Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'India'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Articles
    • Forum Integration
    • Frontpage
  • Pages
  • Miscellaneous
    • Databases
    • Templates
    • Media


  • New Features
  • Other


  • Travel Talk
    • Safari talk
    • Lodge, camp and operator news
    • Trip reports
    • Trip Planning
    • Self driving
    • Health issues
    • Travel News
  • Trip Resources
  • WildlifeTalk
    • African wildlife
    • Indian wildlife
    • World wildlife
    • Birding
    • Research / scientific papers
    • Newsletters
    • Organisations and NGOs
  • Photography Talk
    • General discussion
    • Your Africa images
    • Your India images
    • Wildlife images from around the world
    • Articles
    • Your Videos
  • Features
    • Interviews
    • Articles
    • Safaritalk Debates
    • Park talk
  • Safaritalk - site information
    • Forum Help topics
    • General information
    • Site news, updates, development

Found 90 results

  1. I may be mistaken, but i couldn't find any mention of Gir wildlife sanctuary and National Park in ST. Gir is home to Asiatic lions, which during the census carried out in 2010 numbered 411. The census takes place every 5 years and the 2015 counting has just been carried out and results are expected within the next few days. While i was there i was lucky to see a crested treeswift pair. I am informed that the crested swift is rarely sighted in this area. From where we were,(about 10-12 meters away or so) we did not realise that the small lump in the branch was in fact a nest! It looked like a knot in the branch. And when we zoomed in we could see that there was a baby too. The nest seemed to be made from leaves glued together? Could someone elaborate on this? We saw a beautiful crested serpent eagle which had just made a kill. It is a dry deciduous forest and the weather can be pretty hot in this season. The temperature went up to 43o C by noon and the dry heat is quite unbearable. No wonder all the animals retreat to relatively cooler (less hotter) surroundings from 11am till 5 pm. The asiatic lion is leaner than its african counterpart and weighs typically about 20-25 kgs less. I am informed that the asiatic lion weighs about 120 kgs. Gir sanctuary is around 370 kms from Ahmedabad and takes about 5.5 hours to get there. The roads are good. All in all, we had a wonderful time during the 4 days that we spent there.
  2. The population of Manas rhinos increased to 32 from 5 animals more than a decade ago. If rampant poaching is a major challenge, the Assam state is making huge efforts on patrolling involving new technologies such as drones to control the diferents protected areas of the indian state. Assam has a vision to get 3000 rhinos by 2020, which involves translocation to Manas and other smaller protected areas along the Brahmaputra from the overpopulated Pobitora and Kaziranga national park.
  3. Trip Report Ranthambhore April 2017 Ranthambhore is the first tiger reserve or for that matter first protected area that I have ever visited in my life. It was way back in December 2007. My wife and I had finished 1 year of our private practice (we both are doctors). We decided to celebrate the occasion by going on a 10 day trip to Rajasthan. We had never been to any forest/ nature reserve before. We had never had been exposed to wildlife as kids and always had very little time to spend on anything other than studies as we finished our respective professional education.As an afterthought we decided to visit Ranthambhore just to see what it was all about. Since we could not get a safari booking at the end of our itinerary, we decided to start the trip with Ranthambhore. It was December, freezing cold, we were all layered up. It was our first experience to sit in an open vehicle with the wind blowing in our faces as we made our way from our hotel to the entrance of the park. That in itself was a altogether thrilling experience! After entering the park we got onto route 5. Being part of an enthusiastic group we were the first vehicle in the park. It was foggy and visibility was down a 10 metres or so. And lo behold, a tigress was walking down the road, through the mist, straight towards our vehicle. It was a nothing short of spectacular! She walked on, not a care in the world, making absolutely no sound while the driver reversed our car. This went on for good 10 minutes….I managed to take a couple of blurry foggy pictures with my little point and shoot camera. I still have those pictures which barely show some orange on a white background but the memory is as fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. Our driver could reverse no more due to a line of vehicles that had formed behind us. The tigress was least bothered and she walked beside our vehicle close enough for my wife to reach out and touch her (which of course she didn’t!) To say the least we were hooked! The safari bug had bitten on our very first day in a national park and the fever has not gone away still and probably never will. Our rest of the trip visiting palaces and museums paled on the background of our Ranthambhore experience. After coming back we immediately started planning our next trip. After this trip I made a very short trip to R’mbore in 2013 with a friend of mine. We were not very lucky with tiger sightings on that trip (just one good sighting) as it was winter and the trip was planned at the last minute resulting in not getting zones of choice. So when I got an email from my friend Aditya Singh (incidently we stayed at his hotel Ranthambhore Bagh in 2007 just by pure chance), saying he is arranging a 4 full day safari trip for a few friends, I jumped in. My wife decided not to come especially with our son being just 3 years who wouldn’t enjoy 40C April heat of Ranthambhore. (He has already seen a leopard and a sloth bear at the age of 1 and a big male tiger at the ripe old age of 2!). The trip started on 15th April 2017. I got onto the August Kranti Express leaving Mumbai at 1730 hours and reached Sawai Madhopur next day at 0630. I had booked AC First Class. I was amazed by the cleanliness, courteous service and palatable food offered by Indian Railways. It was certainly a pleasant surprise after being used to poor service and unpalatable food for years together. It was a 5 day trip. First day was a full day photographic workshop at the hotel hosted by Theo Allofs, a German photographer settled in the US. (He is an outstanding photographer having won Natural History Museums Wildlife Photographer of the Year award several times apart from several other awards and publication. Please do check out his website especially his aerial photographs from Rift Valley). The group was varied. One person was from Manila, One from Mumbai, One from Dubai, 2 from Hyderabad, One Sri Lankan from Melbourne and me from a little town on the west coast of India. Since it was a full day safari, Aditya had booked 2 Gypsies (Suzuki 4X4s) with very experienced drivers but without any guides. (Guides are a must for normal drives). The plan was to concentrate on one particular tigress called T-39 or “Noor” and her 3 4 month old cubs. There was another tigress T-60 with 3 grown up cubs (1 1/2 years old) a little further down the road in the same zone (Zone 2) who would serve as a backup plan. Another tigress called “Arrowhead” (T-19’s daughter) had territory close to the entrance gate of Zones 2 and 3, so we had a chance of sighting her as well. Males of course, we could bump into anywhere. With this plan set, we started nice and early on Day 1. It was 0530 as we left the hotel. Weather was surprisingly pleasant. We made straight for Zone 2, driving towards T-39s territory. There were a lot of tiger pug marks on the road but no sign of the owner. All the favourite waterholes were empty with no sign of any big cat. Since we were in 2 cars, a plan was made. We stuck around T-39’s area while the second car made a dash for T-60’s territory. There was no way of communicating as no radios are allowed and cell phone signal are patchy. But as more and more vehicles made their way to the area, a message could be conveyed by passing vehicle. We waited for 30 minutes more. the other vehicle came back empty handed. We continued our search and finally came across this. Noor and her cubs were lying in an area well away from the road, but we could see them through the thickets. They probably had made a kill there but it was difficult to see. We waited for Noor to make a move. Our driver Himmat Singh predicted that as the weather heated up, they would move towards either a waterhole or a shady area. After some time, the family started moving. Not something that you see everyday! Himmat correctly predicted where they would cross the road and drove ahead. He was right (which became the de facto norm) of course. We were treated to a spectacle not many people get to see. The tigers were moving in the direction of a waterhole. It would have been nice if they had decided to do just that. We drove towards the waterhole and waited. Unfortunately, the family had other plans. They did not show up at the waterhole at all. Himmat Singh and Aditya predicted that they probably had moved towards an area with some natural caves. the area was well away from the roads. Hoping against hope we waited at the waterhole. This gave me time to click some other denizens of the forest. This time some feathered ones ! Rose ringed parakeets feeding on flowers of "Flame of the forest" Peacocks were plenty. National bird of India is certainly among one of the most beautiful birds in the world, especially in breeding season.
  4. I had always wanted to visit Ranthambhor National park, but had never got around to do it. Ranthambhor is situated in Rajasthan, about 10 kms from a town called Sawai Madhopur. RNP is about 685 kms away from my home, here at Ahmedabad and the choices were to either drive down or take a train, since flight connections were not convenient. ( The nearest airport is Jaipur, about 200 kms from the park) June is hot and humid and driving down in the heat would be challenging. Accordingly, my friend and i booked train tickets departing Ahmedabad at 2130 hrs and reaching Sawai Madhopur at 0830 hrs the next morning. Perfect! ​We reached on time and there was a car to take us to our hotel, where we checked in, freshened up and had breakfast. Safari was at 1530 hrs and the sun was blazing away, with the mercury rising up till 45oC ( 113o F). The hotel is a comparatively new structure, made on the lines of the old fort/palaces, but with concrete, cement and bricks (and possibly stone) and not stone and limestone as was used in the olden times. The structure gets heated up and heat pretty much radiates all over the place. There is no greenery inside the walls and this possibly accentuated the heat. We did not dare come out of our air conditioned rooms, just braving the heat to go to the dining area for a spot of lunch. Promptly, at 1530 hrs, we set off for the forest in the blazing sun, with a thin safari cloth hat protecting me from the elements. The hot wind blew at our faces and now we understood why the locals covered their faces with a scarf. It was pretty grim, but the excitement of visiting the jungle overpowered our discomfort. Ranthambhor has 10 zones and the most visited (with better chances of sighting) are from 1 to 4. We were at zone 3 today. One of the advantages of visiting the park during June is that there are comparatively lesser tourists. The Indian families keep away due to schools having reopened as well as the excessive heat and the overseas visitors also find the weather extremely inconvenient. The main advantage is that sightings are quite frequent since the tigers prefer to stay near the water bodies. There are quite a few natural water bodies and some artificial ones, maintained by the forest department. Most of the natural water bodies have crocodiles and it was quite surprising to see some of them in a tiny water body which could dry up possibly in a week. When i mentioned this to our guide, he opined that the crocodiles have been known to move away to a different water body over night. The park takes its name from Ranthambhor fort, said to have been built by Maharaja Jayantha during the fifth century AD. It is a beautiful fort and in good repair even after a millennium and a half. There is a Ganesh temple within the fort and many devotees walk from the nearby villages and visit the temple. Festival days are pretty crowded, i am told. (More about this later) We moved into the park and came upon this lovely specimen. Oriental honey buzzard, probably and a juvenile. Could some one confirm this please? The rest in the gypsy were not happy stopping for this and were eager to proceed to scout out tigers. I had wanted to get a "taking off" shot of this bird, but in the humdrum could not do so . We proceeded ahead and turned the corner and came upon this magnificent sight: to be continued....
  5. ~ This June, 2017 book excerpt published in India's Swarajya is from the book: “The Vanishing, India's Wildlife Crisis” by Prerna Singh Bindra, published by Penguin Random House India. The excerpt describes being in Panna Tiger Reserve where a proposed dam and river link threatens to submerge the area's forests, which are prime tiger habitat.
  6. ~ These June, 2017 articles from The Hindu explain the dilemma between the steady increase in the tiger population in Karnataka and the Western Ghats, and the reality of insufficient habitat to accommodate the increase. Tiger numbers in such areas as Nagarahole and Bandipur have reached their ecological carrying capacity without any corresponding increase in protected areas for both tiger and prey populations.
  7. I have recently read an article about fishing cat survey in Cambodia, which led me to this symposium final presentation, detailing the last information available about this little known felid from Asia. The fishing cat is known to live in coastland and inland wetlands. It is found in the Ganga delta, the Terai Arc in the Indian subcontinent. More research is needed in Vietnam and Java to review its presence. Wetland should be urgently protected to ensure this felid correct habitat protection. I would no have expected conflict with humans, but some of the presentation stress on intense conflict in West Bengal for instance.
  8. Hello friends, After spending nearly fifty years of her life in sinful existence, my wife decided to go on a pilgrimage to wash away her sins. The intended place was Palitana hills in Gujarat, India, which is the holiest of the holies for the Jains. I'm not a Jain, not really a very religious Hindu either. I have eaten many creatures in my life and not too worried about my sins. But when I was planning the trip for her I realised there were plenty of attractions nearby which could keep me busy for a week. And when my wife promised to sponsor the trip, I decided to somehow cope with the repentance for couple of days followed by continuation of my hedonistic life style. The girls also wanted to tag along to see where their ancestors hailed from. So Gujarat : here we come. For people who are not familiar with Gujarat, it is the Westernmost state of India bordering Pakistan, famous for being the birthplace of father of the Nation, Gandhi-ji, the last few Asiatic lions of Gir forest and having the huge salt pan of Rann of Kutch. Currently the Gujaratis are more proud of the fact that the all-conquering Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi is a son of Gujarat. Most of Gujarat is not really popular with the average western tourist, who do not venture beyond the Golden Traingle. The more I did my research the more impressed I was with the hidden gems of Gujarat. I am planning to go and see the Altiplano salt desert of Bolivia, but the Great Rann of Kutch was no less impressive. The Little Rann of Kutch was a heaven for bird watching, with the last few remaining wild asses. The seven thousand year old neglected ruins of Indus valley civilisation at Dholavira would have been a star attraction in any other country. Throw in some amazing handicrafts, unique geological formations, mouth-watering vegetarian food, pronking Blackbucks, Ayurvedic Spa for the ladies, drinking camel milk straight from the udder and a great beach to relax : our itinerary looked great. Communication won't be a problem as Gujarati is my wife's mother tongue and I have also managed to learn a bit to make sure I understand what my in-laws are talking about me. I usually try to avoid the popular places wherever I travel. Checked Tripadvisor for popularity and Gir forest, Somnath and Dwarka temples were out. I do not see too many reports on Gujarat here. I know some of the regular contributors are planning a trip to Gujarat soon and there is one member from Gujarat who was very helpful to me. I feel it is my duty to raise the profile of this amazing place and show you the India beyond the Golden Triangle, Kerala and the nature reserves. A few years back Mr Modi cunningly employed the services of the biggest celebrity in India, Mr Amitabh Bachhan to promote tourism in Gujarat. Mr Bacchan's brilliant tagline was : " Kutch nehi dekha ? To kuch nehi dekha. " meaning " Haven't seen Kutch ? Then you haven't seen anything. " I entirely agree with that tagline and appoint myself as the worthy successor of Mr Big B. It is not really a wildlife trip but more of an immersion in the rich cultural heritage of India but as we did see quite a bit of wildlife, so I guess the moderators will forgive my digression. I knew February was not the best time to see the migratory birds, as they would have started their journey back to Europe again, but because of kids' school time we could not go earlier. The temperature was just right. Pretty cold in the desert in the morning needing a thick fleece at least and boiling hot by noon. Outside desert it was OK if we could avoid direct exposure to midday sun. The itinerary : 4th February : Birmingham-Dubai- Ahmadabad with Emirates. 5th: Reaching Ahmadabad at 8 am, lunch with friends and then 4 hours drive to Bhavnagar,: Lord's Resort Bhavnagar for 2 nights. Nice hotel, superb food. 6th : Whole day trip to Shatrunjay hills Palitana for pilgrimage, an hour's drive. 7th: One hour drive to Blackbuck Lodge, Velavadar, Blackbuck NP for one night. Treated like royalty, eye wateringly expensive. 8th : Five hours drive to the tiny village of Jogad at Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) to stay at Eco camp with Mr Devjibhai Dhamacha, for two nights. In touch with real India staying in Mud Huts. 9th : Day trips to the interior of LRK to the Wild Ass sanctuary. 10th,11th, 12th, 13th : Five hours of drive to the coastal town of Mandvi via a brief stop at Bhuj. Stay at Serena Beach Resort, Mandvi for four nights. Fantastic location, quite expensive for Indian standard but service needs improvemnt. Day trips to ruins of Lakhpat, rock formations of Nakhatrana and the raptor heaven of Banni grasslands. 14th : 2.5 hours drive to Dhordo via many stops to see the remarkable artisans of Gujarat, to check the last frontier post of India, Black Hills of Kutch overlooking the Rann, and overnight at Gateway to Rann resort, Dhordo to watch sunset over the white desert. Resort is a succesful community project mananged by local villagers. 15th : five hours drive circumnavigating the whole Rann to the little island in the middle of Kadir Bet, Dholavira to see the best preserved ruins of Indus Valley civilisation in India. Overnight at Dholviara Resort. Resort is an overstatement, practically in the middle of nowhere, but just what I always look for. 16th : Long seven hours drive back to Ahmedabad, but not before seeing the ancient handicraft of Patola Saree ( one single saree can cost up to five thousand pounds) and the majestic Sun temple of Modhera. Stay with friends. 17th February : spend time with friends at Ahmadabad, more shopping and start the return journey. The route map : Now time for some random pics from the proud ancient land of Garavi Gujarat. A resilient community and salute to the people of Kutch who had rebuilt their land after the devastating earthquake of 2001 killing thousands and thousands of people and flattening a whole city. Pronking Blackbuck Abandoned flamingo colony Wild asses of India Flamingos galore Swamphen
  9. About time we started a Dhole thread given the space dedicated to their african cousins. Here's one of Mum and the Kids, Tadoba India March 2011 One of Mum on her own And from a later encounter the same morning with different dogs, possibly from the same pack All with the E-3 and 50-200mm
  10. Since our first post in 2011, Pack for a Purpose has grown to over 485 accommodations and tour companies across the globe with more than 260 being in Africa. We also have seven accommodations and tour companies in India. All of these accommodations and tour companies offer safari experiences, and each of our participants supports local community projects ranging from schools to anti-poaching projects. Our participants focus on five initiatives: education, health, child welfare, animal welfare, and socioeconomic development. Our newly designed website can be searched by destination alone or by initiative. When you choose to become a Pack for a Purpose traveler, the safari you take goes much farther than the miles you travel. By going to our website, you will find the specific needs list for the projects supported by our participants, How to Pack information, everything you need to make each safari more meaningful. Since our inception, Dec. 17, 2009, generous Pack for a Purpose travelers have taken over 40,600 kilos of supplies meeting essential needs in over 60 countries. PfaP travelers have shared their stories on our website and continue to inspire other travelers. Our newly designed website includes our first shop, which includes high-quality Pack for a Purpose merchandise. From T-shirts to hoodies, we've got you covered. A large portion of the sales directly benefit our mission to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travelers who want to take meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit. We encourage you to share the Pack for a Purpose website across your social media and to check back on our website from time to time as we are continually adding new safari locations. Below is a list of participants in Africa and India, current as of Sept. 18, 2015. Africa BotswanaBush Ways Mobiles Chobe Elephant Camp Foot Steps Across the Delta Jacana Camp Kanana Khwai Tented Camp Linyanti Bush Camp Linyanti Ebony Little Vumbura Meno A Kwena Tented Camp & Safaris Muchenje Safari Lodge Ngoma Safari Lodge Okuti Sango Safari Camp Selinda Camp Selinda Canoe Trail Shinde Shinde Enclave The Kanana Mokoro Trail Vumbura Plains Zarafa Camp CameroonCameroon Experiential Travel and Adventure Centre Cape Verde IslandsMindelo Apartments EgyptHabiba Beach Lodge EthiopiaStrawberry Fields Eco Lodge GhanaAfia Beach Hotel Ankobra Beach Ltd. Pink Hostel KenyaAberdare Country Club Borana Campi ya Kanzi Coral Key Malindi Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp Custom Safaris Delta Dunes Lodge Elephant Pepper Camp Elsa’s Kopje Entim Camp Governors Camp Governors Private Camp Il Moran Ilkeliani Camp Joy’s Camp Kicheche Bush Camp Kicheche Laikipia Camp Kicheche Mara Camp Kicheche Valley Camp Kipalo Hills Kitich Camp Lewa Safari Camp Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Little Governors Camp Loisaba Loldia House Losokwan Camp Maasai Simba Camp Mara Bushtops Camp Mara Explorers Camp Mara Leisure Camp Mara Plains Camp Mara West Ngerende Island Lodge Nyati Hill Cottages ol Donyo Lodge Overland Travel Adventures Sabuk Lodge Safari Joe – East African Adventure Safaris Safarilink Aviation Ltd. Saruni Mara Saruni Samburu Sirikoi Lodge The Ark The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille Tortilis Camp Travel House Tours Tropical Vacations Wildebeest Eco Camp MalawiMvuu Camp Mvuu Lodge Pumulani Tongole Wilderness Lodge Yellow Zebra Safaris MauritiusLUX* Le Morne Merville Beach Hotel – Produced By LUX* Tamassa Produced by LUX* MoroccoKasbah Tamadot Rough Tours Morocco Company World Unite! MozambiqueAzura Nkwichi Lodge Vamizi Island Lodge White Pearl Resorts NamibiaDamaraland Camp Hoanib Camp Naankuse Lodge & Wildlife Sanctuary RwandaAmahoro Tours Virunga Lodge (Volcanoes Safaris) South AfricaAfrican Game Lodge Amakhala Game Reserve Ant’s Nest & Ant’s Hill Blyde River Canyon Lodge Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel Cape Splendour Tours & Safaris Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge Cliff Lodge de Pakhuys Fugitives Drift Lodge Garonga Safari Lodge Giltedge Africa Inyati Game Lodge Isibindi Zulu Lodge Jenman African Safaris JP Kleinhans Safaris Kariega Game Reserve Kwa Maritane Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers Lion Sands Game Reserve Londolozi Game Reserve Madikwe Safari Lodge Makalali Private Game Lodge Mateya Safari Lodge Mimosa Lodge Montagu Country Hotel More Quarters Apartment Hotel Rocktail Camp Samara Private Game Reserve Savanna Private Game Reserve Spier Hotel Tau Game Lodge Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre The Backpack The Cavern The Oyster Box The Peech Hotel The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Tuningi Safari Lodge Ulusaba Private Game Reserve Wilderness Touring ZuluWaters Game Reserve TanzaniaAfrican View Lodges AJT Tanzania, Ltd. Bristol Cottages Chada Katavi Chem Chem Safari Lodge Deeper Africa Domokuchu Beach Bungalows Fundu Lagoon Gecko Adventure Tanzania Gibb’s Farm Grassroots Traveller Greystoke, Mahale Halisi Expeditions It Started in Africa Karama Lodge & Spa Karanga Adventure Tours & Safaris Kigelia Ruaha Kisampa Lamai Serengeti Machweo Mambo View Point Mangrove Lodge Manyara Ranch Conservancy Mountain Madness Mwagusi Safari Camp Nasikia Luxury Mobile Camps Nature Bound Africa Nduara Loliondo Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge Onsea House Peace Matunda Tours Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel Red Monkey Lodge Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge Samba Treks Savannah Discovery Serengeti Bushtops Camp Serengeti Pride – Safaris & Kilimanjaro Climbs Simba Portfolio Siringit Stella Maris Lodge Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast Taraji Kilimanjaro The Tides Lodge Tin Tin Tours Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp World Unite! World Unite! UgandaBwindi Lodge Chobe Safari Lodge Golf Course Apartments Instinct Safaris Kyambura Gorge Lodge (Volcanoes Safaris) Mount Gahinga Lodge (Volcanoes Safaris) Mweya Safari Lodge Paraa Safari Lodge Safari Joe – East African Adventure Safaris Safari Wildz: East African Adventures Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp ZambiaBilimungwe Bushcamp Chamilandu Bushcamp Chaminuka Nature Reserve Chiawa Camp Chikoko Trails Camps Chindeni Bushcamp Chinzombo Camp Chongwe River Camp Chundukwa River Lodge Croc Valley Camp Fawlty Towers Flatdogs Camp Island Bush Camp Islands of Siankaba Jollyboys Backpackers & Camp Kafunta River Lodge Kaingo Camp Kakuli Bush Camp Kapamba Bushcamp Kapani Lodge Kuyenda Lilayi Lodge Lion Camp Luangwa River Camp Luwi Bush Camp Marula Lodge Mchenja Bush Camp Mfuwe Lodge Mwaleshi Camp Mwamba Bush Camp Nkwali Camp Nsefu Camp Nsolo Bush Camp Old Mondoro Royal Zambezi Lodge Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge Sanctuary Puku Ridge Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Sausage Tree Camp Stanley Safari Lodge Tafika Camp Tena Tena Camp The River Club The Victoria Falls Waterfront Toka Leya Camp Tongabezi Lodge Wasa Lodge – Kasanka National Park Wildlife Camp Zungulila Bushcamp ZimbabweBomani Tented Lodge Camp Amalinda Davison’s Camp Ivory Lodge John Stevens Guided Safaris Africa Little Makalolo Camp Lokuthula Lodges Ngoko Safaris Somalisa Camp The Hide Safari Camp Victoria Falls Safari Club Victoria Falls Safari Lodge Victoria Falls Safari Suites
  11. A Wilderness's Rebirth : As a group of wildlife enthusiasts in India, it is truly inspiring to witness the transformation of a lesser known yet an extremely important wilderness of the country turn into a major attraction for not only nature lovers but for a layman as well. Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, now popularly known as UKWLS, is currently the most sought after wildlife destination in the country. It is a tremendous achievement for the wilderness given its location and its close proximity to some of country’s most famous National Parks and Tiger Reserves. Situated at a distance of 50 kms approx.(an hour by road) from the city of Nagpur, in the Indian State of Maharashtra, the forest was declared as a wildlife sanctuary back in June 2012. The main reason being the presence of the king of Indian Jungles, the Bengal Tiger. It was a delightful news for all the wildlife savvy individuals, mainly those , in the western part of the country. For the first 1.5 – 2 years, UKWLS had a sluggish start as it was always considered as an optional add on for majority of the wildlife lovers who visited this part of the country for the more recognized National Parks or Tiger Reserves like Tadoba, Pench or Kanha due to a couple of reasons (a.) the area was comparatively less; 189 sq kms looks way too tiny when compared to Tadoba (700 sq kms of core area) and the other National Parks around and (b.) the scarcity of good accommodations in the area. Then came the turning point in the history of UKWLS. A male tiger named Jay, touted to be Maharashtra’s largest Tiger at the moment, and some say he may well be in for the top slot as the country’s largest Tiger too, made a superstar like appearance in UKWLS. Whether or not, he is indeed the largest Tiger in the country or in Maharashtra, is something we would leave it up to the wildlife experts and big cat enthusiasts to debate on, however what was important was his huge size and his sudden presence in the sanctuary. To top it all, this enormous brute was more than happy to oblige the visitors with a glimpse of his royal behaviour more often than not. In fact he made it a point to welcome or see off the Safari vehicles by sitting bang in the middle of the Safari track. UKWLS already had 4 tigers before Jay’s arrival, with an equal male-female ratio. As expected, Jay pushed the 2 resident males out of the core territory due to his towering size and became the only dominant male in this vast wilderness. It is believed that he also lured a tigress from the Pench Tiger Reserve taking the female tally to 3. The scene was now set for Jay to stamp his dominance over his newly acquired territory that was spread across 180 odd sq kms, way larger than an average male tiger, but Jay was no ordinary Tiger. In a span on the next 6 months he spent ample amount of time with all 3 tigresses and Jay’s next generation was well on its way. Within no time, there were 13 tigers in UKWLS which included Jay, the 3 tigresses and 9 cubs. With no other male in the surrounding area there wasn’t much of a threat to these cubs. They started growing and so did UKWLS’s popularity. They quickly started following their father’s footsteps and were very bold right from a tender age to face the tourists and the safari vehicles. That was the triggering point that shot up UKWLS as a dream destination for the wildlife lovers. Today UKWLS is a Tiger hub, with the cubs now around 15-20 months old they have acquired huge sizes, and even at this tender age almost all of them dwarf their mothers. They have now started actively participating in the hunts and it is one hell of a sight to see these large groups of Tigers take down prey as large as a Gaur or a Nilgai with ease. The prey base is now in check and with the reduction in the grazing rate, it may well improve the soil holding capacity of the forest thereby making it healthier in terms of the eco-system. Visitors throng the sanctuary to get a glimpse of these wonderful creatures and they are not disappointed at all. This is once again, a classic example of the tremendous importance a Tiger holds in the entire ecosystem and how its presence benefits the entire jungle. As the cubs will turn into adults in the next 6-8 months they will venture out in search of their own territories and thus benefitting the surrounding vegetation as well. It may be safe to say that Jay could well be the game changer as far as UKWLS’s fortunes are concerned and who knows, Maharashtra would boast of another Tiger reserve in the State. In any which way Jay has given a re-birth to UKWLS and we wish the sanctuary continues to prosper.
  12. I have been doing safaris in India since 1990. But never thought i would get so lucky ever. It was December 2014, i was searching for Wild Elephants in Dudhwa National Park. Saw them at a distance of about 50 meters, it was late evening, dipping light, mist did not help, and i started to take photographs. Suddenly noticed some crouching movement between myself and the Elephants, Focussed and i could not believe my luck, a Tiger. he was stalking the baby elephant, maybe a month old, and the cow Elephant was very cautious. The Elephants would trumpet, try to scare the Tiger away, but he remained focussed, with a mission possessed, and did not leave his ground. Having watched the scene for over 20 minutes we had to leave the park as the safari time had come to a close. Left with a heavy and a praying heart that God save the baby. I left Dudhwa after 2 days, it was only after 7 days that my driver called and said, "' Sir the baby is safe, and i saw him today during the safari", was i releaved would be an understatement. Sharing the images here. Detailed article titled The Dudhwa Drama on below link
  13. So we've been hashing out an itinerary for our 2nd trip to India and I'd appreciate any comments. (Our first trip last year was to Tadoba, Pench, Kanha, and Kaziranga.) We still have lots of time to make adjustments but in my eyes this is looking good. I can't really add any more days, we are pretty much at our limit of time once you add in the travel days from the US! The aim is 1) to return for more tigers; we really only had decent sightings of tiger in one park on our last trip (Tadoba) even though we visited three different tiger parks. So tigers and tiger photography is a priority. For that reason we have five nights in Ranthambhore utilizing their new permit system which allows for full day drives on three full days. 2) birding; we are pretty serious birders and bird photographers and so wanted to hit another, different area of India where we could pick up new species. 3) To see Asiatic Lion and hopefully some of the other species which would be life mammals such as Striped Hyena, Desert Fox, Indian Wolf, and Caracal (which has eluded us in Africa!) Its a lot of long drives, but we want to go to Bera for leopard as well as the magnificent looking landscape. The stop at Shapura is just to break up the long drive, but it looks like a lovely place to stay and may have time for some birding on the grounds. I hadn't realized everything in Gujarat was so far apart! Day 01 Arrive Delhi (Pride Plaza Aerocity) Day 02 Train Delhi to Bharaptur - (Afternoon Birding) (The Birders Inn- 2nights) Day 03 Bharaptur birding Day 04 Early morning birding, then train to Ranthambhore (Afternoon Game Drive) (The Ranthambhore Bagh-5 nights) Day 05 Ranthambhore (Full Day Game Drive) Day 06 Ranthambhore (Full Day Game Drive) Day 07 Ranthambhore (Full Day Game Drive) Day 08 Morning Game Drive, Later drive Ranthambhore to Shahpura (to break up drive to Bera) (200 kms/4 hrs drive); Evening birding around lodge (Shahpura Bagh 1 night) Day 09 Shahpura to Bera (260 kms/5 hrs drive) Afternoon Game Drive (Bera Safari Lodge 2 nights) Day 10 Bera (Morning & Afternoon Game Drives) Day 11 Bera (morning game drive) then drive to Little Rann of Kutch (275 kms/5-6 hrs drive) (Rann Riders 2 nights) Day 12 Little Rann of Kutch (Morning & Afternoon Game Drives) Day 13 Morning Game Drive at Little Rann of Kutch, Later drive to Gir (315 kms/6 hrs drive) (Lion Safari Camp 3 nights) Day 14 Gir (Dual morning & an Afternoon Game Drive) Day 15 Gir (dual morning & an Afternoon Game Drive) Day 16 Gir to Velavadar (220 kms/4-5 hrs drive) Afternoon Game Drive at Velavadar (Blackbuck Lodge 2 nights) Day 17 Velavadar (Morning & Afternoon Game Drives) Day 18 Morning Game Drive, Later drive Velavadar to Ahmedabad (150 kms/3 hrs drive) , Fly Delhi (Indigo 6E 162 at 1750/1935 hrs) & Departure Any thoughts appreciated, re: accommodations or otherwise!
  14. Here are some captures of our many tiger and tigress sightings in both Kanha and Bandhavgarh in 2014. We were not as good at video back then and these were our first ever safaris. We're better now. Enjoy. And here's our channel where you can see mostly videos of African safaris:
  15. An inexplicable start of new year it was..! 11 Tigers & a leopard..! In all a dozen of Predator cats of Tadoba accompanied me in the start of this year, as if an indication to stay around them all this year and many more years coming ahead. Besides the hectic schedule, the glimpses of these extremely ROYAL Bengal Tigers helped me to keep up. Haven't expected it to be this amazing..! Excited as ever, Seeing off 2016, welcoming 2017..!!! Once again Wishing you all a very Happy New Year . May this year bring you lots of glory and Happiness....💥💥💥 Keep in touch for more updates.
  16. We are planning our Indian safari for February - March 2018, and I just discovered that the Holi holiday is March 2 in that year. Our itinerary would probably have put us in Ranthambhore around that date (we have not set specific dates yet, but the idea is now to start in Gujarat while its a little cooler in mid- to late February, then head to Ranthambhore and Bharaptur in early March.) I would think we wouldn't want to be driving anywhere on that day! but I'm also wondering if it will be crazy around Ranthambhore and if the park will be extra crowded. Should we move our whole trip back into February so as to avoid Holi? (Normally I'd say it might be very interesting to see the festivities...but it seems like it has the potential to be pretty disruptive as well.) Unfortunately February only has 28 days in 2018 so we'd pretty much have to depart India on Feb 28 if we want to avoid it. Thoughts appreciated, especially anyone with first-hand knowledge
  17. Recently I have finished my 61 days overland trip which we had started from Delhi on 25th of Jan and ended up in Gangtok on 31st March then I headed on to Bhutan for another 15 Days. (contact - On my trip I have been to 1-Bharatpur 2-Ranthambore national park 3-Desert national park 4- Bera 5- Little rann of kutch 5- Gir national park 6-Blackbuck national park 7- Pench national park 8- Barnawapara wildlife sanctuary 9- Satkosia tiger reserve 10- Sundarbans 11- Gorumara national park I was long trip but I really enjoyed a lot. I have seen lots of wildlife Right from small Rat to Giant elephant to ferocious Tiger. I hope you will enjoy my pictures. Darter (Snake bird) - Bharatpur bird sanctuary Ruins of Ranthambore fort Thar desert Wildass from Little rann of kutch Asiatic lions - Gir national park Blackbucks - Blackbuck national park Pench national park Sambar deer with calf Sloth beer - Barnawapara wildlife sanctuary Indian gaur Brown fish own - satkosia tiger reserve Indian giant squirrel welcome to the land of Man-eating Tigers - Sundarban tiger reserve Water monitor lizard - One of the world's largest lizards of the world - Sundarbans tiger reserve Royal bangal tiger from Sundarbans photo credit - saumyajit nandi Gorumara wildlife sanctuary Asiatic elephants in gorumara wildlife sanctuary
  18. Hi there, we are in the very early stages of planning a safari to India this January. I have an offer for the following itinerary: day 1 flight to Mumbai day 2 next day flight to Nagpur and transfer to Tadoba. day 3/4 Tadoba stay in Irai Lodge for 3 nights. day 5 morning safari in Tadoba then transfer to Pench day 6/7 Pench NP stay in Tuli Tiger Corridor day 8 Transfer to Kanha, stay in Tuli Tiger Resort day 9/10 Kanha NP day 11 morning safari. Drive to Jabalpur flight to Delhi. The tour operator ensures it will be a private safari. So there will only be us, the guide & the driverbe in the Jeep. Other option would be to stay more nights in Tadoba to cover different areas of this park. The TO says this would be most suitable, if Tiger is the main "target" of this trip. Well, Tiger is the main reason to go, but also Dhole, Sloth bear and Leopards are. I rather tend to this option. Maybe don´t go to either Pench or Kanha. Which one of these two parks (Kanha/Pench) would the experienced India traveler go and why? Tadoba is set. TO also says that mid February would be a better time to go then mid January. Is there so much of a difference between these two dates? Thanks Thomas
  19. India was only a vague thought in my mind--"someday"! I knew I wanted to see tigers, and the myriad of new birds, but it all seemed so foreign and daunting to plan; even more daunting to try to navigate it on our own. I figured that when we finally did go to India, we'd have to go with a group tour, which is really not our style. I'd researched group birding tours, and even inquired about some. But then one day I read the wonderful trip report "Stripes of Wild India" from @@Atravelynn and @@michael-ibk. Maybe, just maybe, it was more feasible and easier than I thought to do India privately? With dreams of tigers and dhole I contacted Wild World India, who had planned Lynn and Michael's trip as well as those of several other SafariTalkers. I did not even bother contacting any other agency as it all fell together so quickly and easily with Vikram of WWI. The price was surprisingly reasonable, much less per day than an Africa trip. At first I had only planned on the central tiger reserves: Tadoba, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh. But after much (well not that much!) deliberating we decided to do Kaziranga as well; which meant cutting out one tiger reserve. In the end, I was a complete copycat and essentially booked the same trip as Lynn and Michael with just a couple of less days! And I arranged to have the same highly recommended guides that Lynn and Michael had used: Rajan in Central India, and Tarun at Kaziranga. Within just a couple of weeks it was all settled! Our itinerary was: Day 01/17 Feb 2016/Wed: Arrive Delhi (City tour) (we arrive at 1 in the morning) : Sheraton 4 Points Day 02/18 Feb 2016/Thu: Fly Delhi to Nagpur, drive to Tadoba : Svasara Jungle Lodge Day 03 to 05/19 to 21 Feb 2016/Fri to Sun: Tadoba Tiger Reserve Day 06/22 Feb 2016/Mon: Drive Tadoba to Pench: Tuli Tiger Corridor Day 07/23 Feb 2016/Tue: Pench Tiger Reserve Day 08/24 Feb 2016/Wed: Drive Pench to Kanha: Tuli Tiger Corridor Day 09 to 11/25 to 27 Feb 2016/Thu to Sat: Kanha Tiger Reserve Day 12/28 Feb 2016/Sun: Drive Kanha to Jabalpur, Fly Delhi: Sheraton 4 Points Day 13/29 Feb 2016/Mon: Fly Delhi to Guwahati, Drive to Kaziranga: Wild Grass Lodge Day 14 & 15/1 & 2 Mar 2016/Tue & Wed: Kaziranga Day 16/3 Mar 2016/Thu: Drive Kaziranga to Guwahati, Fly Delhi & Departure It was all arranged so that we would not miss any game drives during the weekly park closings; we would be traveling during those periods. Perfect! Our arrival via JFK-->Amsterdam-->Delhi on Delta/KLM went smoothly and more or less on time, and we were met cheerfully at the airport by Wild World India's representative, Abishek. By the time we arrived at the Sheraton 4 Points, it was close to 3 a.m. and needless to say we were ready to fall into bed. But, alas, that was not to be because apparently the Sheraton did not have our reservation, and no rooms available! After much argument by Abishek (who assured us it had been booked and paid for and reconfirmed earlier that day--and I believed him 100%) they still could not come up with a room, and so we were shuttled off to the Ibis Hotel. This would not have been a big deal except that it was now past 4 a.m. We were due to be picked up at 9:30 for the Delhi tour, but we moved it up to 10:30 so we could get at least a little much needed rest. An inauspicious start, but honestly that was the only minor "hitch" on the entire trip, and the Sheraton made up for it later... After breakfast at the Ibis, were picked up by our guide for our Delhi tour. First stop was the Qutub Minar complex, a 13th century World Heritage site of . I'll spare you the history lesson but for those interested you can read about it here: A very picturesque archeological site of minarets and mosques. The Qutub Minar itself is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The carvings on the columns are intricate and beautiful. Love the layers of colors The famous Iron pillar of Delhi supposedly never rusts, due to its composition. Its origin is somewhat in debate. For those of you waiting for wildlife, we saw our first Indian mammal here, the Three-striped Palm Squirrel as well as our first Indian life-bird, the Rose-ringed Parakeet. Little did we know how ubiquitous they would be!
  20. Hi I came across this article this morning and thought it was worth sharing. There are so many questions this article raises and certainly some disturbing incidents, especially in India. However, think referring to everyone who take photos of animals as "wildlife photographers" is misguided. One group should know better, the other, especially first-time safari goers, need to be educated by guides dan rangers. Curious what others think of this...
  21. Nepal authorities have just started a new translocation program to reinforce Western Nepal rhino populations from Bardia and Sukhlaphanta. The first rhino has been released in the Babai Valley of Bardia National Park, which rhino population suffered a lot and at one point was to the verge of being wiped out of the park, during the civil war between 2002 and 2006. Nepal has currently a growing population of rhinos. Chitwan National Park has the largest rhino population of the country and its population is only second in the world, after Kaziranga in Assam. In order to protect important corridors in Western Nepal, some of them linking Nepali protected areas with Indian ones, rhinos were also collared in the Khata corridor to study the importance of corridors, and I guess take further measure to strengthen this important area for rhinos and wildlife.
  22. 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.
  23. The long story of missing tigers from Ranthambore...
  24. 25 pictures from the 40 odd safaris that I went to in Ranthambhore in April 2016. Got another 20 to go in May, starting from tomorrow afternoon.
  25. It is great to finally hear some good news on the conservation front, but.... Is it wise to tell the poachers there are now more tigers to kill? Just a thought! AJ

© 2006 - 2018 - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.