Banner Left Side Complete List and Schedule Digital Photography Schedule Domestic Tours and Workshop Schedule Worldwide Safaris and Tours Flash Photography Instruction Personal Instruction in Photography or Photoshop Stock Photography and Sales Seminars, Assemblies, Fund Raisers frequently asked questions







Tigers and the Wildlife
of India Photo Tour


This brochure will be updated shortly with exact dates and
prices. We will be offering several very exciting pre-trips,
including the Lions of Gir, Snow Leopards, and the
wildlife of India's western deserts. Details will be posted soon.

For more great information on all our past Tiger trips, read
our past Trip Reports.



Our itinerary is almost entirely devoted to in-field photography at four of the Best Parks for Tigers and the wildlife of India.
Although this is a tour designed for the Bengal Tiger, the wildlife of India is diverse and spectacular, and we'll photograph far more than tigers alone!

Limited to Twelve Participants

Price: $TBA,
Based on a tour of twelve participants.
Single Supplement: $1,136
A sliding scale must be levied for a tour
of eight or nine participants (see end of brochure for details).

No one is offering a more complete, tiger and wildlife intensive photo safari.
Please, as you read this brochure and hopefully get excited about joining us, please do read the last few paragraphs of the brochure which frankly discusses the reality of photography in India. It is not East Africa, and photo safaris here are an entirely different experience. For one, tigers are the most endangered of the world's big cats, with only 1,500 or so left in the wild. We're dealing with a rare animal here, and although you should photograph tigers, it is not like driving up to a pride of lions every day. Read my final paragraphs, and knowing the facts we sure hope you'll join us on one of our favorite photography destinations!

This tour will be preceded by three optional Pre-Trips.

snow leopard
Snow Leopards in the Wild -
February, 2016

Asiatic Lions -The Lions of Gir
Western India's Desert Wildlife
Details available soon!

March 2016 - exact dates will be available soon!


The following Portfolios will be posted soon, revealing the beauty and wildlife diversity of this trip:

Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's Bird Portfolio
and our Wildlife Portfolio

Some History ...

monkeyThis is the ultimate tiger trip, visiting four of the best wildlife parks without wasting time in cities, as each park is within driving distance of the next. After a tremendous amount of research, we've designed an itinerary that maximizes our chances of photographing tigers, as well as much of India's other exciting wildlife.

For years, friends have been urging Mary and I to do a trip to India and in 2011 we decided, after a 20 year lapse, to return. After only a few days of being on safari, we knew we'd be returning and including India in our permanent schedule. Our outfitter was wonderful, the camps were great, and the wildlife was superb. We were hooked.


Barasinga or swamp deer and gaur.


Trust me, these are among the four best parks for wildlife photography! Each park is slightly different in terms of habitat and the general composition of the wildlife, and in that way our tour will provide a tremendous portfolio of wildlife opportunities. To obtain a very, very accurate account of our India Tiger Photo Safaris, please read either any or all of our Trip Reports that we've posted for all of our previous trips. Just click on the links on the India page. In those very lengthy reports, all of the triumphs, frustrations, and experiences are included -- warts and all! Trip Reports.


To get the absolute most out of these safaris, or any of our
offerings, consider taking one of our Complete Digital Nature
Photo Courses
, in Pennsylvania next summer!

Special Features of Our India Tiger Photo Safari

1. Two of the best three National Parks for Tiger Photography
Why not the three best (read on)?
2. Two photographers per vehicle.
3. We rotate people per vehicle to insure group cohesiveness (see below)
4. All normal tips and gratuities
5. Internal flights from Delhi (1) and back (1)
6. CD or DVD of the group's images (subject to participation)
7. Customized book of the best images (subject to participation)
See below for more details.
8. Customized Pre-Trips available to the Taj Mahal or any other destination
(booked directly through our Indian Outfitter and not included in
the Tour Price).

Langur monkeys, a large, tame, and common primate around many
of the park entrances and throughout the forests.

