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Stripes of Wild India


michael-ibk
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Aap Ne Baagh Dekha?

Definitely the most important phrase we learned on this trip. The answer, btw, is yes, 17/16/15. Hint: Could have something to do with:

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The Tiger definitely is my most favourite animal, and so it was quite a logical decision to do a return trip to India. Africa may have "wilder" parks, may have more diversity of larger mammals. But it doesn´t have the tiger. Simple as that. For that reason alone India will always be a fantastic destination for any animal lover, and certainly one I will return to time and time again. Especially since there´s so much more to see than just the king of the jungle.

A unique culture and timeless monuments:

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Splendiferous birdlife:

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Abundant "regular" animals like deer and monkeys:

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Very rare and elusive creatures:

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Impressive giants:

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All three from Kaziranga, a most special and wonderful place in Eastern India´s Assam.

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And the place which was the reason for this trip to be a very "Safaritalky" one. A team-up of "Mrs. Trip Report" @@Atravelynn , secret lurker @@AndMic and my humble self. (And yes, Lynn and me will be sharing trip report duties on this one.) Our interest in seeing this extraordinary stronghold of the Indian Rhino brought us together.

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Andrew, Lynn and yours truly on the banks of the Brahmaputra.

All started here, btw:

http://safaritalk.net/topic/12032-who-is-planning-for-2015/?p=118051

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That´s what they try to tell you in Central India´s parks, Kanha, Pench and Tadoba in our case. But no need to worry ... let´s just say good things happen to those who travel with Lynn. :)

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@@michael-ibk

Off to a great start.... I have been waiting for this. Love the tiger leading the vehicle down the road!

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@@michael-ibk I'm hooked already!

 

I have been waiting for this, I was so excited when I saw your TR in new content that I had a first read of the introduction and am now sitting back at the laptop with an early cuppa after a longer, second reading. Your photos are beautiful and encompass the wildlife, birds, scenery and heritage of India. You certainly saw the star attractions - tiger, rhino, dhole and a hoolock gibbon, wonderful.

 

I agree, India has so much to offer, unique wildlife, a colourful culture and a rich architectural heritage thanks for including the photo of the fort.

 

What a treat, Lynn and yourself writing a joint TR, will we be hearing from @@AndMic also? So looking forward to more....

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Wow. A trip report from India by Michael and Lynn ( apologies I do not "know" Andrew from ST). Stunning pictorial start. Magnificent tiger pictures, but also others that bring out the landscape. And how did you answer to " Aapna Baag Dekha"

 

"Baag ke saat, Sher Dekha" :)

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Nice trip ...Michael. .are you still in india...

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Nice trip ...Michael. .are you still in india...

Unless he has just booked a quick return, I can answer that he is back in Austria, but dreaming of India I am sure. These wonderful intro photos posted above will spark my own memories and dreams of India.

 

And how about that title? Compliments of secret lurker @AndMic! It prompted me to ask him if he was a poet! He said no.

 

Our collaboration all started with that all important "Who is Planning for ..." thread. 2015 in this case--the link is above. Michael declared he'd "like to return to India in March/April for Tadoba/Kanha/Bandhavgarh and Kaziranga." To which I replied, "Are your India plans an open invitation or just a declaration?"

 

And the rest is history to be recorded in this report. I first "met" Michael on the forum when he wrote about an albino baboon he had seen in Arusha National Park. I thought that was so cool and shortly after I got to see it too. I think if two people see the same albino baboon, it is fate that they travel together to India!

 

But there was another Safaritalker involved in all of this too and that is Hari @@madaboutcheetah!

 

Hari had business in Delhi so we were able to meet at the end of our first day in India for dinner at the wonderful Bukhara Restaurant at the ITC Maurya Hotel. Fortunately President Obama’s visit and stay at the hotel had been a few weeks earlier because the place had been off limits at that time.

 

It was great to meet the legendary Hari in person and we had a lovely visit while dining on traditional style cuisine of India’s Northwest Frontier region that Bukhara is known for. Hari’s cousin joined us, as a bonus. We all really enjoyed the evening, the good food, and the wonderful company. Thank you again Hari for arranging this get together for us at Bukhara, as well as the car and driver to get us there and back!

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Red Fort in Delhi Qutb Minar in Delhi Lodhi Gardens in Delhi

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Kaziranga National Park, Eastern Section

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Big Male (that was his name) in Mukki Section of Kanha

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Langur munching on Flame of the Forest blossoms in Pench

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Dhole in Tadoba

 

It will be fun to share this report with Michael and Andrew, but not as much fun as sharing the trip.

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@Atravelynn very cool photo of the rhino and ele in one frame! The feeding langurs look very intent and the colours are eye-catching.

 

Can't wait to hear your impressions of Pench and Tadoba as I think these will be in our plans for next year.

 

Would you recommend a trip to Lodi Gardens?

Edited by Treepol
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Thanks, @@Treepol , @@AKR1 and @@gagan! :)

@@michael-ibk You certainly saw the star attractions - tiger, rhino, dhole and a hoolock gibbon, wonderful.


will we be hearing from @@AndMic also?


Maybe we have some more star attractions coming up, who knows. :-) Hearing from Andrew, I don´t know, you know, the "secret lurker" thing. ;)

 

And about Lodi Gardens - absolutely, hope to answer your question in more detail in a few posts.

And how did you answer to " Aapna Baag Dekha"

"Baag ke saat, Sher Dekha" :)


No, I just said "YEAH!". (Going away now trying to google what that sentence means...) :)

Nice trip ...Michael. .are you still in india...


I wish. Like Lynn said, only dreaming now ... :(

 

@@Atravelynn

 

I´m glad to learn that it was fate that brought us together, though I´m still trying to figure out why the African baboon would want us to go to Asia. :rolleyes:

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A quick disclaimer - pics in this report are by all three of us. It helped that we found out that it´s possible to use other members´ albums on Safaritalk.

Our itinerary was

11/03 International Flight to New Delhi, Hotel Le Meridien
12/03 Sightseeing in New Delhi, Hotel Le Meridien
13/03 Flight to Guwahati, drive to Kaziranga, Afternoon Drive, Wild Grass Lodge
14/03 Elephant Ride, Morning and Afternoon Drive, Wild Grass Lodge
15/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive, Wild Grass Lodge
16/03 Gibbon Sanctuary near Jorhat, Kaziranga Afternoon Drive, Wild Grass Lodge
17/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive, Wild Grass Lodge
18/03 Tea Garden Walk, Drive to Guwahati, Flight to New Delhi, Hotel Four Points Sheraton
19/03 Flight to Jabalpur, Drive to Kanha, Afternoon Drive Kisli Zone, Chitvan Jungle Lodge
20/03 Morning Drive Mukki/Kanha Zone, Afternoon Drive Mukki Zone, Chitvan Jungle Lodge
21/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive Mukki Zone, Chitvan Jungle Lodge
22/03 Morning Drive Mukki/Kanha Zone, Afternoon Drive Mukki Zone, Chitvan Jungle Lodge
23/03 Drive to Pench, Afternoon Drive, Tuli Tiger Corridor
24/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive, Tuli Tiger Corridor
25/03 Morning Drive, Drive to Tadoba, Svasara Jungle Lodge Resort
26/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive
27/03 Morning and Afternoon Drive
28/03 Morning Drive, Drive to Nagpur, Flight to New Delhi, Drive to Intern. Airport, fly back home
30/03 Arrive back home

Our trip was not big on sights this time, very wildlife focused. But it really would be almost a crime travelling to India and not doing a bit of touristy culture things, so we decided to spend our first day sightseeing in Delhi. Also helped overcome jetlag, and getting the very early flight on to Assam just hours after arriving at 01:00 in the morning would have been quite brutal. (Lynn arrived already the afternoon before.)

We met Lynn at 09:00 in the morning at breakfast. Safaritalk´s Grand Dame ATRAVELYNN after all, who has been everywhere and seen everything, so I admit to have felt a bit like a teenager schoolboy meeting one of his rockstar idols. But I kept my composure and refrained from asking for an autograph. ;-)

We had a driver and a city guide for the day, both were very good. While I don´t mind driving at all and have done so in the more chaotic Southern European cities (hello Rome!) I would never in a million years self-drive in India. It´s really completely incomprehensible to me how traffic there can work, yet in some magical way it does. Everywhere about three times as many cars as theoretically possible are congesting, and it´s a never-ending "musical" cacophony of friendly or not so friendly honking. Everybody is doing it all the time, but unlike back home people are supposed to - it´s not our "Hey, A*§($)§=, where did you get your license?!?", but really a "Watch out, I´m behind you", and most trucks even have a "Horn please" sticker somewhere. Red trafficlights are mostly ignored, only a select few seem to get any attention by drivers at all. "With time you just know", already our driver last time succinctly explained. And any driver you get to chat with will sooner or later explain the three things necessary for driving in India successfully: Good horn, good brakes, and - good luck!

Our guide suggested to do the Qutb Minar first in the morning, and that was a good choice.

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This complex in Delhi´s South was built at the beginning of the Islamic reign in Delhi. Once at the very heart of the city, it´s now at its edge. The tower is the actual Qutb Minar, a tower of victory which was built in 1193. It´s 73 metres high.

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Get that tower in the frame, dammit!:

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Lynn and Andrew hard at work.

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Success!

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The quite inconspicuous iron pole at the left is fascinating. It precedes the tower by far, was built in the fourth or fifth century. Scientist have no explanation how it could have been possible back then to creat such a pure iron that even today is rustfree.

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The complex is one of the nicest sights in Delhi IMO, not only because of all the ancient, intricate craftswork which is just oozing history.

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It´s very green, with lots of trees and meadows, and so the local animals have made it their home, too:

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The Five-Striped or Northern Palm Squirrel, the ubiquitous squirrel of North India.

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No idea what this one was up to here. :)

An interesting legend explains the stripes on the back of most of the squirrels. During the construction of the Rama Setu (bridge) at Rameswaram by Lord Rama and the Vanara Sena, a little squirrel also contributed in its own little way. It rolled in the beach sand and then ran to the end of the bridge to shake off the sand from its back (chanting Lord Rama's name all along). Lord Rama, pleased by the creature's dedication, caressed the squirrel's back and ever since, the Indian squirrel carried white stripes on its back, which are believed to be the mark of Lord Rama's fingers. I really like that story.

Also abundant is the Rose-Ringed Parakeet:

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Rock Pigeons of course:

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We were even lucky enough to spot Kipling´s Cobra-killing hero Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - a Mongoose:

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Not totally sure which species this is. The Indian Grey Mongoose and the Small Indian Mongoose are quite similar,no idea if this one was 40 cm or 30 cm long, and the fur colour (grey vs. olive brown) is not totally clear to me neither. Or I´m colourblind. The very long tail would say Grey Mongoose, the dark nose patch would say Small Indian Mongoose. So, all you Mongoose specialists out there - which one is it?

Edited by michael-ibk
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We spent about two hours at Qutb Minar, and since we liked the place so much our guide had to finally urge us to move on if we wanted to see other things. :)

We drove back into the city, to Old Delhi, and I think all of us fell asleep during the almost one hour drive. Remember, I have mentioned Indian traffic already.

Next stop was the Red Fort, one of the best-known sights. None of us had visited it before on previous trips, so it was actually the one sight we all had agreed we wanted to do in any case, and everything else was "Let´s see how it goes."

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Much of the fort, built in the 17th century for the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, is long gone, but especially its outer ring is very impressive. I particularly liked the contrast of the red sandstone and the green moats. In former times these were guarded by mugger crocodiles indeed, but they have been dry since 1857.

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Personally, I liked the outside most actually. The buildings inside are nice and beautiful, but Humayun´s Tomb or Qutb Minar in Delhi, Fort Amber in Jaipur or the Red Fort in Agra are certainly much more impressive. (The Taj is in a different league anyway.) So, it felt good to "tick it off", but if you have only one day in Delhi I would suggest to do other sights first.

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Our last stop were the Lodi Gardens, a 360.000 m² parkway with several mausoleums. Our guide´s suggestion who had of course realized we liked nature stuff. And a perfect suggestion, after a hectic day in traffic and at crowded sights this was a more than welcome oasis of tranquility.

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A safe haven for birds, and to our delight we even found some Indian Grey Hornbills here:

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Common Myna, probably India´s most nunmerous bird. Our constant companion on this trip.

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Ducks nesting.

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Little Egret hunting.

Colourful floridity:

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A really beautiful place, we very much enjoyed our two hours here.

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We were back at the hotel at 17:00, which gave us plenty of time to relax a bit before our GTG with @@madaboutcheetah . Let me just repeat what Lynn said: Thank you so much Hari, really a pleasure meeting you. (And Nirvala of course - hope I spelt that correctly!)

Since we had to rise brutally early next morning deep in the night at 03:00 clock, we returned to the hotel at about 22:30. And now - Kaziranga, here we come!

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Nice trip michael I guess....

 

For those who are planning a trip to india and nepal ..please be careful yesterday an earthquake struck in nepal with intensity. .7.8 ..1500 people dead so far...

 

All of north india and nepal felt the tremors including my hometown..this will continue till 15 days according to geological society of india..so be careful while planning trip..

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Thank god central india is safe ..where most of the safari parks are located

Edited by gagan
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Awesome stuff. Nice to see a bit of wildlife around the sightseeing too, especially Rikki Tikki. Funnily enough I saw a Ring-necked Parakeet too a few days ago, but an invasive one here in Wales!
the Red Fort looks like a spectacular building and the gardens very beautiful. Can't wait for the wildlife though, even if this trip is making my desire to visit India worse and worse!

Edited by Big_Dog
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@@michael-ibk @@Atravelynn @AndMic

This looks like a great itinerary - and the trip report has got off to a great start.

It is good to see some of Delhi as well as the wildlife.

I am looking forward to reading this!

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Beautiful start; thank you for bringing India to our attention as this very critical time for the northern India and Nepal. Devastating to see on the news.

 

Having never been to India (but always thinking of the possibility) I am so looking forward to the safari, but find the excursions of the first day very striking. Loved the Lodi Gardens especially. Photos are exquisite of the structures. But my eye was taken with the Parakeet!

 

And to have two "Safaritalk Superstars, Lynn and Hari in the same room...where were the paparazzi! I hope selfies were taken :D

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@@gagan

 

The earthquake is terrible, it´s devastating to see the horrid scenes of Kathmandu on the news here. And now an afterschock, too. I read what you wrote in the other thread and really hope everything will turn out ok with your friend!

 

@Big Dog

 

Had read about the Parakeet spreading in Europe. Interesting that they manage to survive here. I doubt they could make it here in Austria, but the milder climate in the UK would probably give them a chance. And hey - stop fighting your heart´s desire. ;)

 

@@TonyQ

 

Thanks!

 

@@graceland

 

I almost dare not say ... but none of us even thought of taking a photo of the GTG. Don´t tell the Boss.

Edited by michael-ibk
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@@michael-ibk,

Beautiful pictures and narrative. Brings back nostalgic memories. I grew up very close to Lodhi gardens and used to go there often. Unlike virtually any other part of Delhi today, Lodhi gardens still shows just as well today as it did several decades ago.

How nice you and @travelynn managed to meet up and do the trip together. I loved Lynn's last India report where I recall her saying despite all the warnings she had received on traveling in India alone, she was " enchanted and enthralled" ( going from memory so the exact phrases may have been different).

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All of our banter about a trip to India can seem inconsequential in light of the recent horrific earthquake that hit Nepal and surrounding areas, including northern India. The loss of life is just devastating. @@gagan, I hope you and your loved ones remain safe.

----------------------------------------

 



I´m glad to learn that it was fate that brought us together, though I´m still trying to figure out why the African baboon would want us to go to Asia. :rolleyes:

The Grand Dame makes up the rules regarding fate. -_- If not the baboon, then it was our shared favorite bird, the Common Hoopoe. We both declared this to be our favorite bird, long ago and independently, on this forum. Maybe the albino baboon and hoopoe conspired for not only the trip but all the good sightings--including the Common Hoopoe!

 

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Common Hoopoe, Kaziranga, Eastern section

 

 

@@michael-ibk @@Atravelynn @AndMic

This looks like a great itinerary - and the trip report has got off to a great start.

Thank you. It was funny how our ideal itineraries differed very little among the 3 of us, so settling on the final itinerary was easy. Kaziranga was the #1 priority for us all. An itinerary consideration:

 

We originally had Kaziranga at the end of the trip, but Vikram of Wild World India (agent for my other 2 trips as well) advised moving it up front. The very best weeks for Kaziranga are the end of Feb and start of March. Our Kaziranga days were arrival March 13 and departure March 18. For the absolute ideal time, that probably was pushing it a bit late, but it worked out really well for us. Only two raindrops were felt throughout our entire stay. In general, November through April are the suggested months of travel to Kaziranga.

 

There was a lot of burning taking place, so skies were often hazy. This atmosphere may be detected in many of the shots.

 

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Perhaps some hazy skies can be detected here - Kaziranga, Eastern section in the morning. Not only is Kaziranga a good place for rhino, but eles too.

 

Because we wanted to be sure we saw Indian Rhino and because it takes some time & effort to get to Kaziranga, we stayed 5 nights, and loved every minute of it. The rhino were actually quite plentiful and easy to see on drives, from observation towers (54 were counted in one distant panorama view), and from elephant back. So if seeing rhino was the only goal, you'd very likely accomplish it in 3 days. But if you wanted to spend part of one morning (or more) on an elephant, exchange a game drive for a visit to the very worthwhile Hollonga Par Gibbon Sanctuary, and have time to enjoy the 3 separate sections of the park (Eastern, Western, Central), then we thought 5 days was great. We also learned of another activity that could be included: a boat cruise to try to see pink river dolphins. Apparently odds are very good. Transport alone for the boat ride was about 1.5 hours each way, so it would take up a game drive. We didn't go.

 

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Mating Hollonga Par Gibbons at the Sanctuary, 2 hours away from Kaziranga. Very rare sight, even for the rangers.

Edited by Atravelynn
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We were even lucky enough to spot Kipling´s Cobra-killing hero Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - a Mongoose:

 

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Not totally sure which species this is. The Indian Grey Mongoose and the Small Indian Mongoose are quite similar,no idea if this one was 40 cm or 30 cm long, and the fur colour (grey vs. olive brown) is not totally clear to me neither. Or I´m colourblind. The very long tail would say Grey Mongoose, the dark nose patch would say Small Indian Mongoose. So, all you Mongoose specialists out there - which one is it?

It was this fleeting glimpse of a mongoose that Michael was able to catch that revealed what a gunslinger with a camera he was and assured me there would be an abundance of good photos this trip. Later when Secret Lurker Andrew scored a stunning photo of a tiger in Kanha when I got this, I knew our collective strategy of photo sharing would be a good one.

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Umapani, female tiger Kanha zone, into the sun and dust

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Gunslinger! My boyhood cowboy dreams of somebody calling me that have finally come true! Thank you, Lynn! :)

But truth be told, if there´s one gunslinger among us, it´s certainly you. Always surprised and impressed how Lynn manages to take perfect pictures with her Powershot, makes one wonder what the point of a DSLR is after all. Well, skill and experience always beat eqipment!

On with the show:

Day 1 at Kaziranga:

03:00 o´ clock really is not a nice time to get up. The flight to Guwahati, however, was leaving at 05:35 and especially in Delhi, a city busy as busy can be, it´s necessary to allow enough time to get to the airport and pass security. In India it´s mandatory to have labels on your hand luggage, we knew that. What we didn´t quite realize that those labels get stamped. Or should get stamped. When we were boarding Andrew was denied entry because the stamp was missing. Lynn accompanied him to where the flight attendant had sent him, and they managed to get the stamp very quickly. When they had returned, however, Lynn was checked - and her stamp was missing, too! So, run back and forth a second time - Lynn was certainly awake then. :)

Piece of advice: All domestic flights have a 15 kg limit for check-in luggage, and that is weighed thoroughly, excess weight costs extra (not too bad, depending on the airlines, INR 250,-- or USD 4,-- with Indigo e.g.). Hand luggage is 7 kg, and with camera stuff and binocs we of course always exceeded that, but simply carried it with faked ease, and it was never checked for weight.

The flight to Guwahati was very beautiful, Wild World India (our excellent operator) had made sure to book us seats on the left side, and so we had a good view over the Himalayas:

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No, not a clue which mountains those are, sorry.
The flight was almost 2 1/2 hours, and finally we landed in the Brahmaputra valley. Manju Barua, the owner of the Wild Grass Lodge, welcomed us at the airport (at WWI´s request) and offered to show us around in Guwahati. Since he also explained that it could be getting late for us to get into the park if we wanted to see a bit of the city, we decided to start the drive immediately - we were hot for Rhino! ;)

The drive led through a lush and beautiful Assam, and if we hadn´t all been so terribly tired, we probably even would have seen a bit more of it instead of dozing away. We arrived after a bit more than four hours (with only one short stop on the way), and after a good lunch, a bit of unpacking and refreshing ourselves we were really eager to get going. We met Tarun and Bokul, our guide and driver respectively for all our time here in Kaziranga, and left the lodge at 13:50. It´s not far to the gate, but we had to get our tickets first at park headquarters and so passed the gate of Central Zone for our first game drive at about 14:30.

We instantly saw a Rhino mother and calf, too far away for pictures (as would often be the case). Our first closer mammal sighting was Hog Deer.

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Abundant in the park, they really are all over. In that regard, they substitute the Spotted Deer which is omnipresent in Central India but completely absent from Kaziranga.

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It gets its name from the hog-like manner in which it runs through the forests with its head hung low so that it can duck under obstacles instead of leaping over them like most other deer. Their numbers have plummeted down to only 2000 after the great flood of 1988, but nowadays they are more numerous than ever before - the 2012 census lists them with 35,000!

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That´s how much of the park looks like, green over green, very wet - and hazy, as Lynn has mentioned! From what Tarun told us it´s never all too clear, but park management burns down big parts of the vegetation beginning every February, and of course the fires increase the mist hanging over Kaziranga. The burnt elephant grass is an interesting contrast to the lush green.

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Birdlife is fantastic (so the report will feature quite a lot of feathered friends), especially near the waterways and little lakes. Kingfisher and Egrets can be seen all the time, and lots of raptors as well.

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Changeable Hawk Eagle (I think)

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Grey-Headed Fish Eagle

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Bronze-Winged Jacana

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Red Junglefowl, the ancestor of our domestic chicken. They are found in Central India as well, but there they are very, very skittish and hard to get a decent photo of. For some reason they are quite relaxed in Kaziranga and we often had good prolongued sightings of them.

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But not only birds here - proof: There are five Rhinos in the next picture:

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For some km, the route through Central Zone is basically a slightly elevated road with elephant grass meadows and flood plains left or right, often interspersed with lakes and creeks.

