Monday, March 4, 2013

The Tiger Diaries: 03-Ranthambore Safari Day 2

Tobin David
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Day 2: The Safaris continue

Day 2 dawned and I felt hopeful and optimistic about having a good day. The early morning safari was in a canter and we entered the park around 7 am. We ‘spotted’ spotted deer, langur monkeys and birds. Just 45 minutes into the safari, we received an alert from a canter behind us which made us turn around. Lo and Behold! 

There, was the mighty tiger strolling nonchalantly between our canter and the canter behind us.  The first reaction on seeing the tiger in the wild is an adrenaline rush followed by mind-numbing awe. Sighting this majestic and beautiful animal never fails to send a thrill down my spine.

Enters the Tiger

Enter the Tiger

And this particular tiger was walking just a few feet away from us, so powerful yet so full of grace. 

Tiger Strolls alongside

One small step for a tiger,
       a giant stride for Project Tiger

Shaking off the mind-numbing awe, I aimed the camera andtook a few photos of the tiger before it disappeared into the forest. 

What a high it was!

The canter driver and guide tried to follow this tiger but after some excitement-filled chasing and waiting, we called it quits. We continued the safari. To be honest, I went through the motions of seeing and photographing the other animals. 

Jungle Babbler


Jungle Babbler

Jungle babblers

The thrill of the tiger-sighting, still, had me trembling with excitement. The rest of the safari was uneventful.

The remainder of the morning was spent bragging about the tiger-sighting to the hotel staff and other guests at the hotel! Tiger-sightings entitle you to bragging rights, you see. Time well-spent without a doubt!

Kundal Zone (Zone 6)

How beautiful is my valley!

Afternoon shift

The afternoon safari was in a gypsy in Kundal Zone (zone 6) about 8 kms. from Ranthambore. This a relatively new zone with fewer tiger-sightings reported.  However, there had been a sighting that morning for a good 10 minutes. The tiger had strolled near the gypsies, sat down near a puddle of water and drank water from the puddle. Hence the optimism in our gypsy was very high.

As the safari started we realized that this was one of the more scenic zones. The dry yellow grass, the grey trees devoid of any leaves and the brown hill ranges in the background made this a very picturesque zone.

Forest Road, Kundal Zone

Tracking the Tiger

Forest Road, Kundal Zone

Kundal Zone

Hopefully, the tigers would venture out to admire the scenic and picturesque landscape and thereby, grant us a good tiger-sighting opportunity.

We sighted some deer and antelopes and hoped that the tiger would turn up for supper. However after an extremely long and frustrating wait, near a water-hole where the tiger was sighted in the morning, it slowly dawned upon us that a tiger-sighting was not on the cards. With a heavy heart we made our way back to the zone gates. 

Female Blue Bull (Nilgai)

Female Blue bull (Nilgai)

We sighted deer, antelopes, wild boars, langur monkeys on our way back. These animal sightings and the beautiful landscape lifted our spirits a bit on the way out.

Langur Monkey (Nilgai)

A Langur Mother and Young One

It had been a good day but there were many more safaris to come in the next few days.

Spotted Deer Stag

Spotted Deer Stag

Spotted Deer Stag

Spotted Deer Stag

Tobin David
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