As stated above, we'll be visiting two of the top three parks for tigers. There is another, Ranthambore, that is very productive for tigers, but the tiger viewing there can be extremely erratic, where an assigned road system is used and a visitor may have a very good chances, or virtually no chance of seeing a tiger. Park regulations change unpredictably, and sometimes tourists are limited to bus-like contraptions filled with people, making for a very miserable experience. Those risks simply aren't worth the time and trouble to visit this park, which is off the easy circuit our itinerary provides.

cubFor multiple reasons, Bandhavgarh, the first tiger park on our itinerary, offers the best tiger shooting and opportunities. The forests are the most open, and the road system is diverse, covering multiple habitats. Bandhavgarh does have an assigned road system where a tourist vehicle is limited to a particular route for a game drive, and this can seem frustrating if tigers were repeatedly seen on another route on previous days. In reality, however, tigers move about so much that a 'dead' route might be the very best one the next day, while everyone hopes to be on the previous 'hot' route. Fortunately, the park authorities, in making these changes, also addressed the over-crowding with too many vehicles on some routes, and in doing so have made shooting a far more pleasant and rewarding experience.

langurPerhaps even more importantly, we've now trained our staff in our methodology which should increase our tiger photography opportunities even further. As it is, I doubt if anyone can honestly claim the consistant tiger viewing/photography opportunities that we've enjoyed on our past trips.

Our Tour Operator has quite likely the most distinquished pedigree of any Indian operator, with the owner's grandfather one of the originators of Project Tiger, India's celebrated campaign to save the tiger from extinction. Our operator and his family has been in the business of wildlife tourism for decades, and the service and attention to fine detail is unmatched.

This trip is devoted to photographing India's wildlife, with a special emphasis upon photographing the Bengal tiger, the most threatened of the big cats. Except for our first full day in Delhi, where we'll have the option of doing some city touring or simply resting and getting over jet-lag, all of our time will be spent in the National Parks. We langurwill not be spending time in cities doing tours, and our only non-Delhi city time will be as we drive from the airport to our first destination and then as we commute from park to park.

In contrast to many tours, we will be flying from Delhi to the nearest city to our first park, and flying back to Delhi at the end of the trip. Many tours cut costs, and waste time, by using the train system -- it is not worth it.

We will game-drive through the parks in jeeps with only TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS per vehicle. There will be both a guide and a driver in each vehicle, but you won't be competing with several people as we do our shooting. We also rotate people through the vehicles so that photographers have an equal opportunity to shoot with either Mary or Joe, and to experience the different guides and drivers. Lodge tigernaturalists drive some of the vehicles, and to be fair to everyone, everyone is rotated so that all get a chance to benefit. This rotation also insures group cohesiveness, eliminating a clique or the rare chance that someone is 'stuck' with another person that they would prefer not to be with for every game drive. Spouses, or close friends, if they desire can request, upon registration, to be together for the entire safari and, if so, forgo the opportunity to shoot with Mary or Joe. This does not imply that a couple paid for the exclusive use of a vehicle, and if one sits out a game drive, and another vehicle also would end up as a single photographer, we will combine the participants into one. The reason -- the parks can be crowded, and we do not want to contribute to a potentially compromised photo situation by an unnecessary number of jeeps.



We'll be game-driving in the best hours for seeing predators, starting our game drives before dawn and in the late afternoon prior to sunset. And, although the focus and goal of this safari is to photograph tigers, we will photograph every good wildlife and nature subject we find.

deerLet me repeat that -- we'll photograph everything. It is often very counter-productive to be obsessed with one subject and ignoring others while you seek one goal. While our tours have had tremendous success with tigers, these parks are not zoos, and no wildlife sighting is guaranteed. If you're not interested in anything but tigers, if you're not willing to photograph other species, if you're not prepared to 'smell the roses' and take things as they come, not rushing things and letting nature play out as it may, then do not come with us. Left: Gaur, or Indian bison, calves playing

Our shooting philosophy has been extremely successful, and even when we haven't shot our target species (which has only happened once, on an African wild dog trip) we nonetheless had a great trip.

I'm extremely confident that we'll get tigers -- we'll be there at the best time, at the best parks, but we'll be photographing wild animals that may not cooperate for us, or for you. It is possible that the jeep that you are in will be at the wrong place at the wrong time and you'll miss the best encounter, or that there will be a traffic jam of vehicles on a cat, and our shooting will be compromised. That reality can occur and you must be aware that this could happen. Indeed, it happened to me at one park on my second trip in 2011, where it seemed I was always at the wrong spot. I photographed tigers, but not like I wanted to. However, on the last game drive of that park I got my 'dream shot,' with a big male tiger walking directly to my camera as I shot from near tiger-level. I hadn't despaired, and luck finally, and really, came my way! It happened to me again on the first tour in 2012, but again, on one of our last days I had two spectacular encounters in one afternoon. One of those shots leads the Trip One 2012 Report.

