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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cubs


SafariChick

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Kitsafari

Lovely Jackal shots there

 

PS - If you guys like the Guar - another plug for our Southern Parks (they really are all over the place here). These guys are much bigger than the African Buffalo, don't you think?

 

 

@@madaboutcheetah southern parks are sounding more and more attractive since I found the gaurs really handsome and interesting

creatures.

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And then …. At about 5 p.m. which was not long before we needed to start heading back to the gate to be out on time --- Rajen excitedly says "Tiger!" Looking where he was pointing, we saw this female

@@SafariChick - you had great captures of Big Male! mine came out rather dodgy and blurry and i think it's the camera settings that I might have changed. Rajen found my settings not as clear and sharp

The biggest highlight for me in Tadoba was seeing the dhole. The wild dogs of India used to run in big packs but the rise of the tigers have reduced those packs to small groups of around 4. and the gr

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Kitsafari

@@SafariChick - you are still up! no worries. i have pretty good memories of my safaris and drives!

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Kitsafari

so before @@SafariChick moves on to tadoba, I have a few more shots.

 

First of Chitvan. It's a very lovely lodge and all the staff is there to please you whenever and wherever they can. we were given a family kind of suite with 2 bedrooms and a common sitting hall. But it was really cold when we were there and that suite was drafty, but we asked for portable heaters which we used every night before going to bed. Food was excellent! after we were served a kind of mish-mashed western meal for dinner, we decided we wanted to go Indian for every meal and the amazing chef cooked us a variety of foods, and each meal had dhal curry done a different way. I dont like dhal curry in Singapore, but ate every dhal curry dish in Chitvan.

 

the main hall in Chitvan:

 

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and the surrounding areas:

 

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i think @@michael-ibk had the following shot as well....

 

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and the butterflies in the grounds:

 

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the lovely lotus flowers in the pond

 

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Edited by Kitsafari
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Kitsafari

Golden jackals are beautiful. They look slightly larger than the african black-back jackals, and they look more like wolves but a recent study said the eurasian golden jackals are not as closely related to the African golden jackals as previously thought and that the latter are more closely related to the Gray wolves (http://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2015/jul/30/golden-jackal-a-new-wolf-species-hiding-in-plain-sight)

They moved around in pairs and we saw them only in Kanha but not in Tadoba. Whether their density is lower in Tadoba, or it was just our luck to see them only in Kanha, I really don't know. but we had a few sightings of them in Kanha, and I was very happy about it.

 

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such striking eyes!

 

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Kitsafari

then there were the others....

 

wild boars - a particularly irate male boar thinking Rajan (imitating the calls of a boar) was trying to invade his territory....

 

 

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trying to hide behind a tuft of grass...

 

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charging to see who's invaded his land

 

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facing the enemy in a particularly large vehicle

 

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a darter in its favourite tree in the waterhole.

 

 

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a black drongo

 

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red-headed vulture

 

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Indian roller

 

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symbiotic relationship between domesticated cattle and egret

 

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a changeable hawk

 

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Little Grebe

 

 

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a shikra with a prey - little did I realise the prey was a chick which was still alive in its talons

 

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this cute Indian roller was happily posing on a branch at a tree, while we were waiting for a tiger. well, actually we were right on the road where it wanted to be. I'm not sure what it was eating from the road - probably some minerals found in the sand.

 

the following were taken by Rajan -

 

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and then two elephants and their mahouts emerged from the forest. These were park officials and they spoke to Rajan and the forest guide, and then crossed the road in search of our tiger, which apparently had been injured. I was really tempted to hitch a ride with them.....

 

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Kitsafari

and then there were langgurs and langgurs. we didn't see any macaques.

 

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a treeful of langurs - not sure which sub-species these were.

 

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a baby langur peeps at us

 

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enjoying the last bits of sun

 

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roadblock

 

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finding the best spots to roost for the nightP1140295-1.JPG

a young langur hoping to score leftovers in the Kisli restaurant

 

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catching up on the latest gossips

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Kitsafari

Kanha has a variety of landscapes - meadows, thick forested areas, hilly winding roads to Kisli. From safarichick's posts, you would have realised that after our first amazing sighting, we did not see a glimpse of the striped cat thereafter in Kanha (seven tiger-empty drives). there were so many signs of tigers - the pug marks, the smell of the kill, the alarms from the antelopes. not a single sighting, except for a brief distant view that only H of us 3 managed to glimpse before it vanished into the forest.

 

For our last couple of drives, we stayed in the Mukki zone. While I did enjoy the varied landscape, i felt the forest closing in on me. I am claustrophic, so suddenly as we drove with the tall trees looming on either side of us, I felt unable to breath, and feel free. Kanha surprised us by showing two of her precious tigers on the first sighting, but after that, it swallowed us then spat us out and kept her secrets close to her chest.

 

would Tadoba be kinder to us?

 

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kittykat23uk

Gorgeous golden jackals! :)

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Kitsafari

 

Thank you so much for the rich assortment of Kanha images.

The light streaming through the forest — beautiful!

The langur peering into a restaurant — funny!

Tom K.

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michael-ibk

That's a real tank of a Gaur - wow! Interesting you saw so many Jackaks - we saw just one in two Kanha trips.

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Safaridude

@@SafariChick @@Kitsafari

 

That gaur is really impressive. The golden jackal looks more wolf-like than the ones in Africa. All really interesting!

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madaboutcheetah

@@Safaridude - You MUST visit here for the Gaur ......... In the hills about 2.5 hours from here, there are gaur all over my friend's backyard ........

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Kitsafari

@@madaboutcheetah that is so cool - but why are gaurs all over your friend's backyard? is his home next to a forest reserve?

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SafariChick

@@Kitsafari thanks for sharing photos of Chitvan - I really liked it there too, and there were hardly any guests there so it felt like we had the run of the place almost! Lovely photos of the butterflies.

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Atravelynn

About the antler arch - I also don´t remember that one. Could it be new?

You were probably too busy looking for birds! I missed it too.

 

"Kanha surprised us by showing two of her precious tigers on the first sighting, but after that, it swallowed us then spat us out and kept her secrets close to her chest.

 

would Tadoba be kinder to us?" That will make us stay tuned. No more getting spat out we hope.

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SafariChick

@@madaboutcheetah I think @@Safaridude would also really like the Barasingha and the Sambar deer - more of the Sambar will be coming up in the Tadoba portion!

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madaboutcheetah

@@Kitsafari - extension of some forest reserve around human population. Not to forget the constantly expanding gaur numbers.

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elefromoz

@SafariChick@Kitsafari, thanks for taking me back to Kanha, in a lot of ways your trip mirrored mine, only one Tiger sighting right up, then….nought.I don't think Gaur are as cranky as Bison and Buffalo, they seemed to amble by and mind their own business. Lots of Jackals, same, and I too ate lots of Dahl! Waiting to hear more of Tadoba.

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SafariChick

Just a couple more from Kanha before moving on;

 

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SafariChick

Our last drive at Kanha was a morning drive after which we headed out for the long drive to Tadoba. That drive is all a bit of a blur to me, the same kinds of traffic issues, animals and school children in the road and motorcycles and bicycles to avoid. I remember thinking it would have been better to leave early enough that we would have arrived at Svasara before dark, but that was not to be. The last bit of the drive was in the dark and I was even more nervous than I normally was on the roads in India! But our driver did a good job and we arrived at Svasara relatively unscathed. We had just enough time to pop into our rooms and freshen up briefly as dinner was already being served.

 

Svasara was really pretty at night - I didn't get any photos of it at night wasn't sure it would show up with my camera skills, but it was all lit up very prettily. The rooms were very modern (even had tvs - though I didn't use it!) and AC - which I did use at times - it was much warmer here than at Kanha. Here are a few shots of my room

 

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The food here was really delicious. Buffet style, lots of yummy vegetarian stuff for me of course, a different dal every night and the butter naan was fantastic!

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SafariChick

We had heard that there was a tiger here at Tadoba named Maya and that she had three cubs. We were really hoping to see them! Luckily, or so we thought, it was known where she was hanging out because she had just made a kill of a sambhar deer and she and the cubs were not done feeding on the carcass. It was also pretty close to the road. Unfortunately, everyone who was coming to the park knew this too. As soon as the park opened, it seemed every car that was coming to the park that day went directly to this spot.

 

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There were also villagers working inside the park, surprisingly close to where Maya and her cubs were known to be

 

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It was quite a scene every day at Maya and the cubs' little hiding place in the bamboo thicket just off the road - this is a video

 

 

Often times we could only manage a glimpse of tiger stripes through binoculars or zoomed in cameras, and that was if we managed to get into the proper position in the throng of vehicles to have the proper angle to even see in!

 

Here's a zoomed out photo of where Maya and the cubs were:

 

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Here's a shot zoomed in all the way my camera can go, 24x - can you see the bit of tiger in there? That's Maya - sleeping.

 

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This was how we spent a lot of our first drive.

 

However, we were lucky to have a quick glimpse of cubs when they snuck out a little very briefly and very far back and I managed one distant shot of one cub - here's the uncropped version - can you spot the cub's face?

 

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Here's the cropped version:

 

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It was, frankly, stressful and frustrating. And we felt really bad for Maya and the cubs - clearly the cubs were scared to come out even though they were curious.

Edited by SafariChick
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SafariChick

But there were other sights to be seen when we weren't trying to see tigers. Rajen took beautiful photos of a huge spider whose name I've forgotten:

 

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Baby Chital:

 

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and our first sighting of Dhole! I didn't get very good photos at this sighting. This shows how far they were from us - just hanging out in the road

 

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It was lovely to see them, even if the photos were not great. Also really nice to be seeing them without thirty or more cars around!

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Kitsafari

Great shots of the cub's face! I was watching it thro the binos at that time, and if I recall correctly, the cubs had wanted to cross over to the waterhole. One of them peeked out of the bushes and i saw the look of terror on its face as it faced a blockade of vehicles and heard the swarm of human voices. I remember thinking how sorry I felt for the cubs.

 

one person's great angle becomes another person's bum angle... it was actually the photographer's lack of skills. LOL.

 

 

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Kitsafari

@@SafariChick caught the essence of the circus that came to town, to see the famed Maya and her cubs. we jostled with everyone else, trying to score the best position - just for the privilege of getting glimpses of the striped one. we sat at the bushes for an entire afternoon, and thereafter we would spend at least two hours of each game drive, waiting and waiting and waiting for Maya or the cubs to magically appear.

 

and when the arrrrs or awwws or sounded out or sudden moves by the admiring crowds to stand up, it was either the cubs had stirred or Maya had put up her head.

 

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Another guest at the lodge didn't want to join the circus and they went off to a beautiful waterhole to watch wild boars and antelopes, and before they knew it, a tiger was walking around the waterhole, came up the ridge and walked by their car. and we were still waiting at the bushes at the Panderpauni waterhole.

 

by the 3rd day, we knew exactly what the Panderpauni bushes looked like, but hadn';t really seen the waterhole. We knew Tadoba lake looked big, but didn't have time to admire it because we were either at the Panderpauni bushes, or dashing past the Tadoba lake to another spot where another tiger had been seen, and then just waiting along what I called the mini highway of Tadoba (tarred road). so it was usually waiting and waiting.

 

Glimpses of Maya

 

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Just for the heck of it - a really hot and sleeping Maya

 

 

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