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Found 12 results

  1. Strictly my view, but arrived having seen many Tigers over 28 years of safaris in various parks of India. It was not easy to arrive at this decision but not a difficult one either. In the current Tigers in the Wild it is Umarpani Male in Kanha National Park who will get crowned as the largest Tiger in central India. Son of Legendary Munna, and Umarpani female, he is a huge Tiger who has outsized his parents, and is all set to takeover reins from his father as King of Kanha. Read the link below to know about him and his competition today. http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/biggest-tiger-central-india/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  2. In an unprecedented move, the Forest Department has brought about some wonderful changes in the Tourism Policies of Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, and Pench National Parks in central India. This will Officially the changes will be listed by next week on their official website, but the news is actually very good for all foreign guests. 1. The concept of premium zones stands abolished. The extra rates that were charged for the premium zones of Tala in Bandhavgarh and Kanha are now not applicable. Which means all zones in the Madhya Pradesh park will have the same rate, and no premium charges for any zone. That makes the safaris more reasonable. Isn't that great? 2. Most important change; the entry permit rates for Indian and Foreign guests will be same with effect from October. This will actually mean a reduction in rates for foreigners from what they were paying until last year, and what they will pay from coming season. 3. These national parks now will remain open on Wednesday afternoons as well for safari. So no lazing around in the Lodge, or by the pool, hit for the safaris, until and unless you wish to stay back in the Lodge. 4.if you miss the 120 days deadline of booking safari, then don't worry there will be some last minute quota for permits reserved. But my suggestion is not to plan your safaris based on the last minute permit. It is better to book safaris 120 days prior. Many more changes but above are the most crucial ones, which will impact the tourism in these parks in a positive way. Enjoy the Tiger Safaris. Best Wishes Sharad Vats http://www.naturesafariindia.com
  3. Hello Everyone! In May we spent 8 days in Bandhavgarh, Thought I would write a short trip report We chose to travel with Pugdundee, and stayed at their wonderful Kings Lodge. We stayed there in 2013 and met a great guide, Naresh Singh (Gudda) and we promised we would go on safari with him. He is indeed a wonderful guide - super enthusiastic, and he knows very well how to get the best angles for photography. He will be our guide of choice for future visits to this park for sure. The lodge itself is quite nice - the AC and the pool were more of a necessity than a luxury since it was very very hot! The food is excellent and plentiful and the staff are always smiling and friendly. The lodge is only about 4km away from the Tala Zone gate. I was very pleased to note that things are organized pretty well in Bandhavgarh - I heard many stories of chaos around sightings in other parks so I was a bit concerned. There was never too much crowding problems around tiger sightings - I mean it was crowded but mostly it was well-behaved and not too noisy. Cars even organized themselves in such a way to leave open paths for tigers to cross a road etc. I think the relative good behaviour is one of the draws for visiting this park. However the bureaucracy is still a bit of a pain - Changing zones is expensive (even when "downgrading") and routes and park guides are assigned on the spot so you never quite know what you are going to get. While the tiger sightings were really really good for many weeks prior to our arrival, we were unlucky to chance upon some really hot weather (44-45C every day) and the tiger sightings almost completely dried up for a few days. They picked up just as we were about to leave. But that's wildlife for you! It leaves me with enough unfinished business to start planning a next visit One other thing to be noted, especially this much into the dry season is the dust. It's really the worse dust I have ever encountered anywhere in my travels - it is very fine and sticks to everywhere. So it is important to think ahead to protect your gear. I use a large pillowcase to wrap my cameras and lenses and cleaning needs to be done after every drive. If there is a commotion around a sighting it will raise a dust cloud that might make photography a bit difficult. Anyway enough talking now and here is the interesting part - the video by Mr. Cheetah80 compiling some of the best moments we had.
  4. I am just starting to think about an Indian safari for February 2016. Having traveled four times now to Africa and extensively in South America, we are ready for tigers But of course, more than just tigers! We are avid birders and I also would really like to see Asiatic lion and leopard. Never having been to Asia at all, just about everything would be new for us, and the birds alone would not disappoint. But we do want to maximize our opportunities for tigers! I think we could do about 12-13 days (not including travel days, which would bring it up to 14-15 or so coming from New York.) So I am thinking Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Gir. Is this feasible to do in that amount of time? How would you recommend splitting the time? I want to write to a couple of operators to get proposals, but I need a starting point... As for operators, I will try Wild World India as I've seen it recommended here...any other suggestions? Another question--if you book through someone like Wild World India, do they assign you a guide that stays with you for the whole trip (like you can do in Tanzania, for instance)? Or do you use different local guides at each lodge (like in Botswana)...where the lodge assigns the guide...I am unclear on how this works in India. If you use a guide from the lodge then I'd think quality would vary considerably...how do you assure a good guide? It would be especially important to us to have one that knows their birds. Any help/suggestions appreciated!
  5. The changing tiger dynamics in Bandhavgarh and the absence of a dominant male tiger in the park who is capable of giving adequate protection to young cubs has resulted in a lack luster season for the famed Tala zone of the park. The focus has been on Makhdi and the Sookhi Patiha female which has been keeping the park busy throughout this season. Working on tiger cubs outside the Tala zone was a challenge and a different experience from my past Bandhavgarh endeavors. However we got 3 exclusive photo opportunities with the family over the 9 day period which were good enough for an excellent portfolio. More than the images tracking the family in the Patiha area and understanding some new areas of the park was a great learning experience. Here are some of the many moments I spent with this wonderful family in the far end of the Makhdi zone of the park.
  6. It is the end of season and as I look back at the hectic 9 months, some of those glorious wildlife moments keep flashing in my head. With more than 150 game drives in Ranthambhore, the focus of the season was on Krishna and cubs. My brief fortnight-long stints in Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Corbett and Sunderbans were rewarding as well. Escorting some of the best photographers in business, it was a great knowledge sharing experience on the field. Though in most of the game drives I wasn’t shooting much since I was escorting and mentoring photographers, I did squeeze in time for some personal drives in Ranthambhore and those were the times my camera was in action the most. Presenting a compilation of my top 14 wildlife moments for 2014-2015. Click here for more details: https://shivangmehtaphotography.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/best-of-2014-2015/
  7. I am planning a trip to India around Easter 2016. We ( family of 4, 2 boys aged 6 and 11) will have around 17-18 days for travelling. We thought that we would have 4 nights in Bandhavgarh, 4 in Kanha and 3-4 in Pench. My travel agent have suggested Infinity Bandhavgarh Wilderness, Tuli Jungle Resort in Kanha and Tuli Jungle Corridor in Pench. Seems good but also a bit pricey. Any feedback on these camps or others would be highly appreciated We dont need a super luxury resort, actually I would prefer a small quiet place with good guides, but since we are travelling in march/april in need a place with swimmingpool. Helps to keep the kids satisfied
  8. Last 2 seats left now.. with 10% discount. This November we are going to explore some very good destinations of India on our overland van. Places visited: - Jabalpur (Trip departs) - Pench (Wildlife reserve) - Kanha (Wildlife reserve) - Bandhavgarh (Wildlife reserve) - Khajuraho (World heritage site temples) - Ranthambore (Wildlife reserve & 1000 year old fort) - Bharatpur (Migratory birds) - Agra (Taj Mahal) - Delhi (Forts, monuments, palaces & bazaars) - Corbett (Wildlife reserve) - Rishikesh (Adventure sports & age old temples) - Rajaji (Wildlife reserve) - Dehradun ( Trip ends) This 31 days overland trip covers most exciting overland Indian destination from Jabalpur to Dehradun and costs just USD2500 per person. This itinerary is for people looking for some real adventures, which will give them the experiences that no other travel can offer. You will be roughing it out having a great time as we proceed on our journey. Highlights: Wildlife safaris in game rich jungles à India's diverse culture à Indian cuisine –> bush camping –> boat cruise in river Chambal –> tigers –> Birding in Bharatpur –> The Taj Mahal –> Forts à Adventure sports à Himalayan hospitality Day 1: We will pick you up from the airport/railway station in the Central Indian town of Jabalpur. Today there will be a trip meeting at 18:00 hrs. No activities are planned today and tonight's stay will be in a good hostel in this city. Meals – lunch & dinner. Day 2: This morning we will start early and take the drive up to the Pench National park. Accommodation is in dome tents at a bush camp. After reaching and setting up the camp, evening will be at leisure. Meals – breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 3: This morning we will go for the jungle safari and explore this tiger heaven for 4 hours. Post lunch we will take the afternoon safari. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 4: Today’s morning starts with another jungle safari looking for tigers in Pench. Post breakfast we will drive to our next destination, Kanha National park (approx 157 km). Accommodation will be in dome tents at a bush camp. After setting up the camp, evening will be relaxing at the dry river bed with sundowners. Guided birding is also an optional activity. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 5: Kanha has an amazing diversity of both mammals and birds. Today we will take both morning and afternoon jungle safaris in the park. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 6: Continuing our search for the ever elusive tigers, leopards and other animals of Kanha, we will start the day with a morning safari. After a relaxing afternoon and lunch, we will go for the afternoon jungle safari. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 7: Moving on to the next tiger country, today we will take the drive up to the Bandhavgarh National park. Bandhavgarh arguably has the highest tiger density in India. Accommodation will be in dome tents at a bush camp. After setting up the camp evening will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 8: Both morning and afternoon jungle safaris are planned for this day. We will spend the evening in a wildlife artist's studio learning how to paint tigers and other wildlife. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 9: Starting the day early, today we will explore Bandhavgarh again on both morning and afternoon safaris. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 10: Taking a break from the jungle, today we will drive up to the historical city of Khajuraho. Aptly declared a World Heritage Site, this place will take you back in time. Accommodation will be in a good hostel in the town. No activities are planned for today. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 11: Taking the historical importance of Khajuraho in account, we will devote this day completely to the exploration of what it has to offer. Eastern and Western group of temples have an extremely detailed architecture and will amaze us the whole day. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 12: Today we start very early as we have to cover more than 400km to reach our next destination, Ranthambore. It’s a very special place to see tigers and other predators among the ruins of a 1000 year old fort. Reaching Ranthambore late afternoon, we will do the camp setup and evening will be at leisure. Meals- Brunch & dinner Day 13: Waking up to the calls of the peacocks and deer this day, we will explore the interesting terrain, forest and wildlife of the Ranthambore National park on both morning and afternoon jungle safaris. Evening will be very entertaining with the rich Rajasthani folk music. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 14: This day starts with a visit to the 1000 year old Ranthambore fort. Post lunch we will do the afternoon safari in the park. In the evening we will visit a local wildlife artist's studio. Dinner will be hosted in the traditional Rajasthani way at a home-stay tonight with all sorts of local cuisine. Camel ride is also an option in the evening. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 15: With an early start on the road, today we will reach a small city called Bharatpur. This place remains our base for the next 4 days. Accommodation will be in a comfortable guest house where Devendra Singh (a famous birder) will be our host. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 16: Bharatpur is arguably the birding Mecca of India. A full day birding & photography excursion is planned for day in the Keoladeo National Park, as Bharatpur is widely known. We will hire bicycles to explore this park. Wetlands, forests host a huge number of both migratory and resident birds which will never let you run out of options. Meals- Picnic Brunch & dinner Day 17: Exploration of a very unique habitat and equally unique animals is planned for today. We will drive up to the river Chambal on the MP – Rajasthan state border. Exploring the habitat on the boat cruise will take us up close to the gavial crocs, variety of birds and other smaller mammals which are extremely rare to find anywhere else. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 18: Today post breakfast we will head towards Agra. One of the Seven Wonders of the World certainly needs one whole day to be properly explored and appreciated. We will also spend some time in the local bazaars of Agra today. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 19: Almost half way through the trip, this day is scheduled for the cleaning of the vehicle (everything unpacked, rinsed, repacked and the van washed). The rest of the day will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 20: Leaving Bharatpur behind this morning, we will drive the capital city of India, Delhi. No other activities are planned for today. Accommodation will be in a comfortable budget hostel. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 21: It’s off to the Corbett National Park in the foothills of Himalayas this morning. The drive from Delhi to Corbett is very interesting and scenic. After reaching our campsite in Corbett, we will do the camp setup and evening will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 22: The scenes, terrain, vegetation and some animals are all very unique to Corbett. We will do both the morning and afternoon jeep jungle safaris in this haven. For the first time in this trip, we will get the chance to see Asian elephants in the wild. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 23: For the anglers this will be a very interesting day. The rivers and streams around Corbett are full of game fish, the most important one being the Golden Mahasheer. After the morning session of fishing and lunch, we will go for the afternoon safari in Corbett. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 24: The area around Corbett also has some tamed elephants and this gives us a chance to get up close with these gentle giants today. Finishing up the morning elephant interaction session and lunch, we will pack our day backpack and go for a guided bird watching walk in the surrounding forests. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 25: Leaving Corbett behind, today we move to the town of Rishikesh. This is a well known place for a lot of adventure sports. White water river rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, Kayaking and lots more is on offer here. After setting up the camp on the banks of a flowing river, the evening will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 26: Today depending on individual taste and abilities, everyone is free to participate in any of the adventure sports on offer in Rishikesh. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 27: Finishing our adventure in Rishikesh, we will drive to the remote, Rajaji National Park. This place is famous for the extraordinary encounters and sightings of the wild Asian elephants. We will be bush camping here at a remote location with limited supplies. After setting up the camp, evening will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 28: Looking for herds of wild elephants and hoards of other wildlife that this rich wildlife park has to offer, we will do both the morning and afternoon jungle safaris. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 29: Everything remains the same as ‘Day 28’ Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 30: Moving towards the end of this trip, we will drive higher in the Himalayas to the city of Dehradun. This drive being very short, the rest of the day is free for you to explore this city. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 31: Marking and end to our experience in the Central and North Western India, we will share our experiences in our post trip meeting for the last time and then depart for the Airport/Railway station. Meals- Breakfast ccommodation: Budget resorts/hotels & bush camps (dome tents). Max. Participants: 7 Min. Participants: 5 No. Of crew: 2 Vehicle type: Adventure maxi-van Duration: Days- 31, Nights- 30 Meals: Breakfast X 30, Lunch X 30, Dinner X 30 Departure: Jabalpur End: Dehradun Departure date: 1st November, 2014 ( it can be changed according to group size) Price - USD 2500. (we are giving 10% discount on this price) link of itinerary - http://www.prayaanindiaoverland.com/31days_camping_tour.html Website - www.prayaanindiaoverland.com mail - info@prayaanindiaoverland.com
  9. For a long time I had been looking at various places where I could spend some time perusing my interests in photography and birding. Problem was, these places were in different parts of the country and multiple trips to India will be needed to cover each of these places to even scratch the surface. A series of incidents created a situation where I would have about 20 days to spare in India. It was almost as if powers to be had heard my plight and have decided to overwhelm me. Let me provide an analogy to explain it better: Dogs sometimes chase cars, but they would not know what to do with one if they caught it. I had only dreamt of getting a long vacation where I can visit places in wilderness for extended period, and now the dream was right in my face. I had not the slightest idea about what route to take. Hence I decided to use a scientific and highly advanced method for choosing my destinations from my wish list: using random(ish) selection and asking helpful people. Once that was done, I got in touch with couple of really helpful people on INW (Sudhir Shivram, Santosh BS) and planned out my route. Santosh's awesome and informative blog Huchchara Santhe was an invaluable resource for planning this trip and he had patience of a saint in answering my queries. So a big thanks goes to him. Ultimately my route turned out as follows: Bandhavgarh Bharatpur Tal Chappar Goa Ganeshgudi I planned to spend about 4-5 nights at each place. What followed was a journey, that left me rejuvenated and hungry for more. I have tried is to put my experience into words with visual aid from some photographs I was lucky to make. Let me be upfront and say, no amount of photographs or my poorly chosen words will do justice to what I have experienced. Bandhavgarh Land of the tigers, located in the heart of India. I think that would be more or less how this place can be described. For long I had been wanting to visit Bandhavgarh but never had a chance. This time when I saw that I do have time to make this trip and logistically it would be possible for me to fit it into my schedule. As an added bonus, Sudhir Shivram was conducting a workshop on the dates that were suitable. I jumped at that chance and registered. All that was left to do was twiddle my thumbs and wait till the day the my train from Hazrat Nizamuddin will start. As I was starting my journey from Delhi and I had a whole day at my disposal till the train left for Katni. Now what is a man to do, if he is in Delhi and have a few hours at his hand. Simple, find a willing partner in crime and go hunting for good food. Problem is not that good food is hard to come by, problem is agreeing with the aforementioned friend about which restaurant amongst the good ones are better. You are spoilt for choice with Gulatis, Kareems to specific road side stalls that may specialize in Naans, Parathas etc. In this case my friend and fellow food lover Prateek agreed to give it a go at Kareems (having paid a visit to Gulati’s the previous night for some delicious lamb). Suffice to say that obscene quantity of food was ordered and mooched off in a matter of an hour. Do try “Nargisi Kofta” if you go there. After almost missing my train due to wrongly displayed train number on the platform, I was able to board the train. Train started on time and had very few stops in between . The journey couldn’t have been better. I slept soundly to the rhythmic motion of the train and was wide awake when we reached Katni Jn. at 7:00 am. I was picked up by the car arranged by Kings Lodge. The driver was a cheerful local youth called Izahar. He gave me a subtle warning that the last few kilo-meters of the road to Tala are on bad road. I took it in my stride. After all I am well versed with pothole ridden roads of India, how bad this road could be. Turns out I was right. The road started with minor potholes, developing into major craters and ruts. That's when I saw the magical transformation. All of a sudden there was no road but a trail, which disappeared and gave way to an abomination that no one shall ever consider as road. After a bone-jarring and nausea-inducing journey for an hour (or was it a year), we finally reached Tala and then the lodge. We were immediately treated with wet towels by the attentive staff (I thought they wanted to make sure my ID papers match with my dust-filled face) and were shown the room. The rooms were tastefully done and well appointed. They had nice sit out areas and our room bordered on a bamboo thicket, treating us to a variety of birds including Tickel's Flycatcher. Despite being an upmarket lodge, the staff was very personable. They even ensured that I get the right amount of sugar in my tea. Naturalists at the resort were very good and knowledgeable and gypsy drivers were pretty darn good. I saw that Varun, current manager at the lodge, was taking time to meet and talk with each guest. Sudhir and rest of the gang joined up by end of the day. After a round of introductions we were briefed about our schedule. It went as: Morning jeep drive, Brunch followed by a power nap, Evening jeep drive followed by a leaning session with Sudhir. These sessions were filled with information about photography, creative vision and post processing as we came to know a bit later. However we all went to sleep dreaming of orange and black. I am sure the dream gods in Bandhavgarh have pre-packaged dreams of such kind for all the hopefuls. :-) Our Safari next morning was in Magadhi zone. Sudhir joined us for this round and we started. Early morning was cold and misty. To the amusement of our driver and guide, Sudhir stopped the Gypsy at a place and we started shooting landscapes, spiders, sun rays etc. While it may sound strange to some, but it was a lot of learning and in this case we got to learn some new concepts as well as started looking at seemingly mundane scenery with a creative eye (or we hope creative eye). We discussed some of the finer points of composition, colour balance as well as focusing and absolutely picked Sudhir’s brain. While were were busy shooting small wonders of the forest i.e. flowers, spider-webs etc, a jeep halted next to us. Tourists in the jeep were puzzled at what we were trying to do, apparently trying to shoot a spiderweb was not something they imagined one shall do in this tiger heaven. Driver of the other jeep just made a offhand remark that we must have seen the tigers then. Anyone who have been to tiger reserves would know the power that kind of statements would wield on the tourists. Quick exchange of directions gave us location of a point where a Tigress and her cubs were guarding their kill. In a manner of practiced manoeuvre, our driver took of in the direction indicated by them. We reached the scene, and were told that the tigress and two cubs are in a small ditch with their kill. Unfortunately, no one was allowed in. However some forest department officers wanted to verify the kill for some odd reason. Well, you know as they say "Quid pro quo" (where is that darn big grin icons). We escorted them to a vantage point near the ditch. A few minutes wait and out saunters a beautiful tigress. After a few minutes hesitation, she decided to cross the path. We waited for sometime, but cubs were not feeling as generous. Ah, so the tiger gods smiled on us. Obviously we all returned with a silly smile on our face and excitement about checking our pictures of the day. But the day was not over yet. There was a nice session planned by Sudhir that covered further details on what goes into making a better photographs. I loved the concept of pre-visualization. And obviously there was a quick session of critiquing our images. I believe the dinner tasted distinctly of humble pie , and I loved it. To be continued ..
  10. One safari to Tanzania had done it – my interest in „normal“ holidays had decreased to zero level, it was not even in question that the next annual holiday would have to be something similar. So the “Safari” quality of the next destination was not even discussed, the question was rather where to? And so we pondered which animal we would love most to see in the wild. For me there could only be one answer: Tiger! Tiger! I had never understood, why the lion is called “King of animals” (at least in German). To me, the tiger is so clearly the more elegant, the more powerful and the more beautiful creature, and not even the villainous depiction of Shir Khan in Kipling´s Jungle Book and the Disney movie (both of which I loved as a kid) could ever shatter my conviction that the tiger is one of the most magnicficent animals, if not THE most magnificent animal in the world. India was, of course, the place to go then, and so in February we booked the trip for November 2012. Going to India and not visiting at least some of its world famous sights would just have felt wrong, so we chose an itinerary with a mixture of national parks and more ordinary sightseeing: Day 1: Arrival in Delhi at 0200 a.m., Sightseeing (Humayun´s Tomb, Old Town, Jama Masjid …) Day 2: Sightseeing in Delhi, drive to Jaipur Day 3: Jaipur (Fort Amber, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, …) Day 4: Drive to Ranthambore NP, afternoon safari Day 5: Safari in Ranthambore NP Day 6: moring safari, drive to Agra with Fatehpur Sikri on the way Day 7: Agra (Taj Mahal, Red Fort, …), night train to Katni Day 8: Drive To Bandhavgarh NP, afternoon safari Day 9. Safari in Bandhavgarh NP Day 10: Safari in Bandhavgarh NP Day 11: Morning safari, drive to Kanha NP Day 12: Safari in Kanha NP Day 13: day off with some walks and relax time (NP closed, which was not known at the time of booking) Day 14: Morning safari in Kanha, drive to Raipur, flight back to Delhi, overnight there Day 15: Drive to Corbett NP, overnight at Wild Crest Day 16: Drive to Dhikala area, afternoon safari Day 17: Safari in Dhikala area Day 18: Morning safari, drive back to Delhi, flight back home. So, all looked great, and we were really looking forward to this trip. Then, in July, we were informed of the tiger ban! All parks closed, no one could know when and if they would reopen for tourism again! At first we were quite confident that the Supreme Court wouldn´t really ban tourism for the coming season but then September came. And October. And the court would just postpone and postpone its decision. A real nailbiter for us, we were very unsure what to do (yes, we had a Plan B but who wants to go for B?). Imagine the relief when the ban was lifted on Oct 16th – only two weeks before our departure! The court had limited park access, of course, only 20% of core zones were now accessible, no “tiger shows” anymore, but we didn´t really care, the main point was our trip would work out, and we had almost lost faith by this time. So lucky us! All arrangements for the trip were done by http://www.naturesafariindia.com/index.html. Great company, highly recommendable and great value for money. Everything worked perfectly, we had accommodations exceeding our expectations, very knowledgeful guides in the cities, made all our connections smoothly and had the most wonderful driver in Rajasthan and to Corbett. Though I have to say all the “Yes, Sir” and “Of course, Sir” felt a bit uncomfortable, but I guess the Our man Vejay was an artist, I´m not scared of traffic but I never, ever would dare driving around in Indian cities especially by myself. No one seems to care about traffic rules at all, most trafficlights are completely ignored and of course cows and other animals are always wandering around, even on highways. As we were told by Vejah you need three things to survive Indian traffic: Good brake, good horn, and – most of all – good luck! As this is meant to be a safari trip report I won´t go into details about the city sightseeing, suffice to say that the monuments are most impressive and the incredible number of people everywhere creates a challenges for all senses. I loved it, the country is absolutely fascinating, most people very friendly but you have to be prepared for extreme contrasts. You can marvel at the splendour of the Taj or Fort Amber or relax in luxurious environments in your hotel, but a few minutes later you will have to bear with the sight of cripples living on the streets or even whole families housing on traffic islands. And then there was the “winter fog”, as everyone would insistently call the intense smog in the cities. Bit of a pity since you really couldn´t see that far, but it didn´t really detract from our enjoyment of sightseeing there. Just a few impressions here: Humayun´s tomb, probably my favourite sight in Delhi, kind of a predecessor to the Taj. And here is smelly, loud, chaotic, dirty, but most of all utterly fascinating Old Delhi: And we even saw quite some animals in the city: Palm Squirrels. These cute little guys were practically everywhere, and they always made me smile. The first of many, many Rose-Ringed Parakeet, as prevalent there as common pigeons are in European cities. No trip to India can be complete without some spectacled cobra: I was astounded to see several steppe eagles in the middle of the city (on the parks around Humayun´s tomb), our guide told us that they are being attracted by the refuses of a nearby butchery. And here we first saw one of my favourite birds, a hoopoe. They do exist in Austria, too, but I have never seen them here.
  11. BHOPAL: Two tigers and two tigresses have not been sighted by wardens and tour operators at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve for several weeks and even months, triggering fears that these endangered cats had fallen victim to voracious poachers or chased out of their territory by more aggressive tigers, officials and tour operators said on Monday. The reserve is home to 55 tigers. Neither the famous blue-eyed tiger nor its pugmarks have been found after it was tranquilized for treatment and released on December 6, sources said. Other missing tigers are Mukunda (male) from November 2012, Mahaman (tigress) from January 2012, Joby (tigress) from October, all from Magdi range. Tour operators and wildlife activists claim they have not seen the four for long but the head of the reserve warned against spreading fears. "I don't know why people spread such rumours. The big cats are in the range. We would send an official release tomorrow," said L K Chaudhary, director, Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. "The tigers and tigresses were the most sighted and photographed ones. We have not seen any of the four for the past many days," said a tour operator wishing anonymity. http://ow.ly/gQTb9 on iPad so can't post the full link sorry GW.
  12. Five nabbed for electrocuting and poaching tiger in Madhya Pradesh Five poachers were arrested for allegedly electrocuting a tiger near Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in neighbouring Umaria district, and the feline's teeth and skin were recovered, a forest official said. The tiger was found dead by forest officials late last night under Ghunghuti forest area's Majhgavan forest, after villagers saw vultures hovering in the sky, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) RPS Baghel told PTI. When forest officials reached the spot, poachers who were allegedly trying to remove its teeth and nails fled the spot, leaving these behind. Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/madhya-pradesh-five-nabbed-for-electrocuting-and-poaching-tiger/1/237109.html

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