Monday, November 30, 2015


India has one of the best Tiger preserves in the world. This perserve of almost 100,000 acres used to be the private hunting grounds of the Majarajas of Jaipur.  We saw the actual blinds where they would kill the tigers. Even Queen Elizabeth shot and killed one before this was outlawed. The Bengal Tiger is making a comeback thanks to India's Project Tiger. There are many beautiful bird species and other animals in this National Park, including Leopards, but everyone wants to spot the Tigers which can be very elusive. After a nice lunch at the lodge we boarded these huge oversized jeeps and took off on a late afternoon drive.  It was so bumpy, we had to hang on and so dusty too. We stayed out until dark and it got cold, but we didnt spot a tiger. We were accompanied by a great naturalist who certainly had a passion for his work.  He knew all the tigers and stories about one that has killed 4 men in opportunistic encounters. The lodge does not guarantee tiger spotings, but we got up very early the next am, ready to try again.
Big Bats hanging in the trees.

We had some quick coffee and took off in the cold am light. We drove around in our assigned area andnothing was  spotted. Finally The coffee took its toll and we went to a building where the women could use a squatty potty and the guys used "a loo with a view" , which it is called in the forest. Guys have it easy. Just as the last woman was in the toilet, our guide started calling us all excitedly back...hurry, hurry, hurry...they had heard roaring in a certain area, and we were going to be hot on the trail. The Guide asked us if we could "REALLY hang on for dear life", and we assured him we could. Good thing we had all just peed, or we would have all been wet! That driver put the petal to the metal and we had quite the ride careening around sharp turns and rocky patches, and it was thrilling but rough! very rough.  We got to the roar area to find a few smaller jeeps had beat us. We saw one large male and a female and they were mating. Then the male would follow the female and try again, and again, and again........
It was all worth that bumpy ride. We got back to the lodge late and ate breakfast about 11:00am. Dirty as heck, but so pumped we had seen this. We had one more ride schedualed in the late afternoon, so no one took a shower...we just grubbed around waiting to go again. Lo and behold we sighted a young Tigress before it got dark. She was marking territory and also trying to hunt.  She paid no attention to us. 
We all felt so lucky and happy that we scored 2 out of three and a mating,which we were told is a rare sight. It was a blast, and a thrill of a lifetime to see these animals in their natural environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment