Jump to content

Stripes of Wild India


michael-ibk

Recommended Posts

Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-08348900-1430205290_thumb.jpg

Safaris Bring Out the Happiness in Everyone

post-49296-0-71431300-1430205354_thumb.jpg

Beyond All Imagining — the Peaceable Kingdom

~ @@michael-ibk and @Atravelynn:

 

You've answered my prayers with this SPLENDID Kaziranga report.

I've seriously considered a safari there, but hesitated in part as I lacked any clear sense of what the experience might be like.

Your trip report and photographs are the stuff of dreams. The image quality is impressive throughout.

Really enjoyed it.

Tom K.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 451
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Atravelynn

    114

  • michael-ibk

    82

  • Tom Kellie

    34

  • graceland

    23

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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: The Tiger definitely is my most favourit

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

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

Posted Images

michael-ibk

Thanks, @@Tom Kellie! :)

 

I don't usually read reports about "other places" in case they look good, sicne then it is only going to lead to efforts to get there frustrated by time and trips to Africa. Better not to know until there is time first is how I tend to think nowadays.

 

However, I had to read this and it has not disappointed at all. Great photos and great information about somewhere I am not going to read any more about so as not to frustrate myself.

 

Oh come on, @@pault , do keep reading, I promise trip and report will totally suck from now on. ;)

 

@@Michael ibk ..what sounds did u hear in indian wilderness...was it different as compared to africa??..I am sure your morning was made awsome peacock sound..

 

@@gagan

 

It is different, since the lodges are not inside the park, and we only heard - and saw - Peacock inside. (None in Kazirganga btw, they are absent there.) So it´s basically birds you hear in the morning and nothing much when going to sleep. In that regard the Indian safari certainly can´t rival Africa with their wonderful zebra, hyena or lion sounds at night.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I still remeber serengeti nights surrounded by hyena howlings...

By the way .. did you guys see clouded leopard or black leopard??also what about indian wolf , jackals, indian warthog ??

Link to post
Share on other sites
TonyQ

It is amazing how many rhino you saw - great to see the babies! (And gibbons as well - amazing)

I have really enjoyed the text and photos - including the hog deer.

It looks like a really interesting park.

Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

@@gagan

 

No Clouded Leopard or Black Panther, sorry. No wolves (not a chance in hell where we were going), jackal yes. Sorry, never heard about Indian Warthogs?

 

@@TonyQ

 

Thanks! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

At 14:00 we returned to Central Zone, again after stopping by at the office to pay our camera fees. It´s INR 500,-- per camera per day. If you are only doing the morning or the afternoon drive the price still is the same, you have to pay full. So we all decided to just bring one camera. Different from other Indian parks forest rangers don´t come along on each drive, only this morning one had been with us, but not in the kind-of-guide capacity common in Central India but just to supervise the behaviour of the gypsies apparently.

While Kaziranga does feel very wild inside the park it´s surrounded by civilization, an island really. The B37 as its Southern border especially with heavy traffic means death for too many animals. Still, from what Tarun has told us people here are very proud of "their" park, and apparently many volunteers help saving animals during monsoon when much of the park is flooded. (And lots of people´s homes as well, many have to leave their huts and houses and basically live next to the road on the elevation.)

gallery_19319_1234_3500800.jpg

The view five minutes in inside Central (Kohora) zone.

gallery_19319_1234_8826709.jpg

gallery_108_1253_679074.jpg

gallery_108_1253_641078.jpg

Red-Breasted Parakeet

gallery_19319_1234_10017179.jpg

During monsoon this elephant grass can grow up to six metres, and wildlife is pretty much invisible in there at all times. The afternoon was a bit more quiet than the morning, we saw lots of birds and the usual suspectsof mammals, but none too close. Afternoon Rhino count was 12.

It was beautiful watching a flock of Minivets, tiny little colourwonders. I think these are Short-Billed Minivets, and while they were not close enough for decent photos I enjoyed the red flashes swirling around.

gallery_19319_1234_458107.jpg

A Female.

gallery_19319_1234_946079.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_10368352.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_2365228.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_9136294.jpg

Excitingly we found some elephants close to the road, and patiently waited in the hope of having them cross. For a while it seemed they would oblige, but then some other vehicles approaching too fast and directly spoilt the fun and they retreated further back to quickly disappear in the vegetation again.


gallery_108_1253_743274.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_8625469.jpg

Kaziranga is fortunate to have 1200-1300 elephants in the park. Of the 25,000 to 32,000 (though some estimates go above 40,000) Asian elephants in the wild, WWF estimates there are less than 10 populations with 1,000 or more Asian elephants sharing a contiguous area. That makes Kaziranga all the more important and special. For comparison, about 15,000 Asian elephants are in captivity.


gallery_108_1253_802190.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_14454322.jpg

This inconspicous bird is a Swamp Francolin. Globally endangered, Kaziranga has the largest concentration in the world.


gallery_19319_1234_9804085.jpg

We saw quite some Wild Boar in Kaziranga, but just occassionally, and so the number of 18,000 given in the 2012 count seems a bit high for that.

gallery_19319_1234_12411977.jpg

Common Stone Chat (female)

gallery_19319_1234_2228982.jpg

Rhino at the lake.

gallery_19319_1234_8049992.jpg

Lesser Fish Eagle (I think)

gallery_19319_1234_227289.jpg

Like the day before we ended the day at the watchtower. One of my favourite places, Hog Deer, Buffalos and Rhinos are always to see, and a lot of birds. For a while Tarun even thought he had seen some movement which could be a Tiger, but then it turned out to be Hog Deer (of course).

We were not disappointed since we hadn´t hoped to find Tigers in Kaziranga (and we didn´t). Though the park, which is an official Tiger Reserve, has a high density of them (111 according to the 2012 census, a continuous upward trend for them) they are very rarely seen. Even our combined safari luck power which is not too bad normally was insufficient. Tarun told us he maybe sees one once a month, at most.

Other cats? Leopards are almost never found inside the park, they don´t like to get wet feet. But they are common in the Panbari, Kukurakata and Bagser reserve forest areas and even the tea gardens adjacent to the park. Leopard being Leopard that of course doesn´t mean they are often seen.

The Kaziranga ecosystem even has a third Big Cat - the Clouded Leopard! Not much is known about its distribution in Eastern India, the excellent "Mammals of India Guide" by Vivek Menon puts them North of the Brahmaputra, but Tarun confirmed what wikipedia claims: They are there, he has seen them a couple of times. Like leopards, outside the park, in the forest areas and hill.

Dholes have not been spotted for many years inside Kaziranga, and Sloth Bears are very scarce, 40 to 50 of them are there. It is the Eastern limit of their range here. The Himalayan Black Bear apparently also also lives in some areas near the park.

On the way out we missed a Hog Badger sighting, another car had seen it but as it was inside the Elephant grass it of course was totally invisible 30 seconds later.

Stripes of Wild India, fresh and burned grass:

gallery_19319_1234_6087192.jpg


gallery_19319_1234_2744721.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Safaritalkers,

I'm Andrew, the "secret lurker"!

It was a great pleasure to travel with @@Atravelynn and @@michael-ibk. Sorry, I'm not a great writer,
that is Lynn's and Michael's job, but I'm happy contributing my pics.

Thank you all for reading and your kind comments/likes.

I'd also like to say thank you to Hari (Mr. @@madaboutcheetah ) for the wonderful dinner in Delhi.

 

Andrew

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

As the sunset was viewed from the Central Zone Tower, we could end the day on a happy note with a rhino count of 12 for the afternoon.

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

 

I don't usually read reports about "other places" in case they look good, sicne then it is only going to lead to efforts to get there frustrated by time and trips to Africa. Better not to know until there is time first is how I tend to think nowadays.

I feel that way about Travel Magazines and some documentaries. It keeps the want list from extending into a book if I just don't look. But thank you for peeking at this report. India is not that far from Thailand you know.

 

@@Michael ibk ..what sounds did u hear in indian wilderness...was it different as compared to africa??..I am sure your morning was made awsome peacock sound..

Good question. The Coppersmith Barbet was often serenading us. We heard some very cool tiger growls and Michael even made an attempt at recording them. I noticed in some of the videos that Guide Rajen took at tiger sightings how the alarm calls were loud and repetitive. Funny how during the sighting, while concentrating on the tiger, I was not as aware of the sound of those calls. I guess it's like the professional athlete blocking out the crowd noise to win the game. In my case it takes all my concentration to see the animal and click the shutter, without falling out of the vehicle. And we did see one man overboard incident.

 

The chital rutting call is a disturbing and frightening sound, though not to the ears of the female chital. Hearing that call always sent a shiver down my spine, even though an amorous male chital was nothing to fear.

 

Those awesome peacocks calls seem to be standard in the Tarzan movies, from my memories, even though the geography is wrong.

 


attachicon.gifgallery_19319_1252_9592395.jpg

Beyond All Imagining — the Peaceable Kingdom

Nice caption but only peaceable because the tiger was not hungry! We had been told how the chital would often follow a tiger closely and this was a fine demonstration.

~


Your trip report and photographs are the stuff of dreams. I did think Kaziranga had a dream-like quality to it, even more than the other parks we visited, though all were highly rewarding. The image quality is impressive throughout. Thank you on my behalf, on Michael's and on Secret Lurker Andrew's. We are mixing and matching photos from our albums as we go along.

 

 

 

 

Yeah I still remeber serengeti nights surrounded by hyena howlings...
By the way .. did you guys see clouded leopard or black leopard??also what about indian wolf , jackals, indian warthog ??

I did hear jackals and they sound as eerie in India as Africa. I bet the wild boar is what you mean by Indian warthog. We did see wild boar. Here's some now.

 

med_gallery_108_1256_594705.jpg

Wild Boar in Kanha. Mukki Section

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Stripes of Wild India, fresh and burned grass:

 

gallery_19319_1234_6087192.jpg

 

Very, very clever illustration of the title of this report.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

 

I'm Andrew, the "secret lurker"!

Sorry, I'm not a great writer,

Andrew was able to retire from the writing duties of the report after providing the title, "Stripes of Wild India." which is illustrated so well above.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites

We were not disappointed since we hadn´t hoped to find Tigers in Kaziranga (and we didn´t). Though the park, which is an official Tiger Reserve, has a high density of them (111 according to the 2012 census, a continuous upward trend for them) they are very rarely seen. Even our combined safari luck power which is not too bad normally was insufficient. Tarun told us he maybe sees one once a month, at most.

Other cats? Leopards are almost never found inside the park, they don´t like to get wet feet. But they are common in the Panbari, Kukurakata and Bagser reserve forest areas and even the tea gardens adjacent to the park. Leopard being Leopard that of course doesn´t mean they are often seen.

The Kaziranga ecosystem even has a third Big Cat - the Clouded Leopard! Not much is known about its distribution in Eastern India, the excellent "Mammals of India Guide" by Vivek Menon puts them North of the Brahmaputra, but Tarun confirmed what wikipedia claims: They are there, he has seen them a couple of times. Like leopards, outside the park, in the forest areas and hill.

Dholes have not been spotted for many years inside Kaziranga, and Sloth Bears are very scarce, 40 to 50 of them are there. It is the Eastern limit of their range here. The Himalayan Black Bear apparently also also lives in some areas near the park.

On the way out we missed a Hog Badger sighting, another car had seen it but as it was inside the Elephant grass it of course was totally invisible 30 seconds later.

