Another early start today for our 6.15 safari and we have zone 3, which has 2 huge lakes and even better the entrance is through a huge old fortress.
The light is really great at this time of the morning and I can’t help getting a bit fed up with some members of my group who don’t seem to appreciate this beautiful natural scenery but keep going on about seeing another tiger. It was good that we saw the tiger on the first safari, as now we can relax. Sometimes the park rangers are really put under pressure to find a tiger. This is really wildlife and it is like a game of hide and seek with the tiger. However, I do think the clients who experience a couple of safaris without a tiger sighting and then see the tiger, appreciate it more. Some people come here and maybe spend a week and don’t even spot a tiger - but some of my group just don’t realise how lucky they are.
We saw the tigers footprints quite early this morning and followed the direction. We came upon some samba deer, who were making a warning call, looking very alert and ready to run. We stayed in that area and waited. Suddenly there she was – the same female tiger from yesterday. This time she was in the grass and we followed her until she came very close to our canter. Great sighting, happy group.
- Stalking the Tiger
My Park Ranger, Vipul, is not only a great naturalist and park guide, but he also does a lot of work with the local villages. The villagers have a very simple life and really live from hand to mouth. Each village has one water pump and no electricity. Indians like big families so have lots of kids and the problem is that there just isn’t enough work for all the kids when they grow up, so many kids are sent to the big cities where survival is tough. Vipul has helped with various projects to improve life in the villages and he is a very popular figure. Even though it is not included on our itinerary, I always try to offer the clients a trip to a village. After our morning safari, we had breakfast and then headed out to a village with Vipul. I had told my group at the beginning of the tour to take the shampoo, soap, pens , paper and watever else they could find from the hotel rooms. Now, I have told them to bring these items with them as gifts for the village. I have brought many things from home for the poor people – shirts, fleeces, pens, sweets, caps. Vipul will share these things out among the villagers, otherwise they may start fighting over them. It is sad to see people having such a basic existance – these people really have nothing. All the kids want is someone to take their photo and then when they look in the viewer on the camera and see themselves they erupt into laughter. They are overjoyed with one sweet or one pen.
Even though the locals in the village have very little, they still offer us food and tea. Of course we do not take this, as they have so little. We do step into a couple of the small houses, that consist of just 2 small rooms for a whole family. Dried out cow dung is used as fuel for cooking and for heating in the winter.