Day 7 Tiger Safari at Ranthambore National Park
Trip Start Feb 08, 2013
24Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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We had a thunderstorm here in the middle of the night - sounded like a canon going off!
We had to be up and ready to get on the next jeep around 6:45 am!
We had every layer imagineable on - plus a blanket round our legs!
The jeep safari went to a different area this time, and took us underneath a 1000 year old fort and some ancient shrines.
There were numerous spooky looking banyan trees with roots reaching down from the branches. Apparently there are around 50 tigers in the park - each with their own territory as they are solitary creatures (apart from when they have cubs). We saw Black-faced monkeys, a family of wild boar, crocodiles, spotted deer, gazelle, antelope
But no tiger! (the mud made spotting tracks even more difficult today).-Its like trying to find a needle in a haystack! But the haystack is 400 square km!
We returned to the resort to find our bed beautifully decorated with flower petals! (see photo)
We took a trip into the village to see a government sponsored initiative to support the women of the park area in marketing their handicrafts! Beautiful hand worked embroidery on silk, throws, cushion covers etc. We treated ourselves to a wall hanging and I got a beautiful pair of silk pyjamas!
After lunch we had another safari trip - a different zone with a different guide and driver and a lovely young couple from Mumbai as fellow passengers. This time we saw: many of the more common animals as before - monkeys, deer, gazelle, plus yet more bird species such as a
Brown faced Owl
Brown owl (apparently different from a Brown FACED Owl!)
Oh, and a Tiger!
YES! WE ACTUALLY SAW A REAL LIVE TIGER IN THE WILD!!!
It was getting into our last hour in the park, and the guides had somehow checked all the likely spots in this particular zone , and narrowed it down to one area. The vehicles gathered first in one spot, and watched and listened and waited - but nothing was happening. We drove off with an air of resignation. Then we drew in behind another jeep to see what they were looking at - and there he was! A fabulous male Bengal tiger in all his glory just striding amongst the undergrowth! We couldn't believe our luck! In no time at all the rest of the jeeps arrived on the scene - then it became a competition of vying for the best viewing position - with each crew trying to guess where the tiger would head next! He came really close and just strode off down the road, obviously quite used to jeeps and excited humans!
So it was a really memorable day, and we've been grinning ever since! Especially as no one else in our resort got to see him!