Stripes of Wild India, fresh and burned grass:


gallery_19319_1234_6087192.jpg

 

Wonderful details - I had absolutely no idea that snow leopards ventured into Kaziranga. Your detailed descriptions will prove very valuable for anyone who wants to go there. Another lovely picture and I agree with Lynn- just a superb caption:)

 

By the way, have you read this story on Kaziranga?

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/08/kaziranga/chadwick-text

 

It was featured in the August 2010 edition of National Geographic magazine.

 

You might also be interested in this academic paper from a couple of years ago on Kaziranga.

http://parksjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/PARKS-18.2-Hussain-et-al.pdf

Edited by AKR1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Great article, @@AKR1. I was having flashbacks of the road through the Serengeti when I read about the possible expansion to Hwy 37. "If Highway 37 is made a freeway, it's a death knell for Kaziranga," declared Asad Rahmani, director of the Bombay Natural History Society. Officials are considering backing off the four-lane plan in favor of upgrading a parallel road north of the river." The article was dated Aug 2010 and as of March 2015, Hwy 37 was not a freeway. A little research revealed that in Nov of 2013 the expansion was nixed. Whew.

 

 

Day 3 at Kaziranga:

A few shots before heading off on the 30-minute drive to the Eastern Zone.

med_gallery_108_1253_229255.jpg

The dogs we encountered were friendly.

 

Agriculture in the buffer zone of the park.

 

gallery_108_1253_579750.jpg

Buffer Zone of Eastern Kaziranga

 

 

The day began with birdwatching.

gallery_19319_1234_4306192.jpg

Osprey

gallery_108_1253_268484.jpg

Lineated Barbet

 

gallery_108_1253_689090.jpggallery_108_1253_160935.jpg

Grey-headed Fish Eagle with the “wind in his hair.” Blue-bearded Bee-eater

 

gallery_108_1253_523583.jpg

Same Grey-headed Fish Eagle with the wind at his back.

 

 

gallery_19319_1234_5914343.jpg

Black-necked Stork (left)

 

 

gallery_108_1253_305376.jpggallery_19319_1234_3073733.jpg

Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater Green Imperial Pigeon showing some of that imperial green.

 

gallery_19319_1234_6245494.jpg

Indian Darter

 

 

 

 

The Eastern Zone showed us the first of many rhino.

gallery_108_1253_8593.jpg

gallery_108_1253_123805.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_1537072.jpg

gallery_108_1253_340384.jpg

gallery_108_1253_1051997.jpg

Michael (or was it Andrew) made sure to acquire a suitable addition to the “Show us Your Bums” topic when we were on the elephant safari. I was similarly motivated to get this photo. Great minds think alike--at least when it comes to photographing rhino bums.

gallery_108_1253_221579.jpg

Preparing for an addition to the "Show us Your Bums" topic

A fascinating battle, complete with aerial assaults, played out between a Pallas’s Fish Eagle and a Grey-headed Fish Eagle. Michael put his recently acquired DSLR with that big white 400 lens to very good use in capturing this encounter. @@michael-ibk you may wish elaborate further about your camera.

 

gallery_19319_1234_4228871.jpg

 

gallery_19319_1234_674595.jpg

Pallas's Fish Eagle and Grey-headed Fish Eagle in aerial battle.

Our second Smooth Coated Otter of the trip could be seen swimming and bobbing along in the water. And then, it was out on the bank! Though a bit far on the distant shore for photos, a lucky find nonetheless. The otters would have even more excitement in store for us on our next visit to the Eastern Zone.

gallery_108_1253_126940.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_21077898.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_6457174.jpg

Shore time was about 3 minutes before the Smooth Coated Otter returned to the water

Time for a scenic stop at the Brahmaputra River, a major river of Asia. It starts in Tibet, winds through India, and ends in Bangladesh.

 

In fact the Nat Geo article that @@AKR1 linked states, “What's so right about the park that it can pack this many big animals (90-100 estimated tigers, likely the densest in the world) into a modest-size area?

 

The answer flows from the river.”

