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Found 8 results

  1. For all those who have followed Tigers of Kanha over the years, know that there is something unique and very interesting happening in the Mukki zone of Kanha National Park for last two seasons. There are FOUR big male Tigers, all adults, who have made Mukki zone their home. This has been absolutely unprecedented. Mukki was always known for Tigresses with cubs, and maybe an odd male transient Tiger showing up. But what seemed to be a fluke two years back has now settled well. The four big adult males have kind of accepted each other in a relatively small area. Last year did some some fights between the big four, namely, Umarpani Male, Bheema, Kingfisher and Link 7 male. There were fights, there were injuries, but they all have survived well. What surprised many was that towards the end of last season they had also sired some cubs, which hopefully should start showing up when the park reopens in October 2016. Everyone has fingers crossed and praying that hopefully nothing untoward has happened in the last 3 months when the park has been closed for monsoon. The safari permits are limited, and booked 120 days prior to your safari date. So wait now, go right ahead and book yourself into Mukki zone of Kanha to see some spectacular male Tiger sightings in the coming season too. Sharing the images of the Big Four of Mukki. 1. Kingfisher Male 2. Umarpani Male 3. Link 7 Male 4. Bheema Male Book yourself soon to catch some amazing sightings in Kanha in the coming season. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  2. This is to inform all that the online safari bookings have commenced for all national parks for safaris starting next month. The bookings have opened much late this year in central Indian parks of Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Pench, Satpura. The permits are few so decide soon if you plan to do safari before end of December 2017. If you are looking at best time for safaris in India then i recommend March-May. Though May gets real hot, about 45 degree celsius during the days but the Tiger sightings improve considerably this month. So, if you can brave the weather then travel in April, May. For a photographer and a wildlife lover every month is good. So choose time convenient to you and plan soon if you wish to travel to India for safaris in next few months.
  3. Just came back from Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park after spending a week in these parks. Both the parks lived upto their reputation of big amongst the top parks as far as Tiger sightings are concerned. How different is each park from the other, and how different the Tiger sightings are as well. Both seem to compliment each other so well. Sightings of cubs together, playing, jumping, fighting, and all this during heavy downpour, what an unforgettable experience in Bandhavgarh national park. It is absolutly a privilege to be ahead (during safari) of some of the biggest Tigers of all times in Kanha. be it the Umarpani male, Munna, or lately Chotta Munna. This time it was Chotta Munna also known as Link 7 male who followed our Jeep for good 10 minutes. To judge the size of the Tiger it is important to get a clear view of his front head. And Chotta Munna did not disappoint. I would love to call him, "The Rock". Amazing, height, length, skull, and pure muscle, this guys is her to stay and Rock. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  4. An absolutely stunning 6 days in Kanha and Bandhavgarh in first week of October 2017. I have been regular to these two parks for about 2 decades now. Both are very unique and compliment each other very well. Yes, Tiger sighting is a matter of luck, but you can maximize your luck by doing all possible safaris during your stay. I started with Kanha, and first two safaris were blank, i.e, no Tiger sighting. We were hearing alarm calls, and seeing regular pug marks but did not sight the elusive one. My focus this visit was only Chotta Munna the son of Legendary Munna who is still kicking and alive at 15+. Why Chotta Munna? As i wanted to complete the family tree of Munna. Having seen the father of Munna, then the mighty Munna himself, and also Umarpani male the son from first litter of Munna, and i was keen to see Chotta Munna. He finally showed up, and royally at that. Walked behind our vehicle for good 10 minutes. He had showed his confidence good two years back itself when still a sub adult he had challenged the likes of Bheema, and Kingfisher two grown up male Tigers of Kanha. His persistence to dominate got him the better of Bheema, whom he delat a mortal blow in October 2015. Summer of 2017 he spent making his intention clear to the dominant Umarpani male. Couple of fights happened, one was serious in which both came out bleeding. But he has not given up an inch of his territory to Umarpani. Perhaps after Kingfisher and Bheema died, Umarpani male also realised that there is no need to fight now. There is plenty of space, prey and Tigresses in their respective areas. Though one can never be certain about two grown up male Tigers. They are born to fight, live fighting, and go down fighting. But it will be only good for Kanha if both these specimen, i.e. Umarpani male and Chotta Munna male survive. For they are real strong genes. Having felt satiated with this huge male i moved onwards to Bandhavgarh where my tickets were booked, and i was keen to see some Tiger cubs. Like always, Bandhavgarh yet again did not disappoint. What an a experience of two sets of cubs in Bandhavgarh. One sub adult, of Rajbhera Tigress, and same evening three ten month old cubs of Kankati Jr. These three cubs we saw by themselves and were wondering where was the mother. It was brought to our notice about 10 days later that a dead Tiger was found about a km away from this area. Nothing has been concluded if it was a natural death or an unnatural one. Though chances of latter are much higher. The forest department has acted very proactively and done the best in the situation. They have got these three cubs in an enlarged enclosure, and once adult they might be relocated in adjoining Sanjay National Park, which has fewer Tigers. The coming season in Bandhavgarh and Kanha is going to be a cub season. Both the parks after a long time are brimming with cubs. So delay no longer, and book your self in soon. Best Wishes Sharad Kumar Vats
