatey.aspx).
Jim Corbett Safari Ranges and Timings: As listed on the official website (https://www.corbettonline.uk.gov.in/crbt_junglesafari.aspx), Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve has five ranges for safari to take place. You can book a safari at particular range depending on your interest on what wildlife you are looking forward to spot . They run two shifts for safari – One in the morning and another afternoon. The morning safari starts at 6 and afternoon the safari starts at 2 PM – timings subject to change depending on season and make a note of timings while booking. Approximately, it would be 3 hours of ride in forest spotting the wildlife. If you are lucky enough can spot a tiger 🙂. It is said that Dhikala and Bijrani ranges are most likely to spot a tiger. I have taken a safari in Bijrani range and not lucky enough to spot Tigar. Alternatively, there is another range Sitabani which takes spot safari bookings and runs more number of jeeps for safari. With the information I gathered, this is more unlikely to spot any interesting wildlife here and its more commercial and run to cover the tourists. So, if you are looking for wholesome of experience, you know which range to choose and how to make a booking now – Don’t get tricked by travel agents!
How to reach Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve: Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve is located in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand. All you need to plan is to reach Ramnagar and from there, Safari Jeeps can help you with pick up to the respective safari gate. See to have 5 hours for one way journey considering the traffic or any road blocks etc. If you book a safari in afternoon and to reach Rishikesh/Haridwar on same night, is doable, however, do a proper planning as you will be traveling on isolated roads most of the journey in night time. Reaching Ramnagar:
1. Local Buses: Local bus runs from Rishikesh bus stop to Ramnagar but once a day. The evening bus which goes to Rishikesh starts by 6:30 PM at Ramnagar bus stop. Alternatively, reach Haridwar and catch a bus to Ramnagar. Local buses runs from Haridwar to Ramnagar and back and frequency is good.
2. Private Taxi: You can hire a private vehicle either from Rishikesh or Haridwar and they approximately charge 6000 INR for a round trip. This option is advisable only if you are a group of people considering the budget as well the safety. If you are staying at any backpackers stay, its good to take their help with taxi booking.
I have only shared the commuting options from Rishikesh or Haridwar. Jim Corbett can also be visited from Nainital (if you are around this area) and is much closer approximately 60+km. There are also many other stay options outside the forest but to have an experience to live close to wildlife, book a stay with Jim Corbett cottages which are inside the forest and are solar powered.
For any inquiry about Safari or Stay, please contact their help desk (https://www.corbettonline.uk.gov.in/crbt_HelpDesk.aspx).
PS, we humans are entering the animal natural habitat and hence maintain silence and safeguard the resources. Do not litter or cause any harm to the natural habitat.
Other Attractions: Jim Corbett Waterfall, Corbett Museum and Garjiya Devi Temple.