Like bank holiday sunbathing or taking a flutter on the Grand National, a tiger safari is a famously unpredictable undertaking: some lucky souls go home having witnessed 200lb of furry feline stalking silently through the jungle; others having done nothing but stare intently at a small patch of Indian foliage. Head to Jim Corbett National Park in March, however, and you’ll stand the best chance of spotting these endangered cats on their home turf. Forest cover is fairly low and an added bonus is that temperatures are warm without being suffocatingly hot. Named after an esteemed Anglo-Indian conservationist (with a sideline in hunting troublesome man-eating cats), Corbett was India’s first national park: a tract of grasslands, shady forests, rivers and lakes spread beside the foothills of the Himalayas. Even if you don’t spot the headline attraction, you can at least expect one of the following as a consolation prize: wild elephant, macaque, deer and crocodile variously stomp, leap, trot and waddle about within the park boundaries – and, if you’re lucky, you might see a leopard, dozing in the treetops in the higher, cooler reaches of the park.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
Set beside the sculpture filled Oosterpark, near the canal ring, Generator Amsterdam has rooms with high ceilings and park or garden views. Quote Lonely Planet Travellerwhen booking for a free glass of wine or a beer (from £75; generatorhostels.com).
For more information about visiting Amsterdam on a budget, see lonelyplanet.com/ amsterdam and amsterdam.info.
Airlines such as BA, CityJet, easyJet, KLM and Ryanair fy to Amsterdam from UK cities such as London and Manchester (from £60; easyjet.com).