  5. It is never an easy feeling when you hear about your favorite Tiger dying for reasons beyond anyone's control. One tends to develop a bond with Tigers whom you have been seeing for some seasons. Seems as if those Tigers also know you. Then one fine day you hear about a Tiger found injured, and despite best efforts by the forest department he passes away. This is exactly what happened with Bheema a big male Tiger in Kanha. He got into a mortal combat with another of my favorite Tiger who also happens to be currently the biggest Tiger of central India, the Umarpani male and it proved to be his last fight. Tigers are born to fight, they live to fight and fight to live. And they die fighting. Please read the below link to know about Bheema the big male Tiger of Kanha. http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/bheema-peaceful-warrior-kanha-national-park-passes-away/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  6. The new Tiger safari season has commenced from 1st October. Some real exciting news has come from Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Ranthambhore and Satpura to beginwith. The news of first phenomenal Tiger sighting came from Kanha this year. On October 1 in the morning safari, Chotta Munna was seen walking from district line. He is the son of legendary Munna. What surprised everyone was his sheer size when he stood against a tree to mark his territory. While he continued to walk, the vehicles continued to reverse. After quite a while he changed course and went towards Chotta chatapatra. Some of the experienced guides knew exactly from where he would come out, and reached that spot. Their experience paid dividends when Chotta Munna appeared from the said trail at the time they anticipated him to come out. Sightings during a safari is not purely luck. When you have experienced guides, and drivers accompanying you in your vehicle then it is a lot of science, mathematics, and the jungle knowledge. While some tourists were happy with Chotta Munna’s sightings less did they know that another big surprise was about to unfold in front of their eyes. Bheema, the peaceful warrior, emerged in the Junglescape. He seemed to be following a scent mark. Was he following Chotta Munna? The naturalists around did not take long to guess that indeed he was on Chotta Munna’s prowl. Their fights over last two years has still not ended. Chotta Munna at a budding, youthful, but an inexperienced age of 4, had challenged the mighty Bheema at a competent and seasoned age of 6. Bheema’s efficiency overshadowed the over-confidence of Chotta Munna, and he has repeatedly got Chotta Munna to retreat. But the dominating genes of Chotta Munna remind him not to let go, and he comes back to challenge Bheema quite repeatedly. So far, he has retreated regularly, but he has lately learnt now to avoid injuries in such skirmishes, and simultaneously inject injuries on his opponent. Chotta Munna is surely more richer now having learnt that what does not kill you, makes your stronger. It seemed that this territorial tug to establish one’s supremacy left some marks around the neck of Bheema. The claws and canine mark around his neck would have also left an indelible scar on Bheema’s mind to either start relinquishing his domain, or be prepared for an inevitable duel in not so distant future. Happy were those who saw this scene on 1st October. To read more on safaris in Bandhavgarh, Ranthambhore, ad Satpura click the link below: http://www.naturesafariindia.com/blog/safaris-in-the-national-parks-of-india/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats To know more details read the link below
  7. India pleasantly surprises me always. No one is ignorant to the fact that we have 16% of world population living in less than 1% land mass of this planet, and 4% of this 1% is the protected area in India. If the bio-mass pressure of our population was not enough on the shrinking forests of our country, add to that the pressure of cattle grazing. The growing demands of a developing nation do not help the cause either. To say that the Government is not doing enough will not be fair, and even more unfair will be to say that the people of this country are intolerant, not by a distance when it comes to environment. If one travels in the interiors you will still find, rural India worshipping trees, animals, mountains, streams, and practically everything that is in nature. No wonder this is the reason, why despite all adversities, all activists, politicians, NGO’s, courts, etc, India has still managed to hold on to some key species. The so called #TigerExperts had given a apocalypse that Tiger shall not survive to see the turn of the 21st century. Well, the Tiger survives well into 16 years, with a increasingly healthy population. Did these experts underestimate their subjects of study, and overestimate their own expertise? Maybe no, they were perhaps quite right at the time of this prediction, perhaps they did not understand the Newton’s 3rd law of motion. For every forest being disrobed, there are many Krishna’s prohibiting the same. There are poachers and there are protectors. In summary the experts saw only one side and predicted, they did not see the other side, the positive side, the human side. But I would still like to thank them for the prediction, cause that woke up lot of sleeping souls of the society, who did not wait for someone to tell them to rise, awake, and stop not till the goal of protection is reached. I would like to share an incident that I witnessed in #BandhavgarhNational Park in Feb 2016. Do see the image of the same below the text. While doing an evening safari in #Bandhavgarh, from a distance I noticed a forest guard sitting near the #Rajbhera waterhole. On looking closely we see a cheetal (spotted deer) by his side, and the guard