Here kitty kitty
Trip Start Nov 11, 2011
20Trip End Dec 02, 2011
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Longer version.....last elephant safari. Up at 6am on ele at 7am. There was still dew in the air. Went battling through the undergrowth and long grasses. Tbe ele really could go where jeeps and humans couldnt. It was thru the inpenetrable forest. Blanket of trees in front of me and me thinking no way we can get thru that. Wrong. Ele made light work of everything. I had long grasses whipping back in my face covering me with dew and the grass themselves. The trees bushes etc where sticking very nicely to my clothes.
Meanwhile my guide and ele driver were looking for signs of tigers. They knew exactly where to look. We criss crossed the grass and thick undergrowth. Nothing there. Back to river bank. Lots of tiger tracks. Even spotted somwhere where a tiger had sat down. But that was it no further signs. We criss crossed the same area going back to river bank at intervals. By now i remembered to hang on when ele climbed up or down the bank!
After hr and a half it eas very very quiet. Nothing out there but a few birds. I was getting very disheartend. Last day in Bardia and i wont see a tiger:-( We were passing through a batch of thick undergrowth when ele stopped and driver and guide were looking closely and talking to each other. In nepalese so had no idea what they were saying.
I looked couldnt see anything for leaves and branches. Oh no i thought a tiger ad i cant see it! We inched closer and i thought i could see something. It then moved out into thinner grasses. There it was a bloody big tiger looking at us. My brain and fingers failed to work together so only managed one photo. With a flash. Oh crap....using flash with a tiger nearby not a good idea! Driver and guide were discussing should we stay or go? Luckily they decided to stay. By now i had switched to film. Very.shaky weaving camera over to the side of the drivers head. Still looking at the tiger which was growling away at us
Suddenly the ele made a noise and all hell broke loose
The tiger really snarled/growled and suddenly it sprang out of the grasses and charged us. Baring its teeth,snarling. We all tried to lean backwards to get away from it! The ele trumpeted and went back.Oh lordy a tiger has just charged me. Even on an elephant i wasnt sure all would be ok. The tiger went for the ele and the ele thought sod this and fought back.Cue lots of noise. The tiger did not want to argue with an elephant so it ran off to the left of us Everyone was suddey whooping and hollering. Clapping each other on the back. Shaking hands with each otber. My guide said you are very very lucky. I know i said. I had seen a wild tiger. I almost cried!! We made our way in the direction of the tiger but there was no sign. It was long gone.
Later i found out that it was a juvenile male tiger. The son of a tigress from the park itself. The eldest of four cubs. He was well known for charging and jumping up at eles. So not only had i seen a tiger i had seen the biggest vaddest tiger in Bardia!!