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, except perhaps in October. 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. Neck and neck with Rajasthan’s Ranthambhore for sightings, this is one of India’s top tiger playgrounds. There are also more than 40 rarely seen leopards and more commonly sighted animals such as deer, wild boar 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 April to June is very hot with temperatures often climbing above 40°C.