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India again


kittykat23uk
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Hi all back from India. Here's a link to my trip report:

 

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=135742

 

and a link to the gallery of photos where you can see larger ones:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601@N03/s...57614414371596/

 

All the best!

 

Jo

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Thanks for the links, some great bird sightings. You make a brief reference to vultures (or lack of them), was there much talk about the disaster which has affected the vulture population?

 

Tiger viewing seems chaotic and frantic, what with tokens and mahouts clearing undergrowth. A different way of thinking about wildlife safaris compared to Africa. I can imagine that finding a tiger in the wild would be exhilarating but not sure I would like the frantic nature of everything.

 

Enjoyed the report and photos.

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Hi Jo,

 

Thanks a lot for your report and links. Sounds like you enjoyed your India trip very much.

 

Yes, the Cat sightings are chaotic to say the least.......

 

Cheers

Hari

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Hiya,

 

there was a bit of discussion regarding the vulture situation. Everyone knows the cause but finding a solution before its too late seems to be the main problem at the moment. I'm a supporter of the RSPB's work to protect the vultures but have to say that the outlook looks pretty bleak at present.

 

As regards the tiger sightings, yes they can be pretty fraught- the elephant shows typically have between two and four mahouts viewing at any one time, with only a few minutes before you have to give up your elephant to the next people in the line. The first tiger was in scrub, the second in long grass- Neither was in a particularly good position for a clear photo, but I did my best.

 

If you are very lucky, like my friends on this trip you may chance upon a tiger as you drive along the tracks, and if you are very, very lucky then you might have that sighting to yourself for a while. They had as good luck with their tiger sightings as I had with the leopards in Botswana! Kanha is not quite as busy as Bandhavgarh in that respect- At Bandhavgarh we had two sightings from the vehicles and they were great but there were so many vehicles it was a bit of a scrum and not very conducive to getting any good photos..

 

Between the two, I would say they are both good for tiger, but Kanha has more different mammals, Leopard, Sloth bear, wild dogs, jungle cat are all possible and barasingha and Guar are easily seen. But some good luck is needed for the more interesting mammals and luck was not on my side when it came to predators this time! According to the lodge staff, October and November are better times for tiger sightings, although Jo sent some other clients over christmas and they apparently had ten tiger sightings and two leopards!

 

All the best

 

Jo

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Thanks for the additional info. I guess that is one of the great things about wildlife and bird watching … you just never know what you will be rewarded with.

 

The rugby scrum to see one beautiful tiger does make peoples' complaints about mass tourism in the Mara look a bit lame! :)

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Twaffle,

 

To me, it was much more satisfying last time when I just went with Ian, mainly because we were on our own, we saw the largest tiger in Bandhavgarh on our first drive and other people we met at the lodge hadn't seen a thing in three days, add to that two more good tiger sightings and a brief view of a jungle cat and we were really happy with that. This time, even though we had two nice views of from the elephant, probably because I was also ill, I was constantly aware that others in the group were having better (mammal) sightings and this got me down a lot! It shouldn't have, but it did.

 

 

But the Mara is much more open so the vehicles can stop and surround a cat without imposing too much. Whereas in India it is the case that often, the terrain is quite scrubby or is sal forest, you are restricted to viewing on the tracks, or off track by elephant. A tiger can literally disappear in a few short steps! But IMHO nothing compares to seeing a tiger in the wild!

 

All the best

 

Jo.

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Yes, to see a tiger in the wild would be something special. Maybe eventually I will be so lucky.

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odds are stacked up against you - I've only had 3 tiger sightings my entire life....... Kabini National Park, and 2 seperate sightings in Ranthambore.

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odds are stacked up against you - I've only had 3 tiger sightings my entire life....... Kabini National Park, and 2 seperate sightings in Ranthambore.

 

 

But Hari, you spend your whole time in Africa chasing your cheetah dream. :lol: No time for tigers. :rolleyes:

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True - I need to get out more often :lol::rolleyes:

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Lovely photos, Jo. I agree with you about the tiger sightings. My only experience was at Kanha in November 2007.

I was with my brother-in-law, and we were in India for a family wedding.

Kanha is a beautiful park, but I was disappointed with my tiger viewing. We had to report to the park

headquarters, be told where the tigers were, and then race all the other vehicles to the spot. Elephants were used

for the two minute walk to the two tigers, one of which was collared. The mahout moved the elephant around the

whole time, two minutes, too close,and kept shouting 'take a picture, take a picture! I was disgusted with the whole

business. I, of course am spoiled by my many years of animal viewing in Africa, and was sad that the Indians felt

that they had to provide such a circus. I would have driven around this beautiful park for the three days and not

seen a tiger, but the parks seem to think that they must do this for the visitors. I certainly didn't see a leopard on my

first visit to Africa.

 

But I must say that I just loved India.

 

 

Jan

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Guest nappa

As with Africa ground work before your trip is very, very, VERY, important.

 

Two 10 day trips to India resulted in 38 tiger sightings! 21 different tigers (Includes 4 young cubs)

 

Off those 20 days 4 were spent in the villages of Rhajastan looking for Leopards, Hyena & other nocturnals, in fact only 12 days were actually spent looking for Tiger!

 

And not a TA in sight until the final stages to fill in the small details for me!

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38 Tiger sightings? I really do need to get out more often and get off the computer ..... :rolleyes:

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Nappa, if we ever get to go to India, I'm calling on you to arrange it for us...

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Nappa,

Tiger viewing was not the object of the trip. I just could not go to India for wedding, golden triangle etc. without

going to one National Park. Travelling on my own I can do exactly what I wish. An entirely animal/bird visit would

be my target now.

I envy you your score.

 

Jan

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Guest nappa

Just read my post, very pretentious! :rolleyes:

 

Sorry it was not meant to be!

 

But I put a lot of research into my trips, & it pays dividends. I've even seen a live Nyama! :lol:

 

For India you need to check each park for up to date news on tiger population, tigress pregnancy, cub ages, new or old? male domination, follow every lead from trip reports, bloggs, India wildlife, Save the Tiger everything that gives you a lead as to your chances of a sighting.

 

There is a very slim chance of seeing a Tiger on a two or three day hotel excursion. The good permits were booked months in advance & although you could hit lucky.........but the thrill of the expectation!!!! WOW!!!!

 

You need to ensure your guide is of good social standing, not just knowledgeable. His social standing can open many doors for you!

 

You have little chance of seeing a tiger if she has young cubs, she will secret them away, with older juvenile/adult cubs she has to hunt more often & the cubs try to hunt as well giving a far better chance of a sightings.

Hunt the internet for which parks have young cubs so if your planning your trip for 12 to 18 months time then go for this park, If the park has older cubs in 18 months time she will have young cubs the older cubs will have moved into their own areas she will not hunt as often.

Hence a lower chance of a sighting.

As with Africa the green season lowers you chances of sightings, prey is spread out more & lush foliage hides the tigers.

I love India, it's people, history & culture.

It's 3 years since I was last there this thread has left me longing to plan a trip!

 

tigkill.jpgDSCF0174copy-1.jpg

DSCF0186.jpgDSCF0145.jpg

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Nappa, that is such good advice. I spend forever planning for an African safari and yet, because I know so little about safari in India I would have just booked a wildlife tour with some agent and a ) missed the fun of pre planning and b ) missed a lot of tiger action (knowing that it would still not be a given that you would be as lucky as you were, perhaps). Tiger planning, who would ever have thought that there was such an art in it.

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Guest nappa

Found it!

 

4tigkill.jpg

 

Four tigers, mother & 3 cubs with the remains of the nights kill, with cubs this size she had to hunt every night.

Very early the following morning we tracked the cubs by elephant as they responded to her calls from the hills we were unable to follow once we got into the rocks.

But

Full speed, by elephant in thick bamboo!.............Ouch!

 

 

tigrock.jpg

 

"Grrr!" Said the Tiger

"Sod Off!" said the elephant!

And they all lived happy ever after!

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Nappa, I didn't see your post as pretentious, just as making a point that planning is important.

 

Had you written na, na, na na, na and had a smiley sticking out its tongue, that would be pretentious.

 

All of you who have seen tigers are vey lucky. I'm hoping tigers as a species will be lucky in the years ahead.

 

KittyKat, Nappa, and Hari, you'll all be getting pms from me someday when India is in my plans.

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Nappa, that photo of the 4 tigers is wonderful.

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Anytime, Lynn

 

Nappa,

 

Amazing sightings and great pictures!!! no, i didn't see your post as pretentious, either.

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Nappa; another vote of confidence it wasn't a pretentious post. It has meant that I along with anyone else planning a trip to India will add you to our list of people who know.

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Nappa,

 

thanks for your posts, very interesting. I've sent you a PM. Hoping you can provide some further info as I'm sure my friend Jo would appreciate making contact with some of your sources! I had no idea that it was possible to specify a guide in the tiger parks as for us it has always been somwhat of a lottery.

 

All the best

 

Jo

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