The Parks


We'll be visiting what I am convinced are the four best parks for tiger and other wildlife photography opportunities, and while that point could be argued, other parks in India are quite removed from one another. Our four parks are centrally located, and close enough together to be in reach for an afternoon drive, so we won't be wasting valuable field time taking a train, or flying, or driving for days to reach our next destination. You will get shooting every single day!



bee-eaterThis may be the premiere tiger park, and may offer the best opportunities for seeing and photographing tigers. Unless special arrangements are made, and available, all of our photography will be from jeeps.

The park is a mixture of bamboo, grassland, and a complex of deciduous forests. There are at least 150 species of birds in the park, along with several great mammals. This may be the best of all India parks for tigers, but there are also sloth bears, langur monkeys, wild boar, and three species of deer - chital, sambar, and barking deer.

Again, in 2015 we may also have the option of booking elephants for an entire morning, but this will be subject to availability. There are pros and cons to shooting from elephants. On the positive side, elephants can take us to locations where our jeeps cannot, and one can get very close with elephants. On the negative side, the shooting can be nearly straight down if both the elephant and the tiger are on the same plane, but it can also be at virtual eye-level if a tiger is on a hill.

tigerUnfortunately, the access to elephants is not guaranteed, so we could not build in a trip price that included all-day elephant rides. Further, we might find that we enjoy shooting from the near ground-level perspective of our jeeps, rather than 10 feet above the ground on an elephant's back. However, if we have the option of booking one or more elephants for a morning, anyone wishing to take advantage of this opportunity will be paying extra. The price on this will depend upon the park, and the number of photographers per elephant. We suggest everyone bringing along extra money in case they wish to do one or more additional elephant rides. More details on this will be forwarded to registered participants.

There may also be the option of booking a private jeep for a full day in the park. The advantage here is that the jeep can travel to any sector and on any road, and remain wherever one chooses for as long as they wish. Some folks believe that the tigers 'know' the park schedule and actively walk the game roads after the park closes mid-morning, and therefore these all-day jeep excursions provide a greater opportunity of finding tigers. If it is hot, a tiger might be visiting a waterhole during these hours. On the other hand, since the entire park is available, one can easily be at the wrong place at the wrong time and completely miss a tiger. Certainly, the more time one has afield, and that of course includes being in a jeep all day, the greater chances one has of success, but this is expensive, and does not guarantee success. An all-day jeep trip may not even be an option, subject to the whim's of the park authorities or, if offered, to availability, as only a very limited number of permits are available. The best plan here is to see how successful we are initially, and then be on the alert for stories that might suggest the endeavor would be worthwhile.

We will be providing our participants with a thorough outline of the best shooting opportunities, and what subjects to concentrate on, in this outstanding park.


tigerKanha is a popular and more highly visited park, and offers a variety of species including tigers and leopards, cheetal, Indian bison or gaur, barking deer, sambhar deer, and the endangered Barasingha deer. The habitat is similar in many ways to Bandhavgarh, with a mixture of grassy plains and sal forests.

This park is actually my favorite, not because of the tigers but because of the huge diversity of wildlife and landscapes available. We do photograph tigers here, but our itinerary is designed so that your tiger 'fix' should be satisfied at Bandhavgarh, and you can now enjoy Kanha for all great subjects it has to offer.




woodpeckerWe'll spend two game drives in Pench as we continue on to our last park, Satpura. The shooting potential is quite diverse, with many waterholes and open forests. It has a large diversity of wildlife, including leopard, tiger, jungle cat, dhole (wild dog), sloth bear, wild boar, mongoose, gaur (a huge bovine that may be the ancestor to all cattle), and actually has the highest density of herbivores, including cheetal (spotted deer), and sambar of any of India's parks.

There are at least 250 species of birds found in the diverse habitats, which is composed of grasslands, open canopy mixed forests, riverine forest systems, and rolling hills.


We used to offer this park as an extension but it was so well loved, offering such a variety of activities that we had to add it to the full tour. As you read the itinerary you'll see all the options, but three highlights I must mention are the frequent sighting of Sloth Bear and Dhole, the boat trips on the large reservoir for birds, and the option of either an elephant ride or a ranger-led walk through the jungle. And, at our lodge, we'll have the chance to do some camera trap photography for nocturnal wildlife - exciting!