 

We talked with a couple who had done a several day river cruise on the Brahmaputra in December when the water levels were higher. They saw river dolphins and stopped for birds and wildlife, including visits to Kaziranga. A very interesting possibility. We enjoyed views of the river from land only.

med_gallery_19319_1234_547598.jpgmed_gallery_19319_1234_4856965.jpgmed_gallery_19319_1234_2869931.jpg

Brahmaputra River, Eastern Zone Kaziranga

The Eastern Zone was by no means done with us that morning.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

@@AKR1

 

Thanks so much for both links, very interesting. I´m a loyal subscriber to National Geographic (German edition) but I certainly don´t remember that article. Interesting that it states it´s mandatory to have an armed guide along - we certainly didn´t, and I think nobody else did. Also, the numbers given for Hog Deer and Wild Boar are quite different from what I´ve read.

Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

gallery_19319_1234_3992193.jpg

On the way to the Eastern Zone we passed mostly tea gardens. I always remember my father telling me his first "tea encounter" decades ago when he was in Sri Lanka. He drove around on his own and didn´t have an idea how tea looked like, but he wanted to see some, so he stopped and asked a local "Excuse me, where can I find tea?". The guy gave him a slightly concerned look and then said in a very slow and slightly intimidated way because this tourist obviously was pretty bonkers. "Sir ... here is tea ... there is tea ... EVERYWHERE is tea!" My father was standing inside a tea garden. :)

 

It was here where we found our first Rhesus Macaque.

gallery_19319_1234_9357404.jpg

Obviously not interested in us. Monkeys are not very numerous in Kaziranga, we heard the Gibbson one morning and would encounter some more Macaques once, but that was it. No Langurs at all (they are there, but mainly in the Forest Reserves outside the park), let alone the rarer species.

gallery_19319_1234_10441339.jpg

This view (already presented by Lynn) really showed us how different agriculture still works in this part of the world. I loved the drive to Eastern Zone, which after leaving the B37 leads through some villages. We always saw many kids on their way to and from school, and most of them were smiling and waving at us. We waved back, feeling very pope-like from our safarimobile.

 

I loved Eastern Zone, we all did - it became our favourite. Luckily, it´s the most unpopular one, so even on a Sunday like this not too many other cars were there. (As Tarun told us most tourists, which are predominantly Indian, don´t care much about "smaller stuff", they want their Rhinos and Tigers. Eastern has the lowest Rhino count, though we saw plenty of them. And it´s the best zone for elephants, which would prove to be very true for us on this outing and later again.)

gallery_19319_1234_5702415.jpg

This area has a more "jungle-like" feel to it. After passing some floodplains (with Buffalo and Barasinga always around) the road leads through a more forested area, mostly along some waterways which are turning into beels.


gallery_19319_1234_17045172.jpg

One of the few termite hills, we didn´t see many.

gallery_19319_1234_10247296.jpg

This was probably my favourite place of all of Kaziranga, and it´s also where the terrific Eagle fighting scene took place. Look closely, there´s an elephant in there.

gallery_19319_1234_10691565.jpg

Little vid of one Rhino we saw, with Lynn and Tarun discussing sexing. :)

 



It has to be said about the Smooth-Coated Otter that that sighting was only thanks to eagle-eyed Lynn who spotted some movement in the water. Otters are always fun to watch, since they are so hectic, always moving, and this one was no exception. Eurasian Common Otters are said to exist in Kaziranga, too but Tarun only knew of Smooth-Coated ones so I am sceptical about that.

gallery_19319_1234_5085851.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_2917484.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_10652503.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_7643145.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_9061782.jpg

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi michael and atravelynn ..the way you people have explored kaziranga is simply awsome..but do you think ..indian rhino has a better skin armour than african rhino??? Also do you feel kaziranga is a place to watch big 5 of india?? According to you which animals should be selected for indian big 5 status..

Link to post
Share on other sites
Big_Dog

That eagle battle was insane! Fantastic otters photos too!

Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

@@gagan

 

I don´t know exactly, but wikipedia seems to suggest that Indian Rhino´s skin is indeed thicker than that of a White Rhino for example (4 cm vs. 2 cm). The "armor"-look is just that, however, it´s just skin folds.

 

Big Five - Kaziranga National Park itself brands Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Tiger and Barasinga as that, they are labelled as that on several plates at the entrance gates. (I think I posted one of those already.) Of those 5, you would certainly see four and have a slim chance of finding the Tiger as the fifth.

 

If we´re going with the classic African term then I´d say Indian Elephants, Leopards and Rhinos are a given, I´d probably substitute Water Buffalo for African Buffalo and definitely Tiger for Lion, even if India has them. In theory, one should be able to see all five of those around Kaziranga as well, but it would be highly unlikely to find a Leopard and hard to find a Tiger.

 

Gaur, Indian Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Asiatic Lion and Snow Leopard are very strong contenders, too, so let´s just make this a Big 10. At least. :)

 

@@Big_Dog

 

Thanks, that was a cool sighting indeed. The Eagles were really going at it, and several times we got the awesome moment of two eagles entrapped in each other´s talons, spiralling around!

Link to post
Share on other sites
TonyQ

Loveley pictures of the agriculture, and of the birds. Fantastic to see the otter as well. It really does look beautiful there.

@michael-ibk - I love the tea story!

Link to post
Share on other sites

@@AKR1

 

Thanks so much for both links, very interesting. I´m a loyal subscriber to National Geographic (German edition) but I certainly don´t remember that article. Interesting that it states it´s mandatory to have an armed guide along - we certainly didn´t, and I think nobody else did. Also, the numbers given for Hog Deer and Wild Boar are quite different from what I´ve read.

In 2008-10 , Maoist separatists in the region were reeking havoc including threatening Kaziranga tourists. Glad to learn that is behind us.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-75904200-1430300663_thumb.jpg

This Provides Highly Appreciated Context

post-49296-0-57779800-1430300720_thumb.jpg

Minivets are Acrobats?

~ @michael-ibk:

 

Your lovely images are a banquet for those dreaming about someday visiting Kaziranga.

Until you posted these images, I'd only seen minivets as guidebook illustrations.

I especially am grateful for the high level of contextual detail that you provided.

Your report fills a void in my limited understanding of Indian safaris.

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom Kellie

 

Good question. The Coppersmith Barbet was often serenading us.

I did hear jackals and they sound as eerie in India as Africa.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

Your description of the sounds you heard enriches my sense of your safari.

The music of birds and the calls of animals are more than backdrop, being part of the warp and woof of the wild.

If only we humans had a more refined olfactory sense, there are doubtless scent markers which would further deepen our understanding.

One wonders what the Coppersmith Barbet's melody might be like.

Tom K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Your dad will get a kick out of your tea photos, @@michael-ibk, and you can remind him of his funny story.

I saw some more vegetation Stripes of India in your last post.

 

.but do you think ..indian rhino has a better skin armour than african rhino??? Also do you feel kaziranga is a place to watch big 5 of india??

From a cosmetic standpoint, I like the Indian Rhino's heavy folds. It makes them look other-wordly. In a battle of rhino-to-rhino, each species has identical battle gear against its own, evening the natural selection odds. From a predator protection standpoint, the tiger would be the most formidable opponent any rhino could face I would think. Of course besides poachers. Although in Africa a rhino might have to fight off a whole pride of lions, not a single cat. Good question!

 

 


In 2008-10 , Maoist separatists in the region were reeking havoc including threatening Kaziranga tourists. Glad to learn that is behind us.

 

 

That is one reason I had not considered Assam on my previous trips. We talked briefly with Tarun about security issues and he indicated that things had changed a lot for the better. That's good for tourism and protection of the park.

