Animal safaris are always exciting, no matter what age you are. And the Bengal Safari in Siliguri is something people should definitely have on their checklist if they are visiting the town.
Part of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, the state government has very efficiently turned it into a popular safari for tourists. Officially known as the North Bengal Wild Animals Park, it is operated by the West Bengal Zoo Authority. There are various time slots that tourists can choose from.
One can choose from various safari options starting with elephant riding (30 minutes), the Combo 1 Safari (45 minutes), Tiger Safari (20 minutes) and Grand Safari (one hour). While the Combo 1 Safari includes tigers and mixed herbivores, we would suggest go for the Grand safari which covers mixed herbivores, leopards, black bears and tigers.
Make sure you reach a little early to your assigned vehicle so that you can check out the gharial and crocodile enclosure before you start the grand safari. Spot Barking Deer, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Swamp Deer, One Horned Rhinoceros, Peacock, Red Jungle Fowl and Black Ibis, among others.
After this, tourists are taken to the black bear enclosure where you get to see two Himalayan black bears, followed by the leopard enclosure. As they say, the best is always saved for the last, which is the tiger enclosure comprising two male and one female big cats. We were lucky enough to see one majestically stroll past our vehicle.