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About SidSafari

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    Resident in Africa/Former resident
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    Mumbai, India
  1. Stunning work! So many wonderful frames and enjoyable, informative and enlightening text as well! Best trip report i've read in a while!
  2. @@madaboutcheetah Do you remember what zones had the best sightings? I have heard Zone 1,3,4,5 have been really good.
  3. Anyone been to Ranthambore in October a week or so after the park is opened? How are the sightings during that period? The landscape should be green and clean after the monsoons as well, and perhaps some lingering clouds should give decent landscape opportunities. I know Summer is best because minor water holes and pools have dried up but I really don't want to be roasting in an oven so either October or Feb are options. Need some Ranthambore experts to weigh in and advice. Trip will probably be 7 days (approx 14 game drives).
  4. @@madaboutcheetah Fantastic shots Hari! I was in Ruaha in the early 90's when I was a kid and went to school in Dar. It was a rugged and beautiful park, untouched by the commercialism that's now common in the northern circuit. I'm glad to see some of that old Africa is still present there today! The park was famous for its birds and the huge Elephant herds. I remember seeing herds 30-40 strong back in the day. Truly magical place which your photos brought back memories off.
  5. Agreed. The search for Jai has been ongoing since July 2016. His radio collar has stopped working and there is a chance he has been pushed into unprotected areas. There are quite a few resources allocated to finding him as he's one of the biggest male Tigers in the Maharashtra reserves. Hopefully he's found alive at some point. But there is nothing to suggest he's in Karhandla at the moment. A reliable source told me that while Karhandla is certainly worth a visit, at the moment the guides and jeep situation there is rudimentary. Some operators are even bringing jeeps from Tadoba with guides to track tigers because the local scene is very disorganized. There is hope that in time if the Tiger population is sustained that more professional services will find their way to Umred. At the moment the park is a favorite for the local day trippers and the rugged adventurers who have seen all the major attractions.
  6. Thank you for correct ID @@Galana! Unfortunately I can't seem to be able to edit the original post now or I would have made the changes directly. Perhaps one of the mods can assist?
  7. Ahh, makes sense. So you basically have to stay at JLR resorts and then hope to get a seat in the jeep. What kind of rush did you face during your stay? I'd hate to come all the way there and not be assured of a place. I've been on a cantor once and it was a nightmare from a photography point of view.
  8. I don't understand. So you can book jeep safari's? Do you have to stay at the govt resorts to go on jeep safari?
  9. @@madaboutcheetah So these were all taken from the cantor? Wow...that's even more impressive. Great job getting eye line shots sir! Btw are you using a 600mm / extender to get these shots?
  10. We visited Tadoba in June and spotted multiple Pitta's. Returning in Jan the next year we didn't spot any. Anecdotally I would say April to end of June is probably a good bet. After June the monsoon arrives and chances of sightings would decrease significantly.
  11. Birding in Tadoba Tadoba is famous for tigers. They are the stars of the show and the main reason people visit the park. But it's not the only reason. Birding in Tadoba has become a bona fide attraction in its own right. The parks varied topography is a haven for a plethora of birds. Over 195 species inhabit the ranges lakes, woodlands, meadows and hills. This is a journal account of two separate trips from June 2016 and January 2017. Like many others I went to Tadoba for the tigers, but left with an appreciation of the park birds. Forest and Woodland Birds Tadoba is a southern tropical, dry deciduous forest. The majority of flora in the park is Teak and hardwood trees. These are natural refuge for a majority of birds. Chief among them Robins, Cuckoo, Rollers, Bee-eaters and Treepies. Indian Rollers are an attractive Tadoba resident which are easy to find. Look for them in woodland areas and listen for their chack-chack-chack call. Indian Golden Oriole makes an appearance. Little green bee-eaters are another widespread species. Their striking green plumage highlights well in the morning light. Follow a bee-eater in the afternoon and you might even catch them hunting for insects. The Indian paradise flycatcher is an insectivorous bird that draws attention. These long tailed birds tend to favor perches in wooded areas. They are skittish and hop from perch to perch. React quickly because they don't hang around for long. We spotted a pair of Scops Owls in a dead tree near waterhole 97 in Tadoba's main zone. They sleep during the day and stick to wooded areas. Look for hollowed out trees for signs of life because you might find one napping during the daytime. Bird songs ring throughout the forest. Stop and listen for a few minutes. You'll likely hear and see plenty of treepies and robins. The Roufus treepie in particular has a harsh rattling cry that's particularly distinctive. Nothing though, beats the jungle Babblers when it comes to noise. Rest assured you will hear these raucous little birds long before you see them. Scampering on the forest floor in groups making a harsh ke-ke-ke sound. They're called babblers for a reason! Check the trees near the rest areas for birds. Most safari drivers will stop there at 10:00 for breakfast. Birds flock to the area in the hope for some easy food and make for easy spotting in the nearby trees. Just my luck...The common white throated kingfisher decides to hide behind a branch. Raptors and Birds of Prey Locating raptors by listening for calls is difficult. A better strategy is to scaning tree tops and this worked well for us in Tadoba. Almost every raptor we encountered were on the top branches of the tall trees. Birds of prey seek high vantage points from where they scout for hunting opportunities. The guide with us spotted the oriental honey buzzard near the lake edge. If you're lucky you might even find them fishing in the lake. The deciduous trees like Mahua, Bija, Ain and Tendu grow tall and are good spots to check for other raptors. Finding a Changeable hawk-eagle was cause for celebration. This beauty was scanning the forest floor for reptiles and rodents. Taking a low flight over the forest floor no doubt scanning for any movement. Lake Tadoba - Water Birds Lake Tadoba and Paunderpani are excellent locations to find water birds. The water bodies are home to cormorants, ducks, darters and egrets. The distance from the water to the trail is can be significant. Having a scope, telephoto lens or extender can help magnify details. Great Egret prepares to land at Paunderpani waterhole. Getting the shot was more luck then skill. More a case of being in the right place at the right time and firing a burst as the Egret descended in line with where our jeep was parked. Egrets and Storks fish along the shoreline of the lake. Searching for crustaceans and small fishes. With some luck you might even find the migratory ducks that visit the park. Egrets and Openbills are busy probing the muddy lake floor for their quarry. A family of ducks patrol the waters edge. The lack of predators seemed to calm their nerve and it was a happy scene as each one took to the water and headed off to search for food. Ground Birds There are plenty of opportunities for birding on the ground as well. The Indian Pitta is a prized species that found foraging on the floor. This colorful little bird used to be a rarity in Tadoba but is now more common. The jungle fowl look like their domestic cousins and exhibit similar traits but are extremely skittish creatures. Indian Peafowl are found in large numbers in Tadoba. This is the national bird of India and perhaps the most beautiful of all ground birds. If you're lucky you might even see the males put on a mating dance! Peacocks have an unmistakable call that guides use to track tiger movement. The coucal is another wide range bird that has distinctive blood red eyes.
  12. WOW! These are incredible moments captured perfectly! The lighting and detail of the action is excellent. I always thought Kabini was more known for its leopards then tigers which makes your tiger series that much better! I have read that to get jeep safari in Kabini you have to stay in the JLR resorts (official state resorts). Is that true? Also please give us some indication of how the jeep safari's were handled. Do the resorts allow photographers to hire out the entire jeep like in Tadoba, Bandhavgarh, etc so you have more room. Or is it 5-6 people to a jeep and it goes full? Your captures makes me want to plan a trip sometime in October so any assistance is greatly appreciated.
  13. Sir, these are amazing photos and your blog is packed with very valuable insight into the many tiger reserves of India. I was fortunate enough to visit Kanha Chitvan lodge and stay at the resort for a few days. We were blessed to sight the Mahamen female there and left wanting to return to Kanha again this year. Looking at your images, Dudwha also looks like an fantastic, unspoiled reserve. Would love to chat with you about possibility of trips to that and other forest reserves.
  14. This was a journal entry of my first trip to Tadoba. I have added some of the shots here for those who want a quick preview and added brief descriptions. Those who want a longer read check out the full entry at -> ********************** In 2016 I decided to realize a childhood dream of seeing tigers in the wild. Growing up in Africa I could only imagine them. Now, decades later my wife and I were visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. The plan was to take a 4-day trip which included 6 game drives through the Tadoba and Moharli ranges. Our goal was to experience the flora and fauna of an Indian forest, and to find tigers. At the gates waiting for the park to open. Yes, there's a huge line, but it moves quickly... The road into Tadoba is lined with verdant hardwood trees Herds of Chital deer (Spotted Deer) sustain a large population of tigers Lake Tadoba is picturesque and a great place to photograph a multitude of water birds. Bring your binoculars and catch ducks, egrets, comorants and darters! My first sighting...and it just so happened to be a mating couple "Maya" and "Gabbar" were mating at waterhole #97. The couple leaves the water The next morning we found Gabbar again. The old warrior sports battle scars from his fight with Matkasaur but in that light he looked beautiful Catching up with Maya again - This is why she's known as the queen of the Tadoba main zone. Beauty in strips, dazzling in the mid-day sun Those who want to see more snaps and check read the full account check out the full entry at ->

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