 

 

I know Michael and I liked Eastern the best. It was the only zone where we saw both elephants and rhino in the same view. But each zone provided unique, enjoyable sightings that I would not trade; and we were pleased we had 5 nights, to visit all 3 accessible areas of the park in both am and pm.

 

Perhaps we could lure Secret Lurker Andrew @@AndMic back by requesting his vote on favorite zone of the park.

 

One other reason Eastern was not as busy is that Western was the easiest to get to, followed by Central, per Tarun.

 

Since zones have cropped up as a topic, here is a little summary.

 

Central........AKA Kohora..........under 15 minutes from Wild Grass Lodge......51 rhinos in 4 visits, one of those visits was an elephant safari

Eastern.......AKA Aquratoli........30 minutes from Wild Grass Lodge..............25 rhinos in 3 visits.................................................................Best chance for ele*

Western......AKA Bagori...........20 minutes from Wild Grass Lodge...............87 rhinos in 2 visits (not a typo)...............................................Best chance for rhino*

Off-limits.....AKA Burrapaher.....Never went there, but as we departed on Hwy 37, we saw 3 rhinos inside this zone, from a distance

 

*Present and can be seen in all accessible zones

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

 

 

Good question. The Coppersmith Barbet was often serenading us.

I did hear jackals and they sound as eerie in India as Africa.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

Your description of the sounds you heard enriches my sense of your safari.

The music of birds and the calls of animals are more than backdrop, being part of the warp and woof of the wild.

If only we humans had a more refined olfactory sense, there are doubtless scent markers which would further deepen our understanding.

Returning to African anecdotes...These scent markers, which are closely linked to memory, are why I must admit my first thoughts are euphoria when smelling heavy body odor. Odd as that seems, my mind has repeatedly linked that acrid smell with the reward of immediately finding mountain gorillas. Intense body odor has always preceded a magical gorilla viewing experience. I am unable to escape this peculiar Skinnerism! That does not mean I practice poor hygiene in order to experience a mental trip down gorilla memory lane! (Though it could be a cost saver now that permits are up to $750!)

One wonders what the Coppersmith Barbet's melody might be like.

Tom K.

 

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

@@AKR1

 

Thanks so much for both links, very interesting. I´m a loyal subscriber to National Geographic (German edition) but I certainly don´t remember that article. Interesting that it states it´s mandatory to have an armed guide along - we certainly didn´t, and I think nobody else did

That may be a yet another concrete indication of improvement in the area from 2010 to now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Kaziranga is fortunate to have 1200-1300 elephants in the park. Of the 25,000 to 32,000 (though some estimates go above 40,000) Asian elephants in the wild, WWF estimates there are less than 10 populations with 1,000 or more Asian elephants sharing a contiguous area. That makes Kaziranga all the more important and special. For comparison, about 15,000 Asian elephants are in captivity.

 

Eastern is the best zone for Elephants (It goes East – West - Central, though we had better luck in Central for eles than West.)

gallery_19319_1234_9686496.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_15345360.jpg

gallery_108_1253_500535.jpg

Elephants in the Eastern Zone

Then holy grail of rhino AND elephant!

gallery_19319_1234_20393778.jpg

 

gallery_108_1253_582582.jpg

gallery_108_1253_910648.jpg

gallery_19319_1234_9027716.jpg

Eastern Zone, Kaziranga

 

If the holy grail was not enough, our favorite bird showed up—the Common Hoopoe! We had two sightings and those would be the only Common Hoopoe's of the trip.

gallery_19319_1234_5428491.jpg gallery_108_1253_61160.jpg

Common Hoopoe seen twice, Eastern Zone

gallery_19319_1234_1145877.jpg

 

A cool dip was welcome in the heat of the day for this guy.

gallery_19319_1234_3442208.jpg

 

I should have paid more attention to the actions of this rhino and increased my own hydration. Though I thought I was drinking enough, I would later learn I was wrong.

gallery_108_1253_64979.jpg

Eastern Zone, Kaziranga

 

Rhino count for the morning in Eastern Zone = 13.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy