We have spent time with Tropical Ice and grew to really like the staff. So, when they started to talk about visiting India and looking for Tigers it caught our attention. We like tigers. We signed up and off we went.
Finding tigers often took a few hours of driving. We visited two parks: Kanha Tiger Reserve and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. We arrived at the park gates before dawn to start our 6 hour game drive, followed by a 3 hour mid-day break at unique lodges, followed by a late afternoon 3-4 hour game drive. This was the routine for 5 days, in search of at least one of the 143 tigers in 3647 square kilometres.
Dawn breaks at the park gate with lots of paperwork to complete before we are allowed in:
Tiger safaris need patience.
Well worth the spouts of boredom and long dusty drives. Seeing one on these beautiful large cats in the flesh, watching their muscles flex as they tiptoe within inches of the open vehicles is exhilarating!
Here is one nice shot where the tiger is walking towards us.
The park is patrolled by rangers, who also radio into the tourist vehicles if a tiger is spotted. This guy is lucky. He gets to patrol with an elephant, rather than some of his colleagues, on bicycles!
Going for a pee was problematic: couldn’t leave the vehicle, well, because there be tigers in the area. Here is the India version of an outhouse in a national park, consisting of straw walls surrounding a concrete slab, which was hosed off now and then by the maintenance guys using the water in the white tank.
Here are some tiger pictures from our trip.
This cat actually looked and moved calm even with all the vehicles and people behind him.
I like looking for tigers as there are many other things to see. And we saw some beautiful ones. Everyone I watched very closely. I did not hide as others did and I saw more. Some of these cats would look directly at me. But would not pause their walk away from us.
This was a very good event and very worth us being on it.
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