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Filip A

Tiger safari in October

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Filip A

Hi everyone,

This is my first trip report on Safaritalk.

It all started while we were on safari in Ruaha, Tanzania in January 2018. During dinner, a friendly English lady and safari expert, told us about her incredible tiger safari adventures in India.

Because it has always been a dream for me to see tigers in the wild, I started my “research” about a possible tiger safari. I was quickly convinced and when I showed my wife and two children the report and the pictures of Janzin's Ranthambhore Feb 2018 report, our next destination was immediately decided.

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Our 2018 summer and Christmas holidays already booked at that time, there was just one week left when we could possibly go, during the school break between October 27th until November 4th 2018.

Not the best period to go on a tiger safari (parks only open in October after the monsoon, lush vegetation, a lot of water, higher grass, …) but after some conversations with Abhishek from WWI, we took the risk and we booked 5 nights in Ranthambhore.

We would arrive very late in the hotel so for the first two days we booked normal game drives. On day 3 and 4 we had full day safari's and the last day we only had a morning game drive before going back home.

So in total we had 5 normal drives and 2 full days, normally that should be enough to get at least the change to see some tigers.

 

We stayed in Ranthambhore Kothi hotel, a very nice hotel with friendly people. Rooms were clean and very spacious, nice swimming pool and the food was delicious. The hotel is ideally located just 5 min away from the park entrance for zones 1 to 6 (which is very important because everybody wants to be first in line to enter the park).

Our guide was Rajesh Gujar and our driver was Himmat Singh, for sure one of the best drivers in Ranthambhore.  He always managed to park our gypsy on the right place at the right time, really unbelievable. They worked very well together and although their main focus was tigers, of course, they stopped on a regular basis for other sightings.

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Filip A

Day 1 : October 31st 2018

On our first morning drive we were assigned zone 1, at that time, the zone of T106 and T107, two sub-adult daughters of T39 Noor. T39 herself and her third sub-adult daughter T105 occupied a part of zone 2.

Halfway through the drive, we and a lot of other cars and canters, took a short break nearby one of the rest houses when suddenly someone started to shout “tiger, tiger”. It was total madness, everybody jumped back in the cars and rushed next to each other to a small waterhole beside a small river and there she was … T107 our first tiger in the wild ! She walked alongside the riverbed and for a few seconds right in front of us on the road but then she quickly disappeared in the lush vegetation.

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Zubbie15

Off to an interesting start @Filip A, it's a nice contrast to see Ranthambhore in green (it was very dry and yellow when we were there in March).  I have to say I envy Europeans being much closer to Africa and India than us - I'd never consider India for a week from where we live!

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Atravelynn

I was certain that I wrote about the English lady who pointed you toward a tiger trip, but I don't see the comment now.  Anyway, good thing she did.  Great views and shots of the striped cat!

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Filip A
Posted (edited)

For our afternoon drive we had zone 4, the zone of T19 Krishna and her three sub-adult cubs (2 male, 1 female). Zone 4 is very large and has varied terrain. We checked a few waterholes (during the dry period tigers often come there to cool down or to take a rest but this time of the year, right after the monsoon, there’s water everywhere so the animals don’t have to travel that much) but no luck.

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Another car spotted a tiger but he was far away off-road, resting in the grass. As it was almost time to leave the park, we decided to wait here, you’ll never know what the tiger might do.

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And indeed … five minutes later the tiger got up, started to move in our direction and he laid himself down right in front of our car. It was one of Krishna’s sub-adult males. Unbelievable !

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Edited by Filip A
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Filip A

Oops, wrong picture !!

Nice sunset on our first day.

 

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Filip A

Day 2 : November 1st 2018

The next morning we went back to zone 4 to the place where we left our tiger the day before but apparently Krishna had moved her family away, back into the lush vegetation.

It was a very quiet morning.

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When we returned to the gate my wife spotted this handsome guy, T74 Teddy Bear, a very shy, seldom seen, young male tiger of this zone.

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He crossed the road, marked his territory, said us hello, and then quickly went off in the green vegetation.

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Filip A

The area for the afternoon drive was zone 2, targets were T39 Noor and/or her sub-adult daughter T105. Our guide told us that mother and daughter lived already apart so we really hoped to see at least one of them.

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Suddenly we heard a lot of noise: sambar alarm calls combined with the sound of jeep and canter engines and yelling people … Himmat immediately stopped the jeep and decided not to join the other cars. Instead he searched for a spot to park right beside some bushes, very close to the river.

A few minutes later T105 Noori showed up …

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She was constantly on the move and there were a lot of cars so it wasn't that easy to get some clear views.

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After two days of “normal” game drives we had seen four different tigers. Our guide and driver both agreed that we should consider ourselves extremely lucky regarding this time of the year.

 

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Filip A

We had been in zone 1 - 2 and 4, and as I mentioned earlier, our guides also did stop for other wildlife sightings and nice landscapes.

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Zone 4

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Zone 4

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Ranthambhore fort taken from zone 2

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Langur monkeys

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Spotted deer

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Sambar deer

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Mongoose

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Filip A

Day 3 : November 2nd 2018

We started our first full day game drive in zone 1 but we headed straight to zone 6. Very soon we saw a few other jeeps parked nearby a riverbed. Far away in green vegetation, three tigers were laying down in the grass. As it was still very early in the morning our guides proposed to stay here and to wait. Their prediction was that, as soon as it got warmer, the tigers would move closer to the water and rocks nearby. Other jeeps and canters joined the party but by the time they had to leave the park (morning game drive ends at 10.30am), nothing had happened. I must admit I was getting a little nervous too but Himmat convinced me to stay calm. They would soon be moving…

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T108 Jai, sub-adult son of T8 Ladli, was the first to get up.

What followed was an amazing sighting that lasted for more than two hours. T8 Ladli and her two sub-adult sons T108 Jai and T109  Veeru stood up, went to the water, played in the water, took some rest on the rocks, etc.

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Mother waiting for her two boys

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Here's the first one, T109 Veeru

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T108 Jai, choosing the other side of the riverbed

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Mother and son

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Family portrait

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The mother left and we followed her to another waterhole nearby, then she disappeared behind the rocks.

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We went back to her two sons and it was like they had been waiting for us, before making a move. They left together but we could easily see and follow them as though they both wanted it to be that way. Finally the two brothers found a cool spot under some trees to take some more rest. All the time during this spectacle there was only one other jeep !

The first one who came out of the forest was T108 Jai

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Followed by his brother T109 Veeru

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The two brothers hiding under some trees

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Filip A

We decided to drive back to the gate to pick up our lunch. We came back in zone 1 and we literally bumped into another tigress, T106 the third sub-adult daughter of T39 Noor.

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Himmat and Rajesh were convinced that she would stay there for a while, so we rushed to the gate, picked up our lunch and came back.

On the way back to T106 we spotted another tiger ! He was lying on the rocks on the other side of the river, so a bit far away to get a decent picture. This is the best one we got from him.

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So  back to T106

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All this time there was only one other jeep. By the time other cars came into the park for the afternoon game drive, she decided to leave. For a while we tried to follow her but there were just too many cars and she disappeared into the forest.

A few weeks later the forest department decided to transfer T106 to another tiger reserve in India.

 

 

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Atravelynn

Excellent to see them by the rocks and water.

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gatoratlarge

Ranthambore is very picturesque --- great to see so many tigers thriving there.  I went many years ago...

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janzin

wow fantastic sightings. And just goes to prove what I said in my Ranthambhore report...contrary to popular wisdom, mid-day brings the best tiger activity!  And yes interesting to see so much green. Makes a nice contrast for the tigers! We'll be back in February and it will be brown again.

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Zubbie15

Our guide told us that things were quite quiet for us on our three full day safaris, despite seeing 9 tigers over our time in the park.  I can see what he meant from your report, you definitely had more action than we did. 

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Filip A
On ‎7‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 5:36 AM, Atravelynn said:

Excellent to see them by the rocks and water.

It was a fantastic sighting that lasted for more than 2 hours. We were literally having breakfast in front of this tiger family.

For most of the time we were there all alone !

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Filip A
20 hours ago, janzin said:

wow fantastic sightings. And just goes to prove what I said in my Ranthambhore report...contrary to popular wisdom, mid-day brings the best tiger activity!  And yes interesting to see so much green. Makes a nice contrast for the tigers! We'll be back in February and it will be brown again.

Thank you. You' re absolutely right about the full day safaris. Most of the "best" sightings we had, was between 11am and 2pm.

The fact that you can drive in all the zones is a huge bonus ! In fact, I was in Ranhtambhore again last month and sometimes we visited all zones from 1 to 6 on one single day.

 

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Filip A
20 hours ago, Zubbie15 said:

Our guide told us that things were quite quiet for us on our three full day safaris, despite seeing 9 tigers over our time in the park.  I can see what he meant from your report, you definitely had more action than we did. 

 

In total we saw 11 different tigers during our stay. Our guides told us quite a few times that we had been very lucky considering the period we were there.

Although some sightings were very short, we had some other sightings which lasted for more than 2 hours, really amazing !

On the other hand we met some people staying in our hotel, who didn't spot one single tiger in 3 full day safari's, so I guess sometimes you 'll need some luck.

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