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After a while we passed a more wooded area and then reached a lake where we had our first good sighting of a Rhino, peacefully gracing.

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We also saw a Smooth-Coated Otter and admired it doing its elegant swimming acrobatics:

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Suddenly something big was coming towards us deep inside the underwood. It was so noisy we were convinced that whatever animal that was, it had to be huge. Buffalo. Rhino. Tiger?!?

It was a Kalij Pheasant.

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On our way back we encountered another Rhino which was obviously enjoying its evening beauty mud bath.

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Last stop of our drive was a watchtower, and from up there we enjoyed seeing night fall over Kaziranga.

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One afternoon game drive had done it - we were already in love with this place.

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Quote: No, not a clue which mountains those are, sorry.

 

@@michael-ibk

 

The mountains you saw are the Himalayas.

 

Brilliantly described here: (from a 1991 article in the Himalayan Journal)

 

https://www.himalayanclub.org/hj/47/19/the-most-spectacular-flight-in-india/

Edited by AKR1
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The mountains you saw are the Himalayas.

 

Brilliantly described here: (from a 1991 article in the Himalayan Journal)

 

https://www.himalayanclub.org/hj/47/19/the-most-spectacular-flight-in-india/

We did know the range was the Himalayas, but had no idea what peak was what. The linked article is very detailed on the names of all the peaks. It is eerie and unsettling to think that some of those beautiful mountains we had marveled at might be the site of deadly avalanches at the moment.

 

I don't recall our exact seat #s, but the writer of the article recommends 4A or 5A. Wild World India secured those seats on the left for us, but it was Secret Lurker Andrew who initially thought to ask for them. We were lucky it was a bright sunny morning.

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Spectacular pictures of a place I have always wanted to go- Kaziranga National Park.

 

Along with the Indian rhino pictures, I particularly liked this landscape you photographed brilliantly. You appear to be at a significant elevation- are you in an aircraft here or on a high ridge looking down.

 

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Gunslinger! My boyhood cowboy dreams of somebody calling me that have finally come true! Thank you, Lynn! :)

 

But truth be told, if there´s one gunslinger among us, it´s certainly you. Always surprised and impressed how Lynn manages to take perfect pictures with her Powershot, makes one wonder what the point of a DSLR is after all. Well, skill and experience always beat eqipment!

 

On with the Billy the Kid and Annie Oakley show:

 

Day 1 at Kaziranga:

 

03:00 o´ clock really is not a nice time to get up. The flight to Guwahati, however, was leaving at 05:35 and especially in Delhi, a city busy as busy can be, it´s necessary to allow enough time to get to the airport and pass security. In India it´s mandatory to have labels on your hand luggage, we knew that. What we didn´t quite realize that those labels get stamped. Or should get stamped. When we were boarding Andrew was denied entry because the stamp was missing. Lynn accompanied him to where the flight attendant had sent him, and they managed to get the stamp very quickly. When they had returned, however, Lynn was checked - and her stamp was missing, too! So, run back and forth a second time - Lynn was certainly awake then. :)

Speaking of shows, this sort of thing always seems to happen to me, so much so that my husband refers to it as "The Show." There always seems to be a little incident of some sort, though not initiated by me, when I am out in public. It took only until our first flight for showtime.

 

Our first closer mammal sighting was Hog Deer.

To think how I was so thrilled with a quick snap of a visible Hog Deer in Corbett National Park after trying for glimpses during my 4 days there, and in Kaziranga they meandered around every corner.

 

 

But not only birds here - proof: There are five Rhinos in the next picture:

 

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I was getting worried when I couldn't count 5, since I was there. Hint, hint--look right.

 

Any concerns about rhino eluding us disappeared immediately as we saw 15 in the first 15 minutes, several before leaving the gate! These might have been some of those. The total rhino count that morning was 24.

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