Our Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrive in Delhi

Welcome dinner and meeting.
Overnight - The Radisson Blue Hotel.

The DAY-to-DAY Schedule is for
reference only - if you are reading this!
The precise daily schedule will be posted soon.


Day 2 - Delhi to Khajuraho

After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Khajuraho, where we will transfer to our hotel. That evening we'll enjoy the 'Light and Sound Show at Khajuraho,' a fascinating spectacle that evokes teh life and times of the Chanela Kings and traces the history of these unique temple from the 10th century to the present.

This is our only 'cultural' experience on this tour, although on previous tours we spent several hours here before traveling on, and everyone wished that they would have had more time. We do this for two reasons. One, jet lag is an issue, and this gives everyone an opportunity to get in synch with the time, outside of Delhi where, in the past, we did a city tour to accomplish the same thing. Khajuraho is far more interesting! Two, if by any chance you missed any flight, you'd have Day 3 to get to Khajuraho before we start our rural excursion to Bandhavgarh.

Overnight - Hotel in Khajuraho

Day 3 -Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh

birdToday is Wednesday and throughout India all Parks are closed in the afternoon. If that was not the case, we'd have left early so that we'd have an afternoon inside the park. Since that cannot happen, we'll spend a leisurely morning visiting the ruins and temples of Khajuraho. After an early lunch we'll depart with our fleet of SUVs for Bandhavgarh.The drive is long, about five hours, but we should arrive in the late afternoon, in time to settle in comfortably.!
Overnight - Our Lodge is within minutes of the entrance gate to the park.

Day 4- Bandhavgarh

This is THE tiger park, and although there are plenty of other wildlife subjects to shoot are focus, particularly in the first hour or two in the morning, and late in the day, will be to be in the areas where we expect to find tigers. Do not, however, expect to see a tiger every game drive or every day, and anyone who tells you differently is not being honest, or realistic. Still, with any luck you'll get your tiger shots here, although we've also done very well in Kanha as well. We will be doing a morning and an afternoon game drive, looking for tigers and of course photographing other species of Indian wildlife.

Day 5, - Bandhavgarh and the Holi Celebration

Unfortunately, the Hindu celebration of Holi is like Christmas, Ramadan, and Hanaka combined, and India, everywhere, closes down that day in a rather wild, colorful celebration. All parks are closed that day and we'll be staying at the lodge, editing, reviewing photos, and relaxing. The exact date for this celebration changes yearly, so it is impossible more than a year in advance to plan and book a trip to avoid this day ... one never knows early enough to plan for it.

One of the lounges at Bandhavgarh, and tea time overlooking the grounds.

Day 6-9- Bandhavgarh

Game drives morning and evening for tigers and other wildlife. However, there is a host of other species to photograph here, especially rhesus macaque monkeys, spotted deer, langur monkeys, wild hogs, and a variety of birds.

tigerFor anyone who wishes, it may be possible to book an elephant for the entire day. This is expensive and we did not include this as part of our tour, but it may be an option for someone who desires to spend more time on elephants, for whatever reason. Refer to the notes above, and further details on these elephant safaris will be forwarded to registered participants as information comes in.

There may also be the possibility of booking a full-day jeep permit, allowing the occupants to go anywhere within the park and to remain inside the park all day. We have never done this, but we've heard that tigers sometimes start roaming the roads after the park closes in late morning, and visit water holes at this time. Of course, in having the entire park to search, it is entirely possible that anyone doing this could be at exactly the wrong place at the wrong time. And this permit was expensive, and will be if it is still available in 2015.
Overnights - Our Lodge.

bedroomeating area
looking out on grounds beds
Our lodges in Bandhavgarh and Kanha are owned by the tour
operator we'll be using. You're looking at a bedroom, eating area,
looking out at the grounds, and a porch outdoor relaxing and viewing area

Day 10 - Bandhavgarh to Kanha

We'll do the usual morning game drive before returning to the lodge for a brunch.
Even by losing a day because of Holi, we'll still have five full days of game driving in Bandhavgarh!
After our brunch, we'll load up our fleet of SUVs and begin our 5 hour drive to our next destination, Kanha. We'll arrive in the early evening, hopefully in time to watch the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel that typically roosts in a tree in the main courtyard where, at dusk, it swoops overhead to begin its night feeding!
Overnight - Our Lodge