feeding him with water and leaves. We waited. When we asked him what happened, he said, while patrolling this morning he noticed the deer, who was old and weak, almost dying next to the water hole. He then fed him with leaves and water. Thereafter, the deer was able to lift his head after a couple of hours. When he came back in the evening to feed the cheetal, he saw more improvement. I was touched by his gesture, no one had told him to do that. We appreciated his work, and what he said after that amazed me, and made me laugh simultaneously. He said, “Sirji hum to tiger ko bhi aise kar dein agar woh karne de”. (we would treat / handle the #tiger similarly if he allows us to). His voice and eyes had genuine concern and love for animals. Whether the deer survived the night by himself or not, whether he became food of some #predator or not, is not important. What is important is, that we do have a lot of sincere people in our forests doing their job very sincerely, silently, away from media and recognition. In my eyes, he did not only save the cheetal, he saved the tiger, and the forest simultaneously. His boss sits about 35kms from #Bandhavgarh, still he was doing something beyond his job, with no expectations, and perhaps hence I could see the smile and peace in his eyes. This is why I say, that there are Krishna’s working silently in many areas. A silent forest ranger at work in Bandhavgarh National Park I have not lost any hope despite a lot of adversity. Nature will regenerate, it is powerful enough to take care of itself, it has done so for eons, and will continue to do so eternally. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  8. The swamp tiger, the man eaters, world's largest mangrove delta... there are numerous tags which point to just one name, 'the Sunderbans'. A huge protected area spanning more than 10,000 sq. km. of untamed swampy wilderness forming the delta of the River Ganges. It is spread in both Bangladesh and India. The Ganges before it meets the sea, forms numerous channels of murky water ways and islands covered in mangroves, tiger palm and is inhabited by plethora of wildlife. Some islands have human population as well. There are said to be more than 400 tigers living in the jungles here, more than half of which are known man eaters. Sunderbans is one of the most exciting destinations that we covered on the Prayaan India Overland's 61 days Delhi to Gangtok trip. Finishing up with the beaches in southern West Bengal we reached Kolkata. It is one of the busiest and craziest cities in India and reaching late in the afternoon, we were extremely tired and hence retired to our rooms. The next morning Sunderban adventure was to begin. Everyone woke up early. We met our guide who was to be with us the whole time in Sunderbans and left the maddening Kolkata behind. But the traffic madness was not going to end soon. It took us another 2 long hours to reach our jetty at Godkhali, negotiating on the way things like, cars, buses, trucks, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, bicycles, bikes, people, kids, cows, goats, sheep, vegetables(yes), chicken, fish (yes we don't lie), speed bumps... ohh god knows what else!! But we made it to the houseboat. This houseboat named Flotel Banzara was to be our home for the next 3 days. Although not a 5 star luxury, it had pretty much everything that one needs to be comfortable in the middle of Sunderbans. It featured a clean western toilet(with toilet paper), a shower, beds, a top viewing deck, a kitchen with good cooks, 2 skippers and guides. The boat guys had already stocked the boat with all the supplies, and as soon as we settled down, the boat left the jetty. We had to get our permits for the entry in the Sunderbans tiger reserve. This was all sorted out quickly. On the way we saw several boats loaded with people ferrying them from one side to the other. As we were leaving the villages and entering the jungle, we came across our first wildlife, a Bengal monitor and some mud skippers. The very first encounter with this wilderness was very appealing. We began our search for the ever elusive swamp tigers. We all knew that for seeing a tiger here we will need all our luck. Keeping a lookout for the big cat, we enjoyed everything that came our way. Sunderbans has amazing bird life. We had an amazing sunset that evening and then moved towards Bali island where the boat was to be anchored for the night. The skipper told us that we will be anchoring in the middle of a wide water channel so that we stay away from the mosquitoes. The place where we were anchored was just outside of the tiger reserve and was a busy water way. Whole night we were passed by cargo ships from Bangladesh ferrying fly ash. The next morning we all woke up determined to track the big cat. The kitchen guys had to replenish fresh water and some other supplies, after which we set off again to explore the creeks and channels. It was quite a pleasant morning and birds were very active. We recorded several species which were new for us. Some glimpses of the life on the houseboat: We also got to spend some time watching these amazing creatures called mud skippers. On the very last day after we all had thought that tiger sighting is just not going to happen, we were slowly cruising out of Sunderbans. On one of the bends someone spotted a lesser adjutant stork. With some time in our hand we decided to pull the boat to the bank and get some good shots. As we turned the first word that most of us heard was TIGER!! TIGER!! ..Where ?? Where??? There??? where?? Under the tree?? which tree??? That tree... small one... There it was... A swamp tiger .. sitting and watching us in all its glory... First few secs was all a mess... then some of us managed to frame a few shots before it was lost!! This pic was take by our trip leader for sunderbans - Saumyajit Nandy We had an amazing experience at Sunderbans! We loved it so much that we are already looking forward to visit again as part of the http://www.prayaanindiaoverland.com/61days_camping_tour.html trip in the coming Nov.

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