If your sole reason for visiting an Indian tiger reserve is to see a tiger, look no further. Two or three days at Bandhavgarh should net you a tiger sighting. India's 2014 tiger census counted 68 tigers here, the great majority of them in the relatively small (453 sq km) territory of Bandhavgarh National Park, which forms part of the reserve's core zone. Away from tigers the park has a diverse range of other wildlife including plenty of, albeit rarely seen, leopards and more commonly sighted animals such as growing populations of wild boar and gaur, as well as lots of spotted deer and langurs.
The main base for visits is the small, laid-back village of Tala, 32km northeast of Umaria, the nearest train station. February to June are generally the best months for tiger sightings, but from April to June it's very hot, with temperatures often climbing above 40°C.