Day 11 to 14 -Kanha

jackalWe'll be doing morning and evening game drives through Kanha's varied habitats, and if the Tiger Shows are available we're likely to do at least one of these. Shooting from elephant back does give a photographer the opportunity to film tigers (if found) when they've come to rest for the day off track, but the shooting is generally at an angle, and sometimes a steep angle at that. Remember, an elephant tiger show is not guaranteed, but the opportunity to ride and elephant and photograph a tiger upclose is fun and can be very productive. But that depends upon exactly where a tiger happens to be!

tMost of our participants felt that Kanha was their favorite park, and it was Mary and mine. The topography is diverse, as is the habitat. Here we'll have our first chance at photographing the largest cow-like animal in the world, the Indian Gaur or Indian Bison, an enormous, black animal with white stockings. Five other large herbivores are here, including the elk-like Sambar and the plentiful Spotted Deer. Indian Wild Dogs or Dholes, Sloth Bears, Leopards, Golden Jackals, as well as various mongooses, Langur Monkeys, and great birds are potential, if not very likely, subjects.

As it was in Bandhavgarh, for anyone who wishes,it may be possible to book an elephant for the entire day or for the morning. These bookings cannot be done more than a few days in advance, for the reasons outlined above. In the past, we have done full-morning elephant rides at Bandhavgarh, with mixed success. Refer to the notes above, and further details on these elephant safaris will be forwarded to registered participants as information comes in.
Overnights - Our Lodge

Day 15 - Kanha to Pench

After an early breakfast we'll transfer to Pench National Park in the central India state of Madhya Pradish. Pench is the 19th addition to the Project Tiger Reserve system and has the highest density of herbivores in any Indian Park. It has great wildlife diversity, including leopard, tiger, jungle cat, Dhole (Indian wild dog), sloth bear, wild boar, mongoose, guar, and the other deer-like herbivores. Birds are peacockdiverse, with various kingfishers, wading birds, and songbirds and raptors all accessible.

Pench used to conclude our tiger safari but in truth we were conflicted, Satpura, which was offered as an extension, was so rewarding we had to add this to our main safari. By having an afternoon and a morning game drive in Pench, we feel we'll maximum the coverage we can typically expect, as tigers, although plentiful, are rarely encountered. We'll be staying at a new lodge in a wonderful, less visited section of the park.

Day 16 - Pench to Satpura

treeWe'll have a morning game drive in Pench before returning for a late brunch. After packing our fleet of SUVs we'll embark on our drive to our final park, one of our favorites for its diversity - Satpura.

Satpura National Park is located in the southern Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, and the park is the core area for the huge Panchmarchi Biosphere Reserve, that includes both the Bori and Panchmarhi wildlife sanctuaries along its borders. The topography is varied, there are numerous waterholes, and the forest is quite open, giving a tended, park-like quality to the forest, which provides wonderful visibility for animals deeper in the forest.
Upon arrival at Park Four we will check into our lodge, a stylish environmentally friendly lodge that is engaged with the park management and the local community in a pioneering effort to create an unprecedented jungle experience in one of the most exciting tiger habitats in the world. This is an effort to create an exceptional wilderness experience for those who truly revel in wild places far from the jeep borne hordes that have defaced so many other parks.
Overnight, Lodge in Satpura.

Day 17-19 - Satpura

The unusual sloth bear, that frequently carries her cubs upon her back.

This unique park probably sports the most spectacular habitat and landscapes of any park in the Project Tiger system, and as a new park it is almost unvisited. On the negative, tiger sightings are not common and the road system is not as well developed as in other parks, but on the positive side the wildlife sightings have been very good, and there are few tourists to contend with. This park has the promise of becoming one of the best locations for wildlife viewing, and there is the opportunity to go through the park in many ways.

The park has an elevation of 320-1,352m with tall sandstone mountains, narrow gorges, ravines, water falls, streams and dense forests near the Mahadev hills in the Pachmarhi plateau. The area boasts two unique species of trees – the sal and the teak besides a wide variety of ferns, mango trees, butterflies and birds.

Whether or not we'll have the time or energy to avail ourselves of the Park's many optional activities, we'll have the chance to canoe, boat ride, hike, use elephants, jeep, or stay in blinds. In 2011 we only did jeep rides or boat trips for water birds, because the jeep rides were too productive -- for wild dogs and sloth bears and guars, for us to risk doing anything else. In 2012 some people enjoyed the elephant ride through the jungle, and canoeing for water birds, in addition to the boat trip we made for birds.

four horned Left: The rare four-horned antelope.
However, for 2015 we'll also be adding the option of doing some very exciting camera-trap photography at the game-trails and waterholes around the lodge. The lodge is located on a 45 acre property in the Park's buffer zone, and deer, wild hog, jungle cat, even sloth bear and leopards have been recorded inside the grounds.

With CAMERA TRAPS we'll have the chance to do some fun photography of species we may not see during the day. That includes any of the animals listed above, as well as porcupines, civets, and jackals.

You will not need your own flashes and mounts, or your own Range IR camera-tripper, as my plan is to share any images we make (with provisions that will be outlined to registered participants). However, for those interested in doing this and capturing their own unique shots I'll be providing a complete list of the minimal equipment and I'll help you in setting up for shots. Either way, I'm very excited about doing this for our 2015 trip and I'm anxious to see what we can capture!

Dinner and overnights at our Lodge

Day 20 - Satpura to Delhi

We'll have an early morning transfer to the airport to board a flight to Delhi, arriving in the late morning in Delhi where you will have a day room until 9PM that evening. You'll have a Farewell Dinner before transfering to Indira Gandhi International Airport for your flight home.
Day Room - Radisson Hotel

Day 21 - Delhi to Home

In the late hours of Day 19 we'll transfer to the airport and board flights for home.

The Tour Price is $TBA.
based upon twelve participants.

For a tour of nine participants there will be a $700 additional cost.
For a tour of eight participants there will be a $600 additional cost.

Trip Deposit - $TBA nonrefundable deposit

Single Supplement - $TBA

Our Tour Cost Includes

Accommodations on double/twin sharing basis.
Meals in Delhi - Breakfasts and Welcome Dinner on Day 2.
Tips for the jeep drivers, mahots, and our English-speaking guides.
All Meals and Accommodations while on Safari, Day 4 - 19.
Lodging on Day 1 in Delhi and Day 2 in Khajuraho, and
the day room on our final afternoon/evening in Delhi.
Service of English speaking resident naturalists in each park.
Jeep safaris, with 2 per vehicle
Farewell dinner in Delhi.
Airfare for domestic flight to our destination city and back to Delhi.
All transfers - from airport to hotel in Delhi and to airport.

Our Tour Cost does not include

Insurance fees - we strongly recommend trip insurance,
and we'll send out information to all registered participants.
International Airfare.
Any pre-trip excursions, to Agra or elsewhere.
Expenditures of a personal nature, including drinks, laundary, phone calls,
alcoholic beverages, tips.
Any sudden and unforeseen increase in price due to an increase in Park Fees, Fuel Costs, or Government Tax Policies beyound our control, acts of god, natural calamity, law and order situations, riots, or forced changes in itinerary due to situations or reasons beyond our control.
Additional costs due to unexpected changes in domestic air fares.

An Important Note

While we make every effort to provide you with success, we are dealing with wild animals and your luck -- be it with the animals, with a driver or guide, with a assigned route your vehicle is arbitrarily given by the Park authorities on a given day, any of these things and more-- are out of our control. Further, we run our trips for the benefit of the group, not a lone individual, and all of our decisions and actions are based upon the group's well being and success, and not to catering to a single individual. This model has worked wonderfully for us for over 25 years of doing photo tours, but if you are accustomed to having your own way or calling your own shots then do the trip by yourself, or pick another tour.

Please Read this MOST IMPORTANT Notice

Tigers are the rarest of the big cats. Less than 1,500 survive in India where one has the best chance of seeing this cat across its geographic range. Tigers are jungle cats, not conspicuous grassland species like lions or cheetahs, nor do they linger in trees like African leopards which can be seen from afar.
Although we have never had anyone strike out and not seen or photograped a tiger on the five trips we’ve made in the last three years, it is entirely possible that you might not see or might not photograph a tiger to your satisfaction. In 2015 we had 23 sightings, and most of these provided photo opportunities. In contrast, in 2012 one of our tours had a total of 55 tiger sightings, and one lucky participant had 34 sightings alone.
A tiger safari perhaps embodies the real meaning of wildlife photography and all that this truly implies. In contrast to a photo trip to Antarctica, where one practically stumbles over the photographic subjects like penguins and seals, or East Africa, with multiple charismatic mega fauna – rhinos, elephants, big cats and nearly two dozen other species reasonably easy to see and photograph - one has to work for tigers, and have luck at the same time.
Our trip goes to the three best tiger parks for quality photography. But I cannot stress enough that even in being in the best parks, and scheduling our time allocation in such a way to maximize our chances, ultimately, photographing the world’s rarest big cat in its jungle habitat is a matter of luck. That said, by our itinerary and use of skilled driver/guides we’ve done everything possible to stack the deck in our favor.
I’m not trying to discourage the right people from joining us, and I sincerely believe we offer the best tiger shoot available (our past numbers and images should confirm that). However, I do want to discourage the wrong people from joining us. The people we’d love to join us are those who can accept the possibility of failure, of not getting their dream shot. Those people are the ones who can appreciate all of India’s wildlife and will take the time to photograph the peacocks and langur monkeys and gaurs and various species of deer and birds that can make any excursion into a park a rewarding experience. People who truly realize that India is not Africa or the Pantanal or some other wildlife rich area, and that for tigers, one is dealing with their habitat of forest and jungles and sometimes the inane or incomprehensible (to us) rules that are implemented in various parks.
For example, in many wildlife rich countries radios are used to notify everyone when a desired animal is seen, or in some private parks trackers follow rare species continuously. Radios are not used in India, and so one might pass by a tiger that just stepped on to the road a minute after you drove by. Drivers share information when they meet, but the standard East African practice of everyone getting a radio call and racing to a location does not occur in India.
Another contrast with many African locales is the prohibition of off-road driving. Game drives are restricted to established tracks, and so a tiger in clear view in an open field may be too far away for good shooting. This can be frustrating, but it also saves this dry environment and it does provide peace for the tigers from harassment. If a cat wants to be by the road it will be, but it makes the choice; not you or your driver. People comparing Africa with India on these two points, off-road driving and radios, are frustrated, but the best, and really only, wild tiger photography in the world occurs in the Indian parks, and these are their rules.

We love photographing in India and although we’d love to have easier tiger photography it is what it is. Luck, a good attitude, good karma and a desire to shoot a complete portfolio of Indian wildlife are the qualities required to really appreciate this experience; this endeavor to photograph the world’s rarest big cat. It is not always easy, and immediate gratification is quite rare, but we are talking about the trophy cat, the rarest cat, the most beautiful and charismatic cat, and we certainly believe that the prize is worth it.
If you can’t accept any of the points I've just discussed, don’t visit India or book a trip with someone who is not telling the facts to you honestly.

About Your Leaders

jMy wife Mary Ann and I strive to provide the most comfortable and thorough safari you will experience. Both Mary and I are professional photographers, and I'd hope you've seen our credits. These included National Geographic, National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Natural History, Living Bird, Birder's World, and most nature/wildlife calendars.

As a husband/wife team, Mary Ann and I have won more times in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition than any one. To date we have had 15 firsts, seconds, or thirds -- and we have not entered every year. Our trips are not about us, however, they are all for you, but credentials seem to matter, and we have them.

Mary has written twenty-nine (29) children's books, including Leopards, Grizzly Bears, Woodpeckers, Flying Squirrels, Sunflowers, Cobras, Jupiter, Boas, Garter Snakes, Pythons, Rattlesnakes, Ducks, Chickens, Horses, and Cows, and a coffee table book, Out of the Past, Amish Tradition and Faith.

I've written several how-to wildlife photography books -- A Practical Guide to Photographing American Wildlife, The Wildlife Photographer's Field Manual, The Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography, Designing Wildlife Photographs, Photographing on Safari, A Field Guide to Photographing in East Africa, and the New Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography, African Wildlife, Creatures of the Night, The World's Deadliest, and several ebooks. We have produced an instructional video, A Video Guide to Photographing on Safari with Joe and Mary Ann McDonald.

We are both editors for Nature Photographer magazine.

In addition to leading our trips to Tanzania, Mary and I personally lead photo safaris to Kenya, Brazil's Pantanal, Chile, Galapagos, Svalbard, India, Alaska, Rwanda, Yellowstone, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Falklands, Antarctica, South Texas, Arizona, and some other spots, too!

As with any International trip, we strongly recommend you purchase travel trip insurance.

Contact us by

Phone us at 717-543-6423

Or FAX us at: (717) 543-5342